DIY market leader B&Q will launch its ‘January’ Sale this Friday – its earliest and, it promised, biggest such seasonal promotion ever.

Kingfisher-owned B&Q will cut prices by up to 75% in a bid to encourage cash-conscious consumers to open their wallets in a weak housing market.

B&Q chief executive Euan Sutherland said:”As a result of the tougher financial conditions, we’re seeing more customers than ever opting to improve their homes rather than moving.

“We wanted to make sure that our January Sale would be one worth talking about, with no gimmicks. It’s our biggest ever Sale with price cuts across a wider range of products.”

The retailer made no mention of whether January’s looming VAT rise had prompted the early promotion, but retailers generally believe that shoppers are making some purchases earlier than usual in order to beat the increase.

B&Q will cut prices on more than 40 styles of kitchen by up to 60%. The retailer said that kitchen sales rose 13% in the last quarter as a result of the ‘improve don’t move’ trend.