LONDON: B&Q is expanding its TradePoint business in a bid to attract builder customers.

TradePoint business will be rolled out to 118 UK stores by late summer from a capital investment of around £26 million. TradePoint operations have been trialled at nine B&Q locations around the country for the last year.

Euan Sutherland, chief executive of Kingfisher UK and B&Q said; "TradePoint represents a massive opportunity for Kingfisher in the UK bringing together the best of B&Q's retail locations and standards with Screwfix's trade infrastructure.

"We hope to bring a real boost to Britain's builders and tradesmen by creating new jobs in the sector and giving the trade what they want - speed, personal service, trade products at trade only prices," he said.

TradePoint is a 4000 square feet dedicated area within a B&Q store. It has its own separate entrance, exit, and payment area, a trade only manager and a team of eight to meet the tradesmen's needs. Access is restricted to TradePoint members who have been verified as genuine tradesmen. Trade customers choose from a catalogue of 12 000 specialist and trade branded products and place their order with staff at a manned counter. For those 8000 items held in stock, the products are picked within seven minutes by TradePoint staff from a 3000 sq ft warehouse behind the counter. For non-stocked items, overnight delivery is arranged. Trade customers can also shop the rest of the B&Q store with special catalogue pricing available to them on a large range of B&Q products.

Research by the retailer shows that in the locations it has been operating in over the last 12 months trade customers rate TradePoint over the competition because of speed of service, ease of access, exclusivity and trade only prices across 12 000 product lines from bricks and blocks, to plumbing, electrical, tools and fixings the company said.