Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive April 2009

£10m Trago Mills development set to open 30 April 2009
New 140,000 sq ft site will create up to 35 extra jobs when it opens at the weekend.

Clas Ohlson opens second store 30 April 2009
Swedish hardware retail chain is to open its second store in the UK today.

Irish DIY and merchant group sees sales plummet 30 April 2009
Grafton group, which operates the Woodies DIY and Atlantic Homecare chains in Ireland, has posted sales falls of 32% in its first quarter - 22% in constant currency.

Home Retail Group reports £394m loss 29 April 2009
Group's full-year results reveal plans for further Homebase store closures as the company states it "cannot be immune from the economic backdrop".

B&Q gears up for May Bank Holidays 29 April 2009
DIY chain today announces the launch its first privilege card valid for the month of May.

Strong sales in H2 for Dunelm 28 April 2009
Dunelm Mill is the latest retailer to report a bounce back in sales performance, mitigating a like for like sales performance over the past 43 weeks.

Stax has best month ever 27 April 2009
DIY wholesaler Stax Trade Centres has seen a welcome rise in sales for the month of March and has noted a marked change in buying patterns.

Massive fire at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre 27 April 2009
More than 60 firefighters battled a blaze at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre in Sidcup yesterday after a fire broke out in the early afternoon.

Portmeirion buys Royal Worcester and Spode brands 27 April 2009
Portmeirion has bought the global intellectual property rights of Royal Worcester & Spode, which went into administration last November.

Update: Ruxley Manor Garden Centre blaze 27 April 2009
Read the statement released by Ruxley Manor management concerning Sunday's devestating fire.

Wiltshire award for 101-year-old garden centre boss 24 April 2009
Phyllis Self MBE, who oversees the running of Whitehall Garden Centres, has scooped second prize in the Lifetime Achievement Awards organised by Wiltshire Life Magazine.

Reality show planned for gardening sector 24 April 2009
ITV and team up to create TV programme that will get people working within the garden industry.

Grovewell opens second garden centre 24 April 2009
Grovewell Garden Centres, owner of Tenterden Garden Centre, has opened a second centre just outside Canterbury in Kent.

A reaction Darling didn't budget for 23 April 2009
It seems that Alistair Darling's budget yesterday has done little to impress most quarters and has been slammed in the national press this morning.

Poundland buys 12 Woolworths stores 23 April 2009
Budget retail chain scoops a dozen former Woolworths sites along with more than 100 ex-employees as part of its expansion plans.

B&Q invests in staff 23 April 2009
B&Q has announced it will invest more than £10m in its staff at a time when most of its rivals are announcing job cuts.

The Independent pushes 'The New Good Life' 22 April 2009
National newspaper launches book series encouraging homeowners to get back to basics and 'do it themselves'.

Ironmongery Direct to reach £10m target 22 April 2009
Essex-based ironmongery business reveals 40% increase in turnover in Q1 figures.

Independent to revive former Woolworths site 22 April 2009
Dorset-based business will relocate to ex-Woolies unit.

Home Hardware Scotland has best quarter ever 21 April 2009
Home Hardware Scotland has seen its strongest ever quarterly sales since trading began more than 20 years ago.

BHF buying arm up 18% in March 21 April 2009
The BHF Group's buying arm, the Direct Company, has reported an increase of 18% in its March trading compared with 2008, despite the economic climate.

Cranswick Pet sold in £17m MBO 21 April 2009
Pork products manufacturer sells pet food and aquatics division to management in a deal backed by Lloyds TSB.

Independent to revive former Woolworths site 21 April 2009
Dorset-based business will relocate to ex-Woolies unit.

Hillier takes over Hurrans centre 20 April 2009
Nursery chain acquires centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire following Hurrans' demise after 100 years of trading.

Welch & Tidy latest Industry Awards sponsor 20 April 2009
Wholesaler named as sponsor of Decorative category for 2009 awards.

'Braver' homeowners add a splash of colour 17 April 2009
New research reveals Brits are opting for bolder décor in a bid to inject more personality into their homes.

BRC calls for credit insurance review 17 April 2009
Ahead of the Budget, the British Retail Consortium asks that the Government provide top-up insurance cover to help retailers survive difficult trading conditions.

Link between vinyl flooring and autism says study 16 April 2009
A study, published in the medical journal NeuroToxicology, has suggested that vinyl flooring could double the risk of a child developing autism.

Sales soar over Easter weekend 16 April 2009
Retailers’ spirits lifted as sunny Bank Holiday encourages consumers to start spending again.

It's official: DIY and gardening get boost in March 16 April 2009
The latest figures from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor show stronger sales in March - mainly thanks to the weather.

German homewares chain Butlers tries UK again 15 April 2009
The German homewares chain Butlers is having another crack at entering the UK market.

Wickes launches customer reward scheme 15 April 2009
Wickes has launched a new customer loyalty scheme called the MyCard.

Woolworths staff reunited by new website 15 April 2009

Former Woolworths senior manager has set up and funded a website dedicated to help ex-Woolies employees keep in touch and even find a new job.

Exclusively promises new products and new companies 14 April 2009
Over 95% of exhibitors say they will be showing new launches at this year's Exclusively Housewares show.

Bolt cutter sales rocket during G20 protests 14 April 2009
A London-based hardware store saw rocketing sales of bolt cutters as protesters descended on the capital for a series of demonstrations.

Cargo agrees concession deal with Blooms Garden Centre 10 April 2009
Furniture and homeware retailer Cargo has opened it first outlet within a Blooms Garden Centre.

Footfall up 4.2% in March 10 April 2009
Retail Traffic Index figures show positive signs as we approach ‘the end of the worst of the downturn’ – but businesses warned of over-optimism.

British DIY chiefs 'bossnapped' 9 April 2009
The British bosses of a French adhesive firm have been released following hostage negotiations with workers they were attempting to make redundant.

Independents attack burglary vouchers scheme 9 April 2009
A scheme to give burgled homeowners free vouchers for the big DIY sheds has been attacked by independent retailers.

Homebase store raided in anti-terror swoop 9 April 2009
Two employees at a brand new Homebase store in Clitheroe were arrested last night after the site was one of the locations raided by police in a large-scale anti-terror operation across north-west England.

UPDATE: Robert Dyas buyout completed 9 April 2009
An MBO at high street chain Robert Dyas was completed yesterday, leaving previous owners Change Capital with losses of almost £30m, even after lenders agreed to roll £30m of debt into the new company.

Bumper figures for homeware sales as DIY booms 8 April 2009
The latest figures for homeware sales have shown figures increased by numbers not seen for at least 12 months.

Homebase puts 116 jobs at risk 8 April 2009
Consultation period for staff already under way as DIY chain prepares to close Wellingborough supply depot in August.

14m households to tackle DIY jobs this weekend 8 April 2009
Credit crunch encourages homeowners to save money by taking on jobs themselves rather than get a professional in.

Jewson launches landscaping range 8 April 2009
Builders merchant introduces new own-brand range of landscaping products in time for key spring retail period.

Bank surveys show strong signs for DIY 7 April 2009
Home improvement expenditure is still on the rise according to the latest research by Lloyds TSB, which found that in the 10 years from 1998 to 2008 DIY spending rose 42% from £7.7bn to £10.9bn.

DIY store owner fined for knife sale 7 April 2009
A store owner from south London has pleaded guilty to selling a bladed tool to a council volunteer aged under 18.

Burgled homes to get free B&Q or Focus DIY vouchers 7 April 2009
Burgled homeowners are to get advice and free vouchers from the big DIY sheds in an initiative launched by the Government.

MBO pulls Robert Dyas back from the brink 6 April 2009
After much speculation in the national press about the future of high street hardware chain Robert Dyas, it seems a buyout deal has been struck to save the ailing retailer.

Focus sponsors 60 minute makeover 6 April 2009
DIY chain unveiled as new sponsor of ITV1’s flagship daytime DIY programme.

B&Q launches new multi-million-pound ad push 6 April 2009
B&Q is launching its latest multi-million-pound advertising campaign today (April 6).

Hardware shops all pass council knife 'sting' 3 April 2009
Bracknell Forest Council's trading standards department checked ten DIY shops with all passing the controversial 'sting' tests.

Housewares Conference highlights recession-led opportunities 3 April 2009
Home-cooked meals, baking, slow cooking, food on the go, entertaining at home...all big trends sparked by recession - and all trends that the housewares industry can benefit from, delegates to this week's Housewares Conference learned.

Hospital takes on extra staff to cope with DIY accidents 2 April 2009
As the Easter bank holiday looms the usual warnings of DIY accidents are issued.

Cotswold and Letterbox both close 2 April 2009
Findel, the parent company of Express Gifts, has closed two of its loss-making businesses.

B&Q appoints marketing director 2 April 2009
Warren Scarr takes up role following departure of Jo Kenrick as part of a board restructure last year.

Retailers to cash in this Easter 2 April 2009
Latest figures reveal retail traffic will be up 4% compared with equivalent Easter fortnight last year.

Bosch has announced a fall in UK profits 1 April 2009
In its annual results Bosch has revealed its 2008 sales in the UK fell from €2.27bn to €2.02bn.

Business rate increase cut to 2% 1 April 2009
Chancellor Alistair Darling bows to pressure and scales back proposed 5% rate increase, which threatened to cripple beleaguered retailers.

DIY shop closes after precisely a quarter of a century 1 April 2009
North Wales-based Dee Jays has shut its doors 25 years to the day since is first stated trading.


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