Kingfisher's B&Q, the UK's biggest DIY group, enjoyed its best ever sales in the week ending Easter Saturday. The sunny run-up to Easter was good news for DIY stores, but retailers overall suffered a drop in shopper numbers.
Over the week, B&Q's sales exceeded£100 million as customers snapped up barbecues and outdoor furniture. On the cooler Saturday, shoppers switched to interior decor items.
Chief executive Bill Whiting said: 'The growing trend of outdoor living combined with the good weather and a bank holiday weekend resulted in a record-breaking sales week.'
According to SPSL's Retail Traffic Index, shopper numbers across all sectors were down 6.3 per cent over the week, although Easter Monday was 5 per cent busier than last year. 'The retail outlook remains unsettled,' said SPSL director of knowledge management Dr Tim Denison.
Focus Wickes said it had a good Easter, but declined to provide figures.
'We are very pleased with sales over Easter, but can't comment on specific days. We will review the period over the next week,' said group commercial director David Pearson.
Focus had predicted that DIY sales over the holiday period would top£400 million.