B&Q refuses to rule out job losses at head offices in Chandler's Ford

A B&Q store

B&Q head offices in Hampshire

First published in Eastleigh Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Eastleigh Chief Reporter

B&Q bosses have refused to rule out job cuts at its Hampshire headquarters – a day after revealing a drop in sales at its UK stores.

The giant DIY firm announced earlier this year that it was considering a “realignment” of the board structure at its Chandler’s Ford centre – the workplace for 1,200 people.

But that process – as well as any decision on whether jobs will be lost – is likely to take at least two more months.

Last night Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne said B&Q was “crucial” to the area and hoped cuts could be avoided.

Kingfisher, the company that owns the chain of superstores, revealed on Wednesday how the wettest summer in 100 years had wiped £30m from the group’s profits as demand for gardening and outdoor maintenance goods plunged.

B&Q sales in the UK and Ireland suffered a six per cent like-for-like decline to £2 billion as average footfall plunged 20 per cent in the severely weather- affected weeks.

Retail profit fell 24 per cent, or nearly £40m, to £125m.

While sales of building products were hit by the adverse weather in the six months to the end of July, sales of indoor decorating products were up as customers switched their home improvement activities indoors.

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But a company spokesman said their realignment scheme had nothing to do with the latest figures and that the process had already been under way.

When asked by the Daily Echo whether job losses could be ruled out, the spokesman said: “We can’t say that there won’t be any but we can’t give any numbers at this stage.”

She added in a statement: “Following the board changes announced on June 26 and the subsequent discussions around the realignment of our people behind our new board structure, we are creating a new team structure at our head office.

“We have taken a very different approach to creating this new organisation structure, choosing to build and design it with the full involvement of all our internal teams.

“Everyone has thrown themselves into this approach with the simple aim of creating the right organisation for future sustainable growth.”

It comes just a year after staff transferred from their old workplace to a new 220,000 sq ft headquarters next door in Chestnut Avenue, Chandler’s Ford.

The new office, named B&Q House, took just over two years to complete.

Last night Eastleigh Borough Council leader Keith House said the authority would work with the firm if job cuts were announced. He added: “B&Q are a major local employer and like most businesses in the construction and home improvement sector will have had difficult trading conditions.

“They have a reputation as a good employer and we will of course work with them and local training providers to help respond to job losses.”

Mr Huhne added: “Innovative employers like B&Q are crucial to our area, and I would hope that B&Q have a strong enough base here to ride out any difficulties and prevent job cuts.”

Comments (19)

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2:00pm Fri 14 Sep 12

AD07881 says...

Probably as little as five years ago, if you needed anything DIY related from a full bathroom suite right down to a single bolt. B&Q was Joe publics best bet. But nowadays with suppliers like Screwfix and several others including the internet, we have a much wider choice. I think this is where B&Q are loosing out. I would generally use B&Q as a last resort as 9/10 times they are significantly more expensive than elsewhere. However, there will always be the 'need it now' situation where the likes of B&Q with there locality and opening hours, come into there own.
Probably as little as five years ago, if you needed anything DIY related from a full bathroom suite right down to a single bolt. B&Q was Joe publics best bet. But nowadays with suppliers like Screwfix and several others including the internet, we have a much wider choice. I think this is where B&Q are loosing out. I would generally use B&Q as a last resort as 9/10 times they are significantly more expensive than elsewhere. However, there will always be the 'need it now' situation where the likes of B&Q with there locality and opening hours, come into there own. AD07881
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Fri 14 Sep 12

likewatchingbrazil says...

AD07881 wrote:
Probably as little as five years ago, if you needed anything DIY related from a full bathroom suite right down to a single bolt. B&Q was Joe publics best bet. But nowadays with suppliers like Screwfix and several others including the internet, we have a much wider choice. I think this is where B&Q are loosing out. I would generally use B&Q as a last resort as 9/10 times they are significantly more expensive than elsewhere. However, there will always be the 'need it now' situation where the likes of B&Q with there locality and opening hours, come into there own.
totally agree
[quote][p][bold]AD07881[/bold] wrote: Probably as little as five years ago, if you needed anything DIY related from a full bathroom suite right down to a single bolt. B&Q was Joe publics best bet. But nowadays with suppliers like Screwfix and several others including the internet, we have a much wider choice. I think this is where B&Q are loosing out. I would generally use B&Q as a last resort as 9/10 times they are significantly more expensive than elsewhere. However, there will always be the 'need it now' situation where the likes of B&Q with there locality and opening hours, come into there own.[/p][/quote]totally agree likewatchingbrazil
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Fri 14 Sep 12

bazzeroz says...

Screwfix are part of the Kingfisher group!
Screwfix are part of the Kingfisher group! bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Fri 14 Sep 12

Lone Ranger. says...

Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies.
.
If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :-
.
B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding.
.
Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months
.
Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies. . If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :- . B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding. . Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months . Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Fri 14 Sep 12

Shoong says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies.
.
If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :-
.
B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding.
.
Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months
.
When did he say that? I'd be interested to see the quotes.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies. . If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :- . B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding. . Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months .[/p][/quote]When did he say that? I'd be interested to see the quotes. Shoong
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Fri 14 Sep 12

News Fanatic says...

I had a problem with my B&Q supplied and fitted kitchen. I wrote to them about it and my letter was ignored. I wrote again when it was obvious I was not going to get a response. To summarise their reply: It's your hard luck.

The result is that I no longer spend any money in B&Q. One lost customer.
I had a problem with my B&Q supplied and fitted kitchen. I wrote to them about it and my letter was ignored. I wrote again when it was obvious I was not going to get a response. To summarise their reply: It's your hard luck. The result is that I no longer spend any money in B&Q. One lost customer. News Fanatic
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Fri 14 Sep 12

huckit P says...

I wonder how many customers they have lost because of their irritating self-service tills? You know the ones... where the voice prompt comes on if you are a nano-second late in placing something onto the tray or slightly slow with your card or cash.
Because there is usually a queue at the tills worked by staff the self service is usually the quickest option but I have often felt like smashing whatever I am trying to purchase through the screen of the thing to keep it quiet.
I wonder how many customers they have lost because of their irritating self-service tills? You know the ones... where the voice prompt comes on if you are a nano-second late in placing something onto the tray or slightly slow with your card or cash. Because there is usually a queue at the tills worked by staff the self service is usually the quickest option but I have often felt like smashing whatever I am trying to purchase through the screen of the thing to keep it quiet. huckit P
  • Score: 0

7:07pm Fri 14 Sep 12

Lone Ranger. says...

Shoong wrote:
Lone Ranger. wrote:
Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies.
.
If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :-
.
B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding.
.
Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months
.
When did he say that? I'd be interested to see the quotes.
I expect you would be interested to see the quote.
.
Do what i did... ...... look for it.
.
Try the Echo archives if you are really that interested
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies. . If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :- . B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding. . Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months .[/p][/quote]When did he say that? I'd be interested to see the quotes.[/p][/quote]I expect you would be interested to see the quote. . Do what i did... ...... look for it. . Try the Echo archives if you are really that interested Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Fri 14 Sep 12

J.P.M says...

Who cares?
They are not manufacturers or wealth creators: they are merely large market-stalls around the country.
Being market stalls, they will be subject to the changes in spendable income that are available, and will have to expand and contract as required.
Who cares? They are not manufacturers or wealth creators: they are merely large market-stalls around the country. Being market stalls, they will be subject to the changes in spendable income that are available, and will have to expand and contract as required. J.P.M
  • Score: 0

9:53pm Fri 14 Sep 12

IronLady2010 says...

Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is.

B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'.
Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is. B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

10:13pm Fri 14 Sep 12

Higginz says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is. B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'.
Perhaps you look lost and/or confused?

I don't think I've been greeted or asked if I require help at any point in my last five visits, which suits me perfectly well. Perhaps I look confident or unapproachable.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is. B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you look lost and/or confused? I don't think I've been greeted or asked if I require help at any point in my last five visits, which suits me perfectly well. Perhaps I look confident or unapproachable. Higginz
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Fri 14 Sep 12

IronLady2010 says...

Higginz wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is. B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'.
Perhaps you look lost and/or confused?

I don't think I've been greeted or asked if I require help at any point in my last five visits, which suits me perfectly well. Perhaps I look confident or unapproachable.
Try Nursling, they have more staff than customers!
[quote][p][bold]Higginz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is. B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you look lost and/or confused? I don't think I've been greeted or asked if I require help at any point in my last five visits, which suits me perfectly well. Perhaps I look confident or unapproachable.[/p][/quote]Try Nursling, they have more staff than customers! IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Fri 14 Sep 12

Higginz says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Higginz wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote: Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is. B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'.
Perhaps you look lost and/or confused? I don't think I've been greeted or asked if I require help at any point in my last five visits, which suits me perfectly well. Perhaps I look confident or unapproachable.
Try Nursling, they have more staff than customers!
Funnily enough, I was there this afternoon and can certainly agree with you. However, I'd certainly prefer there to be staff available, in case I do require assistance, as opposed to the alternative.

That said, this realignment seems to be focussed on their Head Office, not their stores. So you'll likely still be met by your friendly greeter going forward.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Higginz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Can we do away with the old **** who does meet and greet. Unless you're blind there are huge signs telling you where everything is. B&Q have more staff than customers and I get fed up of being asked 'Do you need any help'.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you look lost and/or confused? I don't think I've been greeted or asked if I require help at any point in my last five visits, which suits me perfectly well. Perhaps I look confident or unapproachable.[/p][/quote]Try Nursling, they have more staff than customers![/p][/quote]Funnily enough, I was there this afternoon and can certainly agree with you. However, I'd certainly prefer there to be staff available, in case I do require assistance, as opposed to the alternative. That said, this realignment seems to be focussed on their Head Office, not their stores. So you'll likely still be met by your friendly greeter going forward. Higginz
  • Score: 0

12:53am Sat 15 Sep 12

andysaints007 says...

AD07881 wrote:
Probably as little as five years ago, if you needed anything DIY related from a full bathroom suite right down to a single bolt. B&Q was Joe publics best bet. But nowadays with suppliers like Screwfix and several others including the internet, we have a much wider choice. I think this is where B&Q are loosing out. I would generally use B&Q as a last resort as 9/10 times they are significantly more expensive than elsewhere. However, there will always be the 'need it now' situation where the likes of B&Q with there locality and opening hours, come into there own.
Screwfix is owned by the same company!
[quote][p][bold]AD07881[/bold] wrote: Probably as little as five years ago, if you needed anything DIY related from a full bathroom suite right down to a single bolt. B&Q was Joe publics best bet. But nowadays with suppliers like Screwfix and several others including the internet, we have a much wider choice. I think this is where B&Q are loosing out. I would generally use B&Q as a last resort as 9/10 times they are significantly more expensive than elsewhere. However, there will always be the 'need it now' situation where the likes of B&Q with there locality and opening hours, come into there own.[/p][/quote]Screwfix is owned by the same company! andysaints007
  • Score: 0

12:55am Sat 15 Sep 12

andysaints007 says...

OMG you lot will moan about absolutely anything on here !!
OMG you lot will moan about absolutely anything on here !! andysaints007
  • Score: 0

12:56am Sat 15 Sep 12

andysaints007 says...

ALL the usual suspects whinging too
ALL the usual suspects whinging too andysaints007
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Sat 15 Sep 12

pantsanon says...

The Nursling store in southampton has to be on skeleton staff already , i go in he in the early morning . Theres 2 older ladies to who seem to run the store single handed, they know there stuff, if you ask to speak to a manager and short stout woman who is very rude more or less tells you to go somewhere else. i hope they keep the 2 older ladies and gets rid of the rude ones. Management is very poor and they seem to get rid of the workers and keep the lazy managers. Needs to be closed down no wonder they are losing money no customer service means eventually NO CUSTOMERS!
The Nursling store in southampton has to be on skeleton staff already , i go in he in the early morning . Theres 2 older ladies to who seem to run the store single handed, they know there stuff, if you ask to speak to a manager and short stout woman who is very rude more or less tells you to go somewhere else. i hope they keep the 2 older ladies and gets rid of the rude ones. Management is very poor and they seem to get rid of the workers and keep the lazy managers. Needs to be closed down no wonder they are losing money no customer service means eventually NO CUSTOMERS! pantsanon
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Sat 15 Sep 12

pantsanon says...

No redundancies in stores, they are jiggling work hours and with no duty to care for a work/life balance. if you dont conform your out no redundancy package just there's the door.has to be the WORST company to work for......ever
No redundancies in stores, they are jiggling work hours and with no duty to care for a work/life balance. if you dont conform your out no redundancy package just there's the door.has to be the WORST company to work for......ever pantsanon
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Tue 18 Sep 12

pantsanon says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies.
.
If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :-
.
B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding.
.
Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months
.
I totally agree with you poor management who skim on staff by not adhering to duty to care and dismissing any work life balance should not be in management positions. As long as they get their big bonus;s stuff the staff. A disgusting company who has used " for the good of the business" as an excused not to pay store staff a redundancy package but the staff at head office get one. one rule for one and one rule for head office.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Well i never ........ Wasn't it the CEO of B&Q that said they and companies like them would be able to pick up the Public Sector redundancies. . If you look back over the last 6-8 years you will see the headlines ... :- . B&Q take on 1000 people ...... B&Q to lay off staff ....... profits are up ........ Profits are down. ...... New HQ ..... Lay off staff ...... Weather is too hot .... wether is too cold ...... Olympics ......... Royal Wedding. . Poor management just tipping staff out at a whim .... poor place to work with no job security beyond 6 months .[/p][/quote]I totally agree with you poor management who skim on staff by not adhering to duty to care and dismissing any work life balance should not be in management positions. As long as they get their big bonus;s stuff the staff. A disgusting company who has used " for the good of the business" as an excused not to pay store staff a redundancy package but the staff at head office get one. one rule for one and one rule for head office. pantsanon
  • Score: 0

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