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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK
Wet weather sees B&Q sales slump
B&Q supercentre
B&Q has not been selling much garden furniture of late
Kingfisher, the owner of the B&Q DIY chain, has become the latest retailer to report sales woes brought on by the soggy summer.

There had been a 20% drop-off in demand for outdoor and garden products in the 10 weeks to 14 July, Kingfisher said.

This sent B&Q's like-for-like sales down 2.3% in the period.

The UK is Kingfisher's biggest market - and the figures contrast with upbeat first quarter results, which were boosted by a warm early spring.

"Abnormal weather patterns boosted sales in the first quarter but were very unhelpful in the second," said group chief executive Gerry Murphy.

In May, Kingfisher warned that the home improvement market in the UK may be affected by interest rate rises, which have since climbed further to 5.75%

Climatic consequences

Kingfisher now has 760 outlets around the world, after opening 18 in the second quarter.

Group-wide sales rose 2.6%, on the back of a 14.4% like-for-like sales growth from its operations across Ireland, Poland, Italy and Spain.

The unseasonable weather has hit many retailers.

Supermarkets have struggled as customers turn away from summer food and drink because of the weather.

And on the High Street, many clothing retailers have begun early discounting as they try to offload racks of unsold summer clothing.

However not all retailers have suffered, with outdoor clothing store Blacks seeing sales grow on demand for waterproofs, and Domino's Pizza serving up profit growth on its home deliveries..

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