Travis Perkins sees sales slump by 20% in first half of 2020

Travis Perkins has reported a 20.2% fall in revenue in the six months ending 30 June 2020, with the retail group heavily impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown period.

The builders’ merchant, which owns the retailers’ Wickes and Toolstation, said it has undertaken a number of structural changes to its business to account for new customer behaviours as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes enhancing its digital platforms and fulfilment to support future growth and adapting stores to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

In April, Travis Perkins revealed that Wickes and Toolstation branches acted as fulfilment centres for transactions completed via digital channels in the early part of the pandemic. Both retailers’ stores were closed initially when Covid-19 struck despite being classified as essential retailers by the government.

Nick Roberts, chief executive officer at Travis Perkins commented: “Throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of our colleagues and customers has been our primary concern. Customer interactions have changed significantly resulting in changes to the way we do business, from increased activity through digital channels through to alterations to our physical store formats in order to maintain safe working practices.

“Although our financial performance in the first half of 2020 was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have had to undertake a restructuring programme in light of the challenging outlook for the Group’s end markets, we have made significant strategic and operational progress against the four strategic priorities we outlined at our full year results in March 2020.

“Although considerable uncertainty around the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic remains, the actions we have taken to adapt and innovate in our businesses mean that the Group is well placed to continue to service our customers, support our colleagues, outperform our markets and generate value for our shareholders.”