Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF) has moved deeper into the home repairs and improvement market with the acquisition of French group NeedHelp for EUR10mln.

NeedHelp is an online platform that connects people needing home improvement help with vetted professional tradespeople and other artisans.

Guillaume de Kergariou, NeedHelp’s founder, will run the business and has reinvested proceeds from the sale for a 20% interest to leave Kingfisher owning 80%.

NeedHelp was founded in 2014 and has expanded from its French base into Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and the Netherlands.

The platform already provides its services to customers in more than 500 stores including Kingfisher’s French businesses Castorama and Brico Depot.

Revenue has tripled every year since its launch and NeedHelp expects to complete 58,000 jobs in 2020, with people working on their homes during lockdowns driving demand.

Kitchen installations, painting, flooring and bathroom renovations are its most popular services and its service manages the whole process including all bookings, online payments, vetting processes and the rating of tradespeople.

Kingfisher said it plans to roll out the platform rapidly in Poland and at B&Q in the UK. Kingfisher said NeedHelp will also co-operate with customers of trade supplies arm Screwfix.

In a statement, Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher’s CEO, said: “To serve customers effectively today, we need to be more digital and service orientated, while leveraging our strong store assets.

“Online services marketplaces are key to the future of home improvement retail and NeedHelp is an established and fast-growing player in this arena.”

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