Kingfisher CEO: Scotland Should Stay in the U.K.

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June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Kingfisher CEO Sir Ian Cheshire discusses the company's brands, business challenges and his views on Scottish independence with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Kingfisher for those that don't know the the various brands that you operate under.

We do about $17 billion, that is number three behind.

We are about to be 11 countries.

They have been at the lows.

Very similar type of business.

What particular challenges do you face?

I know you have a background in retail.

What is the biggest challenge right now for kingfisher?

These grown-up quite separately.

They grew up as national leaders.

We're turning that into an international network.

We are trying to work out how to bring that together intelligently.

Not ending up with a one-size-fits-all.

Intelligently bring it together.

Probably the other major challenge is what is going on in the euro zone, the economy where we saw some weaknesses.

Managing across 11 countries is a bit of a challenge.

Not a unified market.

Recently, you have ordered results.

It showed that there was a bit of a slowdown.

This forced a promotional environment into the industry.

Will that change will have we moved into a different seasonal pattern?

This is a big quarterly were port and people tend to look at things in depth for the rest of the year.

We are comfortable with what the rest of years going to be.

We will continue to have the recovery in the u.k.. probably an flat market in france.

One of the products that i note that you are featuring is the going gnome.

I had to show this.

It is a world cup theme.

We have a bit of a history.

This is a particular english obsession.

We had the olympic gnomes.

Obviously because it was world cup.

It is trying to stop people scoring a goal because england needs help when it comes to defending against penalties.

You're hoping it will bring the team some luck.

Does england need help defending against the ascension of scotland from the union?

There is a really very narrow band of difference between the yes and no vote.

We have been trying to put the economic case, what we think the position should be.

There is a referendum, right?

Yes, they have 5 billion stocks.

What we try to say is here is the business.

We think that scotland is better, stronger, more prosperous as part of the united kingdom.

We think the better option is to stay together.

Let's say they vote for independence or separation.

Would that cause you and many other industries as far as you would know to put plans on hold to then see what happens with the legal system, even just the currency being used?

I think it is the uncertainty, the fact we don't know how the currency would work.

You cannot just pick up and leave.

We have three and a half thousand people.

I think this causes unnecessarily uncertainty.

You mentioned a word uncertainty and you look into the housing industry in europe.

It is fragmented.

We know about the travails of the business in spain.

What are you seeing base in the numbers that you have seen?

The numbers show to speed development.

U.k., particularly in the housing market.

On the other hand, the french housing market is flat with new starts declining?

Now, you have a market like spain, which is still at low levels, but probably beginning to show some signs of early recovery.

We might be seeing a few glimmers in some places like spain and portugal.

No plans to do regional garden gnomes?

We try to explain them to my french colleagues and they looked very confused and perplexed.

We will have to find another product.

Are there some feta cheese you would like to explore, borrow ideas from different industries?

You have a combination of retailing and commerce which would pick up, for example?

What we are seeing in the home-improvement business is stores are a greater demonstration.

The people want to use their mobile devices to do a lot of their pre-shopping outside of the store.

We have a fantastic business in the u.k. which is probably our best on the channel player and that is being used to guide the development.

We're looking at this to inform the rest of the world.

Do you have any plans on him is stores you would like to open next year?

We are doing two things, we have 50 new stores that will come through.

The other big move we are making is we are in negotiations to emerge with a number three player in france which would add 400 french to the network and give us a great opportunity to grow our business.

That will be a big effort for next year.

Class could you stay for a little bit longer?

You mentioned scottish

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