Is a shake-up coming in the UK DIY market?

Friday, December 7th, 2007

We all like things to stay familiar – which has a lot to do with the success of the big High Street DIY chains.

Go into a store and you’ll find exactly what you’re used to, whether you’re in Aberdeen or Ashby de la Zouch, and often in approximately the same position.

But it’s looking like we may have to get used to a few changes.

According to this business article in the American publication Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the UK DIY market could be in for a degree of consolidation.

It is predicting that we could see the break-up of the powerful Kingfisher group, and B&Q being taken over by the major US chain Home Depot:

British chain could open door for Home Depot

Only five years ago, B&Q β€” the Home Depot of Britain β€” was riding high in a booming do-it-yourself market. With new chief executive Gerry Murphy at the helm of parent company Kingfisher, the B&Q chain’s profits were buoyed by a nation hooked on home makeover TV shows.

But after two years of decline in Britain’s troubled DIY market, Murphy is due to step down in February, and some analysts say the move could set the stage for an acquisition by Atlanta-based Home Depot, sending it into Europe for the first time.

The analysts believe that with Murphy gone, the Kingfisher group could break up, spinning off the core B&Q business and the chain’s operations in Asia and Russia, the Castorama DIY business in France, and a 21 percent stake in Hornbach, the leading DIY business in Germany.

Thanks to a slumping U.S. housing market, international operations have become key to Home Depot’s growth. Read full article here…

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