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UK retailer Wickes to cut 100 head office jobs

RBR Staff Writer Published 16 May 2018

British home improvement retailer Wickes, owned by Travis Perkins, is axing 100 jobs at its head office as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The move will affect workers at the company's headquarters in Watford, where it employs 300 people.

A Wickes spokeswoman said: “In order to continue to drive growth for our business, we have been re-shaping our support centre to allow us to be leaner and more agile, and focus on key areas of growth in our multi-channel/digital businesses.”

The company said it will support the ones who are affected by the move.

Presently, Wickes has 246 stores across the UK and employs around 7,000 people.

Last month, Wickes parent company posted profit for the first quarter results, but it stated that Wickes’ sales had fallen by 4.6%. It noted that this is the result of ‘weakness in the UK DIY market and ruined consumer sentiment’.

The parent company Travis Perkins stated that it will reduce costs in the Wickes’ business and will improve its efficiency.

Travis Perkins CEO John Carter said at that time: "Whilst the mixed trading conditions in our markets are expected to continue in the near term, we remain confident in the longer-term outlook for the building materials market."

The company was first established in 1854 by Henry Dunn Wickes in Michigan, US. In 1972, Wickes Corp was established along with British builders merchant, Sankeys and the first store in the UK was opened. Wickes was acquired by Travis Perkins in 2004.

Wickes had ventured in to European countries including France, Belgium and the Netherlands in early 1990s. But in 1996, a major accounting scandal was unearthed, leading to the company selling all its European stores and to solely concentrate on its UK business. In 1997, all of its European operations were sold to French DIY chain Bricorama.

Image: Wickes, Leads Road Hull Store. Photo: Courtesy of Reedy/Wikipedia.org.