B&M announces new store openings as customers spend more

Based in Speke in Liverpool, B&M operates more than 1,000 stores in the UK and France and is enjoying a surge in revenues with a rise in average spend per customer. Tony McDonough reports

B&M, B and M, retail, store
B&M is enjoying a surge in sales in 2020, its latest update says. Picture by Tony McDonough


Liverpool-based national retail B&M says spend-per-customer had risen in its stores in the past six months as it revealed it will open up to 45 new outlets over the coming half-year.

B&M, which has its headquarters and main distribution hub in Speke, currently operates more than 1,000 stores in the UK and France, under the B&M, Heron and Babou brands, and plans to expand this further in the second half of its financial year.

The business said it expects earnings before tax to come in at £285m for the six-month period from March 29 to September 26 – higher than previous expectations of £250m to £270m.

It enjoyed strong first half revenue growth and profit uplift driven by elevated average spend per visit. Trading momentum at B&M UK stores maintained in the second quarter, with 19.1% like-for-like growth.

Nine new B&M UK stores opened by the half-year end, offset by eight closures, the latter comprising mostly older, smaller stores. And as a result of pick up in leasing activity it now expects in the range of 40 to 45 B&M UK openings, most of which scheduled to open in the fourth quarter

B&M is reporting positive like-for-like sales growth and six net new stores opened in the first half by its value convenience store chain, Heron Foods. It also saw positive like-for-like sales growth at Babou in France since re-opening on May 11, with total first-half revenues of €156.8m.

Chief executive Simon Arora said: “Our group has performed well in the first half. 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.

“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. I thank them all for their commitment, hard work and resilience.”

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