News | Kingfisher CEO Thierry Garnier

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“We are smarter when we trust partners”

Thierry Garnier has been at the helm of the British Kingfisher group since September 2019 as CEO.

Thierry Garnier has been at the helm of the British Kingfisher group since September 2019 as CEO.

With a commitment to working to together in the industry, to brands and to physical stores, Kingfisher CEO Thierry Garnier spoke out at the Global DIY-Network. "We absolutely need brands, we need to find a good balance between private label and brands," he said when asked by Edra general secretary John Herbert in the interview about the share of own brands at 44 per cent, but also in view of discussions in the past. Garnier advocated an "open ecosystem" and said: "We are smarter when we trust partners." He also spoke in favour of the industry presenting itself jointly, both on a national as well as international level, for example when it comes to politics.

The positioning he strives for - the Frenchman has been at the helm of the British Kingfisher group since September 2019 as CEO - was highlighted by Garnier with further, very fundamental statements. For example, he mentioned several times that speed is more important than perfection, and referred to his several years of experience in China where he worked for the French trade company Carrefour. He also repeated his commitment to the physical store, which can also be seen in the latest quarterly reports by Kingfisher, when he spoke of the "mega trend smaller format": "We should learn how to do smaller formats." At the same time, he sees that the store portfolio always has a "natural link with the online operations," for example through click & collect or as collection point.

When asked, he referred to the withdrawal from Russia as "absolutely necessary". In contrast, he feels it is right to remain in Spain and Portugal, where Brico Dépôt is very profitable and where they have "new plans and ideas." For further expansion in future, he sees the cooperation with master franchisees, such as currently in the Middle East, as an important element.

Garnier is optimistic about the year ahead. In the interview he talked in particular about two "supportive trends": more working from home and new DIYers, especially in the younger generation.

|17 May 2021 | 12:23


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