Wickes have announced an increase in their like-for-like sales of 4.2% in the eight weeks up to the end of November, compared to a 0.1% drop in the first nine months of 2010.
It would appear that people are rushing out to make their DIY purchases before the VAT increases on January 4th, when it rises from 17.5% to 20%. In particular, sales of kitchen and bathroom products have increased by 12.5% in the first 11 months of this year.
Travis Perkins, who own Wickes, also said that their builders merchants had shown an increase in like-for-like sales of 10.5% in the eight weeks to the end of November, compared to 7.1% for the first nine months of the year.
Obviously there is a fear that there may be a fall in sales again in January after the VAT rises, but we will have to wait and see how this impacts on the public’s spending.