SCREWFIX GROWS NUMBER OF STORES
DIY retail chain Screwfix is set to open up to 60 new stores next year as the firm continued its expansion with an acquisition and entered new European markets.
The home improvements brand, founded and headquartered in Somerset, is planning to open its new outlets across the UK and Ireland in the next financial year.
It comes after it completed a record 82 new openings in the 12 months to the end of January, taking its total to around 870. Parent company Kingfisher also opened its first five Screwfix stores in France during the period, and is looking to add as many as 25 more across the Channel.
This is despite London-listed Kingfisher, which also owns B&Q, reporting its adjusted pre-tax profits had dropped by a fifth to £758m from £949m in 2021/22. The FTSE 100 firm said estimates suggested this could fall further to £633m in the next year, but it was “well positioned” to navigate this.
The group’s chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Across all our markets, sales have remained resilient in both DIY and DIFM/trade channels, with like-for like sales 15.6% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
We have maintained a sharp focus on pricing to deliver value to our customers during this challenging period for household finances, while at the same time managing our cost inflation pressures effectively. Strong supply chain management has ensured good product availability and a firm grip on our inventories.”
Bosses added they were “confident” in the growth potential of the industry, and while it was “early days” for Screwfix’s ambitions in France, they were “happy with the results” of its operations in the country so far.
Ahead of the release of the financial statements, Yeovil-based Screwfix announced it had bought the stock, intellectual property, contracts and fixed assets of Connect Distribution Services out of administration, in a £3m rescue deal.
Alvarez & Marsal, joint administrator of Connect Distribution Services, said the agreement had saved 400 jobs at the Birmingham-based wholesaler, which specialises in parts for electrical appliances.
John Mewett, Screwfix chief executive, said: “I’m very pleased to be able to secure the future of the business of Connect Distribution Services and its brands for its customers, engineers and colleagues.
The business’ popular ecommerce platforms have significant growth potential and they play an important role in helping tradespeople and consumers keep products in use for longer, supporting our sustainability agenda.
As an entrepreneurial and customer-focused family business with a 50-year history, the culture is a great fit for Screwfix and we look forward to welcoming our new colleagues.”
Mark Depper, chief operations officer at Connect Distribution Services said: “I’m delighted that Screwfix and Kingfisher have recognised the strengths of the brands and will continue to run this amazing business that my father started 50 years ago. I’m confident that this new ownership will realise the full potential of the brands.”