Bunnings may have stormed into the UK and laid down the gauntlet to B&Q, but are its sales sizzling as much as its sausages?

According to first quarter figures unveiled by its owner Wesfarmers today, the Aussie DIY chain enjoyed a 2.2% uplift in like-for-like customer transactions as it continues to fade out Homebase and usher in its way of doing business.

That method is characterised by an everyday low-price model, depth of range and, of course, the sausage sizzles that are famous Down Under.

It will be a slow process to establish that way of thinking across the Homebase estate and moves to clear out unwanted Homebase stock at deep discounts will surely have hit Bunnings’ like-for-like sales values.

But while Bunnings manoeuvres itself into a position from which it can eventually bid to fire on all cylinders, other DIY players have caught the eye.

Travis Perkins-owned Wickes and Toolstation today posted “strong” sales, as like-for-likes climbed 2.9% in the three months to March 31.

Perhaps B&Q has more than just Bunnings and fragile consumer confidence to worry about.

Elsewhere today, N Brown suffered a drop in full-year profits, retail job numbers suffered their 12th consecutive month of decline and new research revealed that the rate of retail administrations fell in the first quarter of the year, despite turbulent trading conditions on the high street.

Quote of the day

“The macro-economic backdrop remains challenging for retail. Against this backdrop we remain vigilant over our core costs and efficiencies”

– N Brown boss Angela Spindler

Today in numbers


The number of retailers across England and Wales that fell into administration during the first quarter of 2017.


The jump in like-for-like sales recorded by Travis Perkins’ retail division — including Wickes and Toolstation — during its first quarter.

Tomorrow’s agenda

Our team analyse the biggest stories from the past seven days in the latest episode of The Retail Week and GfK reveals its latest Consumer Confidence Index.

Luke Tugby, head of content