Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Homebase sales on the slide

Published: 13 March 2008
Homebase continues to be the problem child in the Home Retail family, with a like-for-like sales decline of 5.3% for the eight weeks to March 1.
Homebase sales on the slide
That is in stark contrast to its star sibling, Argos, which grew its total sales by 5.4% to £566m despite the growing slowdown in consumer spending.

Homebase sales declined 0.7% to £217m in a period which saw the company open one new store and relocate two.

Most categories continued to show difficult trading, although kitchens were once again an area of strong growth.

At Argos, the company enjoyed an 'excellent' performance in video games, had a strong January sales period and benefited from the earlier timing of Mother's Day.

Argos internet sales grew by over a third to represent 23% of all sales.

Terry Duddy, chief executive of the Home Retaill Group, said: "Argos' sales performance has rounded off a successful year in which we expect the group to deliver another year of double digit earnings growth in line with market forecasts.

"Looking ahead, we continue to believe that the weakening consumer outlook - as shown at Homebase - is likely to restrict growth in like-for-like sales in both businesses.

"While the new financial year looks challenging, we will continue building on our significant operational strengths across the group."

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