Published on 15 - October - 2012
B&Q sublets store to AsdaB&Q has kicked off a series of multi-channel initiatives with the splitting of its 120,000 sq ft Belvedere store, subletting half the space to a new small-scale Asda supermarket.
B&Q is rolling out the changes for 2013
The move is a first for the Kingfisher-owned DIY retailer, whose bosses hinted at space-changing plans during a trading update over the summer. At the time, Kingfisher boss Ian Cheshire said: "Property is extremely expensive in the UK. Online will continue to take share and margin out of space... We have identified areas we would like to stay and have re-geared and taken on new leases on those for a rent reduction."
The new-look B&Q Belvedere is due to re-launch on October 26. It comes following the announcement that 220 head office workers are being made redundant by B&Q as part of Kingfisher's plans to offer a more streamlined, customer-focused presence.
Speaking after the retailer's Q1 trading update, Kingfisher's group chief operating officer Euan Sutherland spoke about B&Q's store plans for the future. "It's about turning... a threat into an opportunity. It's: 'what can we do with the space?' It's not: 'it's a big warehouse, it's a problem.'
"People are downsizing stores and looking for smaller footprints. The major players are not going to expand. Space is declining."
DIY.com has also been earmarked for changes in the coming year, with the aim for B&Q's e-commerce trading to account for 10% of overall sales in the next 3-5 years, according to reports. New customer director Steve Robinson, who was appointed earlier this year, is hoping to develop the SKU offering from 10,000 to more than 20,000.
Project Darwin, a three-year initiative at Kingfisher, will see B&Q incorporate some of the practices used by Screwfix, which already operates from a successful multi-channel model.
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