Following a shake-up of its kitchen and bathroom sales process, DIY giant, B&Q has now begun recruiting 800 new colleagues to its showroom areas
The retailer says the move “reinforces its commitment to the kitchens and bathrooms market”. It follows an announcement last month that it would be streamlining its kitchen and bathroom sales process and would be scrapping its Homefit installation services.
B&Q explained the shift away from offering installation was based on "customer preference". The chain, which offers 25 different kitchen models, added that it would continue to focus on selection, design and ordering of new kitchens and bathrooms, for delivery and take-away.
As part of the new simplified process, B&Q customers will only deal with one person in store, which the retailer believes will create greater efficiency and mean that the entire transaction, from booking a design appointment, to home delivery, can be done more quickly.
All staff will continue to be fully trained on its interactive kitchen and bathroom design tool, B&Q Spaces.
B&Q trading director Paul White said: “B&Q is committed to the growth and development of the category. We are confident these improvements lay firm foundations to drive our showrooms business forward, and create a solid platform from which to continue evolving our market leading kitchen proposition.
“With the addition of 800 new colleagues, customers will experience an even better service, dealing with just one member of staff who will make it simpler for them to buy a kitchen or bathroom and create an even better shopping experience.”
Meanwhile, following B&Q’s announcement last month, Wickes revealed that it was ramping up its kitchen and bathroom offer and would be targeting 900 B&Q employees. The Travis Perkins-owned retailer said it would be "acquiring design consultants and installers from B&Q” to bolster its expanding team in the category.
B&Q responded to the news by re-iterating that its installation workers are self-employed. A spokesperson said: "We subcontract all installation work to our register of high quality installers, so installers are not being 'acquired from B&Q'. Being a B&Q registered installer does not mean they work exclusively for B&Q Homefit. They are self-employed and free to undertake non-Homefit contracts too."
Having made 300 roles redundant when it axed its Homefit installation services, B&Q wants to offer support to self-employed installers and has teamed up with the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) to arrange free membership of the organisation for installers.
Membership enables installers to be listed on the BiKBBI’s ‘find-a-member’ search facility for customers who are searching for a reputable local installer. B&Q announced it will signpost this service to its customers in store who request advice on installation.
Free membership of BiKBBI for self-employed installers will continue for 12 months.