500 new jobs at discounter B&M

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

B&M will open 60 new stores in the UK, it announced in its financial results
B&M will open 60 new stores in the UK, it announced in its financial results

Related tags: Tesco

Northern discounter B&M will create 500 jobs at two new warehouses, it confirmed after reporting 2014 sales of £1.6bn last week.

The firm, which has 444 stores across the UK, as well as 49 in Germany, will open a 32,516m² distribution facility in Runcorn and a 42,735m² site in Middlewich, both in Cheshire.

The purchase of both sites was advised by the Yorkshire-based commercial property partner Gordons.

B&M’s chief executive Simon Arora said: “We believe we are the UK’s leading variety retailer. To provide our shoppers with exceptional value, we must have a highly efficient supply chain infrastructure in place.

“The new distribution warehouses are essential to achieving that objective.”

Reported £2bn

B&M listed on the Stock Exchange for a reported £2bn last year and employs 19,000 people across its stores.

More than 40% of its 1,200 stock keeping units are grocery, while the remaining are general merchandise, a B&M spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

An expansion plan to open 60 new stores in the UK​ was announced last week in B&M’s financial results for the 52 weeks to March 28.

The retailer had opened 52 new UK stores in the past 12 months, chairman and ex-Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy said.

In 2014, B&M increased its group revenues by 29.5% to £1.6bn and acquired the German discount chain Jowall for an undisclosed sum.

“It’s pleasing to report to shareholders that, in B&M’s first year as a public company, it has delivered strong increases in sales, profits and cash generation, whilst pushing on with a rapid store rollout and investing in new infrastructure to support continued growth,” ​Leahy said.

May be in trouble

However, the discounter was warned by Conlumino consultant Greg Bromley that its future, and that of the discounters in general, may be in trouble.

“As the economy continues to recover and disposable income grows, B&M and its rivals will find it more challenging to ensure their propositions retain relevance,” ​he said.

Meanwhile, leading city analysts warned this week that discounters​ Aldi and Lidl could also be on a path to destruction.

The German discounters had boosted their number of stock keeping units to satisfy growing consumer demand for fresh and chilled products, Shore Capital director and head of research Clive Black said.

As a result, they were overtrading on fresh produce and increasing their wastage, which could signal the discounters were “becoming the person they tried to beat”, ​he said.

Related topics: Ambient foods

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