B&Q plans Irish expansion
Published: 20 September, 2010
LONDON: B&Q owner Kingfisher said it was still seeking to expand the chain in Ireland, despite declining sales that dragged down the group's overall turnover so far this year.
Kingfisher, which employs 750 people in Ireland, said it would open new stores in south Dublin if it could find suitable premises.
Total sales for B&Q UK and Ireland were down 3.1%, or 3.7% on a like-for-like basis, to £2.1bn in the 26 weeks to 31 July 2010. The fall was seen in a number of product sectors, with sales of outdoor products declining around 1%, and kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and building categories down about 6% as the number of promotions declined.
Group finance director of Kingfisher Kevin O'Byrne said the company was open to growth. "We are always looking at areas we could expand the business in Ireland," he said.
Irish suppliers could also benefit from B&Q's network of stores and its policy of finding local products to export to its UK stores. "We're keen to be a good local citizen and also drive our sales," O'Byrne said. B&Q is trialling the sale of Irish peat briquettes in some of its British stores.