Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive September 2009

M&S chairman: consumers more confident 30 September 2009
High street retailer reveals 2.7% increase in group sales, with online seeing a 30% boost.

High street showing signs of stabilisation 30 September 2009
39% of retailers reported year-on-year sales volume increase in September, according to the CBI's Distributive Trades Survey.

Wickes sales boosted by kitchen and bathroom investment 30 September 2009
Travis Perkins-owned DIY chain reports 20.8% increase in showroom sales, as group sales are "ahead of expectations".

Bosch to shed 10,000 jobs this year 29 September 2009
Speaking earlier this month Franz Farenbach, Bosch chief exec, said that Bosch would end 2009 with 10,000 fewer employees than it had at the start of the year. A further 100,000 workers will be kept on reduced working hours.

IHA Centenary Congress 29 September 2009
London welcomes an international audience for prestigious event.

Wolseley considers further cutbacks following annual loss 28 September 2009
Plumb and Build Center parent company won't rule out further job losses as it reveals £766m drop in pre-tax profit for the year to July 31.

Silverline Tools' drag racing event a success 28 September 2009
Annual power tool drag racing fun day attracts big names, including Toolstation and Makita, as well as Channel 5's The Gadget Show.

Top DIY companies sign up to new WRAP initiative 25 September 2009
Six of the most prominent UK DIY retailers and brands sign agreement to reduce packaging and waste to landfill.

FPB reduces headache of employment law 25 September 2009
New employment guide designed to help small businesses comply with employment laws, as companies are forced to make redundancies in tough times.

Mica members join Home Hardware Scotland 24 September 2009
Three former Mica members join the dealer-owned wholesaler, boosting its number of shops in Scotland and the north of England to 50.

New government helpline to support workers 24 September 2009
Business minister launches support line to allow vulnerable workers to seek advice and report abuse of workplace rights.

Sterling buys Spectra 23 September 2009
Sterling Locks has acquired the Spectra Door Closer and Door Stops range for an undisclosed sum.

Topps remains profitable despite sales slide 23 September 2009
Topps Tiles issued a pre-close statement this morning, for the 52 weeks to September 26, ahead of its preliminary results, which will not be released until November 24.

Bayer appoints sales agency 23 September 2009
Denholm Agency replaces garden care company’s reps to handle business in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England.

B&Q embarks on biggest ever price campaign as ceo says, "DIY is cool again". 23 September 2009
B&Q has announced this morning that it is launching its biggest ever autumn price campaign including the launch of its first ever Autumn Privilege Card.

Aldi model contributed to Omega Wolf administration 23 September 2009
In its report to creditors issued earlier this month, KPMG, appointed administrators to Omega Wolf in July this year, outlined the reasons behind the decision to place the company in administration.

Glee axes Sunday opening 23 September 2009
Garden and outdoor leisure exhibition confirms dates for 2010, revealing its plans for Monday to Wednesday trading.

Business as usual after fire at Ruxley 22 September 2009
Garden centre hires temporary warehouse building to help resume trading as quickly as possible following fire at the site.

Glee winners announced 22 September 2009
Birmingham-based garden and outdoor leisure show names the 2009 winners of its annual New Products competition.

Home Hardware set for Christmas 22 September 2009
Dealer-owned buying group distributes record number of its Christmas brochures – 20% up on last year.

BHETA confirms Birmingham move 21 September 2009
In a letter to members on Friday, BHETA president Andrew Weiss confirmed that the association would make the move to Birmingham "as soon as practically possible".

Sales down at John Lewis but ambitious plans to continue 18 September 2009
Chairman Charlie Mayfield says economic environment turned out better than expected and the Partnership will "maintain momentum" in its growth plans.

Ken Dodd opens new Stax depot 18 September 2009
Comedy legend entertains and officially opens new Manchester depot - 28 years after opening the old Manchester branch.

Wyevale name change causes confusion 18 September 2009
It seems the recent decision to drop the Wyevale name in favour of more localised brands under the Garden Centre Group umbrella is causing some confusion at local level.

Ring Lighting and Trident merger 18 September 2009
Two major domestic lighting distributors join forces to create the £35m-strong Associated Lighting Group.

Wilkinson squeezes suppliers 17 September 2009
Suppliers under pressure as value retailer hardens its stance in review of buying terms.

B&Q drives Kingfisher profits up 17 September 2009
A strong performance by the UK DIY chain pushes group retail profit up 23.5% for H1.

Irish merchants set up €300m buying group 17 September 2009
Two Irish merchant and diy groups, Associated Hardware and National Hardware, are merging their buying operations to create a single buying group on behalf of 150 independent members in total.

M&M joins forces with Outdoor Life Group 16 September 2009
Timber company to distribute Hillhout and Holgard brands throughout UK.

Dunelm reports 16.1% rise in sales 16 September 2009
Home furnishings retailer sees strong trading over last 10 weeks, following on from positive full-year results.

Clas Ohlson plans store in Watford 16 September 2009
Swedish retailer enters into agreement for new branch in Harlequin Shopping Centre as part of its ongoing expansion plans.

London sees lowest sales growth in four years 15 September 2009
Retail sales and footfall drop in the capital, as good weather means consumers opt for outdoor pursuits over indoor shopping.

Debenhams results "in line with expectations" 15 September 2009
Department store chain releases trading update for 2009, revealing expected increase in profits, driven by own-bought ranges.

Paint sales thrive over Bank holiday weekend 15 September 2009
Sales of emulsion paint increased 12.8% over August Bank holiday weekend as consumers "busy themselves" with home improvements.

Garden centres grow share in bird care market despite recession 14 September 2009
HTA reports that consumers have upped their spend on wild bird care products, with garden centres accounting for a quarter of all sales.

Non-fashion sees strong growth 14 September 2009
Solid demand for leisure and gift boosts the sector, while homewares is kept afloat by cookware and home accessories.

John Lewis quietly optimistic 11 September 2009
Department store chain experiences surge in home sales and online purchases, stating that there are 'big opportunities' to gain ground in coming weeks.

Homebase results 'disappointing' 10 September 2009
Sales up 2.9% for Home Retail Group-owned DIY chain but gross margin is hit by heavy discounting.

Tough trading for Unimer 10 September 2009
Merchant buying group Unimer has described the 12 months to April 2009 as its "most challenging trading period in living memory".

Obituary: Kevin Whiteley 9 September 2009
Pilkington's Tiles Group chairman and one of the highest profile figures in the ceramics industry, passed away September 7.

B&Q invests £2m in showroom academy for staff 9 September 2009
DIY giant hopes to improve showroom employees' knowledge and design skills to cash in on the 'don't move, improve' trend.

Andy Vaughan leaves BHETA 9 September 2009
BHETA DIY and brushware sector director Andy Vaughan is the latest to leave the association in the wake of the defeated proposal to merge the association with the BJGF.

Kingfisher reveals H1 profit following figures leak 8 September 2009
B&Q parent company releases indicative trading figures nine days ahead of scheduled date after "administrative error" sees draft numbers circulated.

Recovery hopes premature, says BRC 8 September 2009
"Deceptively good sales" in summer months are not indicative of a growth in consumer confidence as retail sales fall again in August.

Wilkinson's sales soar during downturn 7 September 2009
Discount retailer unveils strong sales figures and ambitious plans.

Intensity of the downturn has moderated, says Grafton 7 September 2009
Builders merchant and DIY group sees 31% drop in turnover but has witnessed more "stable sales" in recent months.

Ideal Home Show changes hands after a century 7 September 2009
Publishing and events company, Media 10 snaps up the famous show 100 years after its launch.

John Lewis launches Value range 7 September 2009
Department store chain set to take on supermarkets and cheaper rivals, such as Ikea, with new discount homewares lines.

Consumers choose retailer own over branded products 4 September 2009
Loyalty shift to private label lines could be permanent, says Verdict, with customers opting for premium own-brand and eco-friendly ranges when recession is over.

Footfall down in August 4 September 2009
Non-food retailers experience disappointing shopper numbers, with a recorded 2.9% fall in footfall compared with August last year.

Matalan launches recruitment drive 3 September 2009
Home retail chain set to create 1,800 new jobs including Christmas staff and permanent positions.

Discount stores up 60% as they move into affluent areas 3 September 2009
The demise of Woolworths and customers feeling the pinch has seen discount retailers and pound shops take over prime pitches in the UK.

More than 5,000 retailers to go bust next year 2 September 2009
Decline in consumer spending in 2010 will drive up number of business collapses, predicts BDO Stoy Hayward.

Currys firm sales down 6% 2 September 2009
Parent company DSG International says sales drop was better than expected for the quarter and reports an "encouraging start to the year".

Grays of Edinburgh to close after 190 years 2 September 2009
Ironmongers set to close its doors in March next year as a number of senior staff retire.

Focus sees rush on sales of incandescent bulbs 2 September 2009
DIY chain believes sales of the traditional lamps will continue to double this week as customers stockpile in response to EU ban.

Grange Fencing acquires Metpost 1 September 2009
Grange acquires assets of fence post brand from Expamet for an undisclosed sum.


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