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B&Q to close Ellesmere Port store

B&Q Ellesmere Port

Ellesmere Port’s flagship B&Q is set to close affecting 40 jobs.

The closure of the landmark store by the M53 comes as Scandinavian grocer Netto opens up in the town centre with 20 new positions.

The DIY giant has disclosed the store is one of 60 it is shutting down in the UK and Ireland almost 30 years after the aisles were thrown open to the town’s handymen and women.

Parent company Kingfisher says nationally it will open a similar number of shops at its trade outlet sister business Screwfix.

A B&Q spokesperson said: “We have let colleagues at our Ellesmere Port store know that their store is one of those planned for closure next financial year (2016/17).

“Our focus for the coming months is on redeploying as many colleagues as we can within B&Q and the Kingfisher Group.”

She said it was ‘too early’ to say if a Screwfix outlet would open in the town.

People took to the Pride in the Port website to comment on the shutters coming down.

Christine Powell said it was ‘very sad’ the store was closing with, at the time of writing, almost 90 others joining in the conversation.

Readers suggested there would soon be nothing left in the Port and felt sorry for the staff who would be losing their jobs.

B&Q was described as the only ‘real’ DIY store in the town and others pointed to the effect of online shopping.

The store was said to be a ‘fantastic’ place to work. One post suggested it would close in January.

B&Q is the second–largest DIY chain in Europe and the fourth–largest in the world.

Chief executive Veronique Laury, who took over last December, said the closure plans were one of a number of ‘sharp’ decisions being taken by the FTSE 100 company.

She added: “Home improvement is a great market. However, it is clear to me that we need to organise ourselves very differently to unlock our potential.”

Other possibilities included cutting back on some of the 393,000 products. Sub-lettings were also being discussed with several retailers.

Last year, rival DIY chain Homebase said it would close a quarter of its stores. In June B&Q was seen to be advertising its Station Road store at the closed Homebase in Bromborough.

Source : David Norbury – Chester Chronicle

13 October 2015

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