Wickes is set to take on 900 new colleagues from rival B&Q after it announced a streamlining of its bathroom, kitchen and installation services.
As part of a major recruitment drive, Wickes said it was investing significantly in its professional kitchen and bathroom offer and was eyeing the possibility of hiring B&Q’s design consultants and subcontracted installers.
B&Q has stressed that the 900 colleagues being eyed by Wickes have not lost their jobs and that at this stage it was too early to say how many people would be affected as a result of their decision to simplify the kitchens and bathrooms sales process and installation customer service.
B&Q added that the affected colleagues were still in consultation, and that overall, it still expected a net increase of 400 jobs afterwards.
Nonetheless, the 900 new colleagues being targeted by Wickes could take up jobs in two different divisions within the retailer.
Firstly, 750 skilled fitters will join Wickes’ installer network – which already features 1900 teams – in response to increased demand for kitchen and bathroom installation.
Meanwhile, with over 600 design consultants already spread across 230 showrooms nationally, Wickes said it was bolstering this with an additional 150 design consultants.
“Our kitchen and bathroom showroom offering is witnessing an increasing demand from consumers wanting a fully installed service, so by taking on more installers and design consultants, we’ll be able to undertake more projects for customers,” Wickes HR director Fraser Longden said.
“We believe that the demand and growth in this area represents a multi-million pound opportunity, and a bolstered team will help us tap into this, becoming the go-to-brand when it comes to choosing a new kitchen or bathroom.
“We’re really excited to welcome a new pool of talent that will bring some fantastic experience to our business, and delighted that so many are choosing to further their career with us.”
Alongside its recruitment drive, Wickes said it has introduced new showroom layouts and store refits in over 100 stores to date as part of a long term roll-out initiative.
The news comes amid a difficult time for the DIY retail sector, with job cuts announced recently at beleaguered retailer Homebase.