Kingfisher plc

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Kingfisher is the largest European distributor of home improvement products and services, and 3rd largest worldwide, with a network of 1,331 stores in 10 countries across Europe, Russia and Turkey. Net sales: UK and Ireland (42.9%); France (36.7%); Poland (11.9%), Other (7.6%).[Jan.2019][2]

Kingfisher owns a significant property portfolio, almost all of which is used for trading purposes. It is also the 3rd largest commercial property developer in the UK, owning 1,200+ buildings, ranging from apartments to hotels.

CDP-Worldwide-horiz.svg CDP Climate scores

Brands[1]

Company

Shareholders

Total float: 99.8%
Source: MarketScreener.svg, Apr.2020

Structure

ToDo: CH, Subsids: see p.173 + p.178 AR-Jan.2019. Most of the usual suspects: Guernsey, Jersey, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Hong Kong, China.
ToDo †{{{1}}}

Timelines

Kingfisher plc

Kingfisher-1989.svg
ToDo: timeline, brands, B&Q, Jan.2001 profile, demerger, Logopedia Woolworths UK, Logopedia Woolworth USA, USA pic 2008, UK 1925 pic, Company Histories: Kingfisher, Kingfisher plc, up to AR-Jan.1995 (pp.100-114 done), Subsids: AR-2019, p.178

  • Nov.2017: Praktiker România SA, a 27-store chain of construction and home decor materials stores, was acquired from Turkish investor Omer Susli's Search Chemicals.[2] Kingfisher planned to integrate the shops into its Brico Dépôt distribution channel.
  • Mar.2014: Hornbach: Kingfisher exited its investment in German home improvement store operator Hornbach by selling its 17.4% stake in Hornbach’s preference shares to a group of international institutional investors. Separately, Kingfisher sold its 25% plus 2 shares in Hornbach’s unlisted ordinary shares to the Hornbach family.[3]
  • Apr.2013: Bricostore Romania, a 15-store chain, was bought from French retail company Groupe Bresson. The Bricostore units were rebranded as Brico Depot.[4] PraktikerWikipedia-W.svg
  • Jul.2003: Kesa Electricals SA: The demerger of the electricals business, including Comet and French chains Darty and BUT SA, delayed partly by "indecision and management infighting," eventually took place, with the group renamed as "Kesa Electricals".[5][6] The name originated from Kingfisher Electricals Société Anonyme.[7]
  • Nov.2001: Hornbach: Kingfisher acquired a 25% stake in Hornbach Holding AG, which held 80% of publicly-quoted Hornbach Baumarkt AG. The deal gave Kingfisher a strategic stake in the 4th-largest DIY group in Germany, as well as acting as a potential block on USA DIY giant Home Depot, which could have used Hornbach as a way of moving into Europe.[8] The founding Hornbach family wanted to create a liquidity cushion for inheritance tax.[9]
  • Jul.2001:
    Superdrug-1996.svgDeals-Arrow-Right.svg
    Superdrug: facing increasing pressure from supermarkets and new discount chains, the chain was sold to Holland's Kruidvat Beheer BV, a Dutch health & beauty chain, to allow Kingfisher to focus on its DIY and electrical chains.AR-2002 It was also announced that the remainder of Kingfisher's general merchandise division, including Woolworths and Streets Online, would be renamed Woolworths Group plc.ref
  • Sept.2000: Kesa Electricals: Kingfisher demerged Woolworths as a separate stock-market listed company. To make money on the deal (ie. pay off the ravening hounds investors, all of its real estate was sold, and the new company started life saddled with £200m of debt. todo

FixMe: Kingfisher revealed its plan to demerge into two listed companies, separating the "poorly performing" Comet and B&Q groups from the Superdrug, Woolworths and Big W chains (General Merchandise).[10]

  • 2000: Woolworths General Store pic, link, link) was the brainchild of Superdrug's former Marketing Director, Stephen Round. The convenience drugstore aimed to match the success of US giant Walgreen. It was a hybrid, with key Woolworths and Superdrug ranges under one roof, along with a food and wine selection from Booker Distribution. A number of Woolworths and Superdrug stores were identified to 'join forces' to boost returns. By Summer of 2000 there were twenty General Stores, eighteen of which had replaced a traditional Woolworths. Early results were encouraging. Progress was interrupted in March 2001, when the media turned on Kingfisher after a severe slow-down in profits in Continental Europe. The press demands to split the Group continued for six months before Mulcahy gave in on 19 September. He explained that he had reluctantly concluded that a demerger would be the best option for everyone. "GM plc" (General Merchandise plc) would split from Kingfisher. It would be a substantial new company with its own CEO and a £3bn turnover. Financing: Kingfisher owned the freeholds of 400 of the High Street stores, and had recently acquired the freeholds of the Woolworths and Superdrug Head Offices and their principal depots. Chartwell Land would give these assets to the new Group to make it financially secure. But it became clear that a demerger would not raise any money for the parent. When no purchaser emerged for the whole Group, Superdrug was sold to Dutch retailer Kruidvat.ref The news left the remaining general merchandise companies in limbo. Meanwhile, Woolworths General Store continued its programme of openings, buying further pharmacy licences and photolabs.

The expansion of Big W also continued apace. Kingfisher's goal from the demerger was to finance its option to buy full control of the French DIY chain Castorama and, if possible, also reduce its own £1.8bn of debts. The £300m sale of Superdrug was deemed insufficient. As a straight demerger would not raise any funds, it was decided that the all of the remaining freehold properties would be sold. Woolworths Group was also loaded up with £200m of debt.ref,ref In 2002, the Woolworths General Store format was discontinued, reverted to the main Woolworths chain, and the 17 pharmacy licences sold off. The 14 Big W stores were rebranded Woolworth Big W.ref See also "first Woolworths General Store in 2000" link, link



  • Jun.1993: Chartwell Land plc closed the Bath office of its subsidiary Chartwell Heritage plc. Entered into an agreement with Future Heritage Ltd to manage Chartwell's developments.
  • Jan.1993: Chartwell Land plc sold its 75% interest in Vanbrugh Land plc for £1, to two of its directors who already owned the other 25%. Vanbrugh - property development company, specialising in warehouses. see Prudential plc + M&G plc re Vanbrugh.
  • Sept.1990: Rosehaugh Heritage plc was acquired and renamed as Chartwell Heritage plc. Specialised in working in architecturally-sensitive towns and cities.[11]:Feb.1991
  • 1990: Marston House plc, a JV with Trafalgar House; was a move towards restructuring Chartwell Land's property interests into focused investment and development businesses.

Big W, etc: In the late 1990s, the management extended the Woolworths brand into other retail formats and alternative channels to accelerate growth by taking advantage of changing retail trends. Some larger format stores were opened under the Big W brand, similar to Wal-Mart in the US. Although initially successful, the format ultimately failed to catch on; the original plan had relied upon leveraging the involvement of other Kingfisher group retailers, but following the demerger this was no longer possible. In 2004, Woolworths sold off some Big W store sites to other retailers, including ASDA and Tesco. The gross internal floor area of the remaining sites was reduced to an optimum trading size of around 40,000 to 50,000 square feet. Following this, they were rebranded as Woolworths Out of Town stores.ref

Entertainment UK Ltd

Website
Entertainment UK was the UK's largest wholesale distributor of Home Entertainment products (CDs, videos, DVDs and game software), supplying retailers with music, video and games products. EUK offered a value-added wholesale service which included managing retailers’ inventory, merchandising, staff training, product labeling and security tagging. EUK established EUK Direct, offering a wholesale distribution service and a ‘direct to home’ solution for Entertainment retailers on the internet.AR-2003


  • Apr.2015: Entertainment UK Ltd was dissolved.
  • Mar.2009: Bertram Group Ltd entered administration. Ernst & Young sold it the same day in a "pre-pack deal" to Smiths News plc.ref,ref
  • Jan.2009: Jobs: administrator Deloitte announced a further reduction of 134 employees across EUK's 4 remaining sites.
  • Dec.2008: 700 staff were made redundant. ref,ref
  • Nov.2008 (? WP=Jan.2009?): Woolworth Group went into administration; as a consequence, EUK stopped delivering goods to its customers, including Zavvi, Morrisons, Sainsburys, WH Smith, Tesco, Borders UK catalogue, and its Amazon Marketplace stores.ref Zavvi, unable to buy stock from other suppliers at such short notice, went into administration in Dec.2008.ref
  • Feb.2007: Bertram Group Ltd, a major book wholesaler and distributor, was acquired from ??.[AR-2007],ref,ref Bertram Group Ltd consisted of 3 divisions: Bertram Books, a book wholesaler; Bertram Publisher Services provided distribution services to publishers; and Bertram Library Services, a supplier of books, tapes, CDs, games and other audio-visual products to public libraries, schools, universities and educational institutions. WebsiteArchive-org-sm.svg Logo: see WP
  • Sept.2006: Total Home Entertainment Distribution Ltd (THE), a distributor of DVD, video, multimedia, music and books, was acquired by #Woolworths Group plc from 3i Group plc, to form part of the Entertainment UK division.ref,ref THE brought a Sainsbury's account with it.AR-2007 Website.arch
  • 2001: Woolworth and Entertainment UK de-merged from Kingfisher Group plc, with Entertainment UK becoming a wholly-owned subsiduary of the newly-formed #Woolworths Group plc.
  • Dec.2000: Streets Online Ltd, a UK specialist online retailer of entertainment products, was acquired by Kingfisher.ref,AR-2003 Streets Online sold music, videos, DVDs and game software, as well as providing web services to the Woolworths and MVC sites. Website
  • Jun.1989: Titles Leisure Ltd and Budget Video Services Ltd were acquired.
  • Aug.1988: Entertainment UK Ltd: Record Merchandisers Ltd changed its name.
  • 1986: Entertainment UK Ltd, an entertainment media distributor, was acquired by Woolworth/Kingfisher from ??. Website.arch. History.arch, Entertainment UKWikipedia-W.svg
  • WP: "It later became a joint venture between a number of record companies, with Woolworth being its largest customer."
  • Apr.1968: Record Merchandisers Ltd: EMI Studios Ltd changed its name.
  • Apr.1946: EMI Studios Ltd was incorporated.

Info from Record Merchandisers Ltd, CH, Entertainment UK.arch


Total Home Entertainment: THE is one of the UK’s largest combined wholesalers and distributors of books, audio, video, multimedia and computer games. Since its launch in 1972, THE has established itself as a respected player in entertainment distribution. Music Zone a THE customer which went into administration in January 2007). In Sept.2006, the Group acquired the entire share capital of AMP Enterprises Ltd, the holdco for Total Home Entertainment Distribution Ltd (THE), from private equity firm 3i Group plc.AR-2007

Woolworths

Woolworths.co.uk 2009-2015

ToDo: link
  • Feb.2009: Shop Direct purchased the Woolworths trademark and internet address, which continued as a retail website until its closure in Jun.2015. After that date, woolworths.co.uk was directed to very.co.uk. Shop Direct also bought the Ladybird brand name.ref

Woolworths Group plc

Requiem in pace.

Brands (2005)Archive-org-sm.svg

  • Jan.2009: Chad Valley, Woolworth's toy brand, was sold to Home Retail Group/Argos.[12], ref
  • Jan.2009: Woolworths Group plc entered administration;ref the last 200 stores closed their doors for the final time, with 51 outlets sold to Iceland Foods Ltd.ref Woolworths was officially dissolved in Oct.2015.ref
  • Nov.2008: Administration: share trading in Woolworths Group was suspended, with Woolworths and its Entertainment UK subsidiary entering administration.ref All 807 stores were closed between Dec.27.2008-Jan.06.2009, resulting in 27,000 job losses,ref after Iceland Foods Ltd's offer to buy all the stores was ignored.ref
  • 2008: The 800-strong chain went from normal trading to complete oblivion in 41 days. A few weeks later, FW Woolworth GmbH of Germany also became insolvent, although its administrators secured its survival and renaissance as a shop chain, rather than the crappy Website that now serves the UK.ref woolworths.co.uk logo (Woolworths.co.uk was merged into Very.co.uk in Jun.2015)
  • 2001: Ladybird, the children's clothing brand, was bought outright from Coats Viyella plc.ref
  • 2000: Woolworths General Store: the format offered a pharmacy, health & beauty products, general merchandise and convenience food. The General Store format didn’t do well...ref
  • Aug.2001: Woolworths Group plc began trading as a listed company on the London Stock Exchange. "We finally demerged in Aug.2001, with £200m of debt, over £100m excess stock, loss-making new formats and e-businesses, key vacancies in the top management team."[AR-2002]
  • ?date?: Woolworths Group plc was formed by the demerger of Kingfisher's general merchandise business.ref
  • Oct.1999: Woolworths Group plcOpenCorporates-sm.svg was incorporated.

WebsiteArchive-org-sm.svg, Our WebsitesArchive-org-sm.svg, ReportsArchive-org-sm.svg, AR-Feb.2002Archive-org-sm.svg, AR-2003Archive-org-sm.svg, AR-2004Archive-org-sm.svg, AR-2005Archive-org-sm.svg, AR-2006Archive-org-sm.svg, AR-2007Archive-org-sm.svg, AR-2008Archive-org-sm.svg.


x

  • Jan.2006: 41 MVC stores were sold to rival Music Zone.(WP)[ref-6,MVC]
  • Nov.2005: MVC Entertainment Ltd went into administration, putting 700 jobs on the line days before Christmas, with Argyll Partners citing "cashflow difficulties experienced as a result of competitive trading conditions".ref
    • Aug.2005: After consistently falling sales, the 76-store business was sold to a financial consortium led by private equity firm Argyll Partners and retail specialist Chris Steed.ref,ref,ref
    • Jul.2005: MVC was spun off as part of #Woolworths Group plc. (WP)[ref-5,MVC]
    • Apr.2005: the worst loss-making stores were closed.[AR-2006]
    • Mar.2003: Kingfisher plc acquired a minority interest in the Home Entertainment products retailer. Number of stores: 85.[AR-2003] mvc.co.ukArchive-org-sm.svg
    • 1993: Kingfisher plc bought the company.(per WP) [ref-3,MVC],[ref-4,MVC]
    • Nov.1991: MVC Entertainment Ltd was launched. The division sold CDs, DVDs, video games and digital music downloads.ref MVC targeted the frequent high-spending buyer, offering a comprehensive product range, including an extensive back catalogue at competitive prices.
    • 1989: Music & Video Club: (MVC) After WH Smith bought Our Price in 1987, a group of senior management left and founded a rival company.

  • Woolworths General Stores were a local convenience retail format, open seven days a week and offering extended opening hours. The stores combined the brand and product category strengths of Woolworths with the Health & Beauty focus of US drugstore chains. The stores offer comprehensive ranges in Health and Beauty, Convenience Food and Drinks, traditional Woolworths ranges and, in most stores, a Pharmacy. Number of stores: 20.[AR-2002]
  • 2000: Woolworths General Store pic, link, link) was the brainchild of Superdrug's former Marketing Director, Stephen Round. The convenience drugstore aimed to match the success of USA giant Walgreens. It was a hybrid, with key Woolworths and Superdrug ranges under one roof, along with a food and wine selection from Booker Distribution. A number of Woolworths and Superdrug stores were identified to 'join forces' to boost returns. By Summer of 2000 there were twenty General Stores, eighteen of which had replaced a traditional Woolworths. Early results were encouraging.
  • Mar.2001: Progress was interrupted when the media turned on Kingfisher after a severe slow-down in profits in Continental Europe. The press demands to split the Group continued for six months before Mulcahy gave in on 19 Sept. He explained that he had reluctantly concluded that a demerger would be the best option for everyone. "GM plc" (General Merchandise plc) would split from Kingfisher, and be a substantial new company with its own CEO and a £3bn turnover.
  • 2003: Closed the loss-making General Store format; stores were converted back to the Woolworths Mainchain format.[AR-2003]

  • Woolworths Big W is a superstore format developed to meet consumer demand for out-of-town shopping. Stores offer convenient shopping for a wide range of products including Homewares, Clothing, Garden Supplies, Car Care, Toys, Confectionery, Electrical Goods, Health and Beauty and Seasonal Products.Where the size of the store allows, the product offer is enhanced by complementary concessions such as Thomas Cook, Carphone Warehouse and Burger King. The first two Woolworths Big W stores opened in 1999. Number of stores: 18.[AR-2003] No of stores: 13.[AR-2002] No of stores: 21.[AR-2004]
    • Woolworths Big W, our out-of-town format, has been restructured to create Woolworths out-of-town. Offers a wider selection of toys, a babyshop, kids’ bedroom ranges and entertainment products, all from a superstore format designed to meet demand for out-of-town shopping.
    • Mar.2004: we announced that we would not continue to roll out Woolworths Big W. Instead, a site-by-site review of the estate would be undertaken to assess the merits of either an outright disposal or reducing the size of the units to a level that would be sustainable for a Woolworths out-of-town concept. Got rid of some, leaving 17.[AR-2005]

  • Woolworths Mainchain stores comprise the traditional Woolworths outlets located in small towns and city suburbs, targeted at meeting basic everyday shopping requirements, as well as larger stores located on prime shopping streets in major regional shopping centres. The product offer covers Toys, Children’s Clothing, Events, Confectionery, Home and Entertainment. Larger stores include a more comprehensive range of Home and Children’s Clothing. Number of stores: 808.[AR-2003] No.of stores: 803.[AR-2005] woolworths.co.uk

  • Profits
    • AR-2006: In the 52 weeks ending Jan.2006, total Group sales from continuing operations were £2,630.7 million. This represents a decrease of 4.1%, reflecting the difficult trading conditions but also, in part, the actions taken during this and the prior year to rationalise the retail business going forward. Overall retail sales fell 8.3% and sales in Entertainment Wholesale and Publishing grew 9.5%. Adjusted profit fell by 15.1%.
    • AR-2007: Profits fell from continuing operations before tax and exceptional items fell from £43.7 million to £7.3 million. Adjusted profit (which is before tax, exceptional items, adjustment for fixed rental uplifts and amortisation of certain intangible assets) fell from £57.7 million to £21.8 million. Overall Retail sales decreased by 5.5 per cent as we continued to experience decline in core markets and increasing competition.
    • AR-2008: Profit before tax and exceptional items increased to £14.9m from £7.3m in the prior year. the retail business returned to profitability this year.

Woolworths Group plc (WIP)

  • Sept.2004: 2entertain Ltd, a music and video publishing joint venture between Woolworths Group plc (40%) and BBC Worldwide Ltd (60%), was entered into. BBC Worldwide's DVD/video publishing business was combined with VCI plc, Woolworths Group's video, music publishing and TV/video production business.[AR-2005] 2entertain.co.uk
  • Sept.2004: Flogistics Ltd: the remaining 50% interest in the company, which sold and distributed gift vouchers, was acquired from Kingfisher for £2.AR-2005
  • Mar.2004: Big W: Woolworths scrapped the Big W chain, selling some of them to Asda and Tesco. The remaining 17 stores were converted to the Woolworths "Out-of-Town" concept.[AR-2005]
  • Jul.2001: Woolworths Group plc was re-registered as a public limited company. (In Oct.1999, Flagbriar Ltd was incorporated as a private limited company; in Jun.2001, the name was changed to Woolworths Group Ltd; in Jul.2001, name was changed to Woolworths Group plc and re-registered as a public limited company.)[AR-2002] OpenCorporates-sm.svg

Kingfisher plc (WIP)

  • Aug.2017: Expansion:
    Flag-Romania.svg
    20 ex-Praktiker stores were bought from Turkish investor Omer Susli of Search Chemicals Srl, which had acquired Praktiker Romania Srl in Feb.2014. The stores were re-branded as Brico Dépôt.[13][14]
  • Mar.2015: Kingfisher announced the closure of ~60 B&Q stores in the UK and Ireland over the next two years; and the opening of 60 new Screwfix outlets.[15]
  • Apr.2013: Expansion:
    Flag-Romania.svg
    Bricostore's 15 home improvement stores in Romania were purchased from the Bresson Group. All stores were subsequently converted into the Brico Dépôt format.[16]
  • Feb.2009: Castorama: 31 stores in Italy were sold to French home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin SA.ref
  • Aug.2008: Castorama Italy: Kingfisher agreed to sell its Castorama Italy business to Groupo Adeo SA.[17]
  • Aug.2001: Several of Kingfisher's divisions were demerged, following an acrimonious battle for control of Castorama.[18] Kingfisher's goal from the demerger was to finance its option to buy full control of the French DIY chain Castorama and, if possible, also reduce its own £1.8bn of debts.
    • Jun.2001: #Woolworths Group plc: Woolworths was demerged, forming a new, standalone group.[19] Subsidiaries demerged along with Woolworths Group: VCI plc, MVC, Big W, ...
      • Jul.2005: MVC was spun off into Woolworths Group plc; it ceased trading in Jan.2006.[wpref-26, Kingfisher plc]
    • Jul.2003: #Kesa Electricals plc: Kingfisher demerged its electrical businesses into a separately-listed company.[20],[wpref-14,Kingfisher plc],[tgraph-2003.09.14],[ref-14,Kingfisher plc].[ref-5,groupe fnac darty] Subsidiaries included: Comet (UK); Darty (France); BUT (France): BCC (Netherlands); Vanden Borre (Belgium); Datart (Czech Republic and Slovakia); Wegert (Germany) (check Wegert).

  • May.2002:
    Castorama.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Castorama: Kingfisher announced the takeover of the 45% shareholding it did not already own. Kingfisher is to split in two by buying the rest of French DIY business Castorama in a £3.2bn deal backed by issuing new shares and spinning off its electrical stores - Comet in Britain and Darty in France.

[21] Kingfisher also said it planned to set up a separate company to run its electrical goods retail business, which includes the UK's Comet chain and Darty in France.[22]


  • Feb.2000: Virtueller Bau-Markt AG: a 22.5% stake was acquired in the German e-commerce operator specialising in Do-It-Yourself home repair.[23]
  • Jul.1999:
    Screwfix-1992.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Screwfix Direct Ltd, a multi-channel retailer of trade tools, accessories and hardware products, was acquired by B&Q plc.[24]
  •  ??.1999:
    Video-Collection-International.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Video Collection International plc (VCI), an Audio/Visual Entertainment group, was acquired.[?ref?]
  • Apr.1999: Asda: Kingfisher attempted a merger, but was outbid by Wal-Mart.[25] Kingfisher responded by installing Wal-Mart's former VP, who launched a £2m, 30,000 sq.ft Comet store in Paisley - in effect, a carbon copy of Wal-Mart's retail strategy.[26] Massively peeved investors, stymied of their much-anticipated cake, demanded a major shake-up.
  • 1999: Big W: the dream, commenced in Jun.1990, was to bring the Woolworth, B&Q, Comet and Superdrug chains in the UK all under one roof, with the stores stocking products from six of the subsidiaries, adding specialist music from MVC (Music and Video Club) and Entertainment UK Ltd supplying wholesale products. The first two "Big W" stores opened in 1999.AR-2004
    The concept unravelled as Kingfisher fell apart after the Asda non-merger in Apr.1999. Woolworths was left lumbered with huge out-of-town stores which the now-independent former siblings did not consider a priority and, in some cases, did not wish to supply. By 2003, the dream had become a nightmare.ref
  • Sept.1998:
    Castorama.svg Brico-Depot.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    B&Q + Castorama: Kingfisher agreed to merge B&Q, its home-improvement business, with Castorama Dubois Investissements SCA of France. Subsidiary Brico Dépôt came along as part of the deal. The terms were for Kingfisher to exchange 100% of B&Q for a 54.6% stake in the fully diluted equity of an enlarged Castorama.[27] The European Commission did not oppose the merger.[28] Alas for Kingfisher, although the transaction brought a majority shareholding, it only bestowed a 50% voting right.[29]
  • 1997: BUT SA, a French brand of retail stores specialising in home goods (furniture, appliances, consumer electronics), was bought by Kingfisher from Carrefour SA, and became part of Kesa Electricals.ref BUTWikipedia-W.svg, Website
  • Nov.1996: Norweb Retail, United Utilities's value electrical retailing arm, was bought by Kingfisher and merged with Comet.[30]
  •  ??.1993: Charlie Browns Car Part Centres plc bought 18 retail outlets from Unipart Group plc.[11]:Jan.1994
  • Feb.1993: Kingfisher Electricals SA (Kesa): a merger was agreed between Kingfisher plc and Financière Darty SA, parent company of Darty Ltd. Kesa was established in Paris as a holdco for Comet and Darty. The merger was completed in Jun.1995.
  • 1993:
    Darty.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Darty, a French electrical retailer, was acquired by Kingfisher.
  • ?date?: Wegert, a German electrical white goods company, was acquired.[31] todo
  • Nov.1992: Staples: a joint venture with Staples Inc was entered into, with the 1st superstore opening in Swansea in May.1993, offering equipment, furniture, computers, stationery and office accessories.
  • Feb.1991: Freedom Sportsline Ltd was sold to ??.
  • Mar.1989 |
    Kingfisher-1989.svgDeals-All-Change.svg
    Kingfisher plc: Woolworth Holdings plc changed its name, establishing a new corporate identity.

Woolworth Holdings plc

  • Nov.1988: The non-trading assets and liabilities of both Tip Top Drugstores and Share Drug Stores were hived up into Superdrug, accelerating a major expansion programme. By the end of the year, Superdrug had established a market-leading position within the high street toiletry sector, trading in 580 outlets.
  • In Germany, Kingfisher owns the Promarkt chain of electrical stores, though the business has been struggling and is currently loss-making.[8]
  • mid-1998: Kingfisher acquired a 60% stake in two German retailers, ProMarkt Holding GmbH and Wegert Verwaltungs-GmbH and Co. Beteiligungs-KG, whose businesses were then merged. Together, the companies ran 53 ProMarkt electrical stores, 108 smaller photographic equipment and film processing services outlets, and 11 units selling CDs and other entertainment items.ref
  • Mar.1988: Share Drug Stores plc, a southern-based chain of 145 drugstores, was acquired.[11]:Jan.1989
  • Feb.1988: Tip Top Drugstores plc, a discount chemist chain with 110 outlets in the north of England and Scotland, was acquired.[11]:Jan.1989
  • 1987: Chad Valley, a respected toy brand, was acquired from Palitoy, owned at the time by Tonka.[32] Valley brand comprised an extensive range (700+ product lines) of high quality, value-for-money toys and games suitable for all ages of children.[AR-2003,p.8],ref,[AR-2007]
  • Mar.1987: Charlie Browns Car Part Centres plc was acquired. The chain sold a comprehensive range of automotive parts and accessories, combined with fast fit services.
  • Feb.1987:
    Superdrug-1983.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    Superdrug Stores plc was acquired, with Rite Aid Corporation relinquishing its (diminished) shareholding.AR-Feb.1987
  • Nov.1986: Record Merchandisers Ltd was acquired.
  • 1986: Woolworth Properties became a business in its own right. "Shearwater Property Holdings plc", a JV with property developer Rosehaugh plc, was formed.[11]:Jan.1987
  • 1986: Closures: the 250 best freehold Woolco stores were sold, leaving 750. Dee Corporation plc (later known as Somerfield Stores) bought the larger ex-Woolco stores.ref All Woolworth stores in the Republic of Ireland were closed and sold; and the overseas branches in the Commonwealth were sold cheaply to their local management. The cash was used for acquisitions, and to develop B&Q.
  • 1986: Ladybird: exclusive rights to the brand were purchased from Coats Patons. more info Ladybird clothing had been sold in Woolworths stores since 1932. link, lots here
  • Feb.1985:
    Comet-Group-1982.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    #Comet Group plc was acquired, delisted from the London Stock Exchange, and taken private.
  • Nov.1982: Woolworth Holdings plc:OpenCorporates-sm.svg Paternoster changed the company's name.[33]
  • Oct.1982: Paternoster Stores LtdOpenCorporates-sm.svg was incorporated as the holdco for the Woolworths chain. A large part of the shareholding in the company was acquired by a consortium led by USA private equity leveraged-buyout firm Charterhouse Group, but which lacked any property companies or retail groups. Charterhouse announced it had no intention of asset stripping.[The Times, Oct.01.1982]

FW Woolworth & Company Ltd

Woolworth-UK-1971.svg
  • mid.1982: Woolworth USA company needed cash to cover the debt burden incurred by the Woolco debacle, and agreed to sell its golden share of Woolworth UK to a consortium of investors. The "management buy-in" saw the firm change hands without the agreement of its London stockholders, over the heads of the Board.ref Business Week quoted an analyst who blamed Woolworth UK’s failures on its USA parent, saying, “The American Woolworth has been milking the British unit for years, insisting on high dividend payouts that has forced it to scrimp on investment and to take on more and more debt”.[Oct.11.1982] ref
    • The US parent parachuted in people. The parent company did not reveal the fact that it had also agreed to talk with Paternoster Stores, a consortium of investors which had made a tentative offer for the golden share in the British chain. American Director Bud Lynn conducted secret negotiations in with the group of former British Sugar executives, who were backed by venture capital firm Charterhouse Jaffert. Technically the consortium's offer was a 'management buy-in', which led most Stateside executives to believe that the firm was planning to hand control to the British Board. Many felt such a move was long overdue as the UK subsidiary had repaid the initial American investment of £50,000 more than a thousand-fold in dividends over its 73 years of trading. The reality was different. The 'Paternoster Stores' consortium, which took its name from its backers' address in London's Paternoster Square, had found a legitimate way to take control of a business that they had never worked for, without the consent of all-but-one of its investors, above the heads of its Board. Unlike the incumbents, the consortium proved to be highly skilled media managers. Its members portrayed the offer as taking a British institution into British hands, and replacing a failing management that had been widely criticised with new blood. By the time the news broke, the British Board had been outflanked. In Oct.1982 the £310m offer was accepted.
      Paternoster Stores bought FW Woolworth and Company Ltd for a song, and within two years had sold 250 freehold stores at a huge profit,and invested the cash to expand B&Q and to buy Comet.
  •  ??.1982: Woolco stores were converted into regular-format Woolworth stores.
  • Aug.1980:
    B-and-Q-1969.svgDeals-Arrow-Left.svg
    #B&Q Retail Ltd, a retail chain of 39 edge-of-town Do-It-Yourself stores, was bought from its shareholders. The purchase was financed by the closing and sale of two flagship stores in Central London.ref The Chairman also curtailed the Woolworth refurbishment programme, diverting the funds to his new acquisition.ref
  • May 1979: Europe's largest FW Woolworth store, in Manchester, England, one of two in the city centre, had a fire. Despite the store being rebuilt even larger and up to the latest fire codes, the negative stories in the press, coupled with the loss of lives, sealed its fate; it finally closed in 1986. During the rebuild, and partly as a result of the bad press, the British operation was isolated from the parent company as Woolworths plc. This proved fortuitous as the brand subsequently lasted a full 12 years longer in the UK than it did in the USA.
  • 1970:
    Woolworth-UK-1971.svg
    Among other changes in the British operation, the familiar "diamond W" was replaced by a new symbol featuring a modernised "Looped W" incorporating the British private label name "Winfield" wherever possible. (AR-1970, p.9)
  • 1970s: Fires: a distribution centre burnt down because its sprinklers weren't working (1971); the Belfast store burnt down (N.Ireland Troubles); the Colchester superstore burnt down; one of the largest stores in Manchester burnt down, with locked fire exists and untrained staff, killing 9 people (May.1979).
  • 1969: Decimal Currency: the govt announced the decimalisation of the currency in 1971. The cost of converting 10,000+ cash registers was prohibitive, so Woolworth's converted to self-service, which took 6 years and all the firm's money. Inflation and industrial unrest hit profits; for the first time, a few unprofitable stores were closed and/or sold. During the late 1960s it began a steep decline. The reasons included a lack of investment, a devaluation of the pound, and an increase in employment taxes. By 1969, the British subsidiary was contributing just 30 percent of profits. management cut prices. Sales grew, but profits fell.
  • 1969: New Logo: a new 'modern' corporate identity was launched to celebrate Woolworth's 90th anniversary, with a modern-looking white and light blue. The styling and colour were unpopular, and didn't last long.
  • 1967: Woolco: the first store in Oadby, Leicester opened, but progress with others was slow, chiefly because, as 1st-movers, they had to evangelise the idea of out-of-town shopping.todo
  • 1962: Woolco: The UK Board considered Woolco inappropriate for the British market, because the UK had lower car ownership, and no out-of-town shops. Instead, they chose to extend some in-town stores to Woolco size. However, the USA parent insisted.
  • May.1958: the 1,000th branch opened in Portslade, West Sussex.
  • 1958:
    Flag-South-Africa.svg
    Woolworth Zimbabwe opened in Harare, Zimbabwe.ref
  • Nov.1954:
    Flag-Jamaica.svg
    Woolworth Jamaica opened on its doors in Kingston on Woolworth UK's 45th birthday, with staff who had been specially British-trained. Stores were also opened in , Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago shortly afterwards.
  • 1950s-1960s: 1965, contributed 50 percent of the parent company’s profits. Profits rose, without serious competition; 250 new stores were opened. The Board did not embrace self-service. Control weakened and stock levels spiralled up. With plenty of money in the bank, the company went on a spending spree, upgrading lighting, adding small supermarkets in extra space, and extending into emerging markets like Do-It-Yourself. Consumers were abandoning the stores for supermarkets and rivals such as Marks & Spencer, British Home Stores, and Little woods. In response, Woolworth increased the number of stores in England but did little to upgrade the existing outlets. ref
  • 1950s: Gov't austerity measures favoured Woolies. Unlike rivals, it was able to import goods freely from overseas. Restrictions were based on quantities rather than prices, allowing the firm to buy high-priced items instead of sixpenny ones.
  • 1931:
    London-Stock-Exchange.svg
    FW Woolworth & Company Ltd: the Great Depression caused the first decline in FW Woolworth Company’s sales, and it agreed to sell 14% of the UK operation to boost shareholder dividends,ref reducing its golden share to 52.7%. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange.ref
  • 1914: WWI: by the outbreak of war, FW Woolworth & Co. Ltd had opened 44 stores, with many more in the pipeline.
  • 1913-1914:
    Flag-Wales.svg  Flag-Scotland.svgFlag-Ireland.svg
    Woolworths Wales, Woolworths Scotland and Woolworths Ireland: a drive west into Wales and North into Scotland saw stores opening in the main towns. In Apr.1914, the first Irish Woolworths opened in Grafton Street, Dublin.ref
  • Nov.1909:
    Woolworth-UK-1909.png
    FW Woolworth & Company Ltd 3D and 6D Stores was opened by Frank Woolworth in Liverpool, England, as the British subsidiary of FW Woolworth Company, which retained a golden share of 66.7%. ref+pic

Additional Sources: A potted history of F.W. Woolworth. The Woolworths Museum. Accessed Dec.20.2019.
ToDo: link, link, link, B+Q, FundingUniverse,

Comet Group

WebsiteArchive-org-sm.svg
Comet Group was an electrical retail chain which sold consumer electronics and white goods. Comet pioneered the concept of the out-of-town discount warehouse in the UK,[34] but the rise in online shopping coupled with the 2007/8 global financial crisis was its undoing. Comet collapsed into administraton in Nov.2012, leaving ~7,000 staff jobless. Private equity owners OpCapita LLP, Elliott Advisors and Greybull Capital LLP walked away with ~£120m, "donated" by taxpayers.ref,ref


  • Jun.2014: former staff, represented by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers and the United Road Transport Union, won an Employment Tribunal case that they had not been consulted properly about redundancy by Comet and the administrators, Deloitte. This enabled about 7,000 former staff to apply for redundancy financial assistance.[35] Accounting records suggested that the owners, including OpCapita and Elliott Advisors, recovered ~£117m from Comet, and administration fees were more than £10m.[36][37][38]
    Three administrators from Deloitte were referred to the accountancy regulator by the Insolvency Service over the failure to consult properly about redundancy, which led to govt (taxpayer) costs of ~£26m for redundancy payments.[39][40]
  • Nov.2012: OpCapita failed to turn the business around, and Comet collapsed into administration, leaving ~7,000 staff jobless. All stores and their stock were liquidated and closed by mid-Dec.2012.[41][42]
  • Feb.2012:
    OpCapita.svg Elliott-Management-Corporation.png Greybull-Capital.pngDeals-All-Change.svg
    OpCapita LLP, a USA private equity tax-haven firm, and its pals Elliott Advisors and Greybull Capital LLP, became Comet Group's new owners.
  • Feb.2012: Kesa Holdings Ltd was still the sole shareholder.
  • Jan.2012: re-registered as a private ltd co = Comet Group Ltd.
  • Nov.2011:
    Comet-Group-2010.svgDeals-Arrow-Right.svg
    Comet Group Ltd: Kesa announced that it had agreed to sell Comet Group to USA private equity tax-haven firm OpCapita LLP for a token £2;[43] the deal was backed by Elliott Advisors and Greybull Capital LLP Kessa would also provide a £46.8m 'dowry' of working capital,[44] and also retain all the pension liabilities for employees on pre-existing defined benefit schemes.[45][46] Best Buy announced in the same week that it was closing its 11 UK stores due to "tough conditions". The sale was completed in Feb.2012.[ref-8,groupe fnac darty]
  • Jun.2011: Higher taxes, wage freezes and the rising cost of food and essential purchases combined to keep UK consumer spending on discretionary purchases low, and Comet posted its first loss in 16 years of £8.9m.[47]
  • Sept.2010: Pic: 2010-2012 a new logo was launched, softer in design than the previous one, and accompanied by a new strapline, "Come and Play". The branding aimed to project a more fun and friendly image, and customers were encouraged to come into the store to try out interactive displays.[48]
  • Jun.2009: Mounting losses: Kesa Electricals posted a pre-tax loss of £81.8m, compared to a profit of £128.8m in the previous year. Comet's retail profit fell by 76.5% to £10.1m.[49] In Apr.2010, United States-based Best Buy, the world's largest electrical goods retailer, opened its first store in Thurrock, Essex,[50] with a plan to open 100 out-of-town warehouses over the following 4 years.[51][52]
  • Mar.2008: BUT SA was bought from Kesa Electricals by Decomeubles Partners, a JV vehicle held by a private equity consortium of Colony Capital, Goldman Sachs, and OpCapita.ref,ref
  • 2008: Price war: rival chain Currys heavily discounted prices of flat screen televisions, further adding to the pressures on Comet, which recorded "the worst sales performance in its history".[53]
  • 2007: Financial Crisis 2007/8: the global economic crash was the final straw. Increasing levels of unemployment, wage freezes and stagnation in the property market combined to keep consumer spending on discretionary purchases rock bottom. It was simply impossible for struggling Comet to improve its appeal to customers whilst closing stores and axing staff.
  • Jan.2005: Tesco announced it would trial non-food stores, retailing electrical goods, CDs and DVDs, putting increasing pressure on Comet.[54]
  • 2005: Pic: 2005-2010 Comet got a new look + logo.
  • Jul.2003: Kesa Electricals plc: Kingfisher demerged its electrical businesses into a listed company.[55],[ref-14,Kingfisher plc].[ref-5,groupe fnac darty] Subsidiaries included: Comet (UK); Darty (France); BUT (France): BCC (Netherlands); Vanden Borre (Belgium); Datart (Czech Republic and Slovakia); Wegert (Germany) (check this.
  • 2000s: Online retailing: Comet was left behind by the explosion in online retailing in the early 2000s, despite establishing its own e-tail business and its substantial experience in the mail-order business.
  • Jul.1999: Wal-Mart entered the UK with the takeover of Asda, and announced that it would discount some goods by ~60%. To survive, Comet had to at least match Wal-Mart’s like-for-like discounts.[56]
  • Nov.1996: Norweb Retail, United Utilities's struggling electrical retailing arm, was acquired by Kingfisher plc, bringing 57 high street shops plus 81 out-of-town superstores.[57] The Bolton head office, the CAS distribution centre in Worsley, the flagship Coventry 285, the 57 high street stores and 29 of the out-of-town superstores were all closed. The remaining 52 stores were rebranded as Comet.[30] 1,200 redundancies resulted.[58]
  • Jan.1995: Market analysts began sounding warnings over the viability of Comet and Woolworths. Comet had made strategic errors with its home computer business, and its decision to stop selling computer games had allowed competitors to corner the market.[59]
  • 1993: Kingfisher Electricals SA (Kesa), a European entity based in Paris, was established by Kingfisher as a holdco for Comet and Darty.
  • 1993: Darty was acquired by Kingfisher. In 1999, Darty opened a commercial internet site.
  • Oct.1989: Laskys: rival chain Hardman Hi-Fi Ltd, t/a Laskys, was acquired.[60]
  • Feb.1985:
    xDeals-All-Change.svg
    #Woolworth Holdings plc successfully bid for Comet in May.1984.[61] After completion in the following Feb., Comet Group plc was delisted from the London Stock Exchange, and taken private.
  • Feb.1982: Pic: 1982 Comet Group plc: Comet renamed itself.

Comet Radiovision Services Ltd

  • Jun.1981: The group had grown to include 200 Comet Electrical and Timberland DIY (??ws, [CH-04611375 (Motif Marketing], info ??) outlets, a jewellery manufacturer, and a supplier of Polarcold metal pressings for domestic appliance manufacturers.[62] The Hollingbery family began to reduce their shareholdings in Comet.[62]
  • Jul.1976: Eclipse Radio and Television Services chain was acquired from Loyds Retail, a subsidiary of Philips.[63]
  • 1975: Gas Trend, a discount retailer of gas appliances, was acquired.[64]
  • Sept.1974: TV Rental business was sold to Spectra Rentals, in an effort to reduce debt.[65]
  • Nov.1973: Comet had established 25 discount warehouses.
  • Jul.1972:
    pic ??-1972London-Stock-Exchange.svg
    Comet Radiovision Services Ltd was listed on the London Stock Exchange,[66] when the Hollingbery family decided to sidestep possible inheritance tax issues.[67]

Origins

  • Jul.1964: Resale Prices Act was passed, rendering all resale price agreements 'against the public interest' unless proven otherwise. Minimum resale price maintenance had ensured that retailers such as Comet could only sell a product at a price determined by the manufacturer; its abolition allowed Comet to make the transition from a small electrical retail chain in Yorkshire to a national discount retailer, offering prices 45% lower than the MRRP.[56][68][69]
  • 1960s-1980s: The decade saw enormous expansion, with turnover rising from £1m in 1969 to £335m in 1983.
  • 1950s: Comet's first store opened in George Street, Hull.
  • Jul.1937: Comet Radio Services Ltd: the business grew and diversified into radio rentals; accordingly, the company was renamed.
  • Aug.1933: Comet Battery Service (Hull) Ltd (?Comet Battery Stores?) was formed by George Hollingbery as a business charging batteries for customers on a weekly basis, in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire.
Additional Sources: Comet Group Ltd. Companies House. Accessed Jun.02.2019.

[60] [66] [70] [58]

References

  1. ^ Our markets. Kingfisher plc. Accessed Apr.06.2020.
  2. ^ Kingfisher takes over Praktiker Romania. Search Chemicals purchased the Praktiker stores in Romania in 2014 after the German parent company Praktiker had gone bankrupt. DIY International, Aug.03.2017.
  3. ^ Kingfisher exits investment in Germany's Hornbach. Reuters, Mar.25.2014.
  4. ^ Kingfisher buys 15 Bricostore units in Romania, will re-brand to Brico Dépôt, could expand network. x Romania Insider, Apr.19.2013.
  5. ^ Kingfisher Urged to Spin Off Electrical Retail Arm. Joanne Hart, Tribune Business News, Nov.14.2001. Original archived on Jun.10.2014.
  6. ^ Kesa lifts hopes of recovery in French business. page 29. Sarah Butler, The Times, Sept.18.2003.
  7. ^ [1] Western Mail, Apr.15.2003. Original archived on Jun.10.2014.
  8. ^ a b Kingfisher buys stake in Hornbach to boost DIY interests in Germany. The Independent, Nov.28.2001.
  9. ^ Kingfisher kommt nach Deutschland (Kingfisher comes to Germany). (In German.) Frankfurter Allgemeine, Nov.09.2013.
  10. ^ Kingfisher stuns City with demerger plan. page 23. Sally Patten, The Times, Sept.14.2000.
  11. ^ a b c d e Kingfisher plc Companies House. Accessed Jun.02.2019.
  12. ^ Home Retail Signs Deal To Buy Chad Valley Toy Brand for GBP5m. Wall Street Journal, Jan.20.2009. Original archived on Jan.21.2009.
  13. ^ Weitere Auslandsfilialen der Praktiker-Baumärkte verkauft. In German, Finanzen.net, Feb.26.2014.
  14. ^ Kingfisher buys Praktiker in Romania. Romania Insider, Aug.03.2017.
  15. ^ Kingfisher to close about 60 B&Q stores. BBC News, Mar.31.2015.
  16. ^ Our history. Kingfisher plc. Accessed Apr.06.2020.
  17. ^ Kingfisher sells Castorama Italy for $872 mln. Reuters, Aug.01.2008.
  18. ^ Kingfisher swoops for Castorama. Alistair Osborne, The Telegraph, May.16.2002.
  19. ^ Personal finance - How to grow your wealth and spend less money. The Telegraph, Mar.16.2015.
  20. ^ Kingfisher profits wiped out by Kesa demerger bills. Edward Simpkins, The Telegraph, Sept.14.2003.
  21. ^ Kingfisher plans Castorama takeover. The Guardian, May.15.2002.
  22. ^ Kingfisher eyes Castorama. BBC News, May.15.2002.
  23. ^ Kingfisher Acquires 22.5% Stake In Online Home Repair Group. Wall Street Journal, Feb.10.2000.
  24. ^ From online to high street: How Screwfix found DIY success. Peter Cunliffe, The Express, Oct.19.2013.
  25. ^ Kingfisher and Asda to merge. page 25. Sarah Cunningham, Fraser Nelson, The Times, Apr.17.1999.
  26. ^ The right way to retail. page 46. Fraser Nelson, The Times, Jul.05.1999.
  27. ^ Kingfisher Agrees To Castorama Deal. Dow Jones, The New York Times, Sept.26.1998.
  28. ^ Case No. IV/M.1333 - Kingfisher/Castorama. European Commission, Dec.17.1998.
  29. ^ Kingfisher in $4.6bn French deal. CNN, Jul.08.2002.
  30. ^ a b Kingfisher pays pounds 51m for Norweb Retail. Nigel Cope, The Independent, Nov.13.1996.
  31. ^ Kingfisher gives back ProMarkt to Wegerts. The Telegraph, Jan.18.2003.
  32. ^ The History of Chad Valley. Choose Valley. Accessed Dec.03.2018.
  33. ^ New chapter and big questions ahead for DIY empire behind B&Q. Graham Ruddick, The Telegraph, Mar.07.2015.
  34. ^ Comet Group. World Heritage Encyclopedia, Unknown.
  35. ^ Bethan Darwin on the employment tribunal ruling that Deloitte had failed to sufficiently consult with Comet staff made redundant. Bethan Darwin, WalesOnline, Jun.16.2014.
  36. ^ Comet staff win multi-million pound payout. Graham Ruddick, Daily Telegraph, Jun.12.2014.
  37. ^ Former Comet workers win 90 days' pay in redundancy employment case. Sarah Butler, The Guardian, Jun.13.2014.
  38. ^ Deloitte could face prosecution over Comet redundancies. Sarah Butler, The Guardian, Jun.22.2014.
  39. ^ Deloitte administrators referred to accountant regulator over Comet collapse. Simon Neville, The Independent, Jul.25.2014.
  40. ^ Deloitte accused of costing taxpayers 50m for botched administrations. Richard Crump, Accountancy Age, Aug.20.2014.
  41. ^ Wall Street planning assault on UK. Katherine Rushton, Graham Ruddick, The Telegraph, Feb.08.2014.
  42. ^ Comet backers recoup £54m from retailer. Graham Ruddick, Steve Hawkes, The Telegraph, Aug.15.2013.
  43. ^ Struggling Comet electrical chain is sold for a token £2 Peter Cripps, Belfast Telegraph (via HighBeam Research), Nov.09.2011. Original archived on Jun.11.2014.
  44. ^ Comet electrical stores sold by Kesa for £2. BBC News, Nov.09.2011.
  45. ^ Rude awakening from Best Buy's big dream. James Thompson, The Independent, Nov.08.2011.
  46. ^ Kesa: losses will not affect sale of Comet. Tom Bawden, The Independent, Dec.08.2011.
  47. ^ Kesa Electricals considering sale of loss-making Comet business Douglas Hamilton, The Herald (via HighBeam Research), Jun.23.2011. Original archived on Jun.11.2014.
  48. ^ Comet repositions around lifestyle Rosie Baker, Marketing Week, Sept.10.2010.
  49. ^ Crunch Sees Comet-Owner Kesa Plunge into the Red;. Birmingham Post (via Questia), Jun.25.2009.
  50. ^ How to sell the American way. Mail Online, Apr.21.2010.
  51. ^ Best Buy opens first British shop but postpones website launch. James Thompson, The Independent, Apr.29.2010.
  52. ^ City Focus: How to sell the American way. Rupert Steiner, Daily Mail, Apr.21.2010.
  53. ^ Comet not so bright as its profits slump. Daily Mail (via HighBeam Research), Dec.17.2008. Original archived on Mar.23.2015.
  54. ^ Tesco on the offensive. Daily Mail (via The Free Library), Jan.17.2005.
  55. ^ Kingfisher profits wiped out by Kesa demerger bills. Edward Simpkins, The Telegraph, Sept.14.2003.
  56. ^ a b Four Companies that failed spectactularly, and the lessons of their premature demise. Chartered Management Institute, Sept.17.2015.
  57. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named times-1996,10.07
  58. ^ a b Comet to make 1,200 redundant. Fraser Nelson. No.65790, p.27, The Times, Jan.18.1997.
  59. ^ Exploding Comet. page 28, The Times, Jan.19.1995.
  60. ^ a b Comet buys Laskys for £8.9m. Angela MacKay. No.63523, p.27, The Times, Oct.12.1989. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "times-1989.10.12" defined multiple times with different content
  61. ^ Woolworth steps in with £177m to clinch Comet. page 17, The Times, Apr.12.1984.
  62. ^ a b Family raises £9.9m in Comet shares sale. Peter Wainwright. No.60950, p.17, The Times, Jun.10.981. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "times-1981.06.10" defined multiple times with different content
  63. ^ Philips gets £9m in sale of 155 Loyds shops. page 15, The Times, Jul.10.1976.
  64. ^ Comet moves into gas appliances. page 28, The Times, Jan.16.1975.
  65. ^ Comet: High risk. page 21, The Times, Dec.11.1974.
  66. ^ a b New Issues. No.58519, The Times, Jul.01.9172.
  67. ^ Responsibilities of going public. Ross Davies. No.58672, p.17, The Times, Jan.04.1973.
  68. ^ From the first wirelesses to hi-tech TV, Comet leaves a trail of success. Leeds. Lizzie Murphy, The Yorkshire Post, May.16.2008.
  69. ^ Comet Radiovision valued at £13.7m. page 23. John Whitmore, The Times, Jul.03.1972.
  70. ^ Kingfisher may swoop on Norweb. No.65703, p.52, The Times, Oct.07.1006.

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Jan.1994, Direct Subsids:

  • Kingfisher plc
    • Chartwell Land plc, property company; started by redeveloping the Woolworth properties and diversified into redeveloping properties of other companies both in and outside of the group. Also manages an investment portfolio.
    • Halcyon Retail Services Ltd
    • Halcyon Finance Ltd (was Jupiter Finance Ltd)
    • Kingfisher Investments Ireland
    • Kingfisher Finance Ireland
    • 50%, Time Retail Finance Ltd, "Timecard" credit card facility, primarily for Kingfisher retailers.

Indirect:

  • B&Q plc / B & Q (Retail) Ltd
  • Charlie Browns Autocentres plc,
  • Comet Group plc
  • Entertainment UK Ltd, distributor of music CDs and cassettes, pre-recorded videos, video games, CD-ROM computer software, and books.
  • Financiere Darty SA
  • Financiere Kingfisher SA
  • Kingfisher Electrical Retailing Ltd
  • Kingfisher Business Supplies Ltd, has a 50% share in Staples The Office Superstore, JV w/Staples Inc
  • Kingfisher Insurance Ltd
  • Marston House plc
  • Music and Video Club (MVC), a chain selling music CDs and cassettes, pre-recorded videos, and multimedia items.
  • Superdrug Stores plc
  • Titles Leisure Ltd, video rental and retail chain
  • Triptych Insurance Ltd
  • Woolworths plc / Woolworth International Ltd / Woolworth Properties Ltd
  • Promarkt, 60% stake, an electrical retailer in Germany,
  • BUT, 26% stake, 4th largest electrical retailer in France.

JVs:

  • 50%, Marston House plc. JV w/Trafalgar House plc

Notes

  • June 2015, Woolworths.co.uk was merged into Very.co.uk. ref
  • Woolworth.uk logos
  • Woolworth.us logos
  • Very bad pics for Charlie Browns, Entertainment UK, MVC + Titles here, Jan.1994, p.4

Articles

  • Nov.21.2018: B&Q owner to pull out of Russia, Spain and Portugal after sales fall. Kingfisher announces move after sales drop by almost 3% at DIY chain in UK and Ireland. the group continues to struggle in the UK. A slowdown in the housing market and low consumer confidence has dampened enthusiasm for home improvement projects. Competition from online specialists has also affected traditional market leaders. Homebase has closed 42 stores this year and Travis Perkins is reviewing its ownership of Wickes. Kingfisher had been forced to cut costs to improve profits as sales sagged. It has cut 200 management jobs and ended night shifts. Sarah Butler, The Guardian.