Budget retailer B&M has outlined ambitious expansion plans after sales and profits soared last year.
The retailer built by billionaire brothers Simon and Bobby Arora, is opening a 1m sq ft factory in Bedford as it plots its assault on regions like Kent and Essex.
B&M said it plans to open a store a week over the next few years, with the majority of these in the South East. It currently has 576 stores but wants 950 across the UK.
B&M, which was built by billionaire brothers Simon and Bobby Arora, is opening a one million sq ft factory in Bedford as it plots its assault on south east regions
The chain, which has a massive presence in the north, sells well-known brands like Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola and Heinz at a discount. It also sells a wide range of budget home and garden products.
B&M chief executive Simon Arora said it wanted to replicate Aldi and Lidl’s success in the non-food sector: ‘We want to be to homeware, DIY, toys and stationery what Aldi and Lidl have been to the grocery sector,’ he said.
B&M’s £3.9bn empire
B&M was founded in 1978 by Malcolm Billington as Billington & Mayman
It was bought by Simon and Bobby Arora in 2004
B&M sells everything from barbecues and wallpaper to frozen pizzas
It employs 30,000 people across its 937 storesB&M also owns Jawoll in Germany and frozen food chain Heron
The Arora brothers are worth £2.3billion and recently overtook Sir Philip Green in the Sunday Times Rich List
Its shares have increased 33 per cent since it listed in 2014 and it is now worth £3.9billion.
Arora, 48, said that shoppers in the south east were more likely to splash out on a £100 patio set compared to a cheap tube of toothpaste or box of cornflakes.
‘Our stores in the South East are actually more profitable on average than the rest of the country,’ he said
Arora said B&M has been buying stores up from struggling retailers like Homebase, Mothercare and Marks & Spencer.
He said he was also keen on snapping up some sites left by Sainsbury’s and Asda if the pair get the green light on their £14.1billion merger.
Its expansion plans come as revenues soared to just shy of £3billion last year, an increase of 22.4 per cent. Profits at the group increased 23.6 per cent to £226.1million.
The business was built by Arora and his brother Bobby, 46, who is trading director.
The two brothers, and younger sibling Robin, 33, are now worth £2.3billion.