Screwfix Sandyford and Swords in Dublin along with a Waterford store all opened last month, with more stores planned for 2020. As part of Screwfix’s expansion plans, there is the potential for the business to open up to 40 stores over the coming years, creating over 400 employment opportunities in Ireland. The vacancies will be available in a variety of areas such as retail management, service assistants and supervisor roles. Each store will stock 10,000 products, from power tools and work wear to heating and electrical with 24,000 products available to order online and over the phone for delivery and collection from store. Screwfix CEO, John Mewett, said: “We’re extremely excited to be launching Screwfix stores in Ireland to help tradespeople get their jobs done quickly, affordably and on time. The creation of bricks and mortar stores in Ireland is a major milestone for us and a direct result of the increasing demand from Irish tradespeople for our fantastic range of products.”
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The Hornbach DIY stores outside of Germany grew in the first nine months of financial year 2019/2020 (ending 29 February 2020) significantly more strongly than on their home market. The increase in sales in European countries amounted to 9.5%; in Germany this was 7.5% more than in the comparative period. Like-for-like growth of the international stores at 8.1% also lay one percentage point over that of the Hornbach stores in Germany. Overall, the German DIY retailer made sales of €3.4993 bn in the first three quarters (€1.7821 bn at home, €1.7172 bn abroad) and thus grew by 7.8%.
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Travis Perkins, the general mixed merchant, showed encouraging like-for-like growth of 2% and market share gains, particularly in heavyside categories. The specialist merchants delivered more modest growth, primarily driven by price rises, although the continued supply restrictions on plasterboard materials in CCF has put pressure on sales volumes. The Toolstation UK business saw “excellent growth”. Allied to this, the group has acquired a controlling share of Toolstation Europe. Like-for-like merchanting sale growth was 1.6% during Q3, with year-to-date sales up 4.7%. Toolstation, meanwhile, saw 15.4% in Q3 and 16.6% year-to-date. Chief Executive Nick Roberts said: “Now in my third month since taking over as CEO of the Group, I have spent a considerable amount of time in our branches, learning about our businesses and our markets from colleagues, customers and suppliers. The Retail segment achieved like-for-like sales growth of 9.7%, with total sales growth of 8.3%. The strong performance of Wickes continued in Q3, with further market share gains in the Home Improvement market through core DIY categories and in the Kitchen & Bathroom showroom.
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The 157 Hornbach DIY stores as well as the German group’s online shops in nine European countries have increased their net sales in the first half of the year (ending 31 August 2019) for financial year 2019/2020 by 8.7% to €2.4447 bn. In like-for-like sales net of currency effects, the DIY and garden stores achieved a sales growth of 8.3% in the first six months. The net sales of the domestic Hornbach stores and the German online shop rose in the first half of the year 2019/20 by 7.0% to €1.2558 bn. Like-for-like sales in Germany grew by 7.4%. In the eight countries outside Germany, net sales increased by 10.5% to €1.1889 bn. The foreign portion of sales increased from 47.8% to 48.6%. Like-for-like sales net of currency effects grew in the rest of Europe by 9.2%.
In the UK and Ireland, B&Q total sales dropped 3.3% to £1,773m in H1, impacted by the axing of installation services and declines across showroom and weather-related categories. Kingfisher reported a number of exceptional items for the half year ended 31 July, including a £68m restructuring charge relating to redundancy costs following the group’s plans to close 11 stores in France and 19 Screwfix Germany outlets. The retailer described financial performance in the half as “mixed”. Screwfix, Poland and Romania delivered like-for-like sales growth for the period. However, sales at B&Q and Castorama France, were disappointing, with the retail group attributing declines to “a weak consumer backdrop in the UK and disruption caused by new range implementation”, alongside ongoing transformation-related issues at Castorama France. B&Q like-for-like (LFL) sales declined by 3.2% in H1.
Online was a more positive story, as B&Q’s total digital sales continued to make good progress, with sales growing by 10% and now representing 5% of total sales. The retailer also recorded a £1 million profit in the period on the disposal of properties in the UK.
Screwfix grew total sales by 9.9% (+5.1% LFL) to £882m, driven by specialist trade desks exclusive to plumbers and electricians, strong digital growth of 18% (now accounting for 32% of total sales); and the continued roll out of new outlets. The retailer opened 16 new Screwfix outlets in H1 19/20, taking its estate to 643. The company’s longer-term target is to operate around 800 outlets in the UK, and the business said it remains “on track” to open stores in the Republic of Ireland in the second half of the year in order to complement its existing online presence. Total sales for the Kingfisher Group were down 0.9% in constant currency.
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The Chilean retail group Falabella has been feeling the effects of the currency turbulences in South America on its home improvement business. In the second quarter, the DIY division made sales of CLP 952.074 bn (€1,209 bn), i.e. only 0.8% more than in the same quarter last year. On their home market in Chile, division sales declined by 3.5% to CLP 529.457 bn (€672m), same store sales by 4.2%. Figures from Argentina appear drastic: -16.2% with sales of CLP 27.784 bn (€35m). There was a plus of 37.3% in local currency, for which the high rate of inflation is primarily responsible, and an increase in same store sales of 13.5%. In Brazil, the group raised its home improvement sales by 18.1% (in local currency: 16.8%; same store sales 18.2%) to CLP 48.176 bn (€61m). The company attributes growth to factors such as better sales in the remodelled Sodimac Dicico stores. Sales in Colombia, the second largest market for the DIY division, grew by 5.9% to CLP 191.126 bn (€243m; in local currency: 10.8%; same store sales 8.1%). There was a plus of 10.1% to CLP 155.531 bn (€198m; in local currency: 1.8%; same store sales 3.4%) in Peru.
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Cashbuild, EDRA Member and building materials, DIY and hardware retailer in South Africa, racked up sales amounting to ZAR 10.821 bn (€659m) in fiscal 2018/2019 (ended 30 June 2019), which comprised 53 weeks. Scaled down to 52 weeks, the company’s sales were ZAR 10.622 bn (€647m), 4% more than in the previous year. At the reporting date, Cashbuild operated 315 stores, including 59 P&L Hardware stores and one DIY store. During 2018/2019 the company opened nine Cashbuild stores and two P&L Hardware stores, as well as refurbishing 26 stores. Five Cashbuild stores, three P&L stores and six DIY stores were closed. Cashbuild operates more than 300 stores in South Africa and the common monetary area with Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho as well as in Botswana, Malawi and Zambia.
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The German market leader OBI increased its net sales in the last financial year by 5.5% to €6.4424 bn. Sales in Germany amounted to €3.2614 bn, equivalent to an increase of 4.2% and slightly outstripping the sales figure outside Germany (€3.1811 bn; + 6.9%). The figures were released by the parent company Tengelmann. The number of OBI stores grew by 2% in the same period to 668 outlets, while the workforce increased by 4.8% to 47,367.
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Lowe’s Cos. has released its second-quarter results with net earnings of $1.7 bn, up from $1.5 bn in the second quarter of 2018. Sales for the second quarter increased 0.5% to $21.0 bn from $20.9 bn, while comparable sales increased 2.3%. Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 3.2%. “We capitalized on spring demand, strong holiday event execution and growth in paint and our pro business to deliver strong second quarter results,” said Lowe’s President and CEO Marvin Ellison.
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