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B&Q appoints first omnichannel director

Retail Week has reported that DIY retailer B&Q has further bolstered its multichannel team with the appointment of former Vodafone executive Michael Durbridge as its first omnichannel director.

Durbridge worked in banks including HBOS and RBS before a string of positions at mobile phone specialists Phones4U and Vodafone, finishing as director of direct sales channel and marketing. He will join B&Q in March.

Durbridge will report into B&Q customer director Steve Robinson, who was appointed last year.

Robinson, who was formerly chief executive of M and M Direct and before that launched Tesco Direct, was seen as a critical hire as the retailer aimed to ramp up its multichannel offer.

In October, revealed B&Q was making 15% of its head office staff redundant as it restructured to create a more “customer focused, agile, omnichannel retailer”.

The retailer made 220 net redundancies across a range of functions at its 1,400-strong head office in Eastleigh, Hampshire but created 100 new head office roles simultaneously.

B&Q is also reassessing its 360-strong store portfolio to determine what size estate it needs in an “omichannel world”.

The average B&Q store covers around 100,000 sq ft but the DIY giant’s owner Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire said that as multichannel retail grows, B&Q would need stores of just 80,000 sq ft. The B&Q store estate comprises 27.7 million sq ft in total.

Source : Alex Lawson – Retail Week

11 February 2013
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