Deathwatch: B&Q and Homebase continue to struggle

B&Q B&Q are going to close 60 stores, as they continue to have a hard time getting customers through the door. Their owners, Kingfisher, are cracking the whip with closures around the UK, and will have closed 15% of B&Q surplus space by end of 2016/17.

The chief executive Veronique Laury, is optimistic though, saying: "I am pleased with the progress made to exit most of our earmarked for closure this year, which will in time strengthen our balance sheet and maintain our financial flexibility."

One of the things that is hampering profits is B&Q's sales of outdoor seasonal products, which were down 2.3%. In a bid to try and turn things around, B&Q launched 'Click, Pay & Collect' on over 14,000 products last year, with the new site.

Also struggling is Homebase. The owner Home Retail Group, released its second financial quarter results, which showed that sales were down by 2.8%. This is thanks, in part, to the ongoing store closure programme. Home Retail Group, who also own Argos, were hoping concession shops might turn things around.

Chief executive John Walden said: "Argos delivered an improved sales performance in the second quarter. It made good progress with new stores, opening more than 50 digital concessions within Homebase and Sainsbury’s, which have generated encouraging early results."

"Homebase performed well across its peak trading season, delivering good like-for-like sales growth in both quarters of the first half, while continuing its progress on both its store closure programme and the Productivity Plan more broadly."

"The outcome for the Group’s full year generally depends upon the important Christmas trading period at Argos which, this year, seems less predictable than usual due to a less certain promotional environment. Our teams have made solid progress preparing for this period, including substantially completing the technology and operational steps necessary to introduce new store collection and home delivery propositions to our customers. We will be making increased marketing and promotional investments to launch these propositions and we expect customers to increasingly embrace them over time."

Is everyone just not into DIY anymore? We blame the death of Changing Rooms.


  • John
    It doesn't say Homebase is struggling at all. It says the outcome for the Group depends on Christmas.
  • Mac
    B&Q closing some of their smaller stores that were probably bought in to the group when Focus collapsed. Think the group have realised that more people are in to DIFM (Do It For Me) rather than DIY. Also, not such a great headline but I think they are expanding the number of Screwfix stores.
  • David M.
    If B&Q are in such a bad way then they have only themselves to blame. Since the big financial crash prices in B&Q stores have shot way up so is it any wonder people are not coming through the doors as they used to. I am not a Financial expert but the use of basic common sense says that in times of less disposable income then as a business you must try to keep prices low or even drop them slightly. B&Q bosses have done the complete opposite by increasing the cost of even cheaper lower quality items. The amount of silly over the top TV ads must have cost a fortune, making the ad people big profits at the expense of shop staff. instead of closing store in such big numbers maybe a thinning out of over paid management would be a better exercise. I will no longer be using [email protected] as the two stores near me are being closed making the cost of travelling to whatever store will be left to expensive.

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