Wickes and Toolstation remain Travis Perkins’ saving grace amid the pandemic; the businesses grew 13.7% and 41.0% respectively during October and November due to ongoing high demand for DIY.
Given its strong performance, Travis Perkins is following many other essential retailers by returning the business-rates relief received under the Job Retention Scheme for Toolstation and Wickes. This is manageable for the group, which held £988m of liquidity headroom at the end of November, and it will resultantly benefit from positive brand perceptions among consumers.
The second lockdown had a material impact on the group; its Plumbing and Heating (P&H) and Merchanting businesses declined 22.9% and 6.1% respectively because of fewer large projects being undertaken, and its Kitchen and Bathroom businesses were also negatively affected. This performance was not echoed by competitor Kingfisher, which claimed that its Kitchen category performed particularly well in the three months ending 31 October 2020.
With the unpredictability of lockdown restrictions across the Christmas period and into 2021, Travis Perkins’ will be affected in the same vein as all retailers. However, with Toolstation and Wickes still comfortably under its belt, the group will be well-supported as heightened demand for DIY continues.