Wet and cold spring troubles Kingfisher

Wet and cold spring troubles Kingfisher

The worst spring in ages has caused a big slump in the sales of Europe’s largest DIY group, Kingfisher. Especially in France, where the group is active with Castorama and Brico Dépôt, sales have dropped dramatically, but B&Q and Screwfix in Great Britain are not spared.

Awful weather

Kingfisher saw its sales drop immensely in the past quarter, the company announced in a trading update. The group had sales of 2.62 billion pound (3.05 billion euro) over the thirteen weeks (ending on 4 May), a drop of 4.2% on a comparable basis.

 

In France alone sales dropped by 5.6% to 1.08 billion pound: Castorama lost 4.1% on a comparable basis, Brico Dépôt did even worse with -7.3%. The British and Irish activities lost 4.7% of their sales and ended up at 1.07 billion pound as B&Q had a drop of 5.6% on a comparable basis. The only bright side in Kingfisher's two main markets was the smaller chain Screwfix, that had a modest rise in sales of 1.7%.

 

The remainder of the international activities – the group is active in 8 countries in Europe and Asia – showed a growth of 0.7%. The unseasonably cold weather over the crucial Easter shopping period deterred consumers from commencing projects outdoors or in the garden, said CEO Ian Cheshire (photo): “The weather clobbered us for six weeks – six weeks out of 13,” he added.

 

Less planting materials, more fuels

It was even so cold that “people went indoors and lit fires”, Cheshire said, which showed up well within the winners and the losers in the assortment: the past quarter 8% less planting materials were sold and even 52% less greenhouses/garden houses. The sales of paint rose by 6%, while the demand for winter fuels could barely be met: +66%.

 

The CEO keeps his spirits up however: “The weather had been better recently, and the group still had 80 per cent of the year to go”, he said, adding that any comparison with the previous year will be made easier by better exchange rates (last year the euro was in a big crisis).

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Facebook launches its Marketplace in Europe

16/08/2017

In October 2016, Facebook launched a marketplace for used items in several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. That marketplace is now also coming to Belgium, the Netherlands and fifteen other European countries.

AS Adventure acquires German McTrek

14/08/2017

Belgian outdoor chain AS Adventure has acquired its German competitor McTrek. The acquisition opens up the largest European outdoor market for the Belgians, thanks to McTrek’s 39 stores and web shop.

American department store chains continue to struggle

11/08/2017

Several American department store chains continue to underperform. Both Macy’s and Kohl’s experienced turnover slumps compared to the previous year, even though they both managed to beat analysts’ expectations.

Amazon wants to compete with Ticketmaster

11/08/2017

Amazon is in talks with American event location owners to see whether it could sell tickets for their events on its web shop.

Record turnover for Henkel

10/08/2017

German Henkel has had a record second quarter, when turnover reached nearly 5.1 billion euro. For the first time ever, its six-month turnover surpassed the 10 billion euro milestone, thanks to its acquisition of laundry detergent company Sun.

Lion Capital once again wants to sell Hema

08/08/2017

Lion Capital has approached business bank Credit Suisse to look into “strategic options” for Hema, which basically means it has to find an interested buyer for the Dutch store chain.

Back to top