Things got off to a flying start at the new B&Q Swindon Warehouse today as Olympic archer and Team B&Q member Alison Williamson and Swindon Town legend Don Rogers opened the store.
Liz Pound, Liz Hackett and Mary Harte who opened the original store in 1989 and still work at B&Q, were also on hand to help general manager Keri Evans welcome customers through the doors – after they were opened, pictured right
The 150,000 sq ft store is twice the size of Wembley Stadium and has created 250 new jobs in Swindon as well as doubling the product range of the old store in the town centre.
B&Q Swindon's eye-catching new kitchen and bathroom displays sit alongside a vast range of flooring, lighting, soft furnishings and energy efficient products from water butts to loft insulation. The store has over 50 different kitchens and an extensive range of summer furniture and BBQ's so customers can make the most of the warm weather,
The Barnfield Road store also has a 25,000 sq foot garden centre, which when combined with the 20,000 sq ft building centre is bigger than the old store! The garden centre stocks everything from bedding plants and watering cans to B&Q's new Outstanding Plants range. Divided into four themes – Mediterranean, Oriental, Tropical and Topiary, the range has something for everyone.
Some of the great opening offers at B&Q Swindon include a Ryobi drill with a 19 piece accessory set and a free MP3 player for just ??19.98 and a Samsung American fridge-freezer for just ??599.
B&Q Swindon general manager Keri Evans, pictured with Alison Williamson, said, "It's great to finally open the store to customers and have such strong support from Don and Alison. The team here have really pulled together to make this a B&Q store we can all be proud of, and one which offers our local customers really new and tempting products. I look forward to welcoming our new customers through the doors"
Team B&Q member Alison Williamson commented, "I felt really privileged to be invited to such an exciting event. I met lots of staff and they were really keen to hear about my sporting experiences. I think the new store is going to be a great benefit to Swindon."
Before the doors opened to the public, staff member Lauretta Hilton, who lives at Oakhurst, reprised her performance of Nobody does it better, which was adopted as the B&Q song in TV adverts, which she recorded for a limited edition CD in 2002.
B&Q's Olympic backing
B&Q is the largest home improvement and garden centre retailer in the UK and Europe employing over 38,000 people nation-wide, 25% of whom are over 50 years of age. Across the UK, B&Q has over 330 stores, including 119 B&Q Warehouses. B&Q is part of Kingfisher plc, the world's third largest home improvement retailer with over 680 stores in 11 markets in Europe and Asia. These include over 50 B&Q stores in China, including B&Q Beijing, which is now the largest B&Q store in the world.
The companyy's partnership with the British Olympic Association and sponsorship of Team GB is brought to life through its very own squad of athletes, Team B&Q. This consists of Olympians and Paralympians who promote B&Q's 'You Can Do It' ethos at B&Q stores and community events and who also mentor aspiring Olympians and Paralympians who work in B&Q stores around the country and are hoping to compete in Beijing in 2008.
Team B&Q athletes include:
Olympians & Paralympians
Kelly Holmes: Gold medals, 800m and 1500m
Ade Adepitan: Bronze medal, Basketball (Paralympics)
Sarah Ayton: Gold medal, Yngling
Gail Emms: Silver medal, Badminton Mixed Doubles
Chris Hoy: Gold and silver medal, Track 1km time trial and team sprint, Cycling
Jayant Mistry: Paralympian, 44 international doubles & 19 singles titles, Wheelchair Tennis
Leon Taylor: Silver medal, Synchronised Diving – 10m
Campbell Walsh: Silver medal, Canoeing
Alison Williamson: Bronze medal, individual category, Archery
Aspiring Olympians & Paralympians and where the work in the B&Q chain
Blake Aldridge: Diving; B&Q Warehouse, Nursling
Leon Baptiste: 100m: B&Q Warehouse, Loughborough
Bradley Burrowes: Weightlifting; B&Q Warehouse, Bristol
Mark Christie: Pole Vaulter; B&Q Warehouse, Sunderland
Ryan Dinham: 400m hurdles; B&Q Warehouse, Tunbridge Wells
Craig Gibbons: Swimming; B&Q Warehouse, Loughborough
Lisa Miller: 400m; B&Q Warehouse, Greenwich
Steven Scott: Double Trap Shooter, B&Q Bexhill
Shaun Sewell: Adaptive rowing AM1X; B&Q Leyton
Nick Smith: 100m; B&Q Dunfermline
Martin Stamper: Taekwondo; B&Q Warehouse, Loughborough
Jonathan Willis: Fencing; B&Q Warehouse, Stockport
Jade Wright: 10,000m; B&Q Warehouse, Watford