Combining DIY and home furnishings is a tough brief, but one the store works hard to address. The grey floor gives way to softer wood, the high ceilings are obscured by low-hung lighting and a small cafe nestles among the bathrooms and kitchens. Advice and installation services are readily available. B&Q has succeeded in creating a welcoming island in the ocean of warehouse space.
Strolling round the wider store, I came across large canvases of contemporary photography - further attempts to create warmth and an air of creativity. Research indicates that the female DIYer is a force to be reckoned with, and, overall, the store feels as though it should have greater appeal to women.
This approach is certainly a move in the right direction, but does it go far enough? Beyond the showroom area, the store maintains its grey floors, whiff of sawdust and sky-high industrial shelving. If the capable amateur is truly a dying breed, then B&Q must continue to find ways to lure and inspire the reluctant, the intimidated and even the plain disinterested.
- Design: In-house.
This article was first published on Marketing