UK digitally led home improvement retailer Wickes has reported that its total like-for-like (LFL) sales dropped 0.2% in the third quarter (Q3) of fiscal 2023 (FY23).

The company noted that Q3 group LFL sales were broadly in line with the same period in the previous year.

The retailer saw its core LFL sales grow 1.1%. This is the first volume growth since the second quarter of 2021.

During the period ending 30 September 2023, the market share of its core business improved, with strong performances in the decorative, tiling and insulation areas.

Sales of the retailer’s Do-It-For-Me (DIFM), which represents delivered sales, decreased 4.4% on an LFL basis in Q3 FY23.

Wickes partially attributed the decline to a more normalised order book against the first half of the fiscal year, and delays in the delivery process caused by the transition to a new software solution fulfilling customer orders.

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By GlobalData

The retailer expects the transition to continue to impact on Q4 delivered sales.

In 2023 to November, Wickes reported that its sales grew 0.4%, driven by 2.5% DIFM LFL-delivered sales growth.

Based on current trading, the retailer is on track to achieve an adjusted profit before tax of between £45.3m ($56.06m) and £49.0m ($60.63m) in the full year 2023.

Wickes CEO David Wood stated: “Once again thanks to our amazing colleagues, we have delivered a solid performance in a challenging market as we continue to deliver against our strategic growth drivers. In our core business, we have gained further market share and achieved a return to volume growth. We have fulfilled strong demand from our trade customers and have been encouraged by greater stability in DIY.

“As we continue to roll out our programme of store openings and refits, I am confident that we have the right product offer and the most attractive locations – enabling us to deliver value for customers and shareholders.”

Wickes operates a network of 230 stores and digital channels, including its website. It refitted one store, and opened a new outlet in Chelmsford over the quarter.