DIY business Kingfisher reveals digital is key focus as trading declines

DIY group Kingfisher has initiated a new strategic plan, ‘Powered by Kingfisher’, that places eCommerce firmly at the heart of its business. This comes amid a fall in its full-year sales and profits, published today.

As the company revealed a fall in group sales of 1.5% to £11.5 billion and pre-tax profits down 5.2% to £544 million for the year to 31 January, it also unveiled its new strategy that it hopes will turn around its fortunes under CEO Thierry Garnier who joined Kingfisher late last year. Digital is a key focus for all its banners that include B&Q and Screwfix in the UK.

“Our clear intent is to become a more digital and service orientated company, using our strong store assets as a platform. We will continue to develop our own exclusive brands as a differentiator, cater for diverse local customer needs and each retail banner will have its own positioning and plan. We will ‘power’ these banners as a group. This is our new strategic direction, ‘Powered by Kingfisher,” said Garnier.

The initiative includes growing eCommerce beyond currently representing 8% of total group sales. A key part of this is click & collect, which accounts for 62% of eCommerce sales, and linking online sales with stores is integral with a focus being placed on online orders being picked in stores, in-person returns, and fast delivery direct from outlets.

Mobile is to also play a major role with the plan to “build a mobile-first and service orientated customer experience… leveraging customer data and analytics to personalise content and offers”. This will push mobile beyond accounting for 46% of Kingfisher’s current digital traffic.

In May, Kingfisher reported that that sales in the three months to 30 April were down by 24%.