B&Q revamping numerous U.K. stores

B&Q, the United Kingdom-based big-box home improvement retailer, is in the midst of a major renovation of several of the company’s stores. Twenty-five large format stores are on deck for a new renovation with eight renovations currently underway.

B&Q is known for large, orange, big-box retail stores in U.K. suburbs, similar to Home Depot in size and selection. The new renovations feature an expanded flooring department, with a streamlined display to highlight the color selection of wood, laminate, vinyl and carpet products. The new stores feature a “carpet shop” with a wide variety of product, according to the retailer’s Web site.

The stores include a newly refurbished “Garden Centre,” with items including greenhouses, landscaping products, natural stone paving products and outdoor furniture.

Anew lighting department highlights new styles, including designs for children, external lighting and solar lighting options. The department also features a streamlined design for easier shopping.

The stores’ paint departments also have been updated to include more colors from the company’s brands, Dulux and Crown paints.

“B&Q is making good progress modernizing its stores and updating its ranges,” said Gerry Murphy, B&Q group chief executive, at the company’s second-quarter earnings call in July. B&Q is a subsidiary of Kingfisher, which owns other European home improvement retail chains including Castorama, Trade Depot and Screwfix.

Sales at B&Q stores fell 3.6 percent in the second quarter, with much lower sales in the lawn and garden segment because of adverse spring and early summer weather conditions across the United Kingdom.

In addition to the modernization, the company plans to downsize six large stores, while revamping or relocating another 36 “Supercentre” stores. New stores include the modernized look, and by the end of 2008, the company expects to have 154 of its 313 stores modernized.

This year, B&Q also furthered its expansion into China, with a 120,000-square-foot store in Hong Kong. The company currently has about 60 locations in China, with stores in Taiwan and South Korea.

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