Discount chain B&M's expansion pays off

Image source, B&M

Discount retailer B&M's rapid expansion in the UK appears to have paid off after it revealed strong sales figures for the past three months.

In contrast to many of its rivals which are closing shops, B&M opened 19 new shops in the 13 weeks to 23 December.

It now has 569 stores in the UK where sales surged almost 13% to £837.3m.

ETX Capital analyst Neil Wilson said its performance showed there was "still room on the High Street for brands that can meet consumers' needs effectively".

UK like-for-like sales, which exclude sales from new stores, rose 3.9% in the period, while overall group sales were up by 22.7%.

Mr Wilson said this performance meant it had done better than discount rivals Lidl and Aldi.

"What the updates from all three confirm, however, is that the market seems to be supportive of value-based retailers and all three continue to build market share," he added.

Heron Foods, which B&M acquired in August, and Jawoll shops in Germany also saw positive like-for-like revenue growth.

B&M acquired East Yorkshire-based Heron Foods in August, saying it would use the chain to develop a "discount convenience grocery brand".

"Despite the demanding comparatives from the very strong Christmas in 2016, our buying, supply chain and retail teams achieved another outstanding performance this year by doing what we do best, which is delivering great value for customers week-in, week-out," said B&M's chief executive Simon Arora.