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B&Q to see £60m investment in multichannel retailing

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More than £60m is to be invested in multichannel retailing at B&Q over the next two to three years.

Parent company Kingfisher has announced the investment, which it says will build on the success of its Screwfix builder’s merchant business, where click and collect orders now account for 7% of sales and mobile phones for 16% of online traffic. The B&Q internet platform will sit on the existing Screwfix infrastructure while customer orders to store or home will be fulfilled from Screwfix’s distribution centre, near Stoke.

Writing in The Telegraph, Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire said through the investment, which has already started, the company aimed to increase online sales to 10% of B&Q’s sales within five years. Plans that include more than doubling the online product range to more than 20,000 next year from its current 10,000 products.

“Internet penetration in the home improvement sector of retailing has been relatively limited to date but I see it as a major opportunity for Kingfisher,” he said.

Other features of the multichannel investment plan include trialling online ordering kiosks in B&Q stores. It may also equip store staff with tablet computers that they will use to show videos to customers and help them with DIY projects, from laying floors to hanging wallpaper.

There will also be a new transactional website for B&Q’s TradePoint area, aimed at small builders and tradespeople, set to be launched in the first quarter of next year.

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