Screwfix to open 60 new stores across the UK
Screwfix is planning to open 60 new stores across the UK over the next 12 months as the Somerset firm continues to dominate the building trade sector.
The news comes after it was announced 400 jobs have been saved with the firm buying a West Midlands business out of administration.
The owner of Screwfix announced in its final results that pre-tax profits fell by 20 per cent to £758m over the last 12 months.
Kingfisher, which owns the Somerset based DIY chain, said the company’s performance was in line with expectations following a strong previous 12 months.
The firm is also concentrating on digital sales and there have been successful e-commerce marketplace launches in the UK and Spain. The company is preparing a similar roll-out in Poland and France.
Kingfisher opened first five Screwfix stores in France with up to 25 new stores planned for next year.
There were a record 82 Screwfix store openings in the UK & Ireland and up to 60 new stores are planned for next year.
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 per cent 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.”
He added: “We continue to execute our strategy at pace and invest in our multiple growth opportunities.
“Our e-commerce sales have increased by 146 per cent over the last three years and we have enhanced our online proposition with the launch of marketplace offerings in the UK, Spain and Portugal, which are all performing strongly.
“Across the Group, we are strengthening our proposition for trade customers, building on the success of B&Q’s TradePoint and the accelerated expansion of Screwfix.
“Whilst it’s still early days for Screwfix’s ambitions in France, we are happy with the results of the first few months of operations and planning for up to 25 more store openings this year. We are also building on our leadership position in Poland and the attractive potential of this market by opening seven more Castorama stores in 2023.
“We remain confident in both the growth of our industry, and in our strategic priorities supporting growth ahead of our markets. And we are announcing today our new medium-term financial priorities, focused on growth, cash generation and higher returns to shareholders.”
On Monday it was announced 400 jobs have been saved after Screwfix bought a spare parts business out of administration.
The Somerset company has bought the stock, intellectual property, contracts and fixed assets of Connect Distribution Services out of administration, for a cash consideration of £3m.
The sale took place after the Birmingham-based business appointed Alvarez & Marsal as administrators.
CDS is a leading retailer of appliance spares, accessories and consumables to both tradespeople and consumers through digital and telephone channels.
Screwfix has said it continue to operate the business as a going concern, acquiring its e-commerce platforms, stock, intellectual property and product data, with over 400 current CDS employees transferring to Kingfisher group.
CDS’s online trading brands, which include well-known sites such as eSpares, BuySpares, 4OurHouse and the Connect Trade Portal, will also continue to operate as normal.
Both businesses serve business to business and business to consumer customers through digital and fulfilment platforms.
Screwfix said it will explore opportunities to allow customers to Click & Collect orders through Screwfix’s nationwide store network.
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 operating officer of Connect Distribution Services Limited, 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.”
Mike Denny, Alvarez & Marsal, Joint Administrator of Connect Distribution Services said: “We are delighted to have completed a sale of the majority of the business and assets of the CDS group of companies to Screwfix, saving over 400 jobs. We wish the business every success under its new ownership.”
CDS was founded in 1969 by Michael Depper, a Birmingham-based appliance engineer.
Mr Depper saw the chance to make some extra cash by selling spare parts to fellow engineers.
The business is made up of many parts: