Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive October 2009

Ruxley Rose finalists announced 30 October 2009
GCA's senior inspector Ian Boardman completes the national round of judging for the competition.

Chubb brand to disappear from high street after 180 years 30 October 2009
As negotiations over licensing come to an end it is announced that from next August, retailers will no longer be able to purchase locks under the Chubb brand.

BHETA relocates to Birmingham today 30 October 2009
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association is moving to its new offices in Birmingham tomorrow.

25,000 shops close as government rates put the squeeze on retailers 29 October 2009
British Property Federation (BPF) calls for greater government support for businesses, as new figures reveal that 10% of retailers closed in just nine months.

B&Q launches DIY classes for schools 29 October 2009
Home improvement retailer plans to bring lost skills back to hundreds of schools with its Job Done! Programme.

Another loft insulation war? 29 October 2009
Retail giants, including Focus and Homebase slash prices on energy saving products, even offering 'buy one get three free' deals, to entice customers to spend in autumn.

'Recovery remains fragile', says Akzo Nobel 28 October 2009
Paint and Coatings manufacturer reports 10% sales drop but mitigates UK decline with price increases.

Ad watchdog supports JML Twista Mop no-drip claim 28 October 2009
JML Direct has successfully defended its claim that its Twista Mop wrings out every last drop of water.

UK still in recession but high street sees tentative growth 28 October 2009
CBI reports most positive growth rate in almost two years but DIY and hardware stores report fall in sales.

Focus moves closer to break-even 26 October 2009
Focus, Britain's fourth largest retail DIY chain, took a step closer back towards break-even – and perhaps towards profitability – in the year to February 22, according to latest results filed at Companies House.

Man jailed over £20m drug heist at garden centre 26 October 2009
A drug supplier has been sentenced to five years in prison after he was arrested trying to smuggle amphetamines into Bolton in a delivery of conifer trees at Holland Nurseries.

Matalan considers sale 26 October 2009
Homewares chain approached by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in takeover bid.

BHETA appoints new DIY sector director 23 October 2009
Eliza Tinsley's Peter Stone will take up the role in the New Year.

Planning permission successful for Forest Lodge site 23 October 2009
Malcolm Scott Consultants Ltd gains double planning permissions for ambitious development at 14-hectare joint Forest Lodge and Birdworld site.

Habitat to be put up for sale? 22 October 2009
Parent company orders strategic review of loss-making homewares chain.

Debenhams own-brands see positive results 22 October 2009
Conversion of 53,000sq ft of sales space from concession to own-bought ranges pays off, as department store reports increase in sales and gross margin in 2009.

Rust-Oleum signs up as BBRA sponsor 22 October 2009
Leading paints and coating specialist is the latest big name to come on board for Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2009.

Electrical housewares retailer launches online 21 October 2009
Essex-based Household2U offers top brands, including Delonghi, Morphy Richards and Panasonic and hopes to create a more user-friendly shopping experience.

Rochford prosecuted for waste packaging offences 21 October 2009
Garden machinery company fined £3,420 for failing to meet recycling obligations.

Homebase sales up 3% 21 October 2009
Home enhancement retailer bucks the market trend as 'big ticket' sales boost its first half figures.

Lack of credit insurance has negative impact on UK businesses 20 October 2009
Majority of firms believe insurers are not assessing risk accurately and that the Government's top-up scheme should be extended.

London outperforms rest of UK in September 19 October 2009
City sales up 7.5% as milder weather encourages people out to the shops and the weakness of the pound attracts overseas visitors.

Flying Brands garden business sees 30% boost 19 October 2009
Home shopping group recruits 22,000 customers to Gardening Direct in three months.

Footprint brand back in business 16 October 2009
Sheffield-based hand tools brand Footprint has recommenced production at its Sedgley Road site in Owlerton, Sheffield under the name Footprint Sheffield, the former holding company of Footprint Tools.

DIY Week's latest issue 15 October 2009
DIY Week group ad manager Rachael Pearson closed her biggest deal yet when she welcomed her baby daughter Emily into the world last week.

Wickes md rises to the challenge 15 October 2009
Jeremy Bird and team of fundraisers reach summit of Mount Kilimanjaro this morning, to raise money for Wickes's chosen charity Leukaemia Research.

Thieves clear out safe in raid at Wyevale centre 14 October 2009
Garden centre manager threatened by two men in robbery at Great Gaddesdon store last Friday.

Pets die in garden centre blaze 14 October 2009
Massive fire at Gordon Rigg Garden Centre rages for more than 12 hours, destroying around a quarter of the building.

Strong sales for Ironmongery Direct 14 October 2009
Ironmongery Direct has continued its trend-bucking year with another quarter of like-for-like growth, growing operating profit for the quarter by 45%.

B&Q joins 10:10 climate change campaign 14 October 2009
Kingfisher-owned home improvement retailer joins thousands of individuals and organisations in pledge to cut carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

Consumer confidence is "trickling back" 13 October 2009
The British Retail Consortium reports a growth in consumer confidence reflected in a 2.8% growth in retail sales values on a like-for-like basis from September 2008.

Rainy Day Trust organises Spring Fair party 12 October 2009
Home enhancement industry charity The Rainy Day Trust will be holding a party alongside Spring Fair International and the Totally Shows next February.

British Ceramic Tile opens new £30m factory 9 October 2009
After two years of construction, the new premises was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on September 18.

Andy Vaughan announces next step 9 October 2009
Former BHETA diy and brushware director Andy Vaughan has announced a new business venture.

Woolies-style Alworths to launch next month 8 October 2009
After months of press speculation, a chain of Woolworths lookalike stores is now set to hit the high street from November but without the involvement of Tony Page.

Bulldog buys Caldwells' assets 8 October 2009
Wigan-based spade and fork manufacturer Rollins Bulldog Tools has purchased the assets of Caldwells Manufacturing, which entered administration in June 2009.

GIMA freezes membership rates 7 October 2009
Association votes to hold fees for another year to help in difficult trading conditions.

Prices down in September but DIY remains stable 7 October 2009
BRC reports, 'shop prices down on a year ago', with non-food deflation at 1.4% last month, while DIY and gardening sees 2% uplift.

Plasti-kote sponsors BBRA 6 October 2009
Plasti-kote, market leader in the UK spray paints market, is the latest big name to lend its support to Britain's Best Retailer Awards.

Visitors and exhibitors praise 'downsized' Glee 6 October 2009
2009 exhibition hailed as best trade show in years by buyers and suppliers who attended.

Countdown to Taiwan Hardware Show begins 6 October 2009
The Taiwan Hardware Show (THS) and Home Lifestyle Fair (HLS) kick off later this month (Oct 22-25) with the added attraction of the brand new Gardening Pavilion.

Tesco non-food delivers "strong performance" 6 October 2009
Supermarket giant's group sales grow 8.3% in first half, boosted by an 8% increase in non-food sales.

William Sinclair issues trading update 5 October 2009
William Sinclair performance 'in line with expectations' according to trading update released this morning.

New Visa fee adds to retailers' woes 5 October 2009
BRC slams planned hike in Visa card charges that could add around £20m to UK retailer costs, potentially driving up prices on the high street.

Hall move for Totally shows 5 October 2009
Increased demands on space at Spring Fair have meant the Totally shows, co-locating with Spring Fair for the first time next year, are making the move from hall nine to hall 10.

John Lewis own range scores highly in Which? test 5 October 2009
Department store chain gets top marks for its fridge and washer-dryer ranges, beating other leading brands.

Charles Bentley reports 25% sales rise 2 October 2009
Brushware manufacturer recovers from two difficult quarters with "more upbeat sales figures".

Trade associations sign formal merger 1 October 2009
The merger between the British Hardware Federation and the British Shops & Stores Association was made official yesterday at a signing ceremony in London.

Tesco launches installed kitchen and bathroom range 1 October 2009
Supermarket goes head to head with DIY and bathroom retailers by introducing new installed range online and instore.

UPDATE: More Mica members join Home Hardware 1 October 2009
Southwest branch experiences similar trend to Home Hardware Scotland, as 20 ex-Mica members flock to the dealer-owned wholesaler.


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