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Wickes store entrance

The Wickes name goes as far back as 1854, when Henry Dunn Wickes and his brother started a modest operation in the local lumber business in Michigan, USA.

Wickes as we recognise it today really started in the 1950s American property boom, with the creation of a one-stop-shop selling builders a full range of construction products at prices often lower than local yards and merchants…

Wickes in the UK

In 1972 the first UK Wickes was opened in Whitefield, Manchester. It was an imaginative new concept - using a traditional DIY store model to sell to the trade - and it made Wickes the first fixed-price builders merchant in the UK.

Our first customers (savvy tradesmen and a few keen DIYers) found they could now get all the products they needed to complete entire projects from a single store, at lower prices than other merchants.

Wickes publications go as far back as the 'Avocado Bathroom' years.

Owning the brand

Increasing our range of own-brand products meant we could closely control the supply and manufacturing process, enabling us to offer a quality range of products at consistently low prices. By the early 90s, we were more or less completely own-brand. In recent years, we’ve expanded our range to include trusted brands such as Dulux, Bosch and Makita, giving our customers even better choice.

Our Watford store, present day.

Building trust

The performance of our products is key to building trust with our customers. The Wickes Quality Assurance Team travels thousands of miles each year to check the production quality of our key suppliers, and we independently test our own-brand products against the market leaders, checking that each one is up to the job. This ensures that when customers buy our products they can be confident they are getting the best value for money.

The support centre now stands in Watford.
Key Dates
  • 1972 Wickes opens its first UK store in Whitefield, Manchester.
  • 1976 We now have 4 stores including a branch in Station Road, Harrow.
  • 1986 Our 25th Wickes store in England opens in Bristol on the 5th March.
  • 1987 Harrow store becomes the Wickes Retail Support Centre.
  • 1990 We pass the 50 store mark, and introduce a new 70/30 format (30% of space dedicated to home projects such as kitchens and conservatories) pioneered in Warrington and Wimbledon.
  • 1995 Wickes opens its 100th store in Hanworth, Middlesex.
  • 1997 We launch the 'renewal' store refits with new flooring, lower shelving and improved kitchen & bathroom display areas.
  • 2000 Wickes is bought by the Focus Group.
  • 2003 Barking opens as a pilot Wickes Extra store, with 50ksq feet and an extended product range.
  • 2005 Travis Perkins acquires Wickes for £950m.
  • 2006 is launched as a transactional website.
  • 2009 The Wickes installation service launches, providing professional kitchen and bathroom installation throughout the UK.
  • 2010 The Wickes Catalogue is launched nationally, giving customers a convenient new way to shop without leaving their project or site. It features over 10,000 products – that's more than our biggest store.
  • 2011 Wickes opens its 200th store. We now have a range of over 10,000 products…
  • 2012 We add over 2,000 new products, including extended ranges of branded products trusted by the trade such as Stanley, Bosch and Makita.
  • 2014 As part of our 5 year plan we developed a new format store and reviewed the overall customer experience including product and service offerings to be implemented in 2015.
  • 2015 Implemented the updated range and introduced 3000 new products. We kicked off our Estate Transformation Programme and by the end of the year had 15 stores in the new format (7 refits, 1 relocation and 8 new stores). Chatham, Doncaster and Letchworth were our first trial stores.
  • 2018 We now have over 240 stores with 121 of them in the new format.
  • 2020 We now have 235 stores, with 134 of them in our new format.

Planning for Future Success

It is now 50 years since we opened our first new store. The opening of new stores in Beverley and Maldon in 2011 took us past the milestone of 200 stores; we currently have over 230.

Our mission to be the strongest brand in the market while offering outstanding value for money has been the cornerstone of our success over the last 50 years. It is the reason why we have been able to consistently expand our customer offering and thrive even during challenging economic times.

We take pride in being an innovative multi-channel retailer. Customers have access to a range of How To guides, ideas and advice to support them with their home improvement projects, while our Click & Collect and home delivery services make it even easier to get the products you need, when you need them.

Since the opening of our first UK store in 1972, Wickes has developed and changed a great deal, but the concept and spirit of our business remains largely unchanged. This is the reason for our continued success to this day, and it will be the reason for our success and achievements in the future.

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