B&Q axe 220 local posts

B&Q Eastleigh

B&Q Eastleigh site was bought by council for £8.5 miilion

A year after B&Q opened their new 300,000 square feet head office in Chandler’s Ford they have announced they will be sacking 220 staff.

Today’s announcement follows the news that profits at the DIY retailer had fallen by £30 million after another typical British summer had caused sales of hosepipes to plummet by 25 % and heaps of barbecue sets to go unsold.

B&Q  had said it was going to undergo a ‘realignment’ of its head office staff but a decision on job losses had not been expected till March. The company currently employs 1,500 staff at its Chestnut Avenue offices making it one of the Borough’s largest employers.

Eastleigh has a B&Q ‘Depot’ at Hedge End and a another branch on Woodside Avenue the site of which Eastleigh Borough Council bought for £8.5 million in 2010 and lease out to the company.

The company also sponsers the annual Eastleigh 10k Road Race

Over capacity in the UK DIY market saw the Collapse of the Focus chain recently – many of their stores were bought by B&Q.

An analyst for investment bank said Seymour Pierce.

 “The company has too much space, which will require major restructuring, particularly in the UK.”

B&Q Boss Ian Cheshire, who earned £2.3 million last year before share bonuses, said.

“We are looking very carefully at every foot of space and could sublet or exit some”

Latest Eastleigh job vacancies

  3 comments for “B&Q axe 220 local posts

  1. Stephen Slominski
    October 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Last February the Daily Telegraph (along with other broadsheets) reported that Boss Cheshire (as in fat cat presumably)was going to pocket up to £7.8 million in bonuses for turning the business around.
    One wet summer later (Am I missing something? Aren’t summers here always wet?) and its redundancies and talk of downsizing.

    The most worrying aspect is that we, as Council taxpayers, now own their Eastleigh site which we have borrowed £8 million to purchase.

    Rigel Jenman, Sam Snook and myself had a meeting with EBC officers last February when the subject of the B&Q site came up and we asked the question “What happens if B&Q pull out?” only to be told “It won’t happen – but if it does – then we’ll lease it to someone else!”
    Yeah! Just like that! 😆

  2. Peter Stewart UKIP
    October 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I believe it is CRUCIAL to keep B&Q in Eastleigh. Therefore my rescue plan is:

    1) EBC to lower rent to make it more attractive for B&Q to stay here.

    2) Lost rental can be part written off and part made good by increasing charges elsewhere.

    3) Once the recession is over, rent can be raised again.

    A banker once told me, in times of recession, it is more important to maintain cash flow than worry about profit. An established concern can easily tolerate one or two years (or even more) at a reduced profit, or even a loss. But what it can’t survive, is a prolonged cash flow crisis.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      October 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      If B&Q can afford to pay their chief executive an £8 million bonus I don’t think they need a subsidy from Eastleigh taxpayers. He is no the only member of the board on a million pound plus salary.

      Interestingly it was recently reported that cashed strapped Travelodge was forced to approach landlords to renegotiate rent.

      I did ask the council if they had done this for their new hotel on Station Hill (the ground floor retail units are still empty) but they said no.

      I take it EBC didn’t offer to reduce it either.

      I remember Cllr Olson warning the Council Leader:

      “No one can predict what the future may hold for us, we may have failing tenants, you may have a fall in property prices –you may be experiencing an income when all the properties are let – if they become vacant you don’t get the income and if property prices fall and we do need to go to the market with them, then we may not get the money back that we perhaps paid.”

      See here

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