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Wickes to slash prices as it joins DIY Price War

Wickes store

It is understood that Wickes is poised to slash retail prices in response to recent aggressive pricing activity in the market from both Homebase and B&Q.

Last weekend, whilst B&Q and Homebase were fighting it out with a can of the best selling Dulux 2.5L coloured emulsion at £8.47, Wickes were sitting uncomfortably high and dry at £18.99 a can and even their 3 for 2 promotion looked uncompetitive.

Clearly a proportion of the £500m fund that Wesfarmers have committed to investing in Homebase is already being spent on price reductions. Our unique retail price tracking software is currently picking up around 500 Homebase price changes per day, of which 85% are price reductions. It is understood that once the majority of prices have been reduced across the key categories, Homebase will commence an aggressive advertising campaign.

For more information on the Insight DIY retail price monitoring services, click here.

At the same time as they're reducing prices, they're also working on reducing the cost base of the business, by making head office staff redundant. Read 'Homebase to lose 149 head office staff'.

Travis Perkins, the owner of Wickes, has very deep pockets and is unlikely to allow Homebase to gain any traction with their EDLP (Every day low price) strategy. Earlier today, Travis CEO John Carter commented “I’m not against good competition as it helps drive the market forward. Competition is going to heat up but we think we have a good plan. If we have to adjust and invest a little bit in price we are willing to do that.”

Wickes currently generates annual sales of £1.1bn compared to Homebase at £1.5bn and B&Q at £3.6bn.

Who do you think is going to come off worse in the growing price war? Click on our survey link below and let us know whether you think B&Q, Homebase, Wickes, Wilko or the High Street DIY Independents and Garden Centres will suffer.

Who do you think will come off worse in the DIY price war?

Earlier today, Travis Perkins announced a 7.3% increase in like for like sales for its consumer division, which includes Wickes, Toolstation and Tile Giant. During the 14 weeks to 2nd April sales at Wickes were driven by investment in price, an enhanced product range and improvements to customer service, though its own individual results are never published separately from the entire division. Download the trading update here.

Source: Insight DIY Team

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20 April 2016

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