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B&Q investing 70m in bringing ‘French flair’ to UK stores

B&Q is investing £70 million in a new plan that will bring the influence of French design to its British shops.

Up to 40 per cent of decorative ranges such as flooring, tiles, wallpaper and soft furnishings will be bought via a central hub and shared across Britain, France and Poland.

Foreign flair:
The DIY chain plans to share some home decor ranges throughout its European shops
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.

Kingfisher, Britain’s biggest DIY retailer which has proved to be one of the most resilient in the downturn, declined to comment. However, home improvement retailers are hoping that the arrival of better weather will boost sales of barbecues, outdoor furniture, plants and garden products.

Source : Neil Craven – This Is

27 May 2012
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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