Europe update
Staffing restructure at B&Q
B&Q slashes its night time store management roles in a restructure
B&Q slashes its night time store management roles in a restructure
 
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Trade retailer uses artificial intelligence to deliver a seamless, personalised customer experience
HNN Sources
Plans are underway at B&Q to no longer have overnight stock taking roles leading to the loss of 200 supervisory roles; parent company Kingfisher replaces the head of its struggling French division; and artificial Intelligence (AI) will unify Toolstation's online and offline customer databases onto one platform.
B&Q cuts store roles, leadership changes

Home and DIY retailer B&Q announced it will move an additional 1750 staff to "customer-facing colleagues on shop floors", a move which will mean overnight operations will be scrapped.

Stock replenishment will now be carried out during the day by the extra staff on the shop floor, so that overnight shift management and supervisor roles will be cut, along with the higher hourly rate.

The retailer stated that it would offer "colleagues in overnight replenishment roles the opportunity to take a new daytime replenishment role instead, though we recognise that not all of them may want to take up these new positions". B&Q retail and property director Paul Crisp added:
The overall impact of the proposals will be to improve our customers' shopping experience in our stores...The changes in replenishment would mean...improving stock availability and customer service throughout the day.
In addition, we are creating greater consistency in the way we operate our stores, removing duplication of tasks and improving efficiency...
Senior management reshuffle

Parent company, Kingfisher also made a number of senior appointments across the business, with former Screwfix CEO, Graham Bell taking up the helm of B&Q UK & Ireland.

The home improvement group also revealed that current B&Q boss Christian Mazauric has been appointed CEO of Kingfisher in France to replace Marc Tenart who has decided to step down from his role.

The move, which became effective on October 1, has set in motion a number of other changes across senior management.

Mr Mazauric has worked at Kingfisher for 17 years, holding a number of positions across Castorama France, including operational roles and then four years as finance director. Other roles have included finance director of B&Q UK & Ireland and CEO of Brico Depot Romania. He took over the CEO role at B&Q UK & Ireland in 2017 and, since then, has successfully led the business through a significant number of changes.

Mr Bell will be replaced by Kingfisher group digital director John Mewett. Mr Bell has spent 20 years at Kingfisher, during which time he has been B&Q operations director and HR director. He made the move to Screwfix in 2006, where he led operations and property before his appointment to CEO last year. At Screwfix, he has overseen the rapid roll-out of the store network, opening 60 stores a year, on average, for the past five years.

John Mewett is the new boss at Screwfix, and has spent 10 years with Kingfisher, starting his career at Screwfix in 2008 as marketing and IT director. During this time he played a significant role in its growth and, most recently, has been leveraging the group's digital capability across the other business units.
Toolstation integrates AI into its marketing

Tools and building supplies retailer to the trade, Toolstation has expanded its partnership with marketing platform company Emarsys to include "personalised direct mail and link a physical channel to its digital marketing strategy". The deal will see Toolstation use the Emarsys Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support its direct mail, email, and SMS marketing strategy.

The news comes just weeks after it was reported that over 52% of UK shoppers believe that retailers need to offer a more seamless experience between online and offline commerce to retain their custom. This was one of the key findings from a survey of 1,000 shoppers, conducted by e-commerce agency, PushON, which stated that retailers should invest in technology that enables a better omnichannel experience, according to diy.net.

Toolstation customers can buy online, through a dedicated UK call centre, via a mobile website or at over 300 branches. Customer information is captured both in-store and online so the company can consolidate this data to get a clear view of its target audience.

Data consolidation is critical to enable a more coordinated marketing strategy across different channels. Using the Emarsys Offline Mail, Toolstation can also pre-set and optimise its direct mail marketing as part of wider multi-channel campaigns. Greg Richardson, head of marketing at Toolstation, said:
With all our customer data now in one place, we have a deeper understanding of the level of engagement we're achieving across various channels, and the different types of campaigns our customers like to see. Consolidating our data into one platform was always going to be a huge priority for us in a post-GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) world, and Emarsys will enable us to be responsible custodians of all the information we hold.

Emarsys manages over 350 million daily interactions while analysing 3.9 billion consumer records and 2.5 million purchase events. It integrates customer intelligence, personalisation, predictive recommendations and omnichannel marketing at scale, across all devices and social channels into a single cloud-based marketing platform. Grant Coleman, vice-president and market director - UK at Emarsys, said:
Direct mail is one of the most powerful tools in a multichannel marketing strategy, due to its unique ability to drive and strengthen relationships with customers.
We're delighted to expand our partnership to help Toolstation get a 360-degree view of their customers and run more efficient and tailored marketing campaigns across email, SMS and direct mail.
HNN Sources


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