United Kingdom

B&Q owner buys DIY app NeedHelp

“This represents an exciting opportunity to create a more complete services offer and to help make better homes accessible for everyone.”

NeedHelp also operates in Switzerland and has recently expanded into Germany, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. As part of the deal, founder Guillaume de Kergariou will retain a 20pc stake and remain as chief executive. The number of jobs completed through its platform is set to reach 58,000 in 2020.  

Kingfisher is hoping to cash in on the surge in DIY projects as the Covid-19 pandemic saw more households carrying out home improvements. 

Read more: Britons fixing up their homes lift B&Q owner Kingfisher

Last week Kingfisher reported a sales jump over the past three months as the pandemic helped drive spending on home improvements.

It revealed total group sales rose by 17.6pc to £3.5bn for the quarter to Oct 31, with a 17.4pc increase in like-for-like sales.

But the company, which also runs Screwfix in the UK, reported its like-for-like sales growth slowed to 12.6pc in the first weeks of the current quarter as it was hit by a tightening of restrictions across Europe.

All of its stores remain open to customers despite lockdown measures, due to their essential status.

Read more: Dividend controversy would overshadow Kingfisher's long-overdue revival

B&Q owner Kingfisher is to launch a home improvement business in the UK to help customers resolve DIY disasters or carry out more complex work after a boom in sales this year.

The company has bought NeedHelp, an online platform connecting tradespeople with households for tasks such as kitchen installation, painting, flooring or bathroom renovation, for €10m (£8.9m).

The retailer already has a relationship with the firm in France through its Castorama and Brico Depot stores, but it is the first time the service will be offered to customers in the UK.

There already are a handful of similar rival apps such as TaskRabbit.

Kingfisher said the acquisition was "an important step forward" as it tries to be more agile and focused on customer experience. It has been pushing ahead with a new turnaround plan under chief executive Thierry Garnier. 

He said: “To serve customers effectively today, we need to be more digital and service orientated, while leveraging our strong store assets.

“Online services marketplaces are key to the future of home improvement retail and NeedHelp is an established and fast-growing player in this arena.

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