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Kingfisher split prompts online rethink

Bill Goodwin
Kingfisher's de-merger means a change of e-commerce direction for the retailer

Retail group Kingfisher is re-evaluating its e-commerce strategy after the surprise announcement last week of plans to de-merge the group into two separate companies, one for general merchandise and one for electrical goods and DIY.

Woolworths and Superdrug are to split from B&Q and Comet by next year in a strategy prompted by Kingfisher's under-performing share price.

The move will mean that the group's recently formed e-commerce business e-Kingfisher, currently headed by Ian Cheshire, will be split into two separate organisations.

Kingfisher will also have to rethink its plans to develop a single e-commerce platform for all the retailers in the group, part of an ambitious plan to grow online sales from £40m to £1.5bn within five years.

Paul Worthington, Kingfisher's IT director, said the de-merger would enable the separate groups to focus more closely on their areas of retail expertise. This in turn would allow them to accelerate their e-commerce plans, he said.

"We have achieved a lot of synergies already. And the two companies will continue to work closely as we move forward," Worthington said.

He said the de-merger would not affect Kingfisher's overall plans to see its e-commerce sales grow to £1.5bn.

The companies will continue to use the Exodus hosting service.


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