DIY and Gardening drives B&M Bargains to 23% sales growth during lockdown
Discount retailer B&M has said a boom in demand for both Home Improvement and Gardening products during the lockdown period has resulted in a 22.7% jump in underlying UK sales over the last eight weeks.
The group, which has remained open during the lockdown period, when competitors such as B&Q, Homebase and Wickes were closed, said UK like-for-like sales growth had increased from 6.6% in the final quarter of its 2019-20 year, which at that time benefited from a strong grocery performance in March.
It said customers had been visiting its stores less frequently during the lockdown but their average spend had been much higher than usual. However, the business was experiencing larger-than-normal operating costs in distribution and its stores because of physical-distancing measures and higher wage costs during the crisis.
It also warned there had been a significant “bring-forward” of demand in some key categories, partly caused by the warm spring weather.
The chief executive, Simon Arora, said: “We are not expecting this current level of trading to continue as normal shopping patterns resume. There is also considerable uncertainty in relation to the progression of Covid-19 and the economic outlook, and it is therefore hard to predict future trading levels.”
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