Kingfisher, a popular UK DIY retailer and parent company of B&Q, is on the hunt for local partners to create a franchise opportunity in a bid for international expansion.

The firm, which also owns France-based Castorama, has major retail outlets in Poland and China as well. It will look to license new brands in new territories as a means to increase its international footprint. Initially, the company will look for franchise partners in areas within the Baltic states.

At present the DIY giant has 837 stores in eight countries, however, these are not run on a franchise model. The development of the franchise aspect is just one of a series of initiatives from the company’s long-term growth strategy. According to Ian Cheshire, the chief executive of the firm, the company is now halfway through its efficiency drive, which last month helped move Kingfisher’s pre-tax profits up by 22 per cent.

Mr Cheshire told investors last week in New York that the innovative new products as well as additional services like handymen and decorators will give the company an edge as it gears up for expansion. Expansion into additional geographical markets will also be a key aspect of the pledge, he said.

Kingfisher revamped its supply chain making the franchising development possible. Already many of the new franchise products are being made available at B&Q and Castorama. Mr Cheshire said that Kingfisher will now be able to supply a potential franchisee with at least 40 per cent of their supply needs.

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