Value chain B&M, which plans add another 45 stores this year to its current 620, wants to capitalise on last year’s strong sales of gardening, outdoor and Christmas products.
Announcing trading profits up 13.5% to £297 million for 2018, with sales growth of 8.7%, chief executive Simon Arora said all three categories were “right in B&M’s sweet spot” where the chain’s pricing was at its most disruptive and where the flexible use of its store space could be used to its best advantage. “We believe there is an opportunity to continue to grow our market share in these large categories, given our competitive advantage and the structural challenges faced by incumbent retailers in those sectors,” he added.
Strong demand last summer led to stock shortages but Christmas decorations sold well at full price during the peak festive trading period.
Homewares, he said, experienced a challenging year.
There were 54 store openings, five re-locations and four closures during the year. The company is targeting a total of 950 stores.