Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said he was positive the DIY giant would thrive despite posting a dip in like-for-like sales.

The DIY and hardware multinational recorded a slight drop in like-for-like sales in the third quarter so far, down 0.6% in the seven weeks to September 18, against elevated comparables in 2020.

On a two-year basis, sales for the same period were up 16.1%, while ecommerce sales were up 130%, which Garnier said was an indication of a strong result for the year despite a “slower pace” as the economy opened up and consumer spend turned elsewhere. 

The retailer views post-Covid trends as putting it in good stead to capitalise on growth opportunities.

While noting that changes to universal credit and the end of the furlough scheme could mean some households were more cash-strapped in the coming weeks and months, Garnier said DIY remained an inherently affordable category. With its trade partners fully booked in the near future, the home improvement trend was not likely to end soon, he added.

“In the medium term, we really do believe that there are new supportive trends in working from home,” he said. ”We have been able to recruit a new generation of DIYers, and we will be able to keep some of them.

“The housing market in the UK and France are pretty strong, and we know after you move you’re a heavy spender in DIY. And we’re working with governments on green renovation, which we think will be important going forward.”

“75% of the homes in the UK and France are energy inefficient —  if you really want to tackle climate change, dealing with this is critical”

Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher

Making strides in eco market

A big focus for the retailer is improving energy efficiency in customers’ homes to help them save money and lower their carbon footprint.

“The technical survey we have shows that 75% of the homes in the UK and France are energy inefficient therefore if you really want to tackle climate change, dealing with this is critical,” Garnier said.

“The different governments have support schemes – the best one is the French one called Ma Prime Rénov, supporting the insulation of homes. We are helping customers in France apply for this scheme, and we are talking to the British government to help set up a scheme here to support people to improve their homes, too.

“Our strong private label capacity means we can develop new green ranges,” he added. “That is on the agenda and we believe in the future it will be an important topic for everyone.”

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