B&M Bargains announce plan for 45 new stores after sales surge during lockdown

Discount retailer B&M Bargains has said it plans to open up to 45 stores this financial year, as it lifted its profit target on the back of surging sales.

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 10:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 10:24 am

Knockdown prices and spacious stores helped to drive customer traffic during the lockdown period, as its stores remained open due to essential status.

B&M European Value Retail said it plans to open between 40 and 45 stores by the end of the financial year in March, with a significant number of these coming in the fourth quarter.

The company said it has been buoyed by a “strong” first half of trading, as group revenues grew by 25.3% in the six months to September 26.

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B&M Bargain in vicarage Lane Blackpool

This was particularly driven by 29.5% growth from its UK retail stores.

It said it now expects to post earnings before tax and interest of £285 million for the half-year, ahead of its previous guidance of between £250 million and £270 million.

Simon Arora, chief executive of the retailer, said the group “performed well” in the first half of the year.

“Our business model is proving well-attuned to the evolving needs of customers, given our combination of everyday value across a broad range of product categories being sold at convenient out-of-town locations,” he said.

“Our people have risen to the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, not least in serving our customers through a period of high demand, keeping our shelves filled, providing a clean and safe shopping environment, as well as sourcing higher volumes than we had planned.”

Amisha Chohan, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, said: “B&M announced another positive trading update this morning, proving it is firing on all cylinders in both the UK and France.

“The retailer is also winning market share and has attracted a new, middle class, customer base – who are beginning to shop with them regularly.

“We believe B&M will continue to outperform peers as consumers become much more money conscious.”