Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive August 2008

Profits slump at Grafton 29 August 2008
Irish merchanting and retailing group hit by slowdown in trading but vows to emerge stronger and more competitive

United Housewares Merchants appoints two new members 29 August 2008
Independent wholesaler group United Housewares Merchants has two new members, taking the total within the group to 19.

Marshalls focuses on growth sectors as profits fall 17% 29 August 2008
Specialist landscape products group look at sales opportunities in growth markets, an acceleration in cost reductions and ways to conserve cash to retain financial flexibility

Obituary: Alec Mulholland 28 August 2008
Alec Mulholland, one of the early pioneers of Toolbank, has passed away.

Matalan named and shamed by FPB 28 August 2008
Forum of Private Business (FPB) enters Matalan into its 'hall of shame' after the retailer imposes a new charge on suppliers to fund its growth.

Woolworths faces months of turmoil 28 August 2008
Investment bank heaps pressure on general retailer with a damning verdict on the retail business, its format, and the company's financial stability

Industry backs multi-trade show 28 August 2008
Leading trade associations and wholesale groups renew their support for Totally Tools, Totally DIY, and Totally Secure.

Mica relocates head office 28 August 2008
Staff, including three company directors, move into purpose-built offices overlooking recently opened distribution facility

Speculation over job cuts at Homebase 20 August 2008
Rumours rife that hundreds of employees will be offered redundancy after staff letter leaked to press.

Wyevale appoints Andrew Livingston as chief operating officer 20 August 2008
Garden centre rewards former commercial director with new role that reflects his invaluable help in rejuvenating the business, says executive chairman, Jim Hodkinson.

Baugur seeks to force negotiations at Woolworths 19 August 2008
Icelandic investment group contacts Woolworths' shareholders in bid to bring retailer's directors to negotiating table to talk about a buy-out of retail division.

Argos and Unite settle pay dispute 19 August 2008
Settlement reached between both parties after adjustments to earlier offers as more than two-thirds of workers vote in favour of an amended pay deal.

Management team seals Crown Paints deal 19 August 2008
Howard Luft, Eric Mullholland and Joe Devitt welcome the brand's return to independence and vow to build on its heritage.

Woolworths rejects 'unacceptable' bid 18 August 2008
Former Iceland founder, Malcolm Walker sends in a proposal by letter for retail arm only

Founders buy back Floors-2-Go 18 August 2008
Brothers Robert and Richard Hodges return to business they founded in 1999 and floated on the stock market in 2004.

NWF renews focus with sale of garden centre division 14 August 2008
Centres being actively marketed to potential suitors with sale completion expected towards the end of the year

DIY and garden hit by worst summer since 2004 14 August 2008
Optimistic retailers aim to stay strong and refuse to accept doom and gloom.

GCA names best North and South Thames winners 13 August 2008
Frosts Garden Centres and Millbrook Garden Centre shine in regional heats

Wilkinson: £3bn in sales by 2012 13 August 2008
Wilkinson has announced ambitious plans that will see it operate from 500 stores by 2012, generating sales of £3bn - a rise of more than £2.5bn on current trading in 40 months.

Cause of 'toxic' sofas revealed 13 August 2008
Argos one of three retailers facing 'largest action' taken in UK for a faulty product.

Sentry Safe buys stateside 12 August 2008
Sentry Safe UK has announced the acquisition of US business Schwab Corporation for an undisclosed sum.

Marshalls brushes and rollers to be re-introduced to UK market 12 August 2008
German manufacturer and distributor of decorating sundries mako GmbH has signed a deal to re-introduce the Marshall's range of brushes and rollers to the UK market.

Former Focus DIY ceo bags Woolworths top job 12 August 2008
Steve Johnson succeeds Trevor-Bish Jones as chief executive of troubled high-street retailer

Bosch and Royal Doulton named Superbrands 12 August 2008
Electrical appliance manufacturer Bosch and tableware company Royal Doulton have been featured in top ten of the UK's favourite brands.

Employees over 50 more 'fulfilled' 11 August 2008
Older employees are happiest at work, according to survey commissioned by Vodafone.

London sales up by nearly 9% 11 August 2008
Retail sales in the capital have seen an 8.7% rise for June 2008 compared to same month last year.

99p still a winner 11 August 2008
French study proves customers still enticed by clever pricing.

Gordale founder retires after 60 years 8 August 2008
Nursery proud of its long-serving members of staff.

Online sales see boost as high street slows down 7 August 2008
76% of online retailers have seen an increase in sales over the last 12 months.

Former ICI Paints boss launches Trade 1st website 7 August 2008
Online business designed to serve painting and decorating professionals without trade account restrictions.

Nottingham conman jailed for DIY receipt scam 6 August 2008
'Millionaire shoplifter' sentenced to more than two years in prison for money laundering after arrest at Homebase in Altrincham.

Q2: Smaller projects on the rise says GfK 6 August 2008
GfK's barometer finds the winners and losers from April to June in the DIY market. Speaking to DIY Week, GfK outlines what's going on in the market at the moment.

Crown stays tight lipped about reported MBO 5 August 2008
Despite yesterday's reports in the national press about a Crown management buyout, the company is refusing to confirm or deny that the company has been bought.

Carpetright sees sales go through the floor 5 August 2008
Carpetright, the UK's biggest retailer of floorcoverings announced today a fall in first quarter sales.

Tefal steams into the lead in Which? test 4 August 2008
Tefal has taken the top spot in Which?'s recent review of the best irons on the market.

EXCLUSIVE: Wrapit enters administration 4 August 2008
The beleaguered gift list business has announced that administrators KPMG were called in this morning after a period of uncertainty about the future of the business.

Kingfisher sells Italian arm of Castorama 1 August 2008
French home improvement retailer Groupe Adeo S.A. buys Italian business for €560m.

Topps Tiles releases interim management statement 1 August 2008
Trading conditions 'remain challenging' with decline in revenue.


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