Value retailer B&M has revealed plans to offer an online home delivery service for big-ticket items such as furniture.
Detailed within its 2022 Annual Report, the company said that it will trial around 1,000 products that represent ‘part bulkier or higher tickets General Merchandise items’ that customers cannot take home from its stores.
Simon Arora, Chief Executive Officer at B&M, commented: “The B&M website has not historically been transactional, instead acting as a footfall driver into stores and a channel through which to engage with an online community of customers.
“All that remains true. However, at the time of writing an online home delivery service will shortly be launched on a limited range of items.
“This trial will ultimately extend across c.1,000 SKUs representing in part bulkier or higher ticket General Merchandise items which customers cannot always easily transport home from stores themselves or products that do not require disproportionate mail order packaging.
“Given the disruptive B&M price position, the business believes this could prove an attractive proposition for customers. However, it remains open minded as to the long term potential of the trial, and a ‘test and learn’ approach will be adopted over the coming months as customer response is closely monitored.”
B&M also revealed that current trading over the first eight weeks of its 2023 financial year (FY23) has seen UK like-for-like sales down 13.2% and 11.5% on FY22 and FY21 respectively.
“Trading patterns are expected to remain unpredictable in the year ahead. In particular, the elasticity between volume and price on General Merchandise is difficult to predict, as is the demand at individual category level,” the group added.
B&M UK adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to step back between 70 to 130 bps but to remain structurally higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The Group currently expects gross new store openings across each business in FY23 to be approximately 40 for B&M UK.
Total group sales for 52 weeks to 26 March 2022 were down 2.4% to £4.6bn, with B&M UK sales also down 4.1% to £3.9bn. EBITDA resulted at £619m, down 1.2%, with pre-tax profit at £525m, reducing by 0.1% year-on-year.
B&M has also recently announced the appointment of Alex Russo as its new chief executive officer (CEO).
Following the announcement on 22 April 2022 that Simon Arora intends to retire as CEO in 12 months from that date, Alex Russo has been promoted from his role of chief financial officer (CFO) as his successor.