Ian Cheshire has wasted no time in getting to grips with the mammoth task ahead of him at Kingfisher.

First, he has assembled a stellar range of retailing talents to implement his turnaround plans for the DIY giant. Then came last week's news on much improved trading at B&Q. And today he started the process of pruning the non-core parts of the business and delivering value for shareholders by selling Castorama Italy.

Today's£440 million deal looks like a good one. While Italy has done well for Kingfisher, it is only a 31-store business and was never going to be a key factor in the success of Cheshire's turnaround. There are bigger fish to fry and the price achieved today represents a good deal for shareholders. The City seems to approve as the shares were up 4 per cent by 9.30am this morning.

Everyone knew when Cheshire was appointed to replace Gerry Murphy in February that he was one of retail's biggest brains, but he has successfully surrounded himself with operational talent to complement his strategic nous. Euan Sutherland from Superdrug and former Ikea man Peter Høgsted are renowned for running tight ships and the first signs of better execution are coming through already.

There remain huge challenges. Home improvement is not the place to be in the UK right now, the French economy is worsening and the Chinese business is in tailspin. But despite having the odds stacked against him, so far Cheshire is making all the right moves. This could turn out to be one good news story in what is turning out to be a dismal retail year.