Kingfisher has announced plans to open B&Q franchised stores in the Middle East starting with two in Saudi Arabia.

The home and DIY giant has signed a franchise agreement with Al-Futtaim Group to expand its B&Q fascia to the Middle East.

The first two stores are expected to open in autumn 2021, along with an ecommerce offer.

Both the stores and the support office will be operated by Al-Futtaim Group, which also operates franchises of M&S and Ikea within the region.

Each store will be roughly 50,000 sq ft and include a range of home and DIY products including B&Q’s own brands – Erbauer, Magnusson and GoodHome – plus locally and internationally sourced product ranges.

The move is part of the DIY chain’s Powered by Kingfisher strategy, which aims to use the strengths of its differentiated retail fascias to grow the business in new territories through partnership agreements.

Kingfisher chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “This franchise agreement leverages our Powered by Kingfisher plan, and is a great opportunity to expand our business in the attractive Middle Eastern home-improvement market with B&Q, one of our most established retail banners, as well as our differentiated owned exclusive brands. I am delighted to be working with Al-Futtaim on this step in our plan.” 

Al-Futtaim Group retail president Regis Schultz added: “Over the past nine decades, the Al-Futtaim Group has grown and diversified its business offering in  order to deliver on our commitment of enriching the lives of our customer every day.

“Our strategic roadmap has enabled us to embrace forward-thinking business practices and seize key market opportunities to bring the best global brands to the  region. We are excited to partner with Kingfisher, one of the most experienced home-improvement retailers, to bring another trusted powerhouse to our customers in Saudi Arabia.”