B&Q new ‘Big Box’ concept

It is evident upon entering the new B&Q store format that care and attention has been paid to the modern DIY customer and the varied ways they choose to shop. The racetrack style layout with wide open aisles and clearly defined zones is supported by high level signage and regular store maps with ‘you are here’ locators.

A stripped back and re-clad exterior as well as a separate entrance for returns and click and collect customers makes for an efficient and streamlined process. The dedicated entrance negates the need to force customers through the main store but provides views and easy access into the café for those customers who may be tempted to browse.

The café itself is situated at the front of the store with designer furniture and a modern DIY feel. Welcoming and open, customers have access to charging points, comfortable seating and a hot and cold food menu along with bakery selection.

Customer insights and intelligence have been utilised to provide a DIY resource in each department. There is a clear focus on helping the customer achieve optimum results with samples, ideas, tips and tools. Samples are displayed alongside each other and numerically labelled for easy shopability and product comparisons.

As we are seeing in many modern store formats, a consultation, hospitality and seating area are important features today’s customer has come to expect. The kitchen area boasts all three, with staff on hand to run through design options and a bespoke service. An area for samples and finishes allows staff to provide a truly personalised service.

While the overall concept is still reminiscent of a B&Q warehouse complete with rows of racking and a stack ’em high product approach, the new format is definitely a departure from the previous DIY store. The ease of navigation, updated product displays and visually appealing merchandise techniques create interest and provide inspiration to customers.

The consistency of design and approach in store and across the exterior and car park creates a cohesive and high impact brand presence rare within the world of ‘Big Box’ retailers. The Bristol Cribbs Causeway store is the first demonstration of this new format and aims to provide a template for stores across France, Russia and Poland.

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