Kingfisher plc is a British multinational retailing company headquartered in London, with regional offices located across the United Kingdom, France, Poland and Romania.[4] It is the largest home improvement retailer in Europe, and the third largest in the world (behind The Home Depot and Lowe's).

Kingfisher plc
Public limited company
Traded asLSEKGF
FTSE 100 Component
ISINGB0033195214 Edit this on Wikidata
Founded1982; 38 years ago (1982)
Key people
ProductsHome improvement products such as home appliances, tools, home furnishings, hardware, and garden supplies & plants
Revenue£11,655 million (2018)[2]
£685 million (2018)[2]
£485 million (2018)[2]
Number of employees
79,000 (2019)[3]
Brico Dépôt

It has over 1,300 stores, in ten countries across Europe, and its brands include B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix.[3] Kingfisher is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


The company was founded in 1982 as Paternoster Stores Ltd, to conduct a buyout of the British Woolworths chain. In 1983, Paternoster changed its name to Woolworth Holdings plc.[5] Woolworths already owned B&Q, and the company expanded through subsequent acquisitions of companies such as Superdrug and Comet.[5]

The company was led from January 1984, until his retirement in December 2002, by Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy. Largely through his influence, the company became the major sponsor of British sailor Ellen MacArthur.[6]

Woolworth Holdings was renamed Kingfisher plc in 1989.[5] Further acquisitions included European companies such as Castorama,[7] BUT S.A.[8] and Wegert.[9] In July 1999, Kingfisher attempted a takeover of Asda, one of the United Kingdom's largest supermarket chains, only to be beaten by Walmart.[10]

In August 2001, coupled with an acrimonious battle for control of Castorama,[11] the resultant share price pressure forced the sale and demerger of several parts of the company, including Woolworths (forming the Woolworths Group),[12] and the demerger of the electricals business to form Kesa Electricals in July 2003 – causing the company to refocus entirely around DIY.[13]

The company was led by Gerry Murphy, from December 2002 to November 2007.[14] In January 2008, Kingfisher appointed Ian Cheshire as group chief executive.[14] Cheshire was formerly B&Q's chief executive; his B&Q role was taken over in April 2009, by Euan Sutherland, who also headed up the United Kingdom division of Kingfisher.[15]

In September 2014, it was announced that the head of Castorama Véronique Laury would replace Ian Cheshire as Kingfisher group CEO in February 2015. Laury has worked at Kingfisher for eleven years, including roles at B&Q.[16][17] In June 2017, Andy Cosslett succeeded Daniel Bernard as chairman.[18][19]

In March 2019, it was announced that Laury would be leaving the business at a date to be announced, following the failure of her "One Kingfisher" plan, and a 52.8% collapse in pre tax profits.[20]

In September 2019, Thierry Garnier was appointed as CEO.[21]


Kingfisher currently operates over 1,300 stores in nine countries in Europe, Russia and Turkey. Its main retail brands are B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix.[22]

The companies now part of the Kingfisher group are:

  • B&Q; operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Brico Dépôt; in France, Spain, Portugal and Romania
  • Castorama; in France, Poland and Russia
  • Koçtaş; 50% joint venture in Turkey
  • Screwfix; has over 600 branches in the United Kingdom

Former operationsEdit


  1. ^ "Kingfisher plc – Profile". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Annual Results 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "About us". Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Kingfisher Group." Kingfisher plc. Retrieved 2 February 2011. "Kingfisher UK 3 Sheldon Square Paddington London W2 6PX"
  5. ^ a b c "New chapter and big questions ahead for DIY empire behind B&Q". The Telegraph. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  6. ^ Offshore Challenges Media/ISAF Secretariat (3 January 2002). "Kingfisher continues sponsorship". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  7. ^ "French turn eyes to International Arena". Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Kingfisher takes stake in French retailer". New York Times. 24 June 1998. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Kingfisher gives back ProMarkt to Wegerts". The Telegraph. 18 January 2003. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Wal-Mart buys Asda in United Kingdom retail shock". 17 June 1999. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  11. ^ Osborne, Alistair (16 May 2002). "Kingfisher swoops for Castorama". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Personal finance – How to grow your wealth and spend less money – Telegraph". Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  13. ^ Kesa Chief's pay will double after split Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b "The Retail Bulletin". The Retail Bulletin. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  15. ^ "New man in B&Q hot seat". 4 April 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  16. ^ Farrell, Sean (10 September 2014). "Kingfisher names French DIY boss Véronique Laury as new chief executive". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  17. ^ Felsted, Andrea (10 September 2014). "Véronique Laury unexpected choice for Kingfisher crown". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Kingfisher chairman Daniel Bernard to step down and be succeeded by Andy Cosslett". The Retail Bulletin. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  19. ^ The Sunday Times (26 March 2017). "Cosslett to scrum down at Kingfisher | Business | The Times & The Sunday Times". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  20. ^ Waller-Davies2019-03-20T07:09:00+00:00, Becky. "Kingfisher plans for Laury's exit as profits crash". Retail Week. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  21. ^ Carr, Leanne (28 June 2019). "Profile: Thierry Garnier – Kingfisher's new chief executive". Retail Week.
  22. ^ "Company overview". Kingfisher. 27 October 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  23. ^ a b "Kingfisher announces Woolworths and Superdrug demerger". The Telegraph. 5 June 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Comet stores open for final day". BBC. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Woolies sells off ailing MVC". This Is Money. 31 July 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2009.

External linksEdit