Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive March 2009

Marks & Spencer fourth quarter results reveal 'surprise' sales improvements 31 March 2009
M&S has issued its Q4 trading update this morning (March 31) and it is an improvement on the last quarter and much better than many commentators had expected.

Knife sales banned in East of England outlets 30 March 2009
The East of England Co-op chain has taken knives off the shelves of its 135 stores.

Steamer Trading to buy Marchants Cookware 30 March 2009
Cookshop chain Steamer Trading is taking over the two Marchants Cookware outlets - a move which will take Steamer into two counties where it currently has no presence.

Focus appoints new media agencies 30 March 2009
DIY chain takes on EGS and the7stars to replace its current agency in an immediate changeover.

UPDATED: Man killed in B&Q store accident 30 March 2009
A customer has died after stock fell on him at a B&Q store in Ireland.

Retailers to pay out in toxic sofa case 27 March 2009
Argos, Walmsley Furnishings and Land of Leather among the retailers expected to shell out millions of pounds in compensation to more than 1,600 people injured by toxic gas emitted from faulty sofas.

£2m shortfall in Wedgwood pension fund 27 March 2009
Administrator Deloitte finds substantial deficit in pottery firm’s pension fund as sale of the business is finalised.

John Lewis’ outdoor living sees ‘double-digit’ sales increase 27 March 2009
Warm weather in run up to Mother’s `day gives boost to department store’s home ranges, despite overall drop in week’s sales.

Makro's German owners see 'record' sales despite cutting UK staff 26 March 2009
German retailer Metro Group, owners of Makro in the UK, has reported a fall in profits despite increasing sales in its yearly results.

Next plans to increase homeware market share 26 March 2009
Next has announced reduced profits and like-for-like sales down but has performed better than many had expected in its yearly results.

Kingfisher’s ‘solid performance’, despite dip in UK sales 26 March 2009
Home improvement group reports full year sales up 11% but UK sales see a 2.6% drop to £4.3bn. 26 March 2009
Thursday June 4 is a date for the diary and not to be missed. An opportunity to spend a day at the UK's premier clay shooting school along with some of the UK's top retailers and DIY and home enhancement suppliers.

Topps Tiles revenue drops 25 March 2009
One of the UK's largest tile and wood flooring specialists Topps Tiles has reported a drop in revenue for the start of 2009.

Sainsbury's profits rocket as home range rolls on 25 March 2009
Sainsbury's fourth quarter trading statement for the 11 weeks to March 21 shows sales still rising for the supermarket.

Morrisons to launch homeware range? 25 March 2009
Supermarket chain Morrisons is preparing to launch a new range of non-food products, according to reports.

Allied Carpets bought by offshore fund 24 March 2009
The UK's second-largest flooring retailer Allied Carpets has been snapped up by an offshore investment fund, for an undisclosed sum.

Oven Pride claim 100% sales increase following 'controversial' ad 24 March 2009
Sales of Oven Pride are now the highest they have ever been since the product went on sale in the year 2000, according to the firms managing director.

Jegs rises from the ashes 24 March 2009
Electrical supplier Jegs has moved into a brand new warehouse only 15 months after its original premises burned to the ground.

Matalan pays bosses £25m but stays tight lipped on profits 24 March 2009
Matalan has confirmed it owners and shareholders will share a bumper £25m windfall after the firm blew away the economic gloom surrounding much of the retail industry.

Beales sees profits fall in early 2009 23 March 2009
Department store chain Beales has seen trade fall in early 2009 due to bad weather and the economic situation.

Industry Awards secures celebrity compere 23 March 2009
Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert announced to host the prestigious lunchtime event on May 15.

Next opens new home and fashion store in Essex 23 March 2009
Homeware and fashion retailer Next is bucking the retail gloom by opening a new flagship store in a revamped Essex shopping centre.

Former Wrapit owners sets up new home and garden website 23 March 2009
The family behind internet wedding list firm Wrapit, that went into administration last year, have set up a new business.

Marks and Spencer open largest home store in Wales 20 March 2009
M&S' brand-new home and food store in Cardiff opened for business yesterday (19 March).

Dobbies submits plans for Aberdeen site 20 March 2009
A planning application for a new garden centre development on the outskirts of Aberdeen has been submitted to the city council.

The man who put the Q in B&Q visits latest store 19 March 2009
B&Q celebrated 40 years of trading this week by showing one of its two founders around the chain's newest and most successful store - ever.

Traders say they're not getting information on age restricted sales 19 March 2009's recent coverage of council 'sting' operations has led to scores of retailers getting in touch to say the system is still unfair.

Bletchley Park is pride of Britain 19 March 2009
Buckinghamshire site, famous for its role in World War II, is voted top in Wickes first Building with Pride awards.

Home improvement retail hit hardest? 18 March 2009
KPMG has announced the launch of its brand new 'Retail Distress Tracker', which analyses UK companies facing stress at the moment - and found home and home improvement retailers are under the most pressure at the moment.

Fire guts roofing firm's premises 18 March 2009
Arsonists are thought to be behind £250,000 of damage to a roofing firm's office in Essex.

B&Q parent announces new chairman 18 March 2009
Kingfisher, the parent company of B&Q and Screwfix, has announced that current chairman Peter Jackson will retire at the next annual general meeting on June 3. Daniel Bernard, the current deputy chairman, will succeed him.

Own-brand ranges boost Debenhams results 18 March 2009
Department store group’s first-half results reveal gross transaction value up 0.3% with ‘positive movement in gross margin’ attributed to own-brand products.

Multi-million pound investment for Charles Bentley 18 March 2009
Brushware supplier Charles Bentley & Son Ltd has announced a move to larger premises, due to its rapid expansion, with a multi-million pound investment in new offices and a design and merchandising centre.

Flying Brands hopes to put difficult year behind it 17 March 2009
Multi brand home shopping firm Flying Brands has seen a difficult year as it announces results for 53 weeks to 2 January this year.

Businesses unprepared for carbon reduction scheme 17 March 2009
Businesses are totally unprepared for Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) regulation, according to independent specialist environmental consultancy Envos.

British Retail Consortium launch universal recycling label 17 March 2009
A universal on-pack recycling label has been launched today (18 March) by leading retailers.

Chest waxing for Comic Relief cash 16 March 2009
Three brave members of staff at a garden centre have waxed their chests to raise money for Comic Relief.

Morphy Richards to axe jobs and cut spending 16 March 2009
Small appliances manufacturer Morphy Richards is the latest industry name to announce cost-cutting measures, including job losses.

NMC acquires Copley Décor 16 March 2009
NMC (UK), manufacturer of synthetic foams, has announced the acquisition of decorative mouldings company Copley Décor for an undisclosed sum.

Homebase scraps Spend & Save loyalty scheme 16 March 2009
Spend & Save, Homebase's in-house loyalty scheme is to be replaced by the now familiar Nectar points system.

Baugur Group files for bankruptcy 13 March 2009
The District Court of Reykjavik has refused a petition by the Baugur Group for extension of the moratorium of the company and therefore forced it into administration.

Oven cleaner advert gets more than 1000 complaints 13 March 2009
An advert for Oven Pride cleaner, part of a £1m TV campaign that kicked off last week, has had hundreds of complaints.

GIMA annual general meeting to focus on recession 13 March 2009
The Garden Industry Manufactures Association GIMA's annual general meeting will focus on telling members how to survive the recession and move with modern technology.

Homebase lfl sales drop 10% 12 March 2009
Homebase has seen sales dip 10.2% in the 12 months to February 28, while sales at sister company Argos dipped 4.8%.

B&Q offers cut-price loft insulation again 12 March 2009
B&Q has found a unique way to market is latest 'loss leading' loft insulation deal.

People losing basic DIY knowledge according to 11 March 2009
Consumers are more knowledgeable about internet applications then they are about basic DIY.

John Lewis Partnership results show sales rise for Waitrose 11 March 2009
The John Lewis partnership has revealed its unaudited results for year to January 31, 2009.

Wellworths opens its doors 11 March 2009
Former Woolworths branch in Dorchester opens as ‘Wellies’ today with manager Claire Robertson back at the helm.

B&Q wins employer award for third year running 11 March 2009
DIY retailer’s employees rated ‘most engaged in the world’ as B&Q scoops Gallup Great Workplace Award.

Plasplugs officially in administration 11 March 2009
Struggling design and manufacturing firm Plasplugs has officially gone into administration.

Tesco set for further expansion? 10 March 2009
Tesco is set to carry on its recession beating expansion by snapping up abandoned pubs, according to reports.

Hundreds of Makro staff face redundancy as stores close 10 March 2009
Talks between the owners of Makro and unions have failed to persuade the chain from closing three stores.

Home Retail Group axes 300 jobs and closes Homebase Ideas 9 March 2009
In a cost-cutting exercise, Home Retail group cuts 20% of its head office workforce and shuts down quarterly Homebase magazine.

Waitrose to launch own name households range 9 March 2009
Waitrose has today (March 9) launched Essential a standalone own range of more than 1,400 lines across all the supermarket's products.

Snow hits February's sales figures 6 March 2009
New figures paint a poor picture for retailers with non-food sales slumping through February.

Wolseley to ask shareholder for £1bn to pay debts 6 March 2009
The owner of the Plumb Center and Builder's Centre chains needs to raise cash as it battles to pay off almost £2.5bn.

Best Buy postpones UK move 6 March 2009
US based Best Buy has reportedly put off plans to enter the UK market until early next year, according to the Financial Times.

Plasplugs employees offered new jobs 6 March 2009
A generous manufacturing firm's owner has offered employees of Plasplugs the chance of getting straight back to work.

Woolies makes a return to the High Street 5 March 2009
Three former Woolworths bosses secure £10m funding to open 50 stores with a similar brand name to the failed retailer.

Tesco given green light for expansion 5 March 2009
Supermarket giant Tesco's threat to the small retailer has potentially increased after the chain won a 'competition test'.

Best month ever for 5 March 2009
Visitor figures see a boost in February with nearly 99,000 page views.

Knife crackdown by south east councils 4 March 2009
Local authorities are mounting a crackdown on retailers selling knives after a series of prosecutions costs thousands of pounds in fines and court costs in the south-east.

Store fined after selling knife to teenager 3 March 2009
A store-owner has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 after selling a utility knife to a 15-year-old.

New garden centre for south coast 3 March 2009
A car showroom will be transformed into a garden centre after councilors gave plans the greenlight - despite objections from their planning department.

Industry Awards: deadline extended! 3 March 2009
The deadline for entry to this year's Industry Awards has been extended by two weeks - so there's still time to go for the huge boost to your business that winners enjoy!

Makro store closures talks ongoing 2 March 2009
Makro remains locked in talks with staff and unions over plans to close three stores.

DSG International looking to expand 2 March 2009
Currys owner DSG International is set to expand and rebrand its portfolio of stores.

Waterford Wedgwood sold 2 March 2009
The administrators of Waterford Wedgwood UK have sold most of the UK and Irish assets of the businesses.


Latest reader comments

re: Latest update on Green Homes Grant and implications for homeowners and landlords

John Hart
After applying for a green homes how long will it take for a decision? thanks...

re: SX Rainproof Exterior Caulk

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re: BCT can replicate any material in a ceramic tile

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re: Latest update on Green Homes Grant and implications for homeowners and landlords

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