Published on 2 - March - 2011
B&Q invests £35m in new multi-channel platformKingfisher-owned DIY chain to expand and improve multi-channel operations, with new platform that allows for launch of an m-commerce site and further developments to online next-day delivery service.
Speaking exclusively to DIY Week last month, Kingfisher group ceo Ian Cheshire said that multi-channel would be "a massive area of investment" for the firm going forward.
He added: "As retailers we need to become publishers. Just providing the product won't be enough, you'll need to offer all the information, put them in touch with other people, give them all the support they need. Multi-channel is a fundamental key to growth."
The investment of £35m from Kingfisher will allow B&Q to start work towards a new integrated digital platform, which will be launched in phases over the next three years.
The improvements will include the launch of a mobile transactional site in the second half of this year and continued developments to the iPhone app, launched by B&Q last July. The retailer will also double the number of products available for next day delivery.
The retailer said it is drawing expertise from within the Kingfisher group, with particular focus on stablemate Screwfix, which already offers a more sophisticated multi-channel experience. The B&Q project will also be used to springboard future multi-channel innovations for the whole Kingfsher group.
B&Q and Kingfisher UK ceo Euan Sutherland said: "This investment will mean that we will finally be able to deliver the multi-channel experience to suit our customers' lifestyles."
He explained that the shopping and customer service experience at B&Q will be "far more joined up and much improved" and added: "Our sister company Screwfix has long delivered this level of service for busy tradesmen on the go and this expertise plus the investment from Kingfosher plc means that multi-channel home improvement retailing in the UK will become world class."
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