General manager: Colin Greene
Pre-tax profit: n/a
B&Q, a subsidiary of the Kingfisher Group, was founded in 1969 and has become the biggest home improvement and garden centre in the UK and Europe, and the third largest globally. The company has nine stores in Northern Ireland, mostly at out-of-town locations such as Sprucefield, the Holywood Exchange and Abbey Retail Park.
Like many major retailers, B&Q has been facing severe consumer headwinds. Analysts have said that total sales have been in decline since 2005. But the retailer has jumped on the bandwagon of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29 by putting sets of royal wedding-themed garden gnomes on sale from the middle of April.
Kingfisher is forecasting a 20% increase in full year profits as a strong performance from its overseas businesses make up for difficult trading at home. Like-for-like sales at B&Q fell 0.3% in the three months to end January, an improvement on the previous quarter.