Homebase sales flop as consumer spending slowdown continues
The Australian owner of DIY chain Homebase has seen sales plummet in the first quarter as retailers continue to bear the brunt of a consumer spending slowdown.
Bunnings, which snapped up Homebase last year, posted an 11.9% slide in like for like sales in the first three months of the year, while total sales crashed 13.8pc to £276m.
The figures come alongside a slowing housing market in the UK following the Brexit vote and after rival B&Q also posted falling sales.
Bunnings, part of retail giant Wesfarmers, described the performance as "disappointing" as it pointed to "difficult trading conditions".
It put the poor figures partly down to being "adversely affected by the significant clearance of discontinued ranges last year".
Bunnings acquired Homebase in a £340m deal last year and has been attempting to reposition the brand.
As well as revamping the stores and slashing prices, Homebase is in the process of being rebranded as Bunnings.
Bunnings managing director Michael Schneider said: "While the performance of Homebase is disappointing, we continue to be encouraged by the performance of the Bunnings pilots.
"The Bunnings UK and Ireland team remains focused on stabilising the performance of the Homebase stores as well as delivering proof of concept for the Bunnings format."
Eight Bunnings pilot stores are now operational and a total of 15 to 20 are expected to be trading by Christmas.
The trading update comes after Bunnings UK revealed an annual £54m loss on revenue of £1.2bn earlier this year.