Kingfisher has reduced the number of SKUs across its core range by 78% as boss Veronique Laury seeks to create ‘One Kingfisher’.

Laury revealed the number of SKUs across 20 product categories such as batteries, painting tools and taps have been reduced from 10,000 to 2,200 since she unveiled her transformation plan for Kingfisher in January.

Laury said: “It is not just about reducing SKUS, the purpose of it is about having a better, simpler and cheaper offer for the customer.”

The overhaul comes after Laury revealed she had tweaked her strategic review to add a new ambition of “developing a core essential offer”.

Big-box pilot

Another new development is introducing a pilot of big box best practices across Europe. However, Laury said the move is not yet about creating a “store of the future”, a development she expects to come later.

The unification of Kingfisher’s different operating companies will take “years” according to Laury and as a result the prospect of uniting the companies under one brand is “not on the agenda for now”.

Kingfisher also revealed this morning that it had appointed Emily Lawson to its leadership team as people director, meaning more than half of its executive board is now female.

Laury said the strong female presence on the board is reflective of its customer base. Kingfisher believes 80% of decision making about home improvement is carried out by the female of the household.

However, Laury believes Kingfisher and other retailers still have a way to go with getting the gender balance right in store.

She said: “At a leadership level we have more to do with store teams to reflect our customer base. We have more males than females facing the customer in-store and we will move to more of a balance.”

Screwfix, which at the end of the financial year had 412 stores, has identified it could open 200 more stores nationwide following a review by Kingfisher’s omnichannel  boss Steve Willett.

Laury was speaking after Kingfisher revealed its adjusted pre-tax profit slipped 2.3% in its first half as “strong” UK profit earnings were offset by currency volatility.