B&M promises more Disney and Lego deals as it announces 50 new stores will open this year

DISCOUNTER B&M has promised to stock more Disney and Lego products as it plans to open 50 new stores this year.

The budget store reported that its profits were up with year despite a "challenging" retail sector.

Bosses put B&M's success down to its range of toys and as a result has promised more, including some big brands.

It also plans to fill shelves with playthings from toymakers MGA, the company behind brands like LOL Surprise, Bratz, Baby Born and Little Tykes.

This year, the retailer opened the doors of 54 new stores bringing the total to 650 branches across the UK, as well as others in Germany and France.

Adding another 50 this year will help towards chief executive Simon Arora's goal of expanding until there are 950 UK stores in its portfolio.

It is yet to specify exactly where the new stores will be opening but they're expected to create 1,600 new jobs in the UK and Germany.

It also plans to promote 202 existing members of staff to deputy and store manager positions.

Company profits rose by 17 per cent to £3,486.3million up from £2,976.3million the year before.

Mr Arora says that B&M has become the place for shoppers who "need a bargain or just enjoy one" and that its seasonal products, such as the sell-out hot tub, helped boost sales.

He said: "B&M has again delivered strong results against the challenging backdrop of continued structural change in our industry, rising costs and uncertain times for consumers.

"I'm confident B&M is well-positioned to deliver further strong progress in the current year and beyond," he added.

Which high street retailers have gone bust so far?

A NUMBER of familiar high street names have hit the rocks in recent years, such as:

  • Entertainment retailer HMV collapsed into administration for the second time in six years in December 2018.
  • Fashion retailer Coast collapsed into administration in October 2018. Karen Millen is understood to have bought the group's brand and website, saving around 600 roles.
  • House of Fraser was rescued by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley in August 3019.
  • Gaucho restaurant group prepared to file for administration in July 2018 facing the loss of 1,500 jobs.
  • Toys R Us went into administration in 2018.
  • High street stalwart BHS went into administration in April 2016.
  • P&H wholesaler, which supplies Tesco and Morrisons with tobacco, called in administrators in November 2017 after a potential takeover fell through.
  • Pizza chain Prezzo also announced plans to close 100 restaurants putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
  • Fashion retailer New Look is looking at plans to close 60 stores in the UK, with its owners considering a possible Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which will allow it to restructure its business and pay-off its debts.
  • Bargain Booze and sister brands Wine Rack, Bibendum and the Wetherspoon supplier Matthew Clark are at risk as well as 2,500 jobs.
  • Palmer and Harvey (P&H) is the UK's largest tobacco supplier which supplies Tesco and Morrisons has also gone into administration.
  • Bestival and Camp Bestival could be axed after the company behind the two music festivals went into administration.
  • Thomas Cook risks collapse after its share price tumbled another 40 percent after losing nearly £1.5billion. The UK's oldest travel company is struggling with massive debts and has seen its value plummet from £2.2bn to £180m in one year.
  • Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire – Jamie's Italian Ltd – which includes 23 Jamie's Italian restaurants and 15 Barbecoa outlets appointed KPMG as administrators in May 2019. More than 1,000 jobs were cut as the restaurant chain collapsed.

 

This week alone, the high street has seen the downfall of Jamie's Oliver's restaurant empire, and brands like Marks & Spencer and Sir Philip Green's Arcadia group scale back.

The collapse of Toys R Us last year has paved the way for stores like B&M to take the top spot as toy stores.

But it's been a troubling time for retailers who are struggling with rising rents and a move to online shopping.

Almost 20,000 high street jobs have been axed or put at risk since Christmas, research by financial services firm Altus Group has found.

HMV, Patisserie Valerie, Oddbins, Poundworld and Maplin are among the retailers that have collapsed over the past 18 months.

Meanwhile distressed retailers including Mothercare, Carpetright, New Look and Homebase used company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – an insolvency procedure which allows struggling firms to close unprofitable stores.

Many restaurants took the same route, including Gaucho, Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and Prezzo which all shut outlets this year.

Several more retailers – including Asda, House of Fraser and Evans Cycles – have already, or are expected to, cut jobs in 2019.

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