B&Q yesterday unveiled its first completely new kitchen offering for 10 years at its 160,000sq ft flagship New Malden store just off the A3.
B&Q says the new ranges are the result of extensive customer research into what people said they wanted in their new kitchens. This pointed to five key consumer needs that B&Q says its new Good Home range set out to satisfy. These are preparation, cooking, storage, cleaning and eating.
The new range, which offers a total of 26 door options in nine styles from traditional to modern, is supplied flat-pack for buyers to assemble and dedicated areas have been created in-store to showcase the new ranges.
There is a new range of Good Home built-in appliances to complement the kitchens, which includes a combi oven and microwave and a smart induction hob and extractor for under £1,000 that talk to each other and can be operated from a smartphone. There is also a downdraft induction hob for islands at £948.
A spokesman told kbbreview that the average order value for kitchen purchases at B&Q was typically between £1,500 and £3,000.
In his opening address, B&Q commercial director Paul White said: “This is a landmark moment for us. It is our new kitchen proposition. We are in the process of rolling it out nationally and that will be done by around Easter next year.
“It has been around 10 years since we have properly reviewed our kitchen proposition. What we are bringing to market we believe offers exceptional value for money, really good quality, a 25-year guarantee and a finance package that makes it very affordable. There is a range of styles to suit all property types – and a range steeped in good customer insight.”
And those finance packages include 0% finance and buy-now-pay-later.
Kitchen centres in B&Q stores also include a design consultation area.
B&Q has provided a set of digital tools to help guide customers, which includes an online ‘visualiser’, where customers will see a representation of each kitchen style and are able to change door colours, worktops, tiling and flooring to help them see what their finished kitchen might look like.
They are also able to book an appointment online to see an in-store designer and are emailed a confirmation that also outlines the details and measurements they will need to take with them to that consultation.
The 10,000sq ft display in New Malden has a total of 14 kitchens in various styles and there were live appliances for demo purposes. They range from a large kitchen with an island and downdraft induction hob to a couple of small galley-style kitchens to show what could be done in a small space.
To date 13 stores have been fitted out with the new kitchen centres, and B&Q plans to have rolled it out to around 50 stores by the end of year, and all 249 stores by Easter next year. Smaller stores will have fewer displays as space permits.
The DIY giant axed its HomeFit installation service at the end of 2018 and a B&Q spokesman at the event confirmed they had no plans to reintroduce it. B&Q does, however, on its website point those who need an installer to contact the BiKBBI. The spokesman added that their experience so far is that 90% of their kitchen buyers tend to handle installation themselves.
B&Q has incorporated new tech and storage solutions in its new ranges, including pull-out corner units and pull-out stacked drawers, under-cabinet LED lighting that is gesture-activated and also illuminates the interior, chopping boards and drainers designed to slot into their sinks and create a space-efficient, multifunctional work area. And as you would expect, doors and drawers are soft-close and push-to-open if they are handleless.
Speaking exclusively to kbbreview at the event, B&Q commercial director Paul White added: “This is a key category for us. It is a big investment and we are hoping that this will help us increase our kitchen sales.
“It was developed from customer insight – the major insight being that functionality is extremely important to customers. And most customers don’t have a lot of space. So we are helping them to buy a kitchen that is affordable, well-designed and has clever, space-saving highly functional solutions was an overriding objective.
“The design of the kitchen is extremely important, so there is a breadth of styles and design. Affordability is also important in the current market. B&Q has been the lowest-priced kitchen retailer for the past two or three years and we hope that will continue. We overlay that with a really strong set of finance packages for customers to finance their project.
“We are trying to make beautiful kitchens highly functional and very affordable.”