A quart pot of gloss would not be enough to put a shine on the tales of
woe coming from DIY chain Wickes. They lasted a full week as further
details emerged that the source of the allegations of false accounting
was a disgruntled ex-employee. The board was seen to be acting in a
timely manner as two directors resigned with alacrity.
Luckily there was a prominent scapegoat in the form of chairman and
chief executive Henry Sweetbaum, and he went quietly at the same time as
England made their exit from Euro 96.
However there is a large job to be done to shore up the company’s
reputation - if it survives. Speculation mounted throughout the week
that the group, which was revealed to have seriously overstated profits
to hide trading deficits, was about to be pounced upon by the likes of
B&Q and Boots.
As Sunday Business said: ‘with zero credibility, the heart of the
company has gone.’ Now the accountants and lawyers are pawing the
remains of yet another fat cat.