Coronavirus: B&Q and Screwfix stores to remain open, Kingfisher says

Kingfisher B&Q Screwfix covid-19 pandemic
The B&Q and Screwfix owner saw UK & Ireland sales increase by 1% to £5.1 billion
// Kingfisher’s UK stores – B&Q and Screwfix – to remain open despite coronavirus pandemic
// Stores in France and Spain have been closed due to government-mandated lockdowns
// Kingfisher will delay the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least 2 weeks

Kingfisher has announced its UK stores will remain open amid the coronavirus outbreak after recording a sales rise, primarily driven by its Screwfix fascia.

The DIY retail group said it would comply with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) request to all listed companies to delay the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks.

Kingfisher was one of a number of companies due to announce results to have received a letter from the FCA on March 22.


The letter requested a delay to the forthcoming announcement of Kingfisher’s preliminary financial statements for the year ended January 31, due to be released on March 24.

Nevertheless, Kingfisher said it would provide updates on how it was managing the impacts of Covid-19, along with fourth quarter and full-year sales, and current trading.

The B&Q and Screwfix parent company saw UK and Ireland sales increase by one per cent to £5.1 billion, Kingfisher reported in its set of unaudited accounts up to January 31.

Screwfix saw a a 9.4 per cent uptick in sales to £1.8 billion, while B&Q saw sales slump 3.1 per cent to £3.2 billion.

Total group sales were down 0.8 per cent in constant currency, while like-for-like sales were down 1.5 per cent.

Kingfisher has been hit hard over the last month by the government-mandated closure of its 221 stores in France and 28 stores in Spain, both of which have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite this, Kingfisher said its stores in the UK, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Portugal and Russia would remain open.

The DIY giant said it would be “serving the needs of communities for electricity, heating, plumbing and other essentials,” though there will be restrictions on the number of shoppers and protective measures at checkouts.

“We are committed to supporting our communities and governments to manage the Covid-19 pandemic,” Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said.

“We are very conscious of the anxiety that the outbreak is causing for our colleagues and customers, and we’ll do everything we can to support them.

“At the same time, we are working hard to minimise the impact on our business and financial performance.

“Since joining the business in late September 2019, my priorities have been to build the executive team, stabilise our operational performance and prepare a new plan.

“These are unprecedented times. We’ll get through them and, when we do, we are as a team committed to returning Kingfisher to growth.”

Further updates will be given as to the timing of the publication of FY 19/20 results, as soon as Kingfisher is advised by the FCA.

In terms of current trading since February 1, like-for-like sales across the group were up 7.6 per cent.

In the third week of March, Kingfisher saw a “significant” boost in online sales.

In China – where the pandemic began – nearly all of Kingfisher’s factories have reopened.

The DIY giant said it would not be issuing a dividend and confirmed it had delayed the publication of its full set of preliminary results due to restrictions from the FCA.

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  1. Clearly they’re thinking of their profits and not it’s staff. My daughter works for b & q and is worn out when she gets home. If she contracts covid-19 from having to serve customers, I will hold kingfisher accountable and take them to court for failure to have a duty of care to it’s staff. Greedy pig’s

    • I completely agree. I work within the plumbing & heating sector of a trade store. They too, have refused to close their doors, allowing trades men/women to continue to work as normal. I completely understand we are here to ensure the NHS, MOD and other front line supports must remain fully functional, of which I would do anything to support, but is it necessary to allow the general public to keep working and ensuring this spread will continue. Something needs to stop, and the government needs to be a lot clearer and stricter.

    • 100% agree!The UK Govt will have blood on its hands if in the coming weeks staff that have been forced into non-essential work begin to die of this plague.How is decorating or gardening “essential”?The Govt is balancing the LIVES of workers with the economy.Yes,its important,but so are LIVES.You cant go out to the park,but you CAN go to work?

  2. I work at BQ scotland…. Nothing is being done to stop the spread of the covid19 virus… The shopper are to blame too. The aisles are busy with both old and children all day long. It’s a shame for us workers trying to keep our families safe.

  3. There’s a surprise. A company wanting to make more money and sod their staff who have to deal with customers face to face. Even though the government are saying too many people still being made to work!

  4. Me and my partner went to our local store to pick up items for a planned bathroom over hall we tired to keep to distant contact and collected to what we needed [as over £ 300 in front of of us was a mum with 2 kids as they were not at school and spent less than £1.00 so just for the sake of keeping kids entertaind for half hour this is the problem as will be as time goes on -ive still got items ive orded on line but people have no idea -yes they may have wanted that item but either leave the kids in car our by the outside door [as was dry day ] if in walking distance as can socallaly isolate

  5. I work in the dc and we are doing our best to supply stores with the essential items.
    Did any of you know that we are supplying ppe to the nhs? No I didn’t think so
    So I for one are proud to work for a company who’s helping out staff at hospitals to do their job as safe as possible.
    Well done B&Q for helping our nhs

    • You are not having to face the public. Staff have to and are worried, shops are rammed. The NHS will be busier because of people all shopping and passing on germs, so not helpful

      • Why arnt we having to face the public? Who do you think drives the lorries you absolute muppet??
        We are all in a confined warehouse too!!
        People are going about their day without going to b&q stores they are still doing unnecessary trips! Nhs can’t get ppe in fast enough from their warehouse as they are constantly changing due do contamination so we are helping.
        Unless you know the fasts them zip your lips!

  6. I have been off since Monday due to my daughter avin mental break down. They want me at work, I’m now sat in the hospital as my hubby had mild heart attack. My question is DO YOU STILL WANT ME TO WORK B&Q.

  7. Been told that Screwfix will remain open! Unbelievable! I have asthma and have asked to stay in the warehouse. But I still end up having to work on the tills. Worried for my health. Why aren’t they putting people’s lives before profit?

  8. This is absolutely vile, I can’t believe a company would do this for money! Absolutely disgusting and I hope they change there minds and close very soon. They are not an essential store and I hope they are able to get sued if their staff catch COVID-19

  9. I think the staff are at risk and our safety no thought what so ever !! It disgusts me to think we can be treated this way !! All our families put at risk for them lining there pocket s shame on you kingfisher !!

  10. Where are people supposed to get essential repair material? You people will be the first to bleat when you don’t have hot water or your cooker breaks down. These stores have to stay open but with all the necessary protections for staff. And shoppers please engage your brains.

  11. I went in screwfix yesterday and there customer care was far superior to that of 2 of my local supermarket s, one in one out and no touching, in Sainsbury’s there were no restrictions in place at all . Well done screwfix

  12. Oh dear
    They haven’t got it have they , paint and new kitchens is NOT essential, shut the shops you completely selfish owners to stop the spread and protect your staff.
    screwfix could I suppose keep trade only counters open for essential trades such as emergency plumbers and electricians.

  13. It’s all well and good saying this company are supplying NHS with equipment but why don’t they just do that and not open to the public. It’s pure greed. A family member in my household works at screwfix, we are all vulnerable and they won’t let him have time off and customers are not respecting rules! in fact many are complaining that their feelings are hurt because they have to stand away from staff! so what’s the point in us being in quarantine?! and how many of the bigwig bosses are working in the stores right now? they’ll all be at home protecting their loved ones i bet. speak to the staff to find out their situations, many are working with illnesses because if they don’t they won’t get paid.

  14. Jobs worth I work there too and I’ve not seen no essential being sent out just the normal stuff its business as usual for these companys your clearly a sucka

  15. My son worked for screwfix till yesterday. They are not taking care of their staff. Last week my son informed his manager that he had taken some gloves. She said that was ok and could pay for them later. When he told me this I was incensed and actually went and spoke to the manager. I was told if he had spoken to her she would have been happy to listen to him. That sounds good except she still took the money for them. They eventually last week gave them antibacterial wipes for the counter. This is a store that supplies gloves and antibacterial hand gel but did not supply anything for their staff. There stores have been crammed with people. Don’t believe their hype. They are not taking any serious precautions. Why are they not making there stores online ONLY. Shame on them.

  16. This is absolutely appalling. Clearly they favour money over their staff’s safety. The workers are still being made to handle cash and deal with customers as if this whole pandemic isn’t a thing & they aren’t being supplied with the gloves, hand sanitiser or masks.
    All of your staff are at risk and you are doing nothing about it. It’s just money, money, money. At least give them the correct equipment and advice to deal with this.

  17. I think it’s disgusting that the Kingfisher are still being allowed to operate its store’s of B&Q and Screwfix I think public and the government should get behind each other to have the store is closed and at a very bad time we are going through because this is no place for people to be out by as they call a central things when they’re buying paints gardening of flooring but nothing else so we need public support and government support to close the store is down to stop at the virus from spreading because that is what it is doing it It’s not safeguarding the staff or the customers health at all its just simply lining the pockets of the greedy top bosses and I urge everyone to get behind the public and the government to close these kind of stores down as soon as possible they say it’s an essential store so they have to stay open that’s why we have emergency callout electricians and emergency plumbers for you to call not to go to the DIY store we need to get this message across now before it gets worse the message was all non-essential stores to close which means Screwfix and B&Q Are not protect our NHS staff and the vulnerable from this horrible virus the message was to stay in home so please stay indoors

  18. I work at bq and people are still coming in for paint indoor garden plants bedding plants with children and babies and lots of pensioners are still coming in they are still complaining about waiting to get in and everything else not seen many essential items up to date

  19. I completely agree. I work within the plumbing & heating sector of a trade store. They too, have refused to close their doors, allowing trades men/women to continue to work as normal. I completely understand we are here to ensure the NHS, MOD and other front line supports must remain fully functional, of which I would do anything to support, but is it necessary to allow the general public to keep working and ensuring this spread will continue. Something needs to stop, and the government needs to be a lot clearer and stricter.

  20. B&Q trade counter for emergency supplies seems ok – recognised trades customers only – but the online site encourages customers to catch up with their long over due garden projects or similar – that must be completely against the government demand that we only leave the house for emergency’s or food / medicine. Please B&Q shut except for emergency supplies for trades. Do your bit to get most customers to stay at home.

  21. Open for essential items; who’s the last faggit to moan when ya boiler has broken down Stop crying about it not all of us are getting paid 80% to sit at home

  22. It’s ridiculous you lot say stores should be restricted to just tradesmen. I am a competent diy’er and can do almost all jobs myself so shouldn’t have to pay someone for something i can easily do myself. I will nevertheless only now visit Screwfix / B&Q if it’s absolutely necessary. I find this very frustrating as i have a lot of jobs I want to be getting on with. If it’s tradesmen only allowed then that allows a free license for a decorator to carry on as normal and risk spreading the virus because mrs miggins wants a new shade of magnolia in her living room. Please everyone show some common sense.

  23. I can see this problem from both sides.
    Just before the lock down, I witnessed people stocking up on items to DIY at home. A good thing I said to my partner, as this being in the home 24/7 could have a big impact on peoples mental health. Having something to keep anxious people is the best way to go.
    On the other hand as a key worker and also shopping for my pregnant daughter and elderly parents I have witnessed a women walking into shops dressed up like she was set out for the day of shopping.I followed her in only to see that she had a good look round and left empty handed obviously board at home. Now that gets me cross. No need for her to be out. I would swap her any day. I take the risk on a regular basis and so does my partner who loves to shop at B&Q but hes busy getting up at 3.30 to empty bins for everyone. Stay at home and limit the spread of this cruel virus.

  24. People shopping for non-essentials such as flowers, plants and paint should sign a document at the counter stating if they do catch the virus they will be treated on a lower priority basis.
    B&Q is usually based out of town in retail parks, there is also the issue of customers and staff driving there. Its not worth risking one life for a pot of emulsion.


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