|Bid||194.55 x 0|
|Ask||194.55 x 0|
|Day's Range||188.15 - 199.20|
|52 Week Range||1.01 - 199.60|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.03|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||22.58|
|Earnings Date||Jun 01, 2020 - Jun 04, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Oct 03, 2019|
|1y Target Est||269.15|
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Kingfisher plc and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. Since 1 January 2019, Moody's practice has been to issue a press release following each periodic review to announce its completion.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Lockdowns have devastated retailers and restaurants on both sides of the Atlantic. An easing of restrictions won’t be the magic wand that waves their worries away.Even when it’s possible for consumers to walk freely into their favorite shops and bars, they may be nervous about doing so. That puts the onus on retailers to make their locations as reassuring as possible. There’s a range of things they can do, from installing stations dispensing hand sanitizer with a wave, establishing distance markers to keep shoppers safely away from each other and even altering store layouts to keep patrons from crossing paths. Dressing rooms are likely to remain closed for the foreseeable future.As for casual dining outlets, it will mean eliminating some tables to put more space between them, and in pubs, finding ways to maintain a festive atmosphere with fewer revelers.There’s a cost associated with making all of these changes, while also protecting employees with masks and screens, and rethinking kitchens and break rooms. Some venues may need more employees to clean more often, disinfect merchandise and, where necessary, station someone at the door to let one shopper in as one exits. In restaurants, it could mean new apps to allow people to place orders from their phones, or even taking a cue from China and investing in robots to serve up the food. With little money coming in to businesses that had to shut their doors, more outlay to refit facilities is an unfortunate drain on cash.For some, it’s a big question whether the investment is worth it, especially if there will be fewer customers as people adjust to a new reality living with the coronavirus. There may be some pent-up demand — just look at the frenzy of luxury shopping in China, the French lining up at McDonald’s drive-thru windows and Britons queuing to get into Kingfisher Plc’s B&Q outlets to stock up on plants and paint when the home-improvement chain reopened. But that might prove short lived.Even if customers do want to return to strip malls and main streets — and that’s not clear right now — restrictions on the number of shoppers allowed into locations at any one time will mean there are fewer sales per day. Casual dining restaurants could be operating at just 30%-50% of their usual capacity where strict social distancing rules are in place. Yet when stores and eateries reopen, they will still have to pay their rent and other bills.In retail, initially, that risk is most severe for value chains, such as Gap Inc.’s Old Navy, Associated British Food Plc’s Primark and the dollar stores, because they rely on a large number of purchases at lower prices. But as the economic hardship from the pandemic hits home, consumers are likely to trade down to more affordable chains, offsetting this pressure.Whatever their target market, all retailers look set to suffer from lower sales. For example, Macy’s Inc. plans to begin opening some of its department stores on Monday, and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette told Dow Jones that he expects the locations that come back first to do less than a fifth of their normal sales volume initially. Even if lockdowns last four months, their effect on retail sales may last the equivalent of six months, because of fewer transactions as a result of social distancing, nervous consumers, and the inevitable strain on shoppers’ finances that will follow the pandemic, according to research firm Forrester.As for pubs and bars, crowded Friday and Saturday nights are the profit drivers. That may change with limits on the number of people who can enter. Who wants to go to an empty pub anyway?The fear factor and hassle that restricted access to stores brings — shopping for even the simplest items can become extremely time consuming — means that consumers will probably choose to shop online if they can. Internet purchases in the U.K. will account for 41% of all retail sales excluding food over the next 18 months or so, up from 29% at the end of 2019, according to independent retail analyst Richard Hyman.No wonder retailers and restaurants will do everything they can to compete in that space. No-contact click-and-collect services, used by B&Q during the lockdown, will likely expand to other retail sectors. Restaurants may remain focused on takeaway for the time being, and options such as the make-at-home kits already on offer in the U.S. at the Denny’s Market restaurant chain.Business won’t open all their sites in one go. Tackling social distancing is likely trickiest in big cities, such as London and New York. U.K. clothing retailer Next Plc will concentrate on large stores out of town first, as they tend to be roomier with longer opening hours and spacious parking lots that can accommodate queuing customers. It will monitor how this works before moving to smaller stores in more urban areas. As one of the strongest names, Next can afford to wait and see.But elsewhere, it is likely some locations will never resume trading, given that the economics of doing business will deteriorate. Even healthy chains may never open 20% of their stores again, estimates Stacey Widlitz of SW Retail Advisors.There is one consolation for business that do pull up the shutters once more. They’ll face a competitive landscape that is significantly diminished. But that may count for little given the strain from the lockdowns and the meager recovery that is set to follow.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Amazon.com Inc. has come under pressure in a locked-down Europe for doing what it does best: selling consumers everything they need.An appeals court in France on Friday said the U.S. online retailing giant must limit its range to essential items: food, health products and computer equipment. In Germany, competition authorities are monitoring the company after complaints from retailers. It has endured strikes over working conditions in Italy. The grievances differ in each country, and Amazon is contesting them. But the crisis has also cast the defects of its brick-and-mortar competitors into sharp relief. Amazon appears to be dominating partly because of years of missteps from its rivals on Main Street, as well as the company’s sheer brazenness. Where traditional retailers have been cautious about putting staff at risk or appearing insensitive to the health-care crisis, Amazon has carried on filling orders as best as it can.Some online-savvy competitors have also done well. But no one has matched the e-commerce behemoth’s ability to supply homebound consumers with a similarly wide selection and dependable service. And in this unsettling time, everyone’s definition of an urgent essential item is slightly different, spanning books and extension cords to electric toothbrushes and Pilates mats.Other retailers erred on the side of caution when it came to the various national patchworks of lockdown rules.For example, government guidance in the U.K. about which retailers should shut their physical doors was inconsistent. While bicycle shops could stay open, those selling electronics were forced to close. Even in sectors allowed to keep operating, some retailers, such as Kingfisher Plc’s home-improvement chain B&Q, closed shops to protect employees and customers. (It has since reopened 215 stores.) Online, retailers in Britain also faced fits and starts. Some temporarily limited their ranges to handle panic buying. Drugstore operator Boots, owned by U.S. giant Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., did so to meet the frenzy for paracetamol and hand sanitizer.While understandable in many cases, and admirable in some, every instance where a company shut its doors or restricted available merchandise simply handed another advantage to Amazon.The picture is slightly different in the U.S., where a wider range of retailers has kept trading. Not only were Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. able to continue selling general merchandise alongside food, they also benefited from their investments in e-commerce. Target said last week that its digital sales in April had risen by more than 275%.Even as others have benefited from the heightened demand, Amazon has some massive supply chain advantages. It’s not just the dominance of the company’s 175 fulfillment centers with their combined 150 million square feet of space dotted around the world. It’s also the efficiency with which that space and its contents are managed: Amazon relies heavily on automation both to whizz products around its warehouses, and to order the stock for them. In the book “Always Day One,” the journalist Alex Kantrowitz explained how Amazon uses its 25 years of data on customer orders to predict demand in any particular zip code.Traditionally, a so-called “vendor manager” would work with a brand to decide how much of a given product — Kantrowitz uses the example of Tide detergent — to stock at a given warehouse. Back in 2012, Amazon started developing an automated solution to determine what products were needed, the quantity, and the price. That resulted in a system it dubbed “Hands off the Wheel,” where humans play a far more limited role in managing stock; each vendor manager is now responsible for tens of thousands products, compared with several hundred a few years back.A system like that comes into its own during the current crisis — ensuring that warehouses are replete with the products they’re most likely to need. It might also explain the company’s decision to extend the temporary closing of its warehouses in France in response to the court’s ruling: Unpicking its vastly complex automated stocking operations to focus on a few discrete products is surely incredibly difficult, though not impossible. For competitors, replicating the Amazon approach is a tricky task, particularly in a condensed time frame. And retailers’ caution over how to handle the virus was understandable. Reputations will be won or lost on how companies behaved during the crisis.While criticism of Amazon’s working practices has popped up around the world, it continues to hoover up customer dollars. Call it the Ryanair effect. The airline last year came dead last in Which? magazine’s annual customer satisfaction survey for the sixth time in a row. Yet its 10 billion-euro ($10.8 billion) market capitalization still makes it bigger than Deutsche Lufthansa AG and British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group combined. Amazon’s business too seems immune to criticism, though it doesn’t have Ryanair’s customer satisfaction issues.Its popularity should endure when the world returns to some semblance of normality. For a variety of reasons — avoidance of crowds, for one — many of the sales made online during the pandemic won’t return to brick-and-mortar stores even when they open back up. This year’s jump in U.S. online retail sales, including groceries, to about 17.2% of overall sales, from 13.9% in 2019, will effectively condense two years’ growth into one, according to GlobalData. In the U.K., the proportion of online sales reached a record 22.3% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.Amazon’s performance during the pandemic means it will be in pole position to capture the extra spending via a click of a mouse or tap of a smartphone. Speed and ease make up for a lot of sins.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But unfortunately, some companies simply don't succeed. To...
Moody's Investors Service, (Moody's) has placed on review for downgrade Kingfisher plc's (P)Baa2 long term senior unsecured EMTN Programme ratings and short-term P-2 and (P)P-2 ratings. Moody's regards the coronavirus outbreak as a social risk under its ESG framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- You really can’t blame Mike Ashley for trying.The billionaire founder of Frasers Group Plc tried to keep his sporting goods stores open, arguing that they provided essential supplies of fitness equipment to self-isolating Britons. The retailer has since made a U-turn, closing its Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores on Tuesday as the U.K.’s nationwide lockdown took effect.Ashley may be everyone’s favorite pantomime villain — and his brash attempt to keep stores open prompted a backlash from politicians — but as usual, the entrepreneur isn’t totally off point. People around the world are asking themselves exactly what they may need to stay healthy and sane as they hunker down at home to ride out the coronavirus crisis.There seems to be some logic missing in the categories that the British government has deemed essential and non-essential. Some are obvious: supermarkets and pharmacies, for example, should stay open. Clothing shops are clearly far less necessary. Many, including Next Plc, Arcadia Group Ltd.’s Topshop and Primark, the budget fashion chain owned by Associated Foods Plc, had already closed their doors.But other categories are more ambiguous. Why are bicycle shops deemed more essential than electronics and home appliance retailers? Dixons Carphone Plc was among the chains lobbying to be given essential status. The group has now shuttered stores. (Frasers closed Evans Cycles anyway while seeking more clarity from the government.)The government argues that bicycle shops are crucial to help workers get around while avoiding public transport. But surely with many Britons now forced to work from home, it’s also imperative for people to be able to buy computer and phone gear they didn’t know they really needed until now. If they’re out buying food, shouldn’t they be able to buy a cable or a printer too? And what if the washing machine breaks? Many large electronics and appliance stores are conveniently located in the same retail parks as supermarkets.True, people can order via the internet, and many sales will indeed migrate to this channel. But there is a danger that with so many online orders for essential items, delivery capacity for anything else won’t be able to keep up.And filling one’s virtual supermarket shopping cart with things like an extension cord or two, in order to collect it from their local store, risks putting more pressure on staff who are busy filling shelves with staple items and keeping up with an influx of panic-buyers.Kingfisher Plc, which owns B&Q in the U.K. and Castorama in France, has closed its U.K. DIY estate while it looks to find the best ways to still provide essential items. Its Screwfix business, which serves tradesmen, has moved to “click and collect” only. That may be a model worth trying to alleviate some of the issues created by the lockdown, as well as opening only a limited number of stores as Halfords Plc is set to do. This could ensure much needed goods are available while discouraging shopping sprees.The debate about the right approach to take comes as retailers are facing a catastrophic loss of trade. Trying to do everything to salvage some sales is only logical. Especially as the shutdown could not have come at a worst time with quarterly rent payments due tomorrow.Of course retailers that do stay open must be conscious of protecting not only customers, by respecting social distancing best practices, but also their own staff, who need gloves and masks for example. At some point the virus will abate, and chains will want to emerge with their reputation in tact.But it’s a difficult balance to strike. And it is one that chains in the U.S. are facing as well as the virus case count increases there, although many companies, including Nike Inc., Apple Inc. and L Brands Inc.’s Bath & Bodyworks, have already closed their stores.It’s important the government help British chains find the equilibrium they need to weather this crisis.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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