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Ian Cheshire: Internet is a chance to build Kingfisher sales

Building a presence on the internet creates a major sales opportunity for Kingfisher, says the DIY business' chief executive.

Internet penetration in the home improvement sector of retailing has been relatively limited to date, but I see it as a major opportunity for Kingfisher.

This is why we on Monday announced a £60m UK investment in multi-channel retailing at B&Q, our biggest UK business. This investment, which has already started, will be phased over the next 2-3 years.

It will include help for our trade customers with a transactional website for TradePoint, which is the area of B&Q stores which caters for small builders and other tradesmen. This will be launched in the first quarter of next year.

B&Q’s main website, diy.com, will also benefit, with the number of product lines available to order being increased from 10,000 to over 20,000 next year. This could enable us to increase the online sales to around 10pc of B&Q’s sales in the next 3-5 years.

Other plans include a trial of online ordering kiosks in B&Q stores and potentially equipping store staff with tablet computers to help them show videos to customers with the aim of helping them with their home improvement projects, such laying a floor or hanging wallpaper.

These initiatives at B&Q will build on the significant investment in the internet capabilities of Screwfix, our business aimed at tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and small builders.

B&Q’s internet platform will be based on the existing infrastructure at Screwfix where ‘click, pay and collect’ orders already account for 7pc of sales and mobile phones account for 16pc of its online traffic.

B&Q will also use Screwfix’s 325,000 square foot distribution centre near Stoke to fulfil customer orders which will be delivered either to customers’ homes or their local B&Q store.

In time, we aim to build on this expertise to drive online sales in our international markets, such as France and Poland.

Source : Ian Cheshire – The Telegraph
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/good-news/9610252/Internet-is-a-chance-to-build-Kingfisher-sales.html

17 October 2012
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