B&Q store closures UK: list of stores closing down, Asda site locations - will staff be impacted by changes?
B&Q first launched a partnership with Asda supermarkets in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic had changed shopping habits
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The DIY retailer first launched the concept in 2020, but has called time on what it described as its "mini-markets" concept as it plans to focus on smaller high street shops. The news, which was first published by trade title Retail Week, affects 57 jobs.
Meanwhile, stationary store Paperchase looks set to close down its retail estate after the company was only partially rescued out of administration last month. Fellow high street brand Joules has also been forced to close stores for a similar reason.
Businesses across the country are struggling in the face of the cost of living crisis and a likely recession. New ONS figures published on Friday (10 February) have provided some optimism, as they suggested the UK is still defying predictions of an economic downturn.
So, what do we know about B&Q’s announcement - and where will it be closing its mini stores? Here’s what you need to know.
Where is B&Q closing shops?
B&Q launched its retail concept with Asda in September 2020. The idea was to create a small store where customers could pick up DIY essentials, including paint, tools and hardware, and use a click and collect service.
The partnership came as people changed their shopping habits in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both retailers spotted that people were aiming to combine more “shopping missions” (i.e. ticking off errands) in one trip away from their homes.
It initially opened two compact stores, before extending the idea to six other locations. But now, all eight of these in-Asda locations will close. These are the sites where the closures are reportedly taking place from 11 March onwards:
- Sheffield Drakehouse
- Great Bridge
B&Q has said the 57 people whose jobs will be impacted by the closures will be offered alternative work at shops in the vicinity of these closures.
In comments reported by trade title The Retail Gazette, B&Q strategy and development director Chris Bargate said the retailer would be aiming to offer its customers greater convenience through smaller high street shops. At present, owing to the quantity and bulk of the products it stocks, B&Q tends to be found in out-of-town retail parks.
“The things we’ve been focused on over the last few years is testing and learning is really important for us. We’ve definitely got to speculate and work through what customers respond best to, and in the format space that’s really true,” he said.
“We’ve tried a whole bunch of different stuff and we’re now doubling down our efforts on this Local concept because we think it’s got real potential across the UK. As a result of that doubling down, we’re making the decision to terminate our partnership with Asda. We’re now just focusing our efforts on these smaller-format stores because we think this is where the bigger opportunity is.”
NationalWorld has approached B&Q for comment.
Unlike some of its fellow retailers, the DIY specialist has been enjoying healthy business growth despite a challenging economic picture. According to its latest accounts published with Companies House in October 2022, B&Q saw sales grow 11% with pre-tax profits leaping 30% in the year to 31 January 2022.