Kingfisher to axe 60 B&Q stores

Retail group Kingfisher today said it would close about 60 of its B&Q stores over the next two years as part of a shake-up of its business in the UK and Ireland.

B&Q has 360 stores and the closures, which will trigger exceptional costs of about £350m, will be accompanied by the scaling down of another six branches.

The plans came as Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix, posted a 7.5 per cent drop in adjusted pre-tax profits to £675m for the year to 31 January.

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Revenues at the group fell 1.4 per cent to £11 billion.
New chief executive Véronique Laury said: “Home improvement is a great market with huge potential and Kingfisher has a strong position within it with further scope to grow in a sustainable way.

“However, it is clear to me that we need to organise ourselves very differently to unlock our potential.”

Other plans include the closure of loss-making stores in Europe, cutting back on some of the 393,000 products sold across the company, particularly as only 7,000 – amounting to 7 per cent of sales – are currently sold in at least two of Kingfisher’s operating companies.

The company will also look to optimise vacant store space and is in talks with several retailers about sub-letting opportunities.