B&Q - DIY Products at Everyday Low Prices.
B&Q Limited is a British multinational DIY and home improvement retailer, headquartered in Eastleigh, United Kingdom, and is a subsidiary of Kingfisher PLC. The retail chain, founded by Richard Block and David Cale in 1969, originally as Block & Quayle, offers more than 40,000 products in 300 physical stores and online stores.
1969-1979: Early growth
B&Q was founded in March 1969 in Southampton, England, by Richard Block and David Cale after the acquisition and installation of a former furniture warehouse in the suburbs of Southampton Portswood. Originally named Block & Quayle, the duo soon reduced the brand to B&Q, as delivery invoices and invoices were already unofficially reducing the name.
Working for sixty-hour six-day weeks, they were able to repay their bank overdrafts within six months of opening, with a turnover of £ 1 million in the first five years of operation. After the departure of the co-founder of the Bloc in 1976, the network expanded rapidly, and by 1979 there were twenty-six stores in the UK.
1980s: redemption and further expansion
B&Q grew rapidly through a combination of mergers, acquisitions and expansions, such as the acquisition of Scottish company Dodge City in the early 1980s. The network itself was acquired by the FW Woolworth Company for £ 16.8 million in the early 1980s, coinciding with the sale of its stake to David Quayle, who at the time had a personal fortune of £ 4 million.
Two years later, FW Woolworth's UK subsidiary (Woolworth's Ltd.) and B&Q were acquired by Paternoster, now known as Kingfisher plc and still the parent company of B&Q.
B&Q has developed two new retail formats: HomeCentres, retail furniture, bathrooms, upholstered furniture, floors and lighting; and AutoCentres, similar to Halfords, first launched at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, in the late 1980s. The concept was to have a HomeCentre, AutoCentre and DIY Superstore with one communal car park.
Raids on these new markets were relatively short-lived, and various sites were sold a couple of years later. Car centers become the main "Charlie Browns", and HomeCentres are sold separately.
1990s to the present
In the mid-1990s, B&Q opened a new store format known as Depot (later changed to B&Q Depot), the forerunner of a new class of stores known as B&Q Warehouse. The company also began to expand outside the UK. In 1995, the retailer opened its first foreign subsidiary in Taiwan, and in January 1996, the first large home improvement center abroad in Taoyuan, Taiwan.
In September 1998, it acquired Nomi, Poland's leading chain of DIY stores, and then in the same year merged with France's Castorama.
The following year, B&Q opened a store in Shanghai. In December 2000, Kingfisher plc acquired twenty-eight development sites to house future stores of rival Homebase network from Sainsbury's, which sold the network. Instead, B&Q stores were located at the development sites. In August 2001, B&Q opened its first store in Shanghai, hoping to increase its outlets from four to 58 by 2005.
B&Q opened its first store in Hong Kong on June 1, 2007, but planned to close it on September 13, 2009. In December 2007, Kingfisher sold a 50 percent stake in B&Q Taiwan to its joint venture partner. Sales of 106.5 million US dollars (51.6 million pounds), which brought a profit of 25 million pounds.
In March 2009, B&Q closed twenty-two of its sixty-three stores in China, blaming the fall in housing. In May 2011, B&Q agreed to buy thirty-one stores in the UK from Focus DIY administrators for £ 23 million. In 2011, B&Q opened a new regional distribution center, at G.Park in Swindon.
In 2020, B&Q announced sales growth of 17.6 units. Up to £ 3.5bn for the quarter to October 31, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which people spent money on home improvement.
In March 2021, B&Q announced that it was expected to open in Saudi Arabia in the fall, presenting home goods.
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