B&Q is a British retailer of DIY and home improvement tools and supplies. It was founded in 1969 and is the largest DIY retailer in Europe, the largest in China and the third largest in the world, behind The Home Depot and Lowe’s and ahead of OBI. It is a subsidiary of the retail group Kingfisher plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
B&Q was founded in March 1969 in Southampton, England by Richard Block and David Quayle.
The store was originally called Block & Quayle, but this was soon shortened to B&Q. This first store soon spawned others across the UK; by 1979 there were 26. By this time, the first of the co-founders had left the business: Block left in 1976 and Quayle in 1982.
B&Q grew rapidly during this time through a combination of mergers, acquisitions and expansions. In 1980, B&Q bought the Scottish company Dodge City, and was itself acquired by F. W. Woolworth Company. F. W. Woolworth’s UK subsidiary (Woolworths Ltd.) and B&Q were bought, two years later, by Paternoster, who are now known as Kingfisher plc and are still B&Q’s parent company.
The mid 1990s saw B&Q open a new format of store known as The Depot (later adjusted to B&Q Depot). This was a forerunner of a new class of store known as the B&Q Warehouse.
In the late 1990s, B&Q became active in the rest of Europe and the rest of the world. First, in 1995 it co-operated with parent company Kingfisher plc to open its first overseas subsidiary in Taiwan, and in 1996 the first overseas large home improvement center in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. In 1998, it acquired NOMI, Poland’s leading chain of DIY stores; later that year B&Q merged with France’s Castorama. In 1999 B&Q opened a store in Shanghai, and acquired the British hardware mailorder company, Screwfix. B&Q opened the first store in Hong Kong on 1 June 2007 , but was scheduled to close it on September 13 2009.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia