B&Q sees its sales spruced up in the rain

B&Q slashed prices on paint and wallpaper to encourage homeowners to make the best of the wet weather by getting on with the decorating, its owner Kingfisher said yesterday.

The UK's biggest DIY chain, facing record rainfall in April and June, saw paint sales jump more than 20 per cent while wallpaper sales rose nearly 10 per cent year on year.

The washout in a traditionally big seasonal quarter for the retailer wasn't enough to make up the price cuts needed to shift flowers and plants as would-be gardeners stayed indoors.

But UK like-for-like sales were still in positive territory in the 10 weeks to 7 July, rising 1.1 per cent. Unsurprisingly, sales of hosepipes were down 38 per cent year on year.