Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive November 2008

Scottish firm snapped up by Nespoli 28 November 2008
Lightning Paint Rollers has been bought up by the giant Nespoli Group, who are expanding their UK interests.

Almost 500 jobs go at Merseyside firm as profits rise 28 November 2008
A Liverpool-based tool and equipment hire firm has cut almost 500 jobs after reporting lower than hoped for results for October.

Sidmouth Garden Centre in battle over planning dispute 28 November 2008
Council issues enforcement notice to close new farm shop despite stating that it ‘would not require planning approval’.

Woolworths in adminstration 27 November 2008
Talks to save beleaguered retailer Woolworths broke down last night forcing the firm into administration.

Kingfisher results: Trade Depot to close but Screwfix profits up 27 November 2008
Kingfisher UK's profits slumped as the effects of a miserably wet summer and the economic downturn hit.

Home Retail acquires exclusive use of electrical trademarks 27 November 2008
Leading UK home and general retailer purchases intellectual property rights to Alba and Bush trademarks for £15.25m.

Swedish retailer hits UK high street 27 November 2008
Clas Ohlson today opens its first UK store in a bid to bring a new type of ‘modern hardware’ to British consumers.

Woolworths axes share trading as sale looms 26 November 2008
Woolworths asked for trading in its shares to be suspended this morning after they fell 25p since Monday.

UPDATE: MFI in administration again 26 November 2008
MFI is about to enter administration for the second time in as many months.

Christmas sales boost for John Lewis 25 November 2008
John Lewis has shrugged off last week's profits slump to announce sales of its Christmas products were showing an 11.3% week-on-week increase.

Home Hardware names best dressed for Christmas 25 November 2008
Watson Home Hardware ‘delighted’ as it bags the top spot in window dressing competition for second year in a row.

Dividend scrapped as Topps Tiles sales drop 5.4% 25 November 2008
Tile and wood flooring specialist decides not to pay final dividend in order to reduce net debt and improve its ‘financial flexibility’.

Grosvenor named best in the North West 25 November 2008
Grosvenor Garden Centre has been named 'Green City' regional winner of a brand new award.

Woolworths takeover talks ongoing 24 November 2008
Talks to save troubled high street chain Woolworths are continuing this week after a revised rescue bid was drawn up.

Electrical giant BDC calls in administrators 24 November 2008
The UK's largest distributor of electrical appliances, BDC, otherwise known as Bridisco, went into administration on Friday.

Powertek gutted by fire 24 November 2008
Watford-based tool supplier suffers heavy damage following a suspicious fire last week.

BHETA to help form 'Super Federation'? 24 November 2008
Following a unanimous Board decision on October 30, members of the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) have been asked to vote on a proposal that will see their Association join forces with the British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation (BJGF) to form a new 'super federation'.

John Lewis sales figures show further fall 21 November 2008
John Lewis sales figures plunged by 14% last week fueling fears cash conscience customers are trading down from the high-end stores due to the economic turn down.

Royal Worcester stockists hold clearance sales 21 November 2008
16 outlets across UK to slash prices on Royal Worcester and Spode pottery following firm’s entry into administration.

B&Q to teach practical DIY courses 20 November 2008
B&Q has joined forces with affordable housing scheme Home to give residents the chance to take practical courses in subjects like flooring and gardening.

Stars shine at Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2008 20 November 2008
Retailers across the sector are celebrating this week after scooping Gold Awards at this year's Britain's Best Retailer Awards.

ONS figures show retail sales up 20 November 2008
Figures released today (November 20) by the Office of National Statistics show improved year-on-year sales in the retail sector.

Retailers to source more UK Christmas trees due to costs 19 November 2008
Businesses looking to boost profits this Christmas with festive trees have been forced to source them closer to home, according to the British Christmas Tree Grower's Association.

Woolworths in talks to sell stores 19 November 2008
Restructuring specialist Hilco in the picture to snap up the troubled chain if board members are able to secure support of Woolworth’s lenders and shareholders.

90% of paint strippers could be banned by Brussels proposals 19 November 2008
A possible European Commission led ban on the use of dichloromethane would affect 90% of all paint strippers currently on the market, according to a Scottish MEP.

M&S goes international 18 November 2008
Marks & Spencer has launched an international delivery service giving potentially millions of customers access to its home accessories range through the internet.

Wolseley to axe further 2,300 jobs 18 November 2008
Majority of job losses will take place in UK as building materials supplier reacts to market with ‘aggressive but measured cost reduction’.

Garden centres compete for Ruxley Rose prize 18 November 2008
Ten Garden Centre Association stores from around the country are battling it out for the Ruxley Rose plant retailing competition.

Workmen opt for ‘labourer’s latte’ over builder’s brew 18 November 2008
Wickes poll reveals 60% of Britain’s tradesmen now down tools for a cup of coffee rather than the nation’s favourite, a cup of tea.

Marshalls' sales drop 9.7% 17 November 2008
Landscaping company blames ‘poor summer weather’ and weak demand as like-for-like revenue falls to £128m.

Kim Wilde opens new £4m Dunweedin' production plant 17 November 2008
The pop-star turned horticulturalist has officially opened the plant in Cheshire.

Sales have shot up 23% since a Welsh DIY store opened its new drive-through 17 November 2008
The new-look Leekes' Building Centre was officially opened in June after the firm identified a local market in Llantrisant, Glamorgan for easy access to building materials and cost-effective ranges.

Home Hardware Scotland sees 20% sales rise 17 November 2008
At a time when there is so much bad news in the marketplace and so many companies are struggling, it's a pleasure to report some good news. Home Hardware Scotland's autumn sales brochure has seen a like-for-like sales rise of 20.5% compared with last year – proving people are still spending.

John Lewis sales down by almost 10% 14 November 2008
Eighth consecutive weekly decline for the department store chain as director Nat Wakely blames economic uncertainty and ‘grim weather’ for difficult trading conditions.

New look for DIY store John Lyne Home Hardware 14 November 2008
Family-run DIY store John Lyne Home Improvements has rebranded and is now known as John Lyne Home Hardware.

JCB to axe 398 jobs 14 November 2008
Company blames ‘significant reduction’ in orders for job cuts despite staff compromise over working hours to save hundreds of jobs last month.

101-year-old Whitehall Garden Centre boss is honored by the Queen 14 November 2008
The country's oldest boss Phyllis Self, of Lacock in Wiltshire, became a Member of the British Empire this week.

Henkel managing director Kim Walker has stepped down after 22 years 13 November 2008
The long serving MD has been planning his retirement for some time, and, says the company, the timing of his departure is entirely unrelated to the 58% fall in profits announced earlier this month.

DIY Week informed of Homebase job cuts 13 November 2008
Anonymous tip-off reveals staff are shocked by news of 160 redundancies as consultation period begins at DIY retail chain.

Tesco makes first move into fitted kitchen market 13 November 2008
Tesco has made an aggressive move into the fitted kitchen market by revealing a ready to install set for under £1000.

Homeowners 'get a shed' with property enhancements 12 November 2008
Garden and bathroom improvements top the bill as favourites to add value to homes during credit crunch.

Homebase offers incentive to move 12 November 2008
DIY retailer launches new scheme to help buyers furnish their homes to help reduce ‘additional moving-in costs’.

Sainsbury's profits up 13.3% as firm announces push on homewares 12 November 2008
Sainsbury's has, as the financial market widely predicted, announced pre-tax profits were up 13.3% to £272m. The supermarket now plans to increase the availability of its new 2,000-strong homeware line 'TU Home' launched in April this year.

Woolworths stalwart Jones dies 12 November 2008
Non-executive director passes away after 50 years with the company.

Worst retail figures for three years...but DIY holds up! 11 November 2008
Like-for-like UK retail sales values fell 2.2% in October compared with 2007 and total sales were lower than a year ago for the first time since April 2005 according to the latest figures from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Draper scores a hat trick 10 November 2008
Draper Tools have won 'Overall Supplier of the Year' to the THS Group for the third year in a row.

Henkel sees sales increase but profits plummet 7 November 2008
Henkel has seen its third quarter net profits fall by a dramatic 58% despite an average organic sales growth of 3.5% across all its businesses.

Impressive results for Arthur Price 6 November 2008
Cutlery and giftware supplier’s trade division up 20% on same period last year.

Homebase latest to announce job cuts 6 November 2008
DIY giant the latest in a line of retailers to announce redundancies in a bid to mitigate a sharp decline in like-for-like sales this year.

Wimbledon and Man U tickets up for grabs 6 November 2008
Top sporting tickets among the star lots due to be auctioned at the 2009 DIY Gala Dinner in aid of the Rainy Day Trust.

Downturn drags Royal Worcester & Spode into administration 6 November 2008
Historic English tableware company Royal Worcester & Spode has today gone into administration.

Wrapit creditors won’t be paid 5 November 2008
Creditors left out of pocket by the demise of wedding list company Wrapit are unlikely to see a penny according to the ‘Statement of administrators’ proposals’.

John Lewis plans makeover for Bluewater branch 5 November 2008
Retailer to invest more than £20m in flagship store, ten years after its opening.

Good news in wider scheme of things 5 November 2008
It seems that while it's bad news for the economy in general, DIY and gardening as a sector may be better equipped to weather the storm than others.

Not so seedy 4 November 2008
Girls from Johnsons Lawn Seed pose for calendar to raise money for local charity.

Marks and Spencer profits drop 34% 4 November 2008
But board assures shareholders that interim dividend will not be cut.

Debenhams md to leave at end of month 3 November 2008
Debenhams made the unexpected announcement today that its managing director Angela Spindler would leave the company at the end of this month after just nine months in the role.

Akzo Nobel profits drop in Q3 3 November 2008
ICI integration wipes 23% off third quarter profits with ‘incidental’ and ‘one off charges’.

DIY Week team up to full strength 3 November 2008
DIY Week is delighted to announce a new look editorial team, bringing the team back up to full strength.


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