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RetailCraft 44 – ”Find a fix for time” – in conversation with Paddy Earnshaw, Customer and Digital Director at B&Q

Paddy joined us in the studio with “time” clearly on his mind. Throughout our zinger-filled, high-protein chat, Paddy returned to the theme of “if you find a fix for time, you’ll see the sales”.

B&Q is the £4bn-ish turnover DIY retailer that is now part of the Kingfisher PLC group (which also includes in its portfolio the trade-focused Screwfix, plus Castorama and Brico Depot in France and Koctas in Turkey.

During our conversation it was clear that Paddy’s broad experience (financial services, department stores, logistics and final mile) has created an omnivorous approach to references and models. A synthesis of this is his contention that “to remain as #1, you have to think like you’re #2”. Seeking ideas from across the D2C realm, he’s “receptive to what’s good in the space” and looks at others’ capability with ‘envy and with pride’ – taking the best of ideas and applying them to what B&Q already does well.

Listening to the recording, it’s noticeable how frequently the ideas of “time” and convenience appear as a central theme. As their trade-only Tradepoint service has shown, “time is money”, but the service also needs to be tailored to the consumer. We talk about just-in-time trade deliveries, and Paddy notes drily that “you can’t deliver a fence post on the back of a moped”.

Paddy’s focus on time and efficiency is all in service of an emotional bond with the customer and products. Noting that in DIY customers seek “to improve their homes so that they can build their lives”, we talk about layering emotion into the sales process while simultaneously making that service zippy and on-trend.

A high-speed (of course!) tour de force of insight.

Run time: 47 minutes


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B&Q is at

Kingfisher PLC information from 

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Paddy Earnshaw:

Georgia Scott: 

Ian Jindal:   and 

[ 📷 ] (c) Ian Jindal /

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