Kingfisher plans Big concessions

Kingfisher, owner of B&Q and Woolworths, is to launch its first store with shop-in-shop concessions run by non-food retailers.

The group has linked up with Carphone Warehouse, the Specsavers Optical Group, Thomas Cook and Time Computers to run concessions in a 100,000 sq ft Big W store – to open in Rotherham on March 3. Big W is a Woolworths-based general merchandise chain.

Burger King, which has an outlet in the first Big W store – launched last autumn – will also have a concession in the Rotherham building.

The concessions, to range from 600 to 1,500 sq ft, will act as a trial for the shop-in-shop format in the Big W chain.

A spokesman says the concept may be rolled out to other Big Ws. Kingfisher aims to open another ten by the end of the year. “Each will be considered store by store.”

Big W operations director Bob Hetherington says the chain may approach other retailers about opening concessions in stores.

The move follows speculation that Kingfisher, which was jilted by Asda in favour of a £6.7bn takeover by US giant Wal-Mart last June, has been talking to Tesco about launching a grocery offer in the Big W chain. The spokesman denies this.

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