Britain's recent heatweave is to thank for soaring sales at Hombase and Argos, the group's chief executive said today.
Terry Duddy, the departing chief executive of Home Retail Group, said of the sales surge, which was mostly felt at Homebase: “Cameron didn’t do it. Those big macro-economic factors haven’t fed through to consumers yet — if anything, disposable income is less than it was last month. But there was a feelgood factor over summer, and it boosted spending.”
Homebase’s second-quarter sales rose 11% to £400 million and Argos revenues jumped 2.7% to £889 million. “Homebase’s performance was stunning,” Duddy said. “I thought it was good before I saw [Kingfisher-owned rival] B&Q’s yesterday, but then I knew it was even better, because they talked about losing market share.”
Garden furniture sales jumped 60%, and Homebase sold 50% more barbecues than the same time a year earlier. “Argos gained market share, partly due to the demise of Comet,” Duddy added. “It was an excellent summer — we sold more desk fans in two weeks than in the whole of 2012.”
Sales via mobile and tablets made up 10% of Argos’ total sales this time last year; now it is at 17%.
Duddy, who last week announced that he will step down next year, said he wants to stay in the consumer industry but is leaving because “I’ve been here 15 years, and there’s only so much one can do”.
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