B&Q’s parent company Kingfisher aims to be “a truly globally integrated company” within the next five to 10 years, chief executive Ian Cheshire said.
Speaking at The Cloud Retail Week Conference 2012, Cheshire said “global retailing is absolutely the future”.
He added: “Anyone that’s just in a single market will ultimately get impacted by global players coming into the market.”
Kingfisher operates stores in several international markets including France, Poland and China with its B&Q and Castorama fascias.
“Unless you’re thinking about the brand from day one as potentially a global player, I think you’re missing out,” said Cheshire.
Cheshire said that despite Kingfisher’s global reach, Ikea’s business model is “much more exportable” in terms of global sourcing.
“For us as a local sourcing business, we are not leveraging a global opportunity,” he said. “But if you’re global like Ikea, you can take products everywhere, drive huge volumes and reinvest. And that as a model is much more exportable.”
But he warned expanding into overseas countries is difficult, adding that most retailers who move into international markets fail.
Cheshire added that using websites to trade overseas is a “new development” that retailers take advantage of to make the leap overseas.