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B&Q's DIY.com

Description: www.diy.com is B&Q's home delivery service. We offer over 10,000 DIY and Home and Garden products all at B&Q's every day low prices as well as all the inspiration and advice customers need to create the look they want with our online 'How-To' guides.


When Richard Block and David Quayle founded the first B&Q store in Southampton in March 1969, they had little idea they were starting a business that was to become the UK's first national and most successful and innovative DIY retailer.

Now, 35 years on, we look back at how B&Q has grown:

In the 1960s DIY was a hobby of the few. Professional building supplies were mainly found at builder's merchants and the service in these large stores could be intimidating to the average DIY'er.

Block and Quayle wanted to bring value, longer opening hours and a broader product range to everyone, so they opened the first B&Q store in Portswood Road, Southampton, Hampshire. Although initially called Block and Quayle, the name was soon shortened to B&Q.

B&Q's list of stores continued to expand throughout the 1970s, and B&Q introduced products from power tools through to sheet boarding and Formica to the British public. Richard Block left the company in 1976, but David Quayle stayed on to take the company into the next decade. By 1979 there were 26 B&Q stores.

B&Q grew rapidly during the early 1980s, buying the Scottish DIY chain Dodge City and eventually becoming part of the Kingfisher Group. David Quayle left the company in 1982, and by the end of the decade B&Q had expanded to 280 stores and was offering customers larger stores and an even greater product range, sourced from around the world.

The 1990s were an exciting time for B&Q. In 1995, the first larger format B&Q Warehouse store opened and we began opening for business on Sundays. In January 1996 B&Q's first store outside the UK was opened in Taiwan.

In 1998 B&Q merged with France's leading DIY retailer, Castorama, to become the largest DIY retailer in Europe.

International expansion continued in June 1999 with the opening of the Shanghai store - B&Q's first in mainland China. B&Q also took a big step with the acquisition of Screwfix Direct, the hardware mail order specialist.

Into the 21st Century:

In the year 2000 B&Q opened the 50th B&Q Warehouse in York and baked a big cake to celebrate the opening of its 300th store in Yeading, near Hayes, Middlesex.

B&Q launched its transactional website providing 24 hour, 7 days a week access to B&Q products, expert advice, inspirational room ideas and 'how to' guides, plus general information on our stores, our community activities and links to other useful sites.

B&Q opened its first store in the Republic of Ireland at Liffey Valley, Dublin.

On 27 June, Reg Hill, B&Q's oldest employee, celebrated his 90th birthday.

On 14 August, sailing legend Ellen MacArthur opened the 100th B&Q Warehouse in Northern Ireland.


B&Q opens largest UK store in the north west

B&Q, the UK's largest home improvement retailer, will officially open its largest UK store at Trafford Park today. At 168,450 sq ft. it is three times the size of the pitch at Old Trafford and the biggest B&Q store in Europe.

Trafford Park is one of three new B&Q Warehouses to open in the North West this year. The DIY retailer opened a store in Wigan in March and will open another in Cheetham Hill in August, creating more than 700 jobs within a 20 mile radius. The North West is one of the best performing regions in the UK for new construction activity 1 and B&Q has contributed to the growth of the commercial sector by investing £30 million in building and fitting out the three new stores. Taking into account the purchase of the land the total investment reaches approximately £75 million.

Home improvement is a booming industry with an estimated £18.1 billion spent on DIY products in the UK last year 2 and research shows that people in the North West are more likely than others in the UK to undertake DIY projects in their homes 3 . This may largely be due to a strong housing market in the region, where year-on-year house prices have risen by more than twenty percent compared with six-point-four percent in London and seven-point-five percent in the South East 4 .

Rob Cissell, B&Q Chief Executive comments: "Over the last couple of years, we have seen a leap in the home improvement market across the North West and our biggest UK store at Trafford Park will cater for the ever-increasing demand for innovative home improvement products. The popularity of DIY may largely be a response to the booming property industry in the North West, but not everyone who visits a B&Q store is renovating a property they have just bought. With rising house prices many may opt to improve their existing property or make general improvements to maintain their home."

The state-of-the-art B&Q Warehouse, Trafford Park will house over 40,000 products including B&Q's widest ever range of electrical appliances, soft furnishings and leisure equipment such as saunas and trampolines to reflect consumers' changing tastes. Additional floor space will be allocated to showrooms where bathrooms, kitchens and living areas will all be showcased.

Customers will benefit from expert advice from a number of store trade experts, ranging from plumbers and electricians to horticultural specialists. The new store will also feature a demonstration area where customer DIY tutorials will be staged, as well as regular women's, kids and gardening DIY Clubs, all free of charge.

Links to B&Q's DIY.com