Kingfisher doubles its DIY stores in Poland

Published:  14 June, 2011

UK/POLAND: Kingfisher plans to double the number of Castorama stores in Poland and convert Brico Depot trade outlets there into the chain to spur growth as DIY spending in the UK slows. 

Castorama, which promises "every day low prices" to target value-conscious customers, is adding interior displays that feature wallpaper and cushions as it shifts focus from trade items like bricks and floor tiles.

The Castorama chain, the market leader in Poland with sales over a £1bn sees scope for about 120 outlets in the medium term, up from 60 now, said Janusz Lella, head of the Polish unit.

Chief executive of Kingfisher, Ian Cheshire plans to stock stores with more decorative items such as lighting and furnishings to attract more women.

In Poland, where same-store revenue climbed 4.5% in the first quarter after dropping 2.8% in fiscal 2010, Cheshire expects "not a banner year, but it will be okay," as consumer sentiment improves. "All signs are it will be a well- based, robust economy."

The unit accounted for 18% of the group's retail profit last year.

Kingfisher, which also owns the B&Q chain in the UK, expects a tough year in the domestic market, where same-store sales advanced 1.4% in the first quarter. The company warned earlier this month that the second quarter would be "more challenging" as many people purchased items around public holiday late in the previous period.

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