Business review

Innovation – Products

Smartphone app

Castorama France has continued to add new features to its iPhone app. These include YouTube videos giving advice on how to do particular home improvement jobs, a social media section which enables customers to share ideas via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and a store locator feature. The Casto app has 320,000 downloads so far.

A hand holding an 'iPhone' showing the Castorama France app

B&Q employee helping a customer saw

You Can Do It classes

B&Q UK is making it easier for customers to undertake home improvement jobs through the expansion of its successful 'You Can Do It' classes. Over 2,500 customers have undertaken a class so far, with more than 20 categories to choose from, including tiling, plumbing and hanging wallpaper. The classes currently operate in six B&Q stores with a further 9 planned to open in spring 2011. Kids' classes are also available to help develop the next generation of DIYers.

Screenshot of B&Q advertising campaign

Making it easier

A new TV campaign launched before Easter aims to encourage Britain to overcome its DIY fears. The ads highlight some of the most common DIY mishaps and promote the help available from celebrity experts, qualified in-store experts, in-store demos and products designed to make it easier and give the nation the skills and confidence to do more DIY.

A hand holding an 'iPhone' showing the Castorama France app

Smartphone app

Castorama France has continued to add new features to its iPhone app. These include YouTube videos giving advice on how to do particular home improvement jobs, a social media section which enables customers to share ideas via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and a store locator feature. The Casto app has 320,000 downloads so far.

Casto 3D cuisine logo

3D kitchen planner

In May 2010 Castorama France launched a three dimensional website which enables customers to design their own kitchen layout, choose their style of kitchen and calculate the costs within minutes. The tool is part of Castorama's plan to make home improvement easier for customers as the planner saves time and makes the visit to the store more efficient.

A Personal Digital Assistant

PDAs

Brico Dépôt France is now using Personal Digital Assistants to enable stores to conduct price checks against the local competition. The PDAs are supported by a central database using local data.

'Call, Pay, Collect' campaign logo

Call, Pay, Collect

In July 2010 Screwfix rolled out its 'Call, Pay, Collect' scheme to all customers. This service enables customers to call the Contact Centre and place an order to collect from their local Trade Counter. During the call, the stock is checked and goods are reserved so that everything is ready to pick up within 15 minutes.

Alan Titchmarsh

Kirstie, George and Alan Titchmarsh

B&Q UK is now working with Channel 4's Kirstie Allsopp and George Clarke as part of its campaign to make DIY and home improvement easier. Kirstie will be providing tips and advice on home decoration through store appearances and online. George, a qualified architect, will be helping customers maximise the space in their homes. The pair join number one gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, who is already working with B&Q to make gardening easier.

A B&Q van

Van hire

Following a successful seven-month trial, B&Q is rolling out an hourly van hire scheme to 137 stores across mainland Britain. The scheme will help customers transport their bulky products home in a way that's quick, easy and cheap, at only £14 per hour, and will complement the existing delivery service.

Screenshot from JobSorted.com

JobSorted.com

Launched jointly by B&Q and Screwfix earlier this year, JobSorted.com is the UK's biggest directory providing details of 150,000 local tradesmen. Customers can search for a tradesman, post a job and check out extensive profiles to make an informed decision about who does work in their home.

A B&Q China store

Gallery merchandising

B&Q China has started to use gallery merchandising in its stores, as it seeks more innovative and inspiring ways to display products for customers. The space-efficient approach is being used in 'shop within shop' areas of the store, such as flooring and tiling, leading to higher sales densities.