B&M’s completion and fitting out of a new 1 million sq ft Southern distribution centre in Bedford was key to the company’s successful performance during the pandemic, the retailer has said.
The new DC was completed in 2020 and currently serves around 250 stores. “Having the additional logistics capacity in place prior to the elevated demand this year proved crucial to helping maintain in-store availability,” said Simon Arora, chief executive officer, B&M.
The retailer said the Bedford site is expected to provide sufficient capacity for the foreseeable future.
The retailer not only saw sales growth during lockdowns, thanks to its positioning as an essential retailer, but also saw a huge number of new customers to the brand. In June 2020, for example, 23% of customers had not shopped with B&M in the previous five months and over the subsequent nine months 71% of those then shopped at least one more time.
B&M plans to open 45 new stores in its next financial year, with a target of 950 UK stores ultimately.