Geoff Cooper, the chief executive of builders merchant group Travis Perkins group, has given a scathing response to Kingfisher’s extension of its B&Q TradePoint scheme.
Cooper conceded that Tradepoint was “better than any they’ve made before,” referring to the DIY chain’s numerous attempts to break into the trade market.
This latest move is a separate area within a B&Q branch with its own entrance and checkout, offering building materials at ‘trade only’ prices.
It also includes a trade card scheme, which allows tradesmen to buy general B&Q products at a discount. The shed chain is rolling it out across 118 branches over the summer.
Despite the potential threat that the scheme could pose to both national and independent merchants, Cooper was unfazed by the offering, explaining that although the scheme was new and high profile, it did not necessarily mean that it would be picked up by the trade.
“We’re not sure that it will be a profitable move for them,” he said. “It might take some turnover, but there is a big difference between tradesmen who shop at Wickes and those who shop at B&Q and Homebase. If I had a tradesman doing work on my house, I would not be comfortable if he thought that one of those sheds were the place to go.”