B&Q seeks foreign flair
Published:  28 May, 2012

LONDON: B&Q is to spend £70m to bring French design to its UK stores. Up to 40% of decorative ranges such as flooring, tiles, wallpaper and soft furnishings will be bought through a central hub and shared across Britain, France and Poland.

Ian Cheshire, chief executive at owner Kingfisher, which also operates Castorama stores in France and Poland, said the strategy would help to share innovation across the group, reduce costs and lower prices. “We are bringing some French flair to the ranges in our UK stores – a bit of ‘va va voom’, if you like,” he said.

The common products will begin appearing in stores between now and August.

Kingfisher will publish its first-quarter financial statement this week. Analysts say the home improvement market has been ‘weak’ because of poor weather. Home improvement retailers are hoping that the arrival of better weather will boost sales of barbecues, outdoor furniture, plants and garden products.

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