B&Q owner Kingfisher sets sights on Russian expansion
Looking to tap into the growing trend for home improvement among the Russian middle classes, Kingfisher is set to open nine B&Q stores in the country. The British DIY retailer already makes two-thirds of its profits overseas, and the first of its 17 Castorama home improvement stores opened in Russia in 2006. Initially looking to use the B&Q brand in the region, the decision to name its outlets ‘Castorama’ was made upon discovering that there is no ‘Q’ in the Cyrillic alphabet.
Downing Street is hoping that the Kingfisher deal is just one of many that can be struck as David Cameron attempts to build better relationships between the UK and Russia. Ian Cheshire, chief executive, comments: “Russia represents a major opportunity for Kingfisher. Our trading performance there has been encouraging and we look forward to opening these nine new Castorama stores and many more in the future.”
Kingfisher is expected to announce an increase in half-year profits from £351m to £413m, and is just one of a number of British retailers in Russia, which also includes Burberry and Next.