Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive January 2010

Furniture is star performer for John Lewis 29 January 2010
Strong weekly trading for department store chain, as home steals the show, with furniture sales up 36.9%.

Wickes hits £1m milestone for Leukaemia research 29 January 2010
DIY chain raises £110,000 with charity dinner, reaching its fundraising target for first ever charity partnership.

Restructuring complete, says Forest Garden 29 January 2010
Garden timber manufacturer confirms it has completed its three-year programme and receives boost in funding from RBS.

Snow and VAT rise lead to disappointing January sales 28 January 2010
36% of retailers reported a drop in sales, with housewares, furniture and flooring suffering after three months of growth.

HTA has strong 2009 28 January 2010
Horticultural Trades Association reports growth in turnover, with record sales in gift vouchers.

Dobbies has best-ever Christmas 28 January 2010
Tesco-owned Dobbies Garden Centres, the largest UK garden centre chain behind the Garden Centre Group, has reported its strongest Christmas sales in the company's history.

Crown refinances with £25m from RBS 28 January 2010
Decorative coatings manufacturer uses 'funding package' to help fuel growth.

Extending retirement age will boost economy 27 January 2010
New policy suggests prolonging working lives by 18 months will inject £15m into the British financial system.

Best of British 27 January 2010
Winning the right to use the title Britain's Best Retailer can be a shot in the arm for any business, but only if you make the most of it...

UK out of recession but 'still a long way to go' 27 January 2010
GDP sees 0.1% growth but, while confidence is up, saving is at a five-year high as consumers squirrel away any extra cash.

Pets at Home bought for £955m 27 January 2010
Bidding war between private equity companies ends in acquisition by buyout specialist KKR.

Tradesmen report improved consumer confidence 26 January 2010
48% of builders and plumbers say they were busier than expected with homeowners happy to spend on home improvements.

Cash in transit robbery at B&Q 26 January 2010
Armed raiders escape with substantial sum of money after targeting cash van outside DIY store.

Garden centre boss jailed for child sex attack 26 January 2010
David Green of Green's Garden Centre sentenced to two years imprisonment after admitting assault on five-year old girl.

Garden Centre Group reports strong Christmas trading 25 January 2010
Garden retail chain, formerly Wyevale, posts 17% increase in profit, with gross margins up more than 50%.

Demand for UK goods increases 22 January 2010
Manufacturing production rose in the UK for the first time in two years, as overseas demand increased and stock reductions eased.

B&Q refutes 'smaller format' rumours 22 January 2010
DIY giant quashes rumours that it is planning to trial a number of smaller format stores in the UK.

B&Q joins forces with Alan Titchmarsh 21 January 2010
B&Q has today announced a multi-million pound investment in new garden and outdoor categories; to revamp 78 of its top garden centres and a partnership deal with Alan Titchmarsh.

Vaughan develops new consumer Ecoshow 21 January 2010
Credence, the consultancy business set up by former BHETA sector director Andy Vaughan, is developing a new consumer-targeted environmental show, Ecoshow UK.

Rainy Day Trust launches eBay shop 20 January 2010
Got any sample products you need to get rid of? Or old unwanted stock? Or do you just feel like doing a kind deed in a naughty world? The Rainy Day Trust now has an eBay page, which has been set up to raise money for the trust.

Arcadia sells 10 BHS stores 20 January 2010
Sir Philip Green hands over high street retailer's leases to a discount fashion chain, putting 350 jobs at risk.

International Home and Housewares Show to change venue 20 January 2010
Chicago-based trade show considering a move to rival venues in Las Vegas or Orlando for 2012.

Lakeland invites suppliers to pitch at Spring Fair 19 January 2010
Lakeland will once again be taking a stand at next month’s Spring Fair, in an innovative approach to sourcing new products.

French spells out the way forward for BHETA merger 19 January 2010
BHETA chief executive David French believes there is a way to resolve the structural difficulty impeding the association's proposed merger with the British Jewellery Giftware and Finishing Federation (BJGFF).

John Lewis voted Britain's favourite...again 19 January 2010
Department store voted the nation's top retailer for the third consecutive year in a survey of 6,000 people.

Debenhams launches divorce gift list 18 January 2010
Department store today unveils gift list for separating couples to include household staples and non-iron shirts.

Garden Centre Group to close Shiplake Nursery 18 January 2010
After months of speculation, it is confirmed that the Henley-based garden centre has been sold to an unnamed buyer and will close at the end of the month.

More businesses in critical financial state but retail sector sees improvement 18 January 2010
More than 140,000 companies reported financial difficulties at the end of last year, while retail businesses experienced a 32% decline in 'critical actions.

Kitchen appliance sector set for 'mini boom' 15 January 2010
Consumers' postponement of replacement appliances due to the recession will lead to a surge in sales over the next five years, with the market set to reach £572m by 2014.

BHETA members debate federation plan 15 January 2010
Plans for the British Home Enhancement Trade Association to join the British Jewellery, Gift and Finishing Federation as a full member still have some way to go, members learned at a BHETA members meeting in Birmingham on January 14.

Verdict names B&Q best DIY retailer 15 January 2010
Verdict Research has published the results of a poll of 6,000 consumers. The results show B&Q is more highly regarded than any of its competitors.

Central London retail sees best December in seven years 15 January 2010
Retail sales in the capital up 12% like-for-like on December 2008, with big-ticket items selling well in clearance.

Home Retail Group reports solid interims 14 January 2010
Home Retail Group, parent company of both Homebase and Argos reported its interim figures for the 18 weeks to January 2 this morning, with both retail chains showing an increase in sales...just.

Gardenex extends support to Glee as well as Garden Expo 14 January 2010
UK export federation signs non-exclusive deal with Glee after a number of its members expressed a continued interest in the Birmingham-based show.

Debenhams Q1 trading ‘relatively muted’ 13 January 2010
Like-for-like sales up 0.1% at department store chain, while gross margin is ahead of target.

Obituary: Mike Dent 13 January 2010
It is with great regret that Mykal has announced the death of its chairman, Mike Dent, who passed away peacefully on Wednesday January 6 at the age of 73.

Consumer confidence returning says Topps Tiles 12 January 2010
Topps Tiles co-founder and non-exec chairman Barry Bester will outline the company's performance over the first 14 weeks of the current financial year today.

December sales: "Stronger than we dared hope" 12 January 2010
This is the verdict of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, which showed a rise of 4.2% in UK retail sales throughout December, compared with 2008.

Swedish company acquires PPE Group 12 January 2010
POS designer and manufacturer PPE Group has been acquired by Swedish company HL Display for an undisclosed sum.

B&Q to trial smaller format stores? 11 January 2010
According to reports in the national press over the weekend, B&Q is set to test a smaller store format across the UK.

Lakeland tests new market with Dubai store 11 January 2010
Lakeland is set to make its first foray overseas with a new store in Dubai.

Taskers takes initiative with half-price snow shovels 11 January 2010
As retailers across the UK struggle to meet customer demand for snow-related products, the Liverpool-based DIY store manages to source 500 snow shovels.

John Lewis continues with record-breaking figures 8 January 2010
Department store chain exceeds £100m milestone in its first week of clearance.

B&Q best for compost says Which? trial 8 January 2010
B&Q's own brand composts topped the tables in Which?'s research into the bet composts on the market, but Homebase came bottom of the leader board.

Online retailers have a bumper Christmas 7 January 2010
E-commerce businesses end 2009 on a high with a 51% increase in sales over the festive period

The Range plans 2010 expansion 7 January 2010
According to media reports Chris Dawson, founder of home and leisure retail chain The Range, is planning to open ten new stores this year, at a cost of around £15m.

Retail crime surges during recession 7 January 2010
Retail theft rose by a third in 2009, as an incident occurred almost every minute. These are the findings of the British Retail Consortium's Retail Crime Survey 2009, published today.

The snow: a retail perspective 7 January 2010
DIY Week wants to hear how the snow has affected your business. Two retailers we spoke to have had very different experiences, but with one thing in common... rock salt.

Home Hardware (Scotland) has best year ever! 6 January 2010
In what was an incredibly tough year for many retailers, Home Hardware (Scotland) saw 2009 turnover increase by more than 14% making it the best ever year since trading began in 1983.

Declines at Grafton Group improve 6 January 2010
Irish builders merchants and DIY retailer Grafton Group has seen a further stabilisation in its turnover according to a trading update released this morning for the year ended 31st December 2009.

Christmas footfall disappointing as Britain sees change in shopping behaviour 6 January 2010
Festive figures fall below expectations, as consumers opt to shop for themselves in the sales rather than buy gifts.

Management buyout at Arc Spanish factory 6 January 2010
Arc International, which makes glass products under brands including Pyrex, Cristal D'Arques and Luminarc, has sold its Spanish plant to the management there.

Obituary: Barry Digby 6 January 2010
Barry Digby, the former advertisement manager and then publisher of DIY Superstore magazine, died on Monday January 4. He was 65.

John Lewis celebrates bumper Christmas 5 January 2010
Department store chain reports 15.8% rise in sales over the festive period.

Thieves target Dobbies Garden Centre 5 January 2010
Police investigate theft, as Dobbies also announces downsized plans for Carlisle centre, which are more "appropriate" in the current economic climate.

Bargain hunters spend on items they won't use 5 January 2010
Electrical items and cookware are among items that people buy in sales but never use - and which tot up to more £85 a head.

Snow could cost employers £230m...a day 5 January 2010
The recent freezing weather across the UK could cost employers up to £230m in a single day of employee absenteeism according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

John Lewis sales jump 30% 4 January 2010
John Lewis is expected to confirm tomorrow that its sales last week (week commencing December 28) were up 30% on the same period last year.

Price savvy consumers will continue to shop around in 2010 4 January 2010
Customer loyalty continues to diminish, while home and garden leisure is bolstered by recession, as homeowners focus on careful budgeting.

December 28th busiest shopping day of 2009 4 January 2010
Footfall figures released by Synovate Retail Performance show that the Bank Holiday on Monday, December 28 was the busiest shopping day of 2009.


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