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Kingfisher considers DIY franchise roll-out

Published: 8 October 2010
B&Q parent looks at potential of expanding into new markets with franchised stores and own-brand products.
DIY and home improvement giant the Kingfisher Group looks to be considering a global franchise operation, which could see it venturing into new international markets.

DIY Week spoke to Kingfisher who wasn't ready to offer comment or confirmation at this stage. However, at a recent investor meeting in the United States, Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire told The Independent that the group can now "say to a potential franchisee that we could now supply them, not with everything, but with 40% of what they need."

While the group is looking at a number of opportunities for expansion, franchising is understood to be one of its options. The move would see franchised outlets operating under Kingfisher fascias, with a proportion of the product on offer Kingfisher own-brand ranges.

The Group, which operates B&Q in the UK and Ireland, also has market-leading operations in France, Poland, China and Turkey, including the Castorama and Brico Depot chains.

The franchise model has been made possible by a new sourcing structure that is in place and Kingfisher is said to be on the look out for potential franchisees.

Kingfisher posted profits of £402m for H1 - up 15% on last year and boosted by direct sourcing across the group. The retail giant also announced the launch of 10 'superbrands', including Cooke & Lewis kitchens, MacAllister power tools and Blooma garden furniture.

The own-brands are set to be rolled out across the Kingfisher's DIY and home improvement portfolio. Chief executive Ian Cheshire said of the launch: "We've taken 115 own labels across the group and boiled it down to 10. It's a massive unlock we've never been able to achieve before."

Discussing the group's expansion plans last month, Mr Cheshire said that Kingfisher has been eyeing India and Brazil as potential markets, as well as looking to grow operations in Spain, where Brico Depot is the "number two player" in the country."

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