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Screwfix omnichannel sales prove a bright spot in Kingfisher’s first quarter results

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Screwfix sales rose by more than a quarter in the opening weeks of its financial year, thanks to omnichannel services such as mobile click and collect.

Screwfix sales leapt 26.8% in the 13 weeks to May 2, its parent company Kingfisher said today in a trading statement. Some of that growth came as new stores opened – the trade counter business opened its 400th outlet during the period – but like-for-like sales, which strip out store openings and closures, were still up by a healthy 15.4%. The growth, said Kingfisher, was “driven by its leading omnichannel capability, new and extended trade ranges and six new outlets.”

The growth meant Kingfisher’s UK and Ireland sales grew by 2.9% to £1.2bn, despite a 1.7% fall in reported sales at B&Q. Reported sales, affected by changing currency values, fell in all other markets from France (-11.5%) to Poland (-10.2%), Russia (-7.3%) and Spain (-15.7%). The company has recently sold its 70% stake in B&Q China, and has found buyers for 14 of the 60 B&Q stores it plans to close over the next two years as it ‘right sizes’ its store estate to meet the changing needs of customers who increasingly shop online.

Overall, Kingfisher, which owns European DIY names including Castorama and Brico Dépôt, reported retail profits of £150m on first quarter sales of £2.6bn, which were down by 4.6%, but up by 0.8% on a like-for-like basis.

The company said it was making good progress with its strategy of focusing on the customer, with a unified IT system now being trialled.

Chief executive Véronique Laury said: “We are making good early progress with our ‘ONE’ Kingfisher plan to unlock our potential by creating a single, unified company where customer needs come first.”

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