While Kingfisher is in the process of closing down 15 % of its B&Q stores, it has announced it will open 200 Screwfix stores. The transition fits the current trend of stepping away from "do it yourself" and moving towards "get it done", as Screwfix mostly focuses on professionals.
From consumer to professional
Kingfisher is forced to make these moves based on changing consumer demands: as the consumer lacks time (or desire) to do something himself, he will ask professionals to do it for him. A quarter of British consumers currently hires professionals to do chores around the hose, compared to only 19 % last year, according to a recent study.
The company's quarterly results clearly show this shift in behaviour: Screwfix' turnover grew steadily over the past three months, up 17 %, while DIY chain B&Q only grew 3.4 %. All in all, like-for-like quarterly turnover grew 2 %, a decent performance considering Castorama and Brico Dépôt's performance in France (down 0.3 %).
Véronique Laury, who succeeded Ian Cheshire at the start of the year, also announced she would add some staff to her management. Former Morrisons' HR manager Emily Lawson will join the team next month as its chief people officer. Coming from Ikea, Arja Taaveniku already joined in May, tasked with slimming down the company's product range. The group currently has 393,000 products on sale, but only 7,000 really sell well.