B&Q is doing away with promotions like multi-buys and slashing the price on thousands of key items instead, in the hope that lower prices all year round will woo shoppers.
The DIY retailer has invested £100m in dropping the price of over 2,000 products by an average of 15 per cent, and said more products will follow later this year.
Its ‘more consistent’ price strategy is aimed at encouraging shoppers to crack on with home improvement projects straight away, rather than waiting weeks or months for the next promotion or sales event.
B&Q’s first quarter sales were hit by weak consumer confidence and the freezing weather
The retailer, which is part of the same group as Screwfix, said its ‘Do It For Less’ plan it is also to make DIY more affordable, and therefore accessible to homeowners and renters of all ages and incomes.
‘People may enjoy hunting for the best deal, but at the end of the day there is much more comfort knowing that there’s one place where you can always get a low price,’ said Paul White, B&Q’s commercial director.
Consequently, B&Q will be reducing its short-term pricing deals, including multi-buys, and reviewing some of its loyalty scheme benefits.
The change of course comes as weak UK consumer confidence and a stagnating housing market chips away at the home and DIY industries.
As housing transaction growth slows, the number of people doing large DIY projects could fall
The ‘Do It For Less’ price drops include:
- Flymo 1300w Hovervac 280 mower, now 17 per cent cheaper
- Bosch PMF 220CE Multitool, now 23 per cent cheaper
- Cuprinol garden shades, matt wood, urban slate, now 32 per cent cheaper
Topps Tiles and Carpetright have both reported falling sales, while B&Q’s like-for-like sales fell 9 per cent in its last quarter.
B&Q’s parent company Kingfisher, which runs DIY chains across 10 countries, including Castorama and Brico Depot, is in the midst of a five-year transformation plan.
So far, this has entailed simplifying its buying functions and introducing unified products across its DIY chains, which gives it the power to source products for less and pass savings onto customers.
B&Q’s biggest rival Homebase, which also boasts ‘always low prices’, is currently going through a major restructuring.
The company was sold to retail turnaround specialist Hilco in June for £1, after an attempt by Wesfarmers to transform Homebase into Bunnings Warehouse failed.
Homebase is said to be mulling around 80 store closures as its new boss Damian McGloughlin – a former B&Q exec – sets about fixing up the flagging chain.