Following last week’s updates from Next, the John Lewis Partnership and Morrisons, it’s the turn of DIY giant Kingfisher on Tuesday.
The B&Q and Castorama owner will issue interim results on Tuesday, providing an opportunity to check the state of repair of home enhancement retail.
The international giant will update on the progress of the One Kingfisher strategy being implemented by chief executive Veronique Laury, which takes in everything from common ranging to operational efficiencies and digital development.
When the retailer last updated in August, it described sales as “solid”. The UK – in particular Screwfix – powered performance while Kingfisher’s other big market, France, suffered amid widespread industrial unrest across the channel.
B&Q notched up like-for-like growth of 5.6% in the second quarter, partly reflecting the benefit of the transfer of sales from closed stores. By the end of this financial year the intention is to have unloaded excess space through the closure of 65 branches.
Star of the show
Multichannel business Screwfix has been the star of the show in the UK for a while, and delivered a like-for-like advance of 13.3% in the second quarter as it extended ranges and opened more stores.
Kingfisher has guided that, in the first-half, UK gross margins are expected to be down about 100 basis points because of the mix effects of Screwfix’s growth, clearance Sales because of the B&Q store closures and the rise of multichannel sales.
Aside from the pure retail interest, it will be interesting to see what Kingfisher may have to say about Brexit. In August it reported there had been “no clear evidence of an impact on demand” – a message that other retailers have also delivered in the last few weeks.
As long as the retailer’s performance remains “solid” and the One Kingfisher programme is on track, it should be well positioned to hold its own against market newcomer Bunnings.