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B&Q looking to boost online sales with store development

Developing its store portfolio into becoming a more integrated part of its multi-channel strategy will help B&Q push its online sales from 2% of group turnover to 10% over the next five years.

Speaking at the Wincor Nixdorf breakfast event run alongside Retail's Big Show 2014, organised by NRF in New York, Tom Scott, head of business solutions at Kingfisher, highlighted a raft of initiatives the group is developing within its business.

Much work has been done on the supply chain, with SAP employed to for its forecasting and replenishment software, which has helped create additional sales of £5 million per year and an extra margin of £2 million per annum. The implementation of a Red Prairie warehouse management system has created a single way of receiving goods that Scott says has "significantly improved the stock file".

Improving the in-store experience to give a more consistent multi-channel offer has also been a big area of focus for the company, which has been undertaken alongside the creation of three 'Manifesto' stores.

Various technologies have been introduced into the outlets in Poole, Bognor and Banbury that Scott says will be rolled out to other B&Q stores over time. Working with Wincor Nixdorf the company has installed kiosks, help and advice desks, created larger stockrooms that have helped declutter the trading space, and issued managers with tablets to help customers on-the-hoof.

When combined with lighter colours in-store Scott says "customer reaction has been almost universally positive, especially female customers who find the stores welcoming".

The existing reserve & collect points have also been enhanced and customer wi-fi has been introduced.

Source : Glynn Davis - Retail Bulletin

17 January 2014
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