Following today’s release of Kingfisher Q3 figures for FY2020/21; Matthew Walton, senior retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments: “Kingfisher has continued to ride the momentum in the DIY & gardening market as its UK & Ireland sales grew by 21.5% for the three months to October to £1,576m. Sales were strong across both weather related and non-weather related categories, up 45.2% and 18.5% respectively, as customers continued to invest in their homes. Shoppers have emerged from the initial lockdown in a more cash-rich position with money saved on non-essential spend such as holidays and leisure was spent on home improvements.
“Kitchen was highlighted as performing especially well. As well as many consumers being more able to make larger purchases, its new range was fully rolled out during its H1 2020/21. B&Q will also offer a kitchen installation service from all stores in January 2021, reversing a decision from June 2018 which significantly backfired and enabled Wren, Wickes and others to take kitchen share from B&Q.
“It continues to make strides on its ‘Powered by Kingfisher’ strategy with ecommerce being a particular highlight as group sales through this channel more than doubled during the period, accounting for 17% of group sales. Kingfisher being more reactive to market conditions has also enabled it to forge ahead in click & collect, where sales have more than tripled, with it creating separate teams within a store to pick orders from the shop floor to fulfil these orders, enabling it to expand its offer quickly and without significant initial investment.
“It is also continuing to experiment with smaller formats through the trial of concessions within four Asda stores, to sell smaller items such as tools and paints. This is a sensible move for both parties as it will help drive footfall into Asda stores while offering B&Q customers greater convenience as they do not need to make a second trip for smaller purchases. B&Q also benefits from having a presence in a store with longer opening hours, should customers need to make emergency repairs.
“This momentum shows little signs of slowing, with its UK & Ireland sales for the first two weeks of November up 31.6% (supported by the November lockdown announcement) and 17.3% respectively, leaving it well on course to achieve its best sales result in the last three years. Undoubtedly, Kingfisher has benefitted from the shift in spend from leisure to investing in the home and it being able to remain open as an essential retailer, but this should not take away from B&Q’s performance this year. It has been more nimble with regards to click & collect and its response to COVID and investment in e-commerce, own brand and smaller formats will stand it in good stead for the future.”