B&Q to tighten grip on DIY with up to 100 new stores

DIY market leader B&Q is set to embark on a massive expansion programme and has identified 100 sites for smaller stores.

The Kingfisher owned-chain has completed a property review for its Supercentre format and has found 100 sites - doubling its previous target.

As well as the potential store openings, B&Q plans to modernise its 220-strong small-store estate through relocation and expansion.

B&Q director of format development - Supercentre, Kerrin Qualters said the retailer wants to relocate 60 stores and has earmarked 50 stores that can be extended to offer a broader range.

All the new stores will be B&Q's 4,645 sq m to 5,575 sq m 'mini-Warehouse' types, which will eventually replace the Supercentre format. B&Q launched the mini-Warehouse - which houses about 60 per cent of the range available in its big sheds - last year and now has eight, comprising four new stores and four rebuilds.

Retail Knowledge Bank research director Robert Clark said: 'B&Q keeps on reinventing its formats, which enables it to maintain momentum. It is so far ahead of the competition and this expansion will put more pressure on its rivals, particularly Focus.'

Qualters would not comment on specific sites for the new stores, but said they will be in market towns. He said that the small-store expansion will happen alongside the ongoing roll-out of B&Q's category-killing 94-strong Warehouse chain.

Like-for-like-sales for the new store format are running at 30 per cent, with average transactions up 15 per cent.

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