B&M boosted by DIY, gardening products demand in lockdown

Marco Green
May 31, 2020

Going forward, B&M said it experienced strong revenue growth in the first 8 weeks to May 23, with B&M United Kingdom fascia like-for-like revenue up 23%, driven by exceptionally strong Do It Yourself and Gardening categories, and despite a significant fall in customer count.

The B&M boss said he did not expect this present level of trading to continue as normal shopping patterns resume and said that the warm spring weather and lockdown had meant that certain purchases of summer stock had been pulled forward.

In the first eight weeks of the 2020-to-2021 financial year to 23 May 2020, B&M United Kingdom fascia like-for-like revenues rose 22.7%.

Mr Arora added: "We have seen a significant bring-forward of demand in some key categories and the remarkably warm spring weather in the United Kingdom has been a major factor behind this during recent weeks".

Like-for-like sales rose 22.7% in the period, while the company also reported a strong end to fourth quarter sales as customers packed into stores during the wave of panic buying in March to stockpile groceries, driving a 6.6% rise.

However, the firm points out that costs have also risen due to implementing COVID-19 social distancing measures and protections for customers and staff. Some have already warned it may not be profitable to reopen in a post-coronavirus new normal'.

B&M shares closed 5.5 per cent higher to 389.70p on Friday - the highest level since February.

A total of 49 B&M United Kingdom fascia stores which had previously been temporarily closed - due to the trading conditions affecting those stores - have all now re-opened.

B&M has also donated £1m to United Kingdom food banks and provided a £2m discount to NHS workers. B&M and Babou stores in France closed from 15 March, but all but two re-opened on May 11.

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"We consider it a remarkable performance given that transaction count is sharply down: shoppers clearly mean serious business when they leave lockdown", analysts commented. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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