Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

B&Q hits out at 'yo-yo' pricing - and rivals hit right back

Published: 10 January 2013
B&Q has slammed kitchen and bathroom retailers that it says bump up the prices of their products in order to be able to slash them later - while B&Q itself, it claims, has the lowest prices in the kitchen market.
B&Q hits out at 'yo-yo' pricing - and rivals hit right back
However, its rivals have hit back, accusing the retailer of hypocrisy over its complaints about 'yo-yo' pricing. And B&Q is laying itself open to further criticism because its claim to have the lowest prices is based on research by The website compares the cost of kitchens from just three retailers, B&Q, Wickes and Homebase, and is already accused by some in the industry of being biased towards B&Q.

B&Q told The Sunday Times that other retailers were misleading consumers by doubling the price of some kitchens in the run-up to Christmas and then cutting them again in the sales. But competitors told the newspaper that B&Q was "pushing an agenda...retailers had been pursuing a 'high-low' pricing strategy for 'donkey's years' and B&Q had exposed it only because it scrapped the strategy..."

In a statement, B&Q confirmed: "Last year, B&Q took the decision to be the first in the kitchen and bathroom industry to ensure that every kitchen or bathroom is at an everyday low price, rather than practise the price establishment strategy that others in the market engage in."

And the statement goes on: "Independent research by, from the last 15 weeks before Christmas, reveals that B&Q has consistently kept the lowest prices in the kitchen market on comparable kitchens."

However, the fact that B&Q used the website for its research - and to establish the pre-Christmas price rises in Homebase and Wickes kitchens quoted in The Sunday Times - is sure to rile rival retailers. After reported last year's launch of the website, several posted comments questioning its independence. And in a statement released to DIY Week this week Homebase accused the website of misleading consumers.

It said: "We support the principle of providing customers with clear, fair and accessible information to assist them in the important decision of buying a new kitchen. does not give an accurate picture of kitchen comparisons, as it excludes regular promotional packages and does not always compare like-for-like kitchens.

"The biggest problem with is that it is comparing apples with pears. A white gloss kitchen can vary by thousands of pounds depending on the workmanship, materials and design of the units and appliances, which is not taken into account by the comparison website. For example a wrapped PVC work surface versus melamine faced chipboard or soft close doors versus non soft close doors."

Homebase also said it had made no changes to its base kitchen unit prices since June 2012, and it defended its "genuine offers which fully adhere to the law and guidance governing pricing and promotions practice.

"As with many kitchen retailers we run promotions during the year...This could include a 50% or 60% discount on the base price, or a package which includes free appliances. We are so confident of our competitiveness that we will price match on any like-for-like product when provided with a written kitchen quote plus refund 10% of the difference."


Published prior to March 2014
By mr smith
nsight Retail Group owns and runs the site but they are a markeing company i wonder which clint is theres now the site does not say magnet and wickes kithen are 3* more denis on there carecuse or they have blumb hings or they dont suggest yu vist the which website
Published prior to March 2014
By savy customer
the site does not cover wickes smart kithens so how can it be fair which did a review in nov 2011 which has is the best way to compare the market
Published prior to March 2014
By Steve Collinge
Interesting points raised by BKDA! I'd just like to explain here that if you look at the prices on our site (updated daily including promotional activity)you will see that actually 25% of the kitchens we compare are rigid carcass kitchens from Magnet and John Lewis.The majority of the future retailers we intend to add to the site will be compared on rigid carcass kitchens. We are consumer led and will evolve and refine our activity in response to their needs.
Published prior to March 2014
By British Kitchen Designers Assoc .
There is no doubt that this website gives an insight into one aspect of the kitchen industry , but only one aspect .
The prices outlined on the kitchen-compare website are in many cases for flat pack units only , what you are buying are components .
If you can assemble and fit yourself and are happy with the quality and limited range , then there is nothing wrong with purchasing a kitchen in this manner .
To quote the site itself :
" Prices are exclusive of appliances, sinks, taps, installation, lighting and any decorative enhancements. Photograph for illustrative purposes only."
The largest section of the kitchen industry , the " independent showrooms " which have no presence on the site , will usually quote a price that is fully inclusive of fitting , worktops , sinks etc .
So while headline prices on these offers may appear cheap , its the bottom line price that is important .
Consumers should seek a wide range of prices on which to base their decision and consider the pros and cons of each .
Published prior to March 2014
By Pj
This website shows the truth about kitchen prices
What I can't understand Homebase is why a 600mm base unit cost 350 to start off with in the first place,
Do you really think people buy that, and B&Q 600mm base unit is 44, anyone can say its one price and then discount it down to make it look like a great sale,
350 for a piece of wood, playing us for fools Homebase,
Things like this should be banned,
Published prior to March 2014
By Savy Customer
As always the old adage "you only get what you pay for" is never more true, there is always someone out there who will sell you something cheaper, but you only find out later when it fails. 1 batteries are not duracell and they leak and ruin your gadgets. I wonder how long a B&Q kitchen will last vs say a Homebase kitchen and what service do you get?
Published prior to March 2014
By Andy Steuart
As a consumer looking to buy a Kitchen in the "January Sales" I found the web site very helpful. Retailers try their best to stop anyone comparing their true prices. Our experience shows they were pretty close. As for quality - I'll be the judge of that - if the kitchen last 10 years without falling apart - that's good enough!
Published prior to March 2014
By Steve Collinge
Insight Retail Group owns and runs the website and after reading the article above I thought it only right to put a few facts straight. We are an independent business with a single mission to help consumers save both time and money in the kitchen purchase process. We are giving consumers visibility on the true pricing of kitchens that has never been done before, that cuts through the smoke and mirrors of increasingly ridiculous promotional discounts. We now feature six retailers on the website, Homebase, B&Q, Magnet, Wickes, IKEA and from this week John Lewis and in all, we compare the pricing and features on over 80 different kitchen styles. Some retailers like what we do and some are taking steps to prevent us from exposing the true pricing of their kitchens. This debate will run and run and we'll let you decide who to believe.........
Published prior to March 2014
By Bernard R
Let battle commence!
Consumers are more educated these days and have become more sensitive to hi-lo pricing. Some retailers still persist in following this strategy. If the start of this 'battle' leads to improved pricing transraency for consumers it can only be a good thing.

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