Screwfix and B&Q continue to develop new, convenient ways to get products to their customers – as parent Kingfisher says 16% of its sales are now online.
Screwfix says that its Screwfix Sprint 60-minute home delivery service is showing “strong early results”, and is now available to a third of the UK population. The retailer has seen continuing strong demand from trade customers, helping steady sales growth. It has opened 11 new stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in the third quarter of its financial year.
Meanwhile sister retailer B&Q has continued to move into new store formats, opening two new shops in the third quarter – one compact store, and one store-in-a-store within an Asda supermarket.
Ecommerce now accounts for 16% of parent company Kingfisher’s group sales, following 133% growth in the last two years. The group says it will keep investing in improving its online services.
The update came as Kingfisher today reported third-quarter group sales of £3.2bn in the three months to October 31, 2021. That’s 6.3% down on the same time last year, or 4.2% down when its Russian business is excluded. Group sales were 2.4% down on a like-for-like (LFL) basis, which strips out the effect of store – and business – openings and closures. They were 15% up on a two-year LFL, compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. The retail group now expects full-year pre-tax profits to be “towards the higher end” of previous forecasts.
At the same time, group ecommerce sales have grown by 133% since the same time two years ago and now account for 16% of group sales.
Sales in the UK and Ireland came in at £1.5bn – 2.1% down on last time, but 15.7% LFL ahead of the same time two years ago. Screwfix sales of £582m were 3.9% up on last time, and 13% ahead of the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, while B&Q sales of £962m were 5.3% down on last time but 17.1% ahead of 2019. Screwfix is to launch in France.
Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier says it sees consumer spending patterns now becoming normalised, including the shift towards working more from home.
“We continue to grow our market share, driven by strong execution of our new strategy. We are pushing forward with investments in key areas of the business to drive long-term growth, including further enhancements to our ecommerce proposition and Screwfix’s launch in France. And we are progressing with our clear plans to deliver on our carbon reduction targets, aligned to 1.5°C to 2025, and to become ‘forest positive’ by the same year.
“Since the start of this year we have maintained, and in many cases improved, our product availability, which is amongst the best in our industry. This has supported our market share gains and allowed us to upweight promotional initiatives in the quarter. We have also continued to manage inflation pressures effectively, while retaining highly competitive pricing.”
The retail group says that it is on course to meet its carbon reduction targets by 2025, with businesses including B&Q and Screwfix now using 100% low carbon electricity, and B&Q working towards 100% peat free compost by 2023.