B&Q parent has officially opened its first two Romanian stores under the Brico Dépôt brand, in the Pantelimon and Orhideea areas of capital city Bucharest.
Kingfisher acquired 'Bricostore's' 15 home improvement stores in Romania last April and has been working since the summer to integrate colleagues and transform the stores so they are in line with the firm's successful Brico Dépôt format, which is aimed at professional builders and serious DIYers.
The deal added 2% of selling space to the Kingfisher estate in April 2013. The DIY giant believes that, utilising the Brico Dépôt format, there is scope to grow the business to around 50 stores in the longer-term. Having already launched successful ventures in other parts of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland and Russia, Kingfisher sees Romania as an attractive, growing market for home improvement.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony at the Pantelimon store, Kingfisher group chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire said: "Opening our first two stores in Romania under the Brico Dépôt brand is a significant milestone for Kingfisher, as we establish the first low-cost model in this market. This is more than a straight forward rebranding exercise and requires adapting our model to the local market. We think we have a key role to play in changing the face of home improvement retailing in Romania."
He continued: "I've said before that the home improvement market in Romania has solid growth potential and we aim to develop a successful business here in the longer term. I would like to take the opportunity to formally welcome all of the Bricostore employees to Brico Dépôt, and thank them for their continued commitment, as we work to integrate the remaining 13 stores into the Brico Dépôt model."