Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive September 2010

Waitrose makes home central to new concept store 30 September 2010
Waitrose opened its new Food & Home store in Leeds this morning, with a broad home offer central to the new format.

Consumer confidence drops in September 30 September 2010
Consumer confidence dropped in September, according to the latest figures from the GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index.

Wilkinson embarks on major expansion plan 30 September 2010
DIY and household goods retailer aims to grow store portfolio from 342 to 500 by 2014.

Fake product pulled from supermarket shelves 30 September 2010
Fusionbrands Inc, manufacturer and distributor of the silicone egg poacher poachpod, has brought a successful lawsuit in the UK against an infringing product.

B&Q, Aldi and Woolworths named among worst spam offenders 30 September 2010
Leading retailers named and shamed in new report, as most likely to bombard customers with unwanted spam emails.

High street sales up in September 29 September 2010
60% of retailers report sales increase, with furniture and carpets seeing solid growth.

Topps Tiles expects rise in full year sales 29 September 2010
Topps Tiles has said it expects to report a 2% increase in UK revenues for the 53 weeks to October 2, 2010.

UPDATE: Asda reaches next stage in Netto acquisition 29 September 2010
Asda to finalise agreement with Dansk Supermarked A/S following OFT's announcement. First converted Netto store to open in Q1 2011.

Stewart named Supplier of the Year by Klondyke 28 September 2010
The Stewart Company has been named Dry Good Supplier of the Year 2010 by the Klondyke Group.

New JML website to stock third-party brands 28 September 2010
DIY and homewares retailer JML has launched its new-look website to include widescreen video footage of products and a live chat service.

Lakeland files stellar full-year accounts 28 September 2010
Pre-tax profit at high street homewares chain Lakeland soared 140% to £10.1m and turnover increased by more than 5% to £141.9m in the 12 months to December 31, 2009.

Retailers to pitch for Newmarket shop space 28 September 2010
Suffolk town runs contest to encourage new businesses to fill 14 vacant units. Interested parties to present their business plan to a Dragon's Den-style committee.

BHF cancels Scottish conference 27 September 2010
The British Hardware Federation has announced the cancellation of the Scottish Conference and Supplier Showcase Scotland due to lack of support.

EPE adds sponsorship support 27 September 2010
Small electricals distributor EPE has become the latest company to sign up as a sponsor of Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2010.

Wolseley plans tax move to Switzerland 27 September 2010
Plumb Centre parent Wolseley has announced proposals to create a new group holding company which will be UK listed, incorporated in Jersey and have tax residence in Switzerland.

Asda parent makes bid for South African retail group Massmart 27 September 2010
Walmart has put in a non-binding proposal to acquire the leading general merchandise and home improvement retailer, with Asda chairman Andy Bond to oversee operations.

Asda marketing director joins B&Q board 27 September 2010
B&Q has announced the appointment of ex-Asda marketing director Katherine Paterson. She will join the board later this year as marketing director.

Insolvency rate drops again in August 24 September 2010
Latest figures reveal the rate of businesses going under has dropped to 0.07%, with smaller firms showing the most financial strength.

New series of Get Up and Grow set for next year 24 September 2010
Following the success of the gardening programme on BBC1 NI, a second series is currently in production ready for spring 2011.

John Lewis grows home market share 24 September 2010
Weekly figures show 11.5% sales boost in home categories, while John Lewis reports market share growth in all three main categories - home, fashion and electrical and home technology in H1.

Time running out to claim £200m in small business rate relief 23 September 2010
Small businesses with just one week to claim at least £200m in backdated business rate relief can now use a free online claims system to avoid missing out.

Dobbies opens first centre in Northern Ireland 23 September 2010
Dobbies is set to open a new 48,000 sq ft centre in Lisburn, Belfast tomorrow, its first centre in Northern Ireland.

Glee reveals Best Stand Award winners 22 September 2010
The winners of Glee's Best Stand Award were announced at the Glee exhibitor drinks reception last night.

Wellitops inventor attracts interest from top retailers 22 September 2010
4Leaves Innovation Ltd's Peter Manning, creator of the Wellitop, generated a lot of interest when he appeared in front of Glee's Garden Angels at the NEC yesterday.

Homebase launches instore 'ecohomes' 20 September 2010
Homebase has announced a £2.5m investment in a new 'ecohome' project instore, designed to help customers to save energy.

Profit soars at Ironmongery Direct 17 September 2010
Ironmongery Direct has reported a significant rise in operating profit for the first half of 2010.

Retailers halve amount of waste they send to landfill 17 September 2010
Less than a quarter of waste produced by retailers is now sent to landfill compared with almost 50% five years ago.

Retail growth slows in August 17 September 2010
Sales volumes drop 0.5% between July and August but non-specialised stores and non-store retailers fare well, as the only sectors to see an increase.

Confetti finds a buyer 16 September 2010
Online wedding retail business sold for an undisclosed sum and will continue to trade, with all 34 remaining employees kept on board.

Weak consumer demand leads to B&Q sales dip 16 September 2010
DIY giant reports 3.1% drop in sales in H1 but secures profit jump of 15.4% with fewer promotions and stronger focus and cost cutting.

Strong H1 performance at John Lewis 16 September 2010
John Lewis Partnership has reported a strong performance for the first half of the year to July 31, 2010.

Profits rocket and ceo changes at Dunelm 16 September 2010
Dunelm Mill announces new chief executive, 18.2% increase in sales and a 46% jump in operating profit for the full year ended July 3 2010.

Comet parent boosted by World Cup 16 September 2010
Comet parent Kesa Electricals has announced like-for-like revenue growth of 4.3% for it's first quarter (May 1 to July 31 2010) drive, says the company by a "successful World Cup campaign".

Take advantage of EELS, urges Lighting Association 16 September 2010
The Lighting Association has warned retailers that after March next year there will be no more subsidies for compact fluorescent lamps.

Obituary: John Withall 15 September 2010
John Withall, formerly of companies including Briton Chadwick (now Hamilton Acorn), Mosley Stone and RODO, passed away on September 12 following a long fight with cancer.

Toolstation ad found to be 'misleading' 15 September 2010
A TV ad for hardware stockist Toolstation has been branded 'misleading' by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Next predicts consumer environment will "remain sluggish" 15 September 2010
Sales up 5% in first half, with home stores exceeding expectations but chief exec anticipates little growth in shopper spending.

Number of temporary workers in retail hits high in August 15 September 2010
New data from temporary agency labour procurer de Poel shows the use of temporary agency workers in the retail industry hit a year high in August.

Britain's Best Retailer Awards gain Momentum 15 September 2010
Momentum is the latest supplier to add the weight of its support to Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2010, sponsoring the Britain's Best Tool Retailer category.

Centurion Europe buys Initial Monogram 14 September 2010
Centurion Europe has announced a deal to acquire the stock, distributor network and customer base of Watford-based door plaque business Initial Monogram.

UPDATE: Buyer still sought for Pilkington's 14 September 2010
Administrators for Pilkington's are still looking for a buyer for the company's Swinton site after 241 jobs were lost in July.

UK inflation stays flat at 3.1% in August 14 September 2010
Overall figure remains unchanged from July, while furniture and furnishings prices see 1.6% increase.

Crime costs small businesses £3,000 a year 13 September 2010
More than two-thirds of small businesses have been a victim of crime over the past 12 months, costing them up to £3,000, according to a new report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Autumn Fair sees visitor numbers rise 13 September 2010
Show organiser Emap has reported a major upswing in visitor numbers at this year's Autumn Fair International (AFI).

John Lewis home categories boosted by competitor activity 10 September 2010
Cooking and dining and white goods see sales increase in first week of September.

National Plant Show success 10 September 2010
The organisers of the recent HTA National Plant Show have said they are pleased with the success of the show as they gear up for next year.

Suppliers warned of fake order scam 9 September 2010
DIY Week has learned of a new wave of fraudulent orders being placed in the name of legitimate wholesalers and retailers.

Home Retail expects profit to fall by a quarter 9 September 2010
Home Retail Group (HRG) has said it expects profit before tax (PBT) to drop by 20-25% for the first half of 2010, with sales at Argos continuing to fall.

Vacancy rate increases revealing North-South divide 9 September 2010
Town centre vacancy rates have risen to 13% in six months, with areas in the South East and London holding up well, while the North struggles.

HSS launches apprenticeship scheme 9 September 2010
Tool and equipment hire chain HSS Hire has launched an apprentice scheme to offer young people a practical post-school option and up-skill a new generation of fitters and technical engineers.

EDRA welcomes first African member 8 September 2010
European DIY Retail Association signs Egyptian DIY chain DARY to its Global Home Improvement Network.

BBRA deadline extended 8 September 2010
Retailers from across the country have been calling DIY Week asking for more time to enter Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2010.

NICs holiday for small businesses 8 September 2010
The Government has launched a new National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday scheme this week to encourage new business start-ups in certain UK regions.

Home improvements too expensive for over 50s 8 September 2010
More than a third of Britons aged over 50 say their house is in need of repair, with one in seven unable to afford the cost to fix it.

Hub launches in Telford 7 September 2010
Poundland co-founder Dave Dodd launched his latest retail chain Hub last week, with the first store opening in Telford.

Home Hardware charity cheque 7 September 2010
Home Hardware Southwest has handed over a cheque for £2,500 to charity - the proceeds of its spring tradeshow draw and a bike ride undertaken by business development officer Paul Moston.

Woodthorpe Hall Group acquires fifth garden centre 7 September 2010
The Woodthorpe Hall Group has bought the Towneley Garden Centre in Burnley out of receivership.

Garden Centre Group sees strong trading with 725% profit jump 6 September 2010
122-strong gardening chain reports turnover and profit increase for 2009, showing recovery after 2008 sales drop.

Totally shows attract top names 6 September 2010
Crown Paints, Henkel and Yale among the list of big brands who have already signed up to exhibit at the 2011 Birmingham show.

Focus supports fire safety campaign 3 September 2010
DIY chain is keen to help raise awareness of dangers and promote fire safety products, as part of government scheme this autumn.

John Lewis sees sales rise 3 September 2010
Sales at John Lewis increased 12.2% to £57.8m for the week ending August 28, as customers continued to spend in store and online despite looming tax increases.

Aldi to offer cut-price DIY tools 3 September 2010
Discount supermarket chain Aldi is offering a range of cut-price DIY tools, available from September 12, 2010.

B&Q lights up stores with new range 2 September 2010
B&Q has revealed big changes to its lighting department this week, launching 350 new designs after a £10m investment by the retailer.

DIY inventor bags £150,000 on Dragons' Den 2 September 2010
Chris Elsworthy secures investment for his Power8 Workshop in show on Monday.

Grafton Group returns to profit 1 September 2010
Grafton Group has revealed an operating profit of €14.8m for the six months to June 30, after making an €8.3m loss last year.

Akzo Nobel secures "landmark deal" with Walmart 1 September 2010
Coatings company selected as primary paint supplier for Walmart's 3,500-plus US stores.

Brits borrowing more to pay for DIY 1 September 2010
One in five of all personal loans taken in the UK was used to pay solely for home improvements in the first half of 2010, according to new research from Sainsbury's Finance.

Wickes raises £100,000 in a week 1 September 2010
Wickes has raised £100,000 in just one week for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to celebrate the charity's 50th birthday.


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