|Public limited company|
|Founder||Richard Block and David Quayle|
|Headquarters||Eastleigh, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|389 stores (2014)|
|Kevin O'Byrne (CEO)|
Home improvement tools
Gardening Supplies and Plants
|Revenue||£4.5 billion (2013/14)|
|£198 million (2013/14)|
Number of employees
B&Q plc, originally known as Block & Quayle, is a British multinational DIY and home improvement retailing company headquartered in Eastleigh, England, United Kingdom. Founded by Richard Block and David Quayle in 1969, it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Kingfisher plc.
B&Q currently has stores in mainland China, the Republic of Ireland and Taiwan, as well as the United Kingdom. It is the largest DIY retail chain in China and the United Kingdom. It is the second-largest in Europe and the fourth-largest in the world (behind The Home Depot, Lowe's and OBI).
1969 to 2000
B&Q was founded in March 1969 in Southampton, England, UK by Richard Block and David Quayle. The first store opened in the Southampton suburb of Portswood, and was originally called Block & Quayle, soon shortened to B&Q. The chain quickly expanded, and by 1979 there were 26 stores across the UK, by which time the first of the co-founders had left the business: Block left in 1976 and Quayle in 1982.
B&Q grew rapidly through a combination of mergers, acquisitions and expansions. In 1980, B&Q bought the Hampshire based company Dodge City, and was itself acquired by F. W. Woolworth Company. F. W. Woolworth's UK subsidiary (Woolworths Ltd.) and B&Q were bought two years later by Paternoster, now known as Kingfisher plc and still B&Q's parent company. In the late 1980s B&Q purchased Timberland DIY based in the North East.
B&Q developed two new trading formats; HomeCentres, retailing furniture, bathrooms, soft furniture, flooring and lighting and AutoCentres being similar to a Halfords, the first launch taking place at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol in the late 1980s. The concept being to have a HomeCentre, AutoCentre and DIY superstore with one communal car park. The forays into these new markets were relatively short lived and the various sites were sold on a couple of years later. The AutoCentres becoming in the main 'Charlie Browns', the HomeCentres being sold off individually
In the mid-1990s B&Q opened a new format of store known as The Depot (later changed to B&Q Depot), a forerunner of a new class of store known as the B&Q Warehouse. The company also began to expand outside the United Kingdom. In 1995 it co-operated with parent company Kingfisher plc to open its first overseas subsidiary in Taiwan, and in 1996 the first overseas large home improvement center in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. In 1998 it acquired NOMI, Poland's leading chain of DIY stores, and later that year merged with France's Castorama. The following year B&Q opened a store in Shanghai, and acquired the British hardware company Screwfix.
2000 to present
B&Q opened its first store in Hong Kong on 1 June 2007, but was scheduled to close it on 13 September 2009. In December 2007, Kingfisher sold its 50 per cent stake in B&Q Taiwan to its joint venture partner. The $106.5 million (£52 million) proceeds were used to reduce debt.
In March 2009, B&Q closed 22 of its then 63 stores in China, blaming the housing slump.
On 31 January 2013 B&Q Ireland Ltd. filed for examinership in the Irish courts and PWC Ireland was appointed examiner. B&Q Ireland stores will continue to trade as normal for the next 100 days until a suitable buyer is found or alternative financing arrangements can be made. Gift vouchers will continue to be honoured in stores and its 700 staff will continue to be paid. It is proposed to close two of the nine Irish stores – in Waterford and Athlone. B&Q Ireland had made a loss in each of the preceding six years.
By 2000 B&Q had 51 of its larger Warehouse stores; this had doubled by 2003.By 3 May 2014 B&Q in the UK had 359 stores and 20,887 employees. In Ireland B&Q operate 9 individual stores. Its 2004/2005 turnover was £4.1 billion and profit £400.5 million, compared to published figures putting turnover at £3.9 billion and profit at £162.9 million for year ending February 2007.
|Country||Number of stores|
|United Kingdom||359 |
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