Our History

Kingfisher plc is an international home improvement company with over 1,350 stores in nine countries across Europe. We operate under retail banners including B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Screwfix and Koçtaş, supported by a team of 77,000 colleagues.

We offer home improvement products and services to consumers and trade professionals who shop in our stores and via our e-commerce channels. At Kingfisher, our purpose is to make home improvement accessible for everyone. 

The timeline below sets out some of the key milestones in our history.

2010s

In 2012 we launched the Creating the Leader strategy, with the aim of delivering faster growth and higher returns by making home improvement easier.

In 2013 we entered our first new market in seven years with the acquisition of Bricostore's 15 home improvement stores in Romania. All stores have since been converted into the Brico Dépôt format.

In 2014, Véronique Laury succeeded Sir Ian Cheshire as Kingfisher CEO.

In 2019, Thierry Garnier succeeded Véronique Laury as Kingfisher CEO. 

2000s

By the turn of the millennium Kingfisher took the decision to focus exclusively on its home improvement businesses, which were seen as having greater potential and more scope for international expansion. To this end, Woolworths was demerged in 2001 and Superdrug was sold in the same year. In 2002 the remaining stake in Castorama was acquired to create the largest home improvement retailer in Europe.

During the following decade Kingfisher continued its international expansion in Europe and Asia, with the creation of new businesses in Turkey, Russia and Spain, and the development of its businesses in the UK, France and Poland.

In 2008 a new management team set out its vision to operate the various home improvement businesses much more as a single, unified retail group. The ‘Delivering Value’ plan was launched to better leverage our key international strengths including sourcing and innovation and to drive greater value for our shareholders.

1990s

In the 1990s Kingfisher continued to expand its broad mix of retail businesses. B&Q expanded rapidly with the opening of larger Warehouse style stores from 1994 and the decade also saw the start of the group's international expansion in the home improvement sector. In 1998 B&Q merged with Castorama, France's leading home improvement retailer and owner of the smaller, but fast-growing Brico Dépôt chain. In 1999 the first B&Q store opened in China.

Other acquisitions in that decade saw Kingfisher buy Darty, the French electricals chain in 1993, and Screwfix, the e-commerce and catalogue seller of screws and fixings, in 1999.

1980s

Kingfisher's roots go back to 1982 with the acquisition of FW Woolworth by Paternoster. With the deal came a relatively small chain of home improvement stores called B&Q. It was the start of a decade of major expansion which created one of Europe's biggest and broadest retail conglomerates. The company bought the Comet electricals chain in 1984 and the Superdrug health and beauty stores in 1987. Meanwhile B&Q expanded its out of town presence to become the leading home improvement retailer in the UK.