Wickes: the recession buster

Mike Willis – MWO

INTRODUCTION

This is the story of a good business with an ambition to be the best.

A good business with a proven model of marketing communications, which, nevertheless, had the courage to try a different approach, as it looked to accelerate growth.

A good business with the courage to try new things when times were really tough.

A good business which chose not to be a victim of the recession, but to commit to a programme of ‘self-help’, rooted in high quality brand marketing.

A good retail business which wanted to see things improve sooner rather than later.

The business demanded a step-change in the return from marketing communications. The status quo was not an option. Recession simply made the challenge that much harder.

In 2009, Wickes turned a potential year on year sales decline into sales growth. A change in strategy generated incremental sales of £62 million and an incremental net payback of £25m, in just 9 months, which helped Wickes to comfortably beat its sales and profit targets for the fiscal year.