Kingfisher reports 164% growth in online sales

Kingfisher has reported online sales grew 164% year-on-year in the six months ended 31 July 2020. This means this channel now represents 19% of sales for the DIY business, up from 7% the previous year.

Following this surge in digital sales brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the group, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, added it is making progress implementing its strategic plan, ‘Powered by Kingfisher’, which will place eCommerce at the centre of its business. First announced back in June, the plan will also see a “fundamental reorganisation” of Kingfisher’s commercial operating model, the rollout of its own exclusive brands, and the implementation of new retail models such as trading events.

Kingfisher’s strong online sales has enabled it to perform resiliently over the six months, despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. Overall sales fell by just 1.3% year-on-year in this period, partly due to continued demand for home improvement products during lockdown.

Thierry Garnier, chief executive officer at Kingfisher, commented: “We delivered a resilient financial performance in the first half of the year, with the adverse impact of COVID-19 in Q1 offset by a strong recovery in Q2. This recovery has continued into Q3 to date, with growth across all banners and categories.

“The crisis has prompted more people to rediscover their homes and find pleasure in making them better. It is creating new home improvement needs, as people seek new ways to use space or adjust to working from home. It’s also clear that customers are becoming more comfortable with ordering online. And delivering value to consumers is imperative against a challenging economic backdrop.

“Through our new strategic direction our retail banners have gained agility and have leveraged their distinct positioning. This has strengthened our market positions and delivered much improved LFL sales before and after the lockdowns. Our experiences through the crisis have reinforced the benefits of our strategic direction and have made us bolder in our priorities.”

Kingfisher added that it remains cautious about the long-term outlook due to the uncertainty posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.