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Nailing it: Screwfix chief eyes further Irish expansion despite uncertainties posed by Brexit

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Building blocks: Screwfix boss John Mewett remains confident in the future despite Brexit

Building blocks: Screwfix boss John Mewett remains confident in the future despite Brexit

Building blocks: Screwfix boss John Mewett remains confident in the future despite Brexit

The CEO of DIY chain Screwfix says he is "really confident" the company is here to stay, regardless of how the economy performs in the coming years.

"We know customers are going to need things fixed and our tradesmen are going to need to get goods," John Mewett told the Irish Independent.

"We have seen over the years in the UK that the economy can change but there is still a requirement [for our products]. People's central heating still goes wrong and they need it fixed. So we are really confident."

Founded in 1979, Screwfix was acquired by B&Q owner Kingfisher in 1999.

The company started selling its products online in Ireland in 2014, and in November last year it opened its first physical store here.

Screwfix, which now has four bricks-and-mortar shops here, plans to open a possible 40 more over the coming years.

To date, the company has been "really impressed" with its online performance in the Irish market and now it is seeing a "massive uptake" in its click-and-collect business here.

"We need to find sites and grow the business," Mr Mewett continued.

"Our plan is to focus our footprint across the whole of Ireland. We have a number of stores in our pipeline but we have not announced them yet," he said.

He added that regardless of the outcome of trade negotiations between the UK and European Union, Screwfix will find a way to serve its customers in Ireland.

"Clearly, there is a lot of unknown. We have been preparing since 2016 and our priority at the moment is making sure we have got a fair deal for our customers in all markets, with products that are affordable and readily available," Mr Mewett said.

"We are working with our suppliers and we have plans. We believe in whichever scenario we will find a way to make sure we are successful and we can serve our customers to get their jobs done," he said.

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