B&Q to cut 200 head office jobs

BQ storeImage copyright

DIY chain BQ is to get rid of 200 jobs at its head office in Hampshire as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The company said on Tuesday that the cuts at its headquarters in Chandler’s Ford would “improve efficiency and simplify ways of working”.

UK retailers are struggling in the face of rising inflation and fragile consumer confidence.

Several store chains have announced job cuts recently, including supermarket giants Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

Helena Feltham, BQ’s human resources director, said: “The new structure will improve efficiency, simplify ways of working, and reflect recent changes in the market and the number of BQ stores.

She said the company wanted to make home improvement “accessible to everyone”.

“That means delivering great quality at prices that are truly affordable. To do that, we must operate differently.”

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She added that BQ has begun consulting with affected employees and their representative body, the National People’s Forum.

BQ’s parent firm Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix in the UK and the Castorama and Brico Depot chains in France, is nearly two years into a five year restructuring plan.

This includes streamlining the products it offers across its outlets, widespread changes to its IT system and closing BQ stores.

Kingfisher chief executive Veronique Laury said in August that she remained “cautious” about the economic outlook, with the firm having previously said Brexit could create uncertainty in the market.

As part of Ms Laury’s revival, she is aiming to boost profits by £500m a year by 2021.

Kingfisher said it had created “a number” of new jobs working for the parent company at the head office in Chandler’s Ford, over the last two years.