Value retailer B&M has been a winner during the Covid-19 pandemic whether restrictions have been relatively tighter or looser, and that’s reflected in a big increase in festive sales and the promise of a special dividend for shareholders. This is a rare income good news story for investors.
“Able to stay open through lockdown due to its focus on essential lines such as homewares, food and DIY products, it will be interesting to see if the new, stricter measures in the UK interrupt its momentum.
“On the one hand the discounted goods it offers will be welcomed by increasingly hard-pressed shoppers who are suffering financially in lockdown but on the other hand, unlike the major supermarkets, it doesn’t have an online channel to speak of.
“A reduction in footfall amid stricter stay at home messaging and the fear created by the new more infectious Covid variant could put a dent in sales given B&M doesn’t sell fresh produce and is therefore not somewhere most people could do their entire weekly shop.
“However, during the pandemic B&M won market share and its spacious out-of-town stores in retail parks are likely to continue to appeal to shoppers.
“The company has mastered the key art of retail – giving people what they want at the right price and at the right time in the right locations.
“This should stand it in good stead as we exit the coronavirus crisis, particularly as its keen prices will appeal in an economy ravaged by the events of the last year.”