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KBB push can't stop Homebase slide

Homebase saw profits plunge by over 50% over the last year despite a large push in its kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms offer.

Sales at the multiple fell by 2.6% in the 52 weeks to February 25 to £1.5 billion across its 341 stores, but operating profit fell to £22.8m from £47.6m for the same period in 2011.

The numbers of visitors to the stores has increased by 15%, however, and 'Reserve and Collect' sales have risen by 35%. The company says that a third of Homebase customers browse the website before they buy, and 18% of them use mobile devices.

Homebase's new premium kitchen offer Odina is now in 19 stores, with four of these also receiving new Schreiber displays. The programme to upgrade kitchen, bedroom and bathroom ranges continued this year with a further 74 stores receiving 'best seller' kitchen displays, 64 had updated bathroom displays and 100 updated their bedroom displays.

Kitchen and bathroom installation services are now offered in all outlets and bedroom installation in 200. The company says its installation offer has an over 90% recommendation rate from customers.

There are still plans to close, relocate or downsize stores where possible as leases explore or lease break clauses are due - of which there are around 65 over the next five years.

"Big ticket sales were lower overall reflecting a challenging market," the company said in a statement. "Although fitted bedroom furniture continued to perform well benefiting from the rollout of the installation service and in-store displays."

Source : KBB Review

04 May 2012
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