B&Q announces employee redundancies

Written by on 8th June 2018

The DIY chain B&Q has announced that it is to make more than 700 of its employees redundant in the coming weeks.

The news was announced yesterday (7th June 2018), and came as a surprise to many.

The DIY retailer announced proposals to simplify the way it sells kitchens and bathrooms so that customers only deal with one member of staff.

B&Q has said that as a result a 400 new roles will be created however it is not yet clear how the restructuring will effect the 700 design consultants and homefit employees.

A spokesperson for B&Q said:

It is too early to say how many people will be affected and we are continuing to collectively consult with our colleague’s representative body – the National People’s Forum – about roles that are at risk, prior to consulting with impacted colleagues. The at-risk roles are the 400 design consultants and have 300 homefit employees.

Paul Crisp, retail director, B&Q, said:

We want to be the leading home improvement company and make home improvement accessible for everyone. That means we need to operate differently.

We’re always looking to make things easier for our customers. The proposed changes will make it simpler for them to buy a kitchen or bathroom as they’ll only need to deal with one person in store; they’ll shorten the lead time between booking a design appointment and delivery of a new kitchen or bathroom.

The changes will require a new team structure in our kitchen and bathroom areas to reflect advances in home improvement design technology and changes resulting from the move away from an installation offer. They mean that we will focus on delivering great service and quality to our customers at prices that are truly affordable.”

We recognise this is a difficult time for those employees who are affected and we are supporting them in a number of ways. We are continuing to collectively consult with our employee’s representative body – the National People’s Forum about roles that are at risk, prior to consulting with impacted colleagues.”

He added:

Should the changes go ahead, we will start recruiting for the new roles immediately and our installation service will be in place until December 2018. We are committed to honouring and completing all bookings within this timescale and propose to continue to take installation bookings up until 9 July.”

The firm, famed for its slogan Lets Do It Together, says 90 per cent of customers now choose to use third-party experts rather than its own contractors.

In future customers will only deal with one member of staff to speed up the buying process.

B&Q is consulting with employees whose roles have been earmarked for redundancy or change.

The revamped sales service should eventually produce new jobs in-store, it said.

B&Q, owned by Kingfisher, mailed fitters about the decision not to use them any more, planned from December.

But they accidentally included an attachment intended for management.

One fitter said:

It was hard to find out, especially that way.

Up to 10,000 retail sector jobs are already at risk after House of Fraser said it wanted to close 31 stores, and Poundland teeters on the brink of administration.

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