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B&M sees sales slip after strong trade during Covid lockdowns

The discount chain enjoyed the benefits of remaining open as an ‘essential’ retailer during the pandemic.

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BandM Bargains saw sales slip compared with huge gains made during pandemic lockdowns (BandM/PA)

BandM Bargains saw sales slip compared with huge gains made during pandemic lockdowns (BandM/PA)

BandM Bargains saw sales slip compared with huge gains made during pandemic lockdowns (BandM/PA)

Sales at B&M Bargains fell as the business faced tough comparisons with strong trade during the Covid-19 lockdowns a year ago when it remained open as a so-called “essential” retailer.

In the UK, like-for-like sales dropped 4.4% in the 13 weeks to June 26 – although they remained 21.3% up on a year-on-year, pre-pandemic basis – as the company faced greater competition with the rest of the high street reopening in April.

Stronger sales in B&M’s French business and the opening of new stores in the UK helped total revenues rise 3.1% to £1.19 billion, it added.

In France, its Babou stores increased sales to £68.5 million compared with £54 million in the same period a year ago.

Sales in B&M’s Heron Foods division fell from £113 million to £101.7 million.

Although there remains much uncertainty as to how consumer spending evolves over the coming months, we remain optimisticSimon Arora, B&M

Chief executive Simon Arora said: “The group has made a strong start to the new financial year and sales remain significantly above pre-pandemic levels.

“As expected, trading throughout the first quarter was volatile as we annualised against the high comparatives from last year.

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“Although there remains much uncertainty as to how consumer spending evolves over the coming months, we remain optimistic that our combination of exceptional value across a wide range of product categories and our convenient out-of-town locations will continue to resonate with customers.”

During the 13-week period, gardening demand was boosted during the hot weather; however, this fell back as cooler temperatures hit the UK.

Seven B&M stores were opened in the period, with four closing, the company added.


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