B&M moves into discount food retail with £152m Heron Food Group purchase

B&M has acquired East Yorkshire-based Heron Food Group in a £152m deal, and plans to expand its 250-strong chain of discount stores with up to 20 new sites a year.

Heron sells ambient, frozen and chilled foods, including frozen fruit and vegetables, while B&M sells a wide variety of products, including confectionery, household products and toys.

B&M plans to develop and launch a “discount convenience grocery brand” following the acquisition, the Financial Times reported. The chain added that convenience stores were a growth area in the grocery business, but said premium pricing had driven much of this growth.

B&M is also aiming to expand the Heron business, adding 10 to 20 new stores a year, according to Hull Daily Mail.

B&M is reported to have paid Heron Foods £112.1m, with a further £12.8m to be added depending on the company’s financial performance up to the end of March 2019.

B&M’s chief executive Simon Arora said, “B&M is already the UK’s leading general merchandise discount retailer, serving four million shoppers per week.

“The addition of a complementary, proven discount convenience grocery brand to our own structural growth story gives the combined business an even longer, exciting growth runway.”

David and Andrew Heuck, who manage and own Heron Foods with their brother Michael, told Hull Daily Mail, “We are delighted to be joining forces and working with B&M.

“Both companies share a vision to bring great value to customers and the combination of Heron’s skills with the expertise and resources of B&M will mean the creation of a potent new force in the structurally growing convenience sector.

“Today’s transaction secures for Heron’s loyal and hardworking workforce a perfect long term home within the B&M Group and provides an exciting platform for the roll-out of more Heron stores nationally.”