B&Q raise prices in December, to offer big sale discounts now

19 January 2009

Following Bitterwallet's recent investigations into the real value of sale prices, in particular those at Halfords and Argos, the Independent has also been busy exposing how retailers plan their sales so they can appear to offer big discounts in January.

In this instance, the newspaper perused the sale prices offered by B&Q, which is currently offering many of its products at up to half price. But according to the Independent, B&Q significantly increased the prices of goods in December ahead of its current sale.

The DIY chain held a sale throughout October, then increased the prices on products and installations services by up to 84 per cent, meaning stores could subsequently drop prices again and legitimately advertise big discounts in the post-Christmas sale. As an example, a curved shower bath panel is now on sale at B&Q for £84.49. In late October, the item cost £100.56, but its price was raised to £169 in December.

Bryan Roberts at Planet Retail warned consumers to watch for similar practises in the spring, stating it was common practice to hike the prices of burgers or sparkling wine in February or March, so to be seen to be offering huge discounts in the summer, in time for outdoor entertaining.

In their defence, B&Q's commercial director told the paper: "Our current half price on all kitchen units offer runs from 24 December 2008 to 5 February 2009. Prior to this promotion, our bathrooms were at their standard price to reflect their true value."

As before, retailers who do this aren't breaking consumer law; so long as a product has been sold at the higher price for 28 consecutive days within the last six months, this sort of advertising is perfectly legal, if not a little more than confusing for the customer.

17 comments

  • speedski
    they aren't breaking consumer law - but they are still wankers for doing it. If thats the way they want to do business, well quite honestly, I'd rather not buy from them or any other businesses with such practices. The problem most of these businesses have is that there is a competitior in the same market offering better for less in most cases...
  • kungfu
    lol is this fresh news to you? retailers have always done this.
  • Mike H.
    Speedski - Not going to be buying anything ever again then? Show me an honest retailer, that's in it for the con-summer, , they don't give two shits about anyone, they just want to rape you and your gran for your hard earned cash, that's why we have sites like HUKD.
  • ODB
    nowt new...been going on for years! can see B&Q going this year...been losing money for years and Kingfisher keeps throwing the money it makes from Screwfix into B&Q which loses year on year. As Screwfix trade counters are all over the country now can see them pulling the plug on B&Q
  • Jobsworth
    B&Q will not be going anywhere. They are the Market leader in their sector by some distance. LFL sales from 2007 were equal to 2008, and I doubt they are losing money at the rate you suggest. Now homebase on the otherhand ....
  • LDR
    Thanks OBD - we heard it here first - next big casualty of CCr will be B&Q!! Actually, Tesco been doing it through autumn and Winter, a lot of the items were pennies, but every little hurts! Most noticably, it was Tesco 'own branded' items - so no tlike they can blame it on manufacturers...
  • Laurz
    B&Q losing money and being propped up by Screwix? Not according to the shareholders figures that I keep getting sent or according to our sales figues in the store I work in. B&Q aren't making as much money as they used to but are certainly operating at a profit and it was woolworths and comet that were part of the kingfisher groupe that were losing money and were being propped up not B&Q. The practice of putting prices up so high isn't acceptable in my opinion though and prices did shoot up especially on kitchens and bathroom products towards the end of last year just to be reduced again in the sale. Although a lot of the prices are actually reduced as well and weren't raised so you are getting a bargain on some of the things but not on others.
  • Mike H.
    Thanks ODB, you actually made a funny comment... B&Q, deathwatch, out of business, PFFT! (twat)
  • ODB
    HAHAHA dont believe it...I work for Screwfix and every year we hear the same thing, they are losing money and we support them, B&Q are a running joke here
  • Mike H.
    Unfortunately, it's the dumbass DIYer that is propping up B&Q and also screwfix for that matter, however you might see the flipside ODB, as people can't seem to sell their houses, they are turning to improving their own and even increasing the size with the intention to remain in the house. Shucks, that's a thought innit bruv?
  • EB
    Laurz - Yeah, it's Woolworths that is pulling down kingfisher / B&Q, they only split 8 years ago... A bit of a poor excuse. Especially pathetic as B&Q as a chain was built from the proceeds of selling all of woolies properties which way back when it used to own rather than leasing...
  • Laurz
    EB I said WERE not are. Woolworths (and comet etc) were the parts of the group that WERE being propped up by B&Q/Screwfix. It wasn't an excuse for any poor profits, it was an example of how ODB was completly wrong when he said B&Q was the part of the kingfisher group that had been propped up and was a reference to the fact that it along with screwfix had always been the ones doing the propping and now there are no none profit sections of the group.
  • Ian
    I noticed this too with B&Q - I was waiting for the sale for some kitchen wall cabinets which where about £35 -37 each during the sale the double the price and then brought them back down to half price - the same as they where before the sale! SO absolutely no savings ! I have the doors just want the price of the cabinets to come down again!
  • adey
    haha just been into my local b and q to see what was in the sale- there were posters everywhere calling it "toe only sale worth talking about" when i went in the actual store i noticed PRICES HAVE GONE UP!!!!!! IS THIS THE ONLY SALE WHERE PRICES GO UP INSTEAD OF DOWN??? i noticed dulux emulsion was around £15 or 2 for £20 pre xmas its now a whopping £20 a tub!!! i also looked at a curved glass extractor fan for the kitchen- was £99 last time i looked now £115!!!!! are they taking us for mugs? WHERE WAS THE SALE- MAYBE IT IS THE SALE WORTH TALKING ABOUT- TO LET PEOPLE KNOW TO AVOID IT AND GO ELSEWHERE!!!!
  • ADEY
    SORRY IN THE ABOVE COMMENT I MEANT DULUX WAS NOW A WHOPPING £16.95 A TUB NOT £20!!! STILL A BIG RISE IN PRICE
  • adey
    sorry in the above post i meant dulux had gone up to a whopping £16.95 not £20 stil a big price hike!!!
  • aShady
    @adey : Get a grip please and learn to write a comment.

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