Wickes is taking on 900 new members of staff to keep up with the ‘demand for fully designed and installed kitchens’.
The retailer, which has a store in Burgess Hill, says it is taking on design consultants and installers who have been working with B&Q.
B&Q is proposing to move away from offering installation services to reflect customer preference – some 90 per cent of B&Q customers already choose to use their own fitter, the retailer said.
Fraser Longden, HR and operations director for Wickes, said: “We’re really excited to welcome a new pool of talent that will bring some fantastic experience to our business.”
He added: “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.
“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.”
The transition of the new team will be completed by the end of 2018.
A spokesman for B&Q said the changes were about ‘improving its service for customers to make their experience faster and simpler’.
They added: “We subcontract all installation work to our register of high quality installers. Being a B&Q registered installer does not mean they work exclusively for B&Q Homefit. They are self-employed and free to undertake non-homefit contracts too.
“We will have nearly 400 more colleagues in our stores in the kitchen and bathroom areas.
“We will be making it simpler for customers to buy a new kitchen or bathroom, and they will deal with just one colleague, who will be able to help them with everything – booking a design appointment, product selection, and design of their kitchen or bathroom.”