Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

B&Q overhauls kitchen and bathroom sales process

Published: 8 June 2018 - Fiona Garcia

B&Q has entered into a consultation process with 700 employees as a result ofnew plans to simplify the buying process within kitchens & bathrooms, including scrapping its Homefit installation service.

The DIY giant has proposed to change the way it sells kitchens and bathrooms, hoping to make the transaction simpler, so that customers only have to deal with one staff member.

The changes set out are designed to speed up the buying process, reducing the time between the design and delivery of the product. As part of the plans, the business will scrap its Homefit installation service at the end of the year. When introduced in spring 2013 under Kingfisher Group chief executive Ian Cheshire, the company said the installation service was showing “encouraging signs”. However, the retailer explained that said around 90% of customers now choose to use third-party fitters.

B&Q retail director Paul Crisp said: “We want to be the leading home improvement company and make home improvement accessible for everyone. That means we need to operate differently.

“We’re always looking to make things easier for our customers. The proposed changes will make it simpler for them to buy a kitchen or bathroom as they’ll only need to deal with one person in store; they’ll shorten the lead time between booking a design appointment and delivery of a new kitchen or bathroom.

“The changes will require a new team structure in our kitchen and bathroom areas to reflect advances in home improvement design technology and changes resulting from the move away from an installation offer. They mean that we will focus on delivering great service and quality to our customers at prices that are truly affordable.”

The decision to axe the Homefit service will affect 300 workers across 14 B&Q lolcations. The other 400 employees B&Q has entered into consultation with are part of its in-store design arm.

However, B&Q said that no employees will be worse off as a result, and that the overhauled service will produce 400 new jobs.

Mr Crisp added: “We recognise this is a difficult time for those employees who are affected and we are supporting them in a number of ways. We are continuing to collectively consult with our employee’s representative body – the National People’s Forum about roles that are at risk, prior to consulting with impacted colleagues.”

He added: “Should the changes go ahead, we will start recruiting for the new roles immediately and our installation service will be in place until December 2018. We are committed to honouring and completing all bookings within this timescale and propose to continue to take installation bookings up until 9 July.”



01 July 2018 03:46:36
H D Fawx

B&Q's latest overhaul to its design and installation service is all about profit for shareholders. I'm not fooled into thinking your going to give me a better service as consumer. I ask myself the question, better still I think I'll ask a Store Manager exactly who will design my kitchen or bathroom now that the highly qualfied design consultants are being made redundant.

Am I now to assume that I have spend hours at home on your free design tool and do it myself? Come on, someone must be taking on the mantle of designing. Who? What qualifications, experience and training does this replacement person have. Is it even legal to make a job roll redundant if someone is going to need to do it? Exactly what are your plans? Do you intend to just pull from you current work pool sticking them in front of a PC and saying get on with it?  REALLY.

Why would I invest my hard earned cash into a kitchen with B&Q without the safe knowledge that whats being designed will actually work for me and even be compliant with building regulations.  I really don't know why I would intrust B&Q to have any part in my new kitchen.

Reading your press release it states that im going to have one person from start to finish to deal with regarding my new kitchen purchase. Whats changed? Thats exactly what you offered when I was last in store considering my options. Young lady wanted book me an appointment to see the designer, who, to my understanding, took me through design, sale and organised delivery.  My confidence in B&Q right now is at an all time low.

17 June 2018 13:15:53

No BQ employees affected - how come???when they're unemployed and losing a wage.....derrrrr


08 June 2018 16:35:59

Had the fitters here today , trying to replace our scratched black glass sink !! 3rd time of trying ! 

Second one shorter than the other so would of left 20mm gap / 3rd one that’s to day , the sink bowl is to long !!! 

Anyway the two fitters was telling me that most will have no more fitting work as of August as they are contract fitters .



have to wait and see what’s happening about our sink , supised to be getting a call from Homefit today but not holding my breath .



08 June 2018 14:03:39

They are also stopping the commission employees got to earn through sales, which to some could amount to £500 per month.

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