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The Return to the High Street

Sainsbury went Local, Tesco went Express. For Morrisons the transition has been a bit more complicated. It launched its M local stores which were refined down to My Local, most of the stores being in old Blockbuster locations, but in the end it sold off those 140 loss-making local stores. However, it has not given up on the local concept having recently agreed tenĀ 3,000 square feet stores on Rontec Petrol filling stations, some of which are already up and running.

B&Q are set to break away from their traditional retail warehouse format and to move to the High Street in Holloway Road north London where it will take a 3,000 square feet outlet. Does this mean that other DIY stores will follow B&Q into the High Street? B&Q presently have around 300 stores in the UK and Ireland; other competitors include Homebase with 340 stores, Wickes with 200 stores and Screwfix with 480 stores. Screwfix are already trialling a move from a catalogue based business to a more local, smaller showroom operation, so perhaps that is the first signal of their move to the High Street. So will other retailers be able to resist following the B&Q example? I think not. So maybe we are seeing the revival which was talked about by Mary Porter, started by the grocers and continued by the DIY operators...

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