B&Q has fired the first salvo in what could be a savage price war in the DIY sector as the home improvement giant takes aim at rival Homebase.
B&Q has launched a supermarket-style price-checker ad campaign, which it claims is a first in the DIY sector.
The campaign, called Decorate for Less, launched on TV last weekend and is running in press on an ongoing basis, claims that B&Q is cheaper than Homebase on 90% of its 1,748 decorating products.
The campaign is expected to be the first of many promotions pushing B&Q’s value credentials. It compares prices such as Dulux white standard emulsion matt 10 litres, which it claims is £15.48 at B&Q and £23.99 at Homebase, or wallpaper adhesive, which it claims is £3.58 at B&Q and £4.49 at Homebase.
A B&Q spokeswoman would not comment on specifics regarding future campaigns but said: “The campaign marks a return to us underlining B&Q’s value proposition. This isn’t a one-off. Watch this space.”
Homebase said it did not wish to comment on the campaign because it was still “deciding how and if” it was going to respond.
B&Q’s campaign comes just weeks after Homebase launched its revamped budget range, Homebase Value, revealed by Retail Week (February 5). B&Q has had its own value range for 12 years.
B&Q denied the new campaign was a reaction to Homebase’s revived focus on value, and said that it had “always been part of the plan” to concentrate on value in the run-up to Easter, the most important time of the year for home improvement and garden retailers.
B&Q marketing director Warren Scarr said: “At a time when our customers are springing into action to start their new DIY projects and with budgets still tight we want them to know that our price promise packs a punch and they really can decorate for less at B&Q.”
In February 2009, DIY chain Wickes managing director Jeremy Bird raised the prospect of a price war as competition heightened in the recession (Retail Week, February 27, 2009).