Europe's leading home improvement retailer, Kingfisher, has announced that it will create more than 1,200 jobs across the UK this year, on the lines of its B&Q and Screwfix operations expansion.
The expansion plans will bring Kingfisher's overall investment in the UK this year up to £130 million, with a joint total of more than 80 new Screwfix and B&Q stores being set up during 2011.
Kingfisher has paid £24 million for the 29 ex-Focus DIY stores, and is going to invest an additional £20m for refurbishment of B&Q stores before they reopen. In addition, a £64 million has been invested in acquiring the freehold interest of existing UK properties.
Kingfisher's Group Chief Executive Ian Cheshire said, "Although the economic outlook is uncertain, this investment demonstrates our confidence in the UK's longer-term growth prospects."
Kingfisher plans to create 230 new jobs at B&Q at the 29 former Focus stores acquired earlier this year. Also, one thousand new jobs are to be created at the Screwfix, UK's major multi-channel contractor of plumbing, electrical equipment and trade tools.
There will be 215 Screwfix outlets by the end of January 2012. However, earlier this week, Kingfisher has announced to invest £115 million for launching nine new Castorama stores in Russia over the next two years.