Cumbernauld's B&Q store granted a stay of execution



Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 10:11 on 22 May 2015


Business


The store at Westway will remain. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.

DIY chain B&Q has confirmed this morning, to Cumbernauld Media, that Cumbernauld's B&Q outlet will not be closed, despite a nationwide rationalisation of stores.

The news of the store's salvation comes after an announcement by the chain's parent group, Kingfisher PLC, in late March, when the firm said that around 60 UK B&Q stores would have to close due to falling demand.

Declaring the announcement in the company's preliminary results, Kingfisher announced that around 60 B&Q stores in the UK and Ireland would be closed over two years, while plans were announced to open 60 new outlets under its Screwfix brand, later this year.

In a statement in late March the company said: "Kingfisher has said for some time that B&Q UK & Ireland can adequately meet local customer needs from fewer stores and that some of the stores should be smaller."

The bitter news came after Kingfisher announced a 15.2% fall in pre-tax profit to £644million, for 2014, though the company's share price rose around 3 per cent on the news of the corporate belt tightening.

As further details of the firm's mixed news was released, Kevin O'Byrne, chief executive of B&Q UK and Ireland confirmed that he would be leaving the business after May 15th, 2015.

Kingfisher said the closure of the 60 stores would incur a £350million one-off cost, though at the time no confirmation of what stores were earmarked was available, due to "consultation" with members of staff.

Within days of the announcement, the company, which currently has around 360 B&Q outlets, confirmed that stores in Southampton, Dundee, Baums Lane in Mansfield, Station Road in Stechford in Birmingham, Hyde in Greater Manchester, and Barnsley would close, leading to speculation around what stores might be next, including Cumbernauld's outlet.

Located in the town's Westway Retail Park, Cumbernauld's B&Q mini-warehouse will not close "this financial year", a spokesperson for the firm confirmed to Cumbernauld Media, this morning.

Cumbernauld Media understands that staff at the store were informed of the decision earlier this week, though no member of staff at the store would directly comment on the proposals.

A spokesperson for B&Q  confirmed that the store will remain open.

“We have let colleagues at our Cumbernauld store know that their store is not one of the stores planned for closure this financial year," the firm's spokesperson told us.