DIY craze during lockdown lifts sales for B&Q owner Kingfisher

B&Q’s owner reported booming sales as families spent cash on DIY and home improvement in lockdown. 

Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix, reported a 17.4 per cent rise in revenues in the three months to October 31. 

UK sales were up by a fifth, thanks to a 23.9 per cent rise at B&Q and a 17.4 per cent increase at Screwfix. 

B&Q's owner reported booming sales as families spent cash on DIY and home improvement in lockdown

B&Q's owner reported booming sales as families spent cash on DIY and home improvement in lockdown

B&Q’s owner reported booming sales as families spent cash on DIY and home improvement in lockdown

Its success allowed it to repay £23 million of furlough cash to the Government. Garden equipment, plants, and outdoor storage performed particularly well, with sales rising by 45 per cent during the quarter. 

It also sold 3 million houseplants and 1.2 million spring flowering bulbs. 

Its businesses have benefited from ‘essential’ status, allowing the likes of B&Q to remain open in both lockdowns, at the same time as families stuck indoors have looked to improve their homes and gardens. 

Chief executive Thierry Garnier has pushed to drive sales on the retailer’s website, and in the last six months online sales increased by 153 per cent, compared to the same period last year. 

… Wine’s a corker too! 

Booming demand for mailorder wine drove Naked Wines sales up 79.6 per cent in the first half of the year. The company upgraded sales forecasts for the year as it announced £157.1 million of turnover in the six months to September 28, up from £87.5 million last year. 

Lockdown has been a boon for wine sellers as oenophiles have drunk more at home while bars and restaurants closed. Naked reported a rise in losses from £6.2 million to £8.9 million as it invested in bringing new customers to its site. It also launched a service allowing customers to Zoom with wine makers and experts.

Web sales now make up 17 per cent of total revenues. He said: ‘We achieved strong sales growth, supported by strong market demand, as consumers spent more time in their homes and focused on improving them.’ 

Kingfisher’s success will raise eyebrows as their profits are boosted to the tune of £130 million from the Government’s business rates holiday – which is paid to all bricks-and-mortar retailers in the pandemic. 

The figure is less than the £45 million it cost Kingfisher to make its stores safe for customers. 

The firm avoided the fate of Tesco and Sainsbury’s, who were slammed for rewarding investors with large windfalls despite receiving taxpayers’ cash, as it did not pay an interim dividend at its half-year results in September.  

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