Wickes and Toolstation report continued 'strong demand for DIY'

Continued demand in the DIY market has buoyed sales for Wickes and Toolstation owner Travis Perkins in October and November 2020.

End market trends seen in Q3 continued into the latter part of the year and - coupled with restructuring undergone in summer - the Group delivered 8.6% like-for-like sales growth in the period.

The group noted "encouraging recovery" in domestic RMI across smaller trade customers in Travis Perkins. Volumes with largest customers continued to "recover more slowly". Some larger customers were more impacted by the second national lockdown in November.

Wickes and Toolstation are both to return the business rate relief received as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, to the tune of approximately £50 million. It's a move a number of UK and Irish retailers have made in recent weeks, including Screwfix and B&Q.

With predictions of lockdowns continuing into at least Q1 2021, industry pundits will no doubt be expecting yet further growth for the DIY sector and others as yet unaffected by the pandemic, like construction. However, disruption in the form of container shortages - affecting fastener and tools supplies as well as many other sectors - and the end of the Brexit transition period suggest a testing start to 2021 which is likely to impact on prices for end users.