Kingfisher plc, the international home improvement retailer, today announces the signing of a franchise agreement with the Al-Futtaim Group to expand B&Q in the Middle East, with a first step being the opening of B&Q franchised stores in Saudi Arabia.
The stores will operate under the B&Q banner, with the first two stores expected to launch in Saudi Arabia in autumn 2021, supported by an e-commerce proposition. The stores and support office functions will be fully operated and staffed by the Al- Futtaim Group.
The partnership leverages further the Group’s ‘Powered by Kingfisher’ plan, using the Group’s established, strong retail banners and highly differentiated own exclusive brands, to grow the business in new territories through partnership agreements.
The first B&Q stores in Saudi Arabia will be approximately 50,000 sq ft and stock a full range of home improvement products. The offer will include Kingfisher’s portfolio of own exclusive brands, Erbauer, Magnusson and GoodHome, alongside locally and internationally sourced product ranges.
The Al-Futtaim Group operates a large and diversified portfolio of businesses across a range of sectors, including over 200 brands across more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. It has operated the retail franchises in the Middle East for Marks & Spencer since 1998 and for IKEA since 1991.
Thierry Garnier, CEO of Kingfisher plc, said: “This franchise agreement leverages our ‘Powered by Kingfisher’ plan, and is a great opportunity to expand our business in the attractive Middle Eastern home improvement market with B&Q, one of our most established retail banners, as well as our differentiated owned exclusive brands. I am delighted to be working with Al-Futtaim on this step in our plan.”
John Wartig, Chief Transformation and Development Officer, Kingfisher plc, said: “With the Al-Futtaim Group we have found the pre-eminent operator of retail franchises in the Middle East. They are a well-established and successful local partner who knows the market well, and are a strong partner with whom we can take our franchise plans forward. We are looking forward to working with them and introducing new customers to the trusted B&Q banner, as well as Kingfisher’s exclusive product brands.”
Regis Schultz, President - Retail, Al-Futtaim Group, said: “Over the past nine decades, the Al-Futtaim Group has grown and diversified its business offering in order to deliver on our commitment of enriching the lives of our customer every day. Our strategic roadmap has enabled us to embrace forward-thinking business practices and seize key market opportunities to bring the best global brands to the region. We are excited to partner with Kingfisher, one of the most experienced home improvement retailers, to bring another trusted powerhouse to our customers in Saudi Arabia.”