B&M boosted by strong lockdown trading
B&M has said strong grocery trading towards the end of its fourth quarter helped UK like-for-like sales to increase by 6.6% across the period.
The retailer’s sales rose further in the first eight weeks of its new financial year when like-for-likes climbed by 22.7%. B&M said the surge was driven by exceptionally strong lockdown sales in the DIY and gardening categories, despite a significant fall in customer count.
Simon Arora, B&M chief executive, said: “Customers have been coming to our stores much less frequently through the lockdown, but their average spend has been much higher than normal.
“We have seen a significant bring-forward of demand in some key categories and the remarkably warm spring weather in the UK has been a major factor behind this during recent weeks.”
Once sales in the DIY and gardening categories are excluded, like-for-like sales over the eight-week period rose by 10.3%.
Looking ahead, Arora said he does not expect the current level of trading to continue once normal shopping patterns resume.
He added: “Clearly, there is also considerable uncertainty in relation to both the progression of Covid-19 and the economic outlook and it is therefore hard to predict future trading levels.”
The company also revealed that its Heron Foods chain performed well both in its fourth quarter and the early weeks of the new financial year.
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