B&Q has decided to end its partnership with Asda and close eight concessions around the country to instead focus on rolling out smaller-format, high street fascias.
Retail Week can reveal that the DIY specialist will close the eight concessions in Asda superstores from March 11, with 57 staff set to be affected by the closures. B&Q and Asda launched their concessions partnership in 2020 with four shop-in-shops.
B&Q said it all affected staff would be offered alternative employment at nearby stores.
B&Q strategy and development director Chris Bargate told Retail Week the decision to end its partnership with Asda had been made so B&Q could focus instead on offering customers a more convenient and easy way to shop with the brand.
He said: “The things we’ve been focused on over the last few years is testing and learning is really important for us. We’ve definitely got to speculate and work through what customers respond best to, and in the format space that’s really true.
“We’ve tried a whole bunch of different stuff and we’re now doubling down our efforts on this Local concept because we think it’s got real potential across the UK.
“As a result of that doubling down, we’re making the decision to terminate our partnership with Asda. We’re now just focusing our efforts on these smaller-format stores because we think this is where the bigger opportunity is.”
B&Q opened its first two convenience-store Local formats on January 27 in Camden and Palmers Green.
The 3,700-plus sq ft stores have a limited assortment of approximately 3,500 SKUs in store, but also offer a further 30,000 SKUs through dedicated click-and-collect services.
The format also has a focus on services for local retail and trade customers, such as paint mixing, kitchen and bathroom design, and key cutting.
B&Q now has two Local formats and six non-Local branded, smaller-format high street stores around London, which are at Holloway Road, Wandsworth, Tooting, Wood Green, Harrow and Streatham.
Bargate added: “We value the contribution and the commitment from our colleagues at the concession stores and they will all be offered alternative employment at nearby stores.
“We have over 300 stores across the UK, so we’ve got lots of opportunities for redeployment. We’re going into peak season, our busy period, so there’s lots of employment available across the rest of B&Q.”
An Asda spokesman said: “Following a test-and-learn trial between B&Q and Asda, both businesses will continue to build on the learnings but will not be continuing with the concessions in Asda stores. The proposition was well received by customers and Asda will use the lessons learned to help inform its wider concessions strategy.”
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