European DIY giant names new CEO

Kingfisher has announced the appointment of Ian Cheshire as group CEO of the company’s B&Q, Castorama, Screwfix and other international DIY retail banners.

The European home improvement giant has been in a three-month search for a successor to Gerry Murphy, who announced he would leave the CEO post in November. Murphy served with the retailer for five years.

“[Cheshire] has extensive experience of international home improvement retailing and knowledge of the Kingfisher businesses, both in the U.K. and internationally,” said Peter Jackson, chairman of the board for Kingfisher. “This makes him uniquely placed to lead the business and drive through the changes necessary to improve return.”

B&Q has seen a decline in sales in recent years and has participated in a major revamping of its stores in the United Kingdom and China. B&Q also has seen increased competition in China from Home Depot, which opened its first locations in that country last year. In the last year, the retailer has expanded into new territory, including Russia and parts of Eastern Europe under the Castorama banner.

Kingfisher has seen similar challenges to U.S. retailers in recent years, including a slower housing market, and has responded by expanding internationally. In its third quarter, while sales rose just 0.8 percent in Britain, sales from French operations rose 5.6 percent. Sales from the rest of Europe increased 18.6 percent, and sales from Asian operations rose 8.6 percent.

Kingfisher operates more than 760 stores in 10 countries, under banners including B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot and Screwfix.

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