Kingfisher, the international home improvement company, has opened its first Screwfix store in France. The expansion of Screwfix in France is one of the key investments by the Group to drive growth.
The first Screwfix France store officially opened in Wattrelos in Lille on 17 November, with three to four more stores set to open by the end of January 2023, all in the Hauts-de-France region. A meaningful step-up in store openings is targeted next year.
The store openings follow the successful launch of the Screwfix banner as an online retailer in France in April 2021. The website, www.screwfix.fr, has seen a positive response from customers to date, with strong traffic and conversion rates and growing brand awareness across the country.
Screwfix France aims to gain a share of the significant trade professional market in France, which has an estimated total market size of over £20bn. The business will be based on the proven Screwfix model in the UK and Ireland, with product ranges adapted to the French market.
Each Screwfix France store will offer around 10,000 products aimed at trade professionals with an additional 5,000 products available online – ranging from plumbing and electrical products to power tools and workwear. Customers will be able to click & collect from store in as little as 10 minutes.
In preparation for serving the growing business, Screwfix France opened its first distribution centre, in Nanteuil-le-Haudouin, Oise, earlier this year, enabling next day delivery to home or site.
Screwfix has seen rapid expansion in the UK and Ireland over the past decade, growing from 215 stores and £518m in sales in 2011/12 to 821 stores today, with £2.3bn in sales in 2021/22. It is the UK’s largest multi-channel supplier of trade tools, plumbing, electricals, bathrooms and kitchens.
Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher CEO, commented: “Screwfix’s growth in the UK and ROI has been one of retail’s success stories in recent years, with an average of over a store opening per week for the past decade. Kingfisher’s strong relationships with French suppliers, combined with our deep knowledge of French customers and ranges, mean we are perfectly placed to bring the proven Screwfix model to France.
“After a positive response to Screwfix France as an online retailer, we are now building the business for meaningful growth - from opening a new distribution centre to investing in scalable new IT. The expansion is being led by experienced teams made up of talent from across Screwfix UK, Kingfisher in France and beyond.
“We are very happy to be opening the first Screwfix stores in France and believe they offer tradespeople a proposition unlike anything else in the market.”