DIY chain B&Q confirm Byker store will close next year

The Fossway store in Byker is one of the 60 that parent company Kingfisher said it would close following a fall in profitability

B&Q
B&Q

DIY chain B&Q has confirmed its Byker store is planning to close next year.

Members of staff at the Fossway-based store have expressed their anger at the proposed closure, which is expected to take place in 2016.

A spokeswoman from B&Q’s head office said: “We have informed staff at B&Q Byker that the store is planned to close next year, in 2016.

“Our focus for the coming months is on re-deploying as many colleagues as we can within B&Q and the Kingfisher Group.”

In March this year B&Q’s parent company Kingfisher announced that it would close around 60 of its stores in the UK and Ireland over the next two years.

The plans were announced as the company reported a 7.5% drop in annual profits to £675m after sales fell by 1.4% to £11bn in the year to January 31.

Kingfisher blamed a slower market in France since summer 2014, £34m adverse foreign exchange movements on the translation of non-sterling profits and £22m charges for new country development activity, for the fall in profitability.

At the time the firm said it may re-deploy staff to its chain of builders merchants, Screwfix, and suggested it would open stores under the brand name.

At the time, chief executive officer Véronique Laury said: “Home improvement is a great market with huge potential and Kingfisher has a strong position within it with further scope to grow in a sustainable way. However, it is clear to me that we need to organise ourselves very differently to unlock our potential.

“This will involve taking what is essentially a locally managed set of businesses and creating instead a single, unified company where customer needs come first. The first step in developing this new organisation is the creation of a new, international leadership team with more focused cross-company roles.

“We have a lot to do and we are announcing today a set of first ‘sharp’ decisions which are already underway including the closure of around 15% surplus B&Q space and our few loss making stores in Europe, the development of unified garden and bathroom businesses and the start of a Big Box revitalisation programme across Europe.”

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