Home improvement shop Wickes said that people are still doing up their houses in large numbers – a trend that boomed during the pandemic.
Its figures for the last three months showed that the retailer is currently selling around 27% more than it was in the same period in 2019.
But the trend has now been in place for so long that compared to this time last year sales are actually down, by 2.3%.
This is because the company is measuring against July, August and September 2020, the months after the first UK lockdowns eased.
At that point, people who had been stuck indoors for months on end decided it was time to do up the space they had been staying in.
In recent months, the company has had to contend with other issues. Problems in global supply chains have hit firms around the world. But Wickes said that these did not have a “material impact on sales”.
Yet it is still being hit by one consequence of the supply chain shortages: Prices are going up.
“As reported across the industry, we have seen price inflation accelerate, and we continue to manage this responsibly by focusing on cash margin recovery while maintaining our leading price position,” the company said.
Chief executive David Wood added: “This resilient performance has been underpinned by our digitally-led and service-enabled customer proposition, while our agile business model has enabled us to continue to navigate inflationary pressures and raw material constraints well.
“We are well-placed within a large and growing home improvement market, and look to the future with confidence.
“I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their hard work and support as we continue to help the nation feel house proud.”
Wickes kept its pre-tax profit outlook unchanged for the full year.
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