Earlier this month, DIY giant B&Q opened a high street store on Holloway Road, North London. The store is its first smaller format pilot, and marks a shift in strategy. Here are four reasons why it will succeed.
Bridge the generational shift in DIY purchasing
Participation in DIY has fallen over the past generation, with the market declining 7.2% since its peak in 2008. This is attributed to many homeowners entering the property market later due to increasing house prices, and the availability of cheap labour and the ‘do it for us’ trend which has steadily been increasing in the UK.
This smaller store format targets the ‘home improver’: young inner-city renters aged 18-34 who are interested in doing smaller DIY jobs themselves. Shopping for DIY in this age group has fallen by more than 10% over the past decade, and bringing these shoppers back into stores could prove lucrative.
Typically, DIY shoppers have had to make the journey to a large out-of-town store by car. Today, many people in metropolitan areas do not own a car and are unable, or unwilling, to make the journey to a large DIY store. This store is B&Q’s attempt to bring the store to the people, and encourage reluctant DIYers not only with convenience of location, but also to give expert advice and provide ‘how to’ workshops with products suited to the surrounding local demographic.
Click & collect
This store will also serve a wider purpose, acting as a click & collect hub. Click & collect in DIY and gardening is forecast to grow by 103.2% the next five years, and such high street locations could be integral in helping to capture some of this growth. Consumers will have access to B&Q’s full range of 7,000 SKUs with free delivery to store within 24 hours.
Greater brand awareness
The store is aimed at increasing B&Q’s brand awareness and profile to the large number of consumers who do not own a car and have never, or infrequently visited one of the retailer’s big-box stores. This high street store will dramatically increase its reach, which is intended to pique shoppers’ interest and allow many shoppers to experience the store for the very first time.
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