B&Q is basking in our scorching summer after winter slump as heatwave boosts sales
Flying high: Veronique Laury, boss of B&Q owner Kingfisher
The summer heatwave saw paddling pools sell out and fans fly off the shelves at B&Q owner Kingfisher.
The DIY group, which also owns Screwfix in the UK, has seen business bounce back following a slump during the icy blast earlier in the year.
Same store sales at Kingfisher were 1.6 per cent higher in the three months to July than they were in the same period last year. That followed a 4 per cent fall in the previous three months when the Beast from the East struck.
With the mercury rising, sales of hosepipes and sprinklers at B&Q soared 400 per cent, while sales of barbecue charcoal leapt 75 per cent.
The home improvement chain also managed to shift 305,000 fans and sold out of more than 60,000 paddling pools. Other top sellers included garden furniture, outdoor pots, decking and fencing. Overall, sales at B&Q rose 3.6 per cent during the three months.
Screwfix, which sells tools for tradesmen, continued to be the jewel in Kingfisher’s crown with sales up 5.5 per cent. But Kingfisher’s French arm struggled, with sales at home improvement chain Castorama down 3.8 per cent.
B&Q’s improved sales come as its main rival, Homebase, prepares to close 42 stores. But despite strong sales for summer products at B&Q, analysts said the warm weather was masking the chain’s true performance.
George Salmon, of Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘The sales figures are more a function of a scorching summer than of any underlying progress.’
Véronique Laury, chief executive at Kingfisher, said it was taking action to improve Castorama’s performance ‘with the benefits expected to come through in the second half’.