|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: KGF
(Group Chief Executive)
|Products||Home improvement products such as home appliances, tools, home furnishings, hardware, and garden supplies & plants.|
|Revenue||£11,125 million (2014)|
|£746 million (2014)|
|£710 million (2014)|
Number of employees
|Approximately 79,000 (2015)|
Kingfisher plc is a British multinational retailing company headquartered in London. It is the largest home improvement retailer in Europe, and the third-largest in the world (behind The Home Depot and Lowe's). It has over 1,176 stores, in eleven countries across Asia and Europe, and its brands include B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix.
Kingfisher was founded in 1982, by the buyout of the British Woolworths chain by Paternoster Stores Ltd, which later changed its name to Woolworth Holdings plc. The Company expanded through subsequent acquisitions of companies such as B&Q, Superdrug and Comet. It was led from 1984 (until his retirement in 2002) by Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, who became renowned for his taciturn public persona, lengthy decision-making and love of sailing. Largely through his influence, Kingfisher became the major sponsor of British sailor Ellen MacArthur. It was renamed Kingfisher plc in 1989.
In July 1999, Kingfisher attempted a takeover of Asda, one of the United Kingdom's largest supermarket chains, only to be beaten by Wal-Mart. In August 2001, coupled with an acrimonious battle for control of Castorama, the resultant share price pressure forced the sale and demerger of several parts of the company, including Woolworths (forming the Woolworths Group), and the demerger of the electricals business to form Kesa Electricals in July 2003 – causing the company to refocus entirely around DIY.
The company was led by Gerry Murphy, from 2002–2008. In January 2008, Kingfisher appointed Ian Cheshire as group chief executive. Cheshire was formerly B&Q's chief executive; his B&Q role was taken over in April 2009, by Euan Sutherland, who also heads up the United Kingdom Division of Kingfisher.
In September 2014, it was announced that the head of Castorama Véronique Laury would replace Ian Cheshire as Kingfisher Group CEO in February 2015. Laury has worked at Kingfisher for eleven years, including roles at B&Q.
Kingfisher currently operates over 1,176 stores in eleven countries in Asia and Europe. Its main retail brands are B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, and Screwfix.
The companies now part of the Kingfisher group are:
- B&Q; operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland and China
- Brico Dépôt; in France, Spain and Romania
- Castorama; in France, Poland and Russia
- Koçtaş; 50% joint venture in Turkey
- Screwfix; has over 400 branches in the United Kingdom, and in September 2014 opened 4 stores in Germany
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