Belfast Telegraph

Summer sun shone on Homebase

By Lucy Tobin

The UK's recent heatwave is to thank for soaring sales at Homebase and Argos, the group's chief executive has said.

Terry Duddy, the departing chief executive of Home Retail Group, said of the surge, 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 £400m and Argos revenues jumped 2.7% to £889m. "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. "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%.

Belfast Telegraph