UK and Ireland: B&Q Launches New ‘Build a Life’ Campaign.

B&Q has recently unveiled its new brand campaign, ‘Build a Life’, that celebrates the belief that anyone can change their home to make life better.

You can watch the new campaign here

B&Q believes that anyone can improve their home to make life better.  Our homes are where life happens – a place we grow-up, learn, and live our lives.  Home has never been so important and a recent survey by B&Q found that lockdown has changed British attitudes towards our homes for good, with 57 percent agreeing our homes are more significant in improving our lives than ever.

This new campaign highlights that there’s so much more to everyday DIY. The strategic thinking from Uncommon, appointed by the brand last year, celebrates life in the home and the power of home improvement to change lives. Originally inspired by the amazing things people do to improve their homes to make their life better – something made even more significant by lockdown – the campaign taps into the fundamental truths about our homes and reflects the role B&Q has played in transforming the UK’s homes for the past 50 years.

Chris Graham, Marketing Director, B&Q said: “At B&Q we’ve been making, growing and selling the tools, materials and know-how to improve homes for over 50 years. To us, these things are more than bricks and mortar.”

UK: Screwfix to open 40 new stores this year, creating around 400 jobs

Screwfix, the multichannel retailer, is to open 40 stores this year, creating around 400 new jobs in local communities. The new openings demonstrate continued growth of the business and a growing demand for convenience, despite the challenges of Covid-19.

30 new stores in the UK will create up to 300 jobs in areas such as retail management, service assistants and supervisor roles, by the end of January 2021. More than 10 stores are planned in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), which will create up to 160 jobs over the same period.

As an essential retailer, Screwfix adapted its proposition in order to remain open during the lockdown to allow its customers to safely access the products they need.

The rapid growth of Screwfix has seen the trade retailer open at least 50 stores a year for the past decade, making it one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK. It now has more than 680 stores, with a long-term target of 800 in the UK. Screwfix currently has five stores in the ROI, which opened in early 2020. The business hopes to open up to 40 stores in the ROI over the coming years, creating around 400 jobs in total.

 

UK: Homeowners to see savings available under new Green Homes Grant scheme

From late September, homeowners and landlords in England will be able to get up to £5,000 worth of vouchers (£10,000 for low-income households) to make energy-saving improvements so that their homes are more energy-efficient and cheaper to run.

The Green Home Grants scheme, due to open by the end of September, will allow consumers to obtain funding for up to two-thirds of the cost of the energy saving measures identified. The scheme will cover green home improvements including insulation of walls, floors and roofs, the installation of double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing, and low-carbon heating. These measures could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.

Through the Green Home Grants scheme the UK Government plan to make over 600,000 homes across the country more energy efficient and support over 100,000 jobs in green construction.

 

UK: Homebase looking confident

Homebase has delivered a £3.2m profit, compared with a loss of £114.5m in 2018. Like-for-like sales were up 2.6% and gross margin rate were up 2.8% in the year, as customers responded well to new ranges, and improvements to both in-store and online shopping experiences. This has meant that nearly all 164 stores are now profitable. Damian McGloughlin, CEO of Homebase, commented: “18 months into our turnaround, we’re extremely proud of what our team has achieved, working hard with our partners to return to profit and lay solid foundations for growth. We have a very clear vision for Homebase, and we’re excited about the plans we have for the future.”

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UK: Wickes reports 7.4% revenue rise

The British DIY store chain Wickes has increased its sales in the year 2019 by 7.4% to GBP 1.342 bn. Like-for-like growth amounted to 8.6%. After twelve refits and one new store opened, 135 of the overall 235 Wickes stores will now be operated according to the new store format. As previously reported, the parent company Travis Perkins wants to demerge the Wickes chain. The demerger process is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.

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UK: Travis Perkins to outperform expectations in challenging market conditions

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.

 

More information at: www.diyweek.net

UK: Mixed results for Kingfisher

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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UK: Screwfix opens two new stores in one day

The UK omni-channel retailer Screwfix is ploughing ahead with expansion plans, opening trade counters in both High Wycombe and Northallerton on the same day earlier this month. The two new units join Screwfix’s network of more than 640 stores nationwide and form part of the Kingfisher-owned chain’s plan to have more than 97% of the UK population within a 30-minute drive of one of its stores. The business is set on rapid expansion and, just last month, Screwfix opened four new branches, with three officially opening their doors on the same day on July 18.

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UK: Travis Perkins announces Wickes demerger

At the capital markets event in December 2018, the Group announced the intention to strengthen the performance of Wickes and to capitalise on its clear competitive advantages in the DIY, small trade and kitchen and bathroom markets. At the same time the Board committed to review the options for maximising the value of Wickes in the medium term. Since the capital markets update, the group has said good progress has been made in strengthening Wickes trading performance and steps have been taken to provide Wickes with greater autonomy from the Travis Perkins group through the separation of its systems and processes. After reviewing the options, the Board has determined to demerge Wickes to shareholders as a standalone business. The demerger of Wickes is a key component of the overall Travis Perkins strategy to focus on trade customers and to simplify the Group which the Board believes will underpin the creation of enhanced value for shareholders. It is expected to complete in H1 2020.

 

Read more at: www.diyweek.net