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How Screwfix is focusing on ultra-speedy multichannel delivery

Screwfix is focusing on ultra-speedy multichannel delivery and collection as it expands to get even closer to customers who tend to be in a hurry and who regularly buy both online and instore. 75% of Screwfix’s customers are from trades. 

The trade counter business, founded in Somerset in 1979, has been part of the Kingfisher group since 1999, where its sister retailers include B&Q. 

It now has 872 shops in the UK and Ireland, following 82 openings over its latest financial year and with 60 more planned in the current year. Among its stores are 11 ultra-compact stores, which it is testing across a spectrum of locations.

Click here to view all coverage about Screwfix

By having a large store network, Screwfix puts its stock closer to its customers. In its latest year, 60% of sales were online, while 89% of its online orders were prepared instore. 

Through its Screwfix Sprint service, launched in 2021, it offers one-hour delivery to about 45% of UK postcodes from 300 shops. The Sprint service is only available via the Screwfix mobile app. 

The latest version of this app, launched in February 2021, has been downloaded more than 2.8 million times and accounted for 23% of ecommerce sales in its latest year. 

More recently, Screwfix has tested Kingfisher’s first in-house recommendation engine, which uses machine learning and promises a more personalised shopping experience. 

Screwfix turned over £2.4 billion in the year to 31 January 2023 – 1.6% up on the previous year. Kingfisher’s wider UK division, which also includes B&Q, reported a retail profit of £603 million for the year – 24% lower than the previous year – on sales of £6.2 billion (-4.7%). 

Kingfisher says that Screwfix increased its share of a market which it leads in the UK. Screwfix’s ecommerce sales were 9% lower than in the previous strong year but 137% higher than three years earlier. 

During the year, the business continued to invest in digital through steps including equipping all stores with digital tablets for online stock checking and order, as well as the launch of product recommendations in the Screwfix app and the ongoing rollout of Screwfix Sprint. 

Sustainability is a priority for Kingfisher. By the end of the year, more than 500 of Screwfix’s 872 stores were heated with air source heat pumps. That number is set to expand during the current financial year. 

The retailer also sells solar panels and air source heat pumps to trade customers. It plays an active part in local partnerships to create, restore product native woodland and forests. Additionally and over the last decade, The Screwfix Foundation has given more than £10mn to more than 2,200 organisations. 

Last year, the retailer also set up an Inclusion and Diversity Forum.

This case study originally featured in the 2023 RetailX United Kingdom Ecommerce country report, click here to view.

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