Construction specialist Travis Perkins has Screwfix in its sights as it pursues a rapid store expansion plan for its Toolstation fascia.

Toolstation opened 18 new branches in its first half ending June 30 to bring its store estate up to 200 branches and is also pursuing its ambitious expansion abroad.  

Travis Perkins finance director Tony Buffin said: “Screwfix is just over 400 branches and I don’t see why we should not add 100 from here because there is still capacity in the market.

“As big box DIY retailers close down their branches that provides further opportunity for smaller box retailers.”

Toolstation stores are an average of 4,000 sq ft compared to Screwfix’s average 6,000 sq ft and Buffin claims Toolstation’s prices are 10% cheaper than Screwfix.

Screwfix founder Mark Goddard-Watts has been working for Travis Perkins for the last seven years and has now moved to the Netherlands to oversee Toolstation’s international expansion.

Toolstation has seven stores in the Netherlands and there are plans to open more.

Toolstation and sister brand Wickes are benefiting from an explosion in ecommerce sales thanks to the introduction of a one-hour click and collect service.

Some 20% of Toolstation’s sales now come from online, while 8% of Wickes sales are from ecommerce.

Buffin predicts Wickes online sales will enter a double digit proportion of total sales in the near future but believes Toolstation’s will hover around the 20% mark due its aggressive store expansion plan.

Travis Perkins’ consumer arm, which is dominated by Wickes, has reported a 13.9% jump in adjusted operating profit to £41m for the first half of 2015.

During the same period revenues rose 8.6% and like-for-likes jumped 6%.