Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive December 2009

Clas Ohlson names Leeds next 24 December 2009
Clas Ohlson is continuing its UK roll out with the signing of an agreement for lease on a new store in Leeds, UK.

A tough 2010...but no worse than 2009 24 December 2009
Four out of five retailers who took part in the British Retail Consortium's 2010 Concerns Snapshot Survey said they expected sales to be the same as in 2009. Not one thought that sales would be worse and a fifth thought they would improve.

Tile Depot HO moves to larger premises 24 December 2009
A new Tile Depot store and head office will open on January 4 on the Farnham Road Trade Park in Slough.

Tetrosyl discontinues distribution deal with Artex 23 December 2009
Tetrosyl will discontinue the present arrangement for the distribution of the Tetrion Homecare range by Artex. From January 2, Tetrosyl will be trading directly with distributors and retailers.

Severe weather hits retail footfall 23 December 2009
The freezing weather conditions kept many shoppers at home last week, according to the latest footfall figures from Synovate, with London and the South East worst affected.

TV opportunity: Meet UK buyers 22 December 2009
A new BBC TV series will see some of Britain's "biggest and best loved high street stores" make space on their shelves for products designed by the British public.

B&Q starts 'biggest ever' sale on Christmas Eve 22 December 2009
B&Q will slash prices this week in a sale that will see prices cut by up to 50% from Christmas Eve.

Topps Tiles withdraws Dutch funding 18 December 2009
Topps Tiles' Dutch subsidiary is "unlikely to be able to continue trading on a going concern basis" after Topps withdrew support and funding from the loss-making business.

Top level management changes at Focus 18 December 2009
Focus DIY has made a number of management changes as part of the latest phase of its strategic development.

Showroom sales soar at Wickes 17 December 2009
Home improvement chain sees 23% increase for the year so far, boosting parent Travis Perkins' turnover.

Conference confirmed at Totally 2010 17 December 2009
Popular event to run again at new location in Birmingham, with speakers from the BRC and Verdict Research.

Spate of Christmas tree thefts continue 16 December 2009
Bold robbers close off road to steal trees worth £10,000 from South London garden centre.

Get your ideas in front of the Dragons 16 December 2009
BBC in search for Britain’s best entrepreneurs for new series of Dragons’ Den.

Glee offers discounts to entice exhibitors back 15 December 2009
Birmingham-based show employs new contractor to help drive down exhibiting costs and throw off its reputation as being "too expensive".

Carpetright sees strongest sales since 2004 15 December 2009
Carpetright has reported a 9.6% increase in total sales (3.9% on a like-for-like basis) for the six months to the end of October; its strongest half-year sales for five years.

Habitat sold for restructuring 14 December 2009
Habitat's Swedish owner ICAF has disposed of the loss-making house and homewares retailer after agreeing to inject £45m into the company. The deal sees restructuring specialist Hilco take control of the 71-store chain.

HobbyCraft to be sold? 14 December 2009
Crafts retailer HobbyCraft could be sold for an estimated £70m, according to reports in The Telegraph.

GCA announces Christmas display winners 14 December 2009
Barton Grange and Castle Gardens win top spots in annual competition, commended for their displays and for maximising sales of Christmas ranges.

John Lewis breaks new sales record 14 December 2009
Department store chain hits £110m, as Christmas shopping is in full swing and homewares sales soar.

Watson Home Hardware wins best Christmas window 11 December 2009
Sutton-on-sea hardware store bags accolade for its festive displays for the third year in a row.

Christmas optimism but what will the New Year bring? 11 December 2009
42% of retailers expect this Christmas to be better than last year but say it will remain driven by heavy discounting, with sales affected by the VAT rise in Jan.

Homebase criticised for sexist instructions 10 December 2009
DIY giant apologises after one of its tools suggests it is so straightforward, even a woman could use it.

London businesses at their most upbeat for 18 months 9 December 2009
Firms in the capital feel London is still a good place to do business, while employers are also being encouraged to do more to motivate their staff.

Smaller businesses helped by extension in tax relief 9 December 2009
Alistair Darling's pre-budget report reaches out to smaller UK businesses with extension of empty property tax and deferred increase in corporation tax.

Liverpool next for Clas Ohlson 8 December 2009
Swedish hardware retailer is continuing its UK rollout with the news that it has signed a lease agreement on a new store in Liverpool.

Search starts for Totally Show Stoppers 7 December 2009
Totally shows organiser Brintex has launched the search for the Best New Products Awards at next February's shows, this year re-named Show Stoppers.

John Lewis has best sales week ever 7 December 2009
In what can only be seen as more encouraging news for the retail sector, department store chain John Lewis has reported its best ever weekly sales.

New ceo at Crown Paints 7 December 2009
Crown Paints has announced the appointment of Brian Davidson as group ceo. Mr Davidson takes up the role as of today and replaces Graham Hallworth, who steps down from his position as executive chairman. However, Mr Hallworth will remain involved as a strategic advisor.

EDRA becomes independent body 4 December 2009
The European DIY Retail Association (EDRA) became an independent body this week, having previously been administered by the French FMB and the German BHB.

BHETA calls another meeting to decide merger 4 December 2009
Following its relocation to the Birmingham offices of the British Jewellery, Giftware & Finishing Federation (BJGF) BHETA is now keen to resolve the issue of a merger between the two associations.

Daily Mirror to launch garden range 4 December 2009
The Daily Mirror is planning to launch a range of garden products in the New Year under the Mr Digwell brand - the paper's fictional garden expert.

Kingfisher Q3 sales boosted by strong B&Q performance 3 December 2009
B&Q parent company Kingfisher has reported a 5.6% increase in total sales for the 13 weeks to October 31 – but B&Q UK sees 45% profit jump.

Exclusive: Wolfcraft pulls out of UK market 3 December 2009
German tool and accessories manufacturer to close its UK office, making all staff redundant, as sales are affected by adverse exchange rate.

Thieves target garden centres' Christmas tree stock 2 December 2009
Thousands of pounds-worth of Christmas trees have been stolen from two garden centres in the south of England.

Footfall experiences a 'hiccup' but Christmas won't be a wipe-out 2 December 2009
Wet weather and fewer pre-Christmas sales see retail footfall drop 0.8% in November but analysts expect a surge of shoppers this month.

Clothesline joke 'ill-advised', admits Hillier 1 December 2009
Garden centre chain receives 100 complaints after its Christmas brochure suggests men should make the woman in their life "feel special" with the laundry item.

Multiples step up support for charities 1 December 2009
Wickes and Screwfix announce major fundraising initiatives, with Wickes alone hitting £1m milestone for Leukaemia Research, while Focus DIY plans to help break a World record.

Homebase employee chosen to switch on local Christmas lights 1 December 2009
Facebook campaign nominates popular store worker Nigel Parker to turn on Portishead's illuminations, beating competition from celebrity rival Johnny Depp.


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