A particularly mild winter has aided sales at family-owned home department stores Leekes, which has reported a strong performance over Christmas and the new year.
The retail business saw an overall 20% increase in visitor numbers across its five department stores and websites, with particular growth in unique visitors to its websites of more than twice last year’s levels.
Leekes Retail, whose stores are located across Wales, the West of England and the Midlands, saw an overall sales growth in its winter sale of nearly 15%. Sales at the recently-refurbished Cross Hands store were a particular success, delivering the strongest sales growth at close to 25%.
Emma Leeke, MD of Leekes, says: “Our sales over the winter period were exceptional and demonstrate growing consumer confidence and the knock-on effects of a more buoyant housing market.
“Our modern kitchen studios in our stores, which have all been refurbished in the last six months, have experienced overall sales growth of over 80% against the same period last year. In addition, there has also been a substantial recovery in bathroom sales as customers are more inclined to complete full bathroom renovations rather than simply replace individual items, which has been the experience in recent years.
“Considered purchases such as dining tables and chairs were up by nearly 20% while carpets sales grew by 25% increase. Sales of smaller accessory items such as mirrors, lighting and art also increased by 35%.
“Our online sales rose in line with the general industry experience with the growth of our online store continues with sales up by over 60% year on year. This year we have developed and two additional specialist websites. These sites provide detailed information about conservatories, windows and doors offer and also our kitchen range and service and have helped to deliver increased levels of enquiries and strong sales leads for these areas of our business. Our experience highlights the trend for potential customers to research considered purchases online before taking the decision to visit a store and reinforces the importance of our continued investment in improving our online proposition.
“Overall we are quietly optimistic about the year ahead as the housing market continues to recover and consumers look to invest in their properties.”