DIY chain Wickes has replaced its entire bedroom and conservatory range with bathrooms in all stores as it seeks to capitalise on the “mass market” nature of the category.
The £5m investment has been ploughed into 24 new suites, across a range of price points – from £199 to £10,000. About 2,000 sq ft of space has been added to the bathrooms offer in each store.
Wickes managing director Jeremy Bird said the bedrooms and conservatories markets – which the retailer has operated in for more than 20 years – are in decline.
He said: “It’s a big strategic change for us. The bathroom market is growing. People are spending more on bathrooms than a few years ago as retailers like Wickes bring the prices down and turn it mass market.”
Bird said that although Wickes made the decision before last year’s collapse of MFI, the subsequent hole left in the bathrooms market has been “helpful”.
Last week, B&Q said that it will invest £3.5m in its bedroom and bathroom ranges.