Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive November 2011

Chancellor extends business rate relief for SMEs 30 November 2011
SMEs will be exempt from business rates for a further six months after Chancellor George Osborne extended the rate relief holiday to April 2013 yesterday.

UPDATE: MFI returns 30 November 2011
MFI officially returns to the market today as an online-only home furnishings retailer.

Profits drop 36% at Topps Tiles 29 November 2011
Topps Tiles has reported a 36% slump in pre-tax profits for the year to October 1, 2011, as revenues continue to fall.

Homebase director heads to South Pole for charity 29 November 2011
Homebase trading director Andrew Carnie is set to lead a team racing to the South Pole to raise money for homeless charity Centrepoint.

Wickes appoints new md 28 November 2011
Wickes has appointed former Asda chief operating officer Simon King as its new managing director.

John Lewis launches virtual shop 28 November 2011
Department store chain uses Waitrose shop window as a virtual John Lewis, allowing people to shop by scanning QR codes on their phone.

Crown achieves 100% recycling target 28 November 2011
Crown Paints now recycles 100% of the waste from its main sites after spending three years boosting recycling rates at its manufacturing hubs and decorating centres in the north of England.

Araldite signs distribution deal with Velcro 28 November 2011
Araldite, the UK market leader in epoxy adhesives, has signed a new UK distribution deal with Velcro.

DIY Week Awards a huge success 25 November 2011
The curtain has closed on the first ever DIY Week Awards, with the Gold winners announced at a glitzy evening event at the Manchester Hilton, Deansgate last night.

Government strategy aims to boost housing market 24 November 2011
The Government has announced a new housing strategy this week to tackle the housing shortage and boost the country's flagging housing market.

Garden power sales decline in 2011, says GfK 24 November 2011
Garden power products have had a tough year after a strong 2010, according to the latest figures from GfK.

South American retailer joins EDRA 23 November 2011
The board and management of EDRA has announced that Easy, Chile, has joined its Global Home Improvement Network.

Kingfisher chief to lead new green taskforce 23 November 2011
Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire will head up an independent task force aimed at finding new opportunities for UK businesses to drive green economic growth.

Ruthin Décor moves to bigger site 23 November 2011
Family-owned retailer Ruthin Décor has moved into brand new premises, which are more than double the size of its former site.

Bents gets go-ahead for £10m development 23 November 2011
Bents Garden & Home has been given the green light by Warrington Borough Council for its £10m development programme.

John Lewis to launch album of songs from its TV ads 23 November 2011
Department store chain is to release an album of the songs featured in its high profile advertising campaigns covered by musicians including Ellie Goulding and Dionne Bromfield in aid of Save the Children.

Bentley Brushware staff dress up for Children in Need 21 November 2011
Employees raise £1,000 in fundraising frenzy on Friday, November 18.

High street footfall dips but retailers hold out hope for strong Christmas 21 November 2011
BRC records sharpest decline in footfall in the three months to October since the blizzards in December 2010, with both high street and out-of-town retailers affected.

Home Hardware Convention a success 21 November 2011
More than 100 retailer delegates representing around 60 retail business attended the bi-annual Home Hardware convention at Woolacombe Bay, north Devon, on November 19-20.

Cable offers cash incentive to take on apprentices 18 November 2011
The Government is making it easier for small firms to take on apprentices by providing financial incentives and slashing red tape.

Bosch and Philips sponsor first Ideal Home Show at Christmas 18 November 2011
Bosch and Philips were among the big name sponsors of the first-ever Ideal Home Show at Christmas, which kicked off at London's Earls Court on Wednesday.

Charity skydive raises £20k for RDT 17 November 2011
The last of the skydivers completed their parachute jumps for the Rainy Day Trust on November 6, bringing the final total raised to around £20,000.

Garden centres "the place to be", says Hillview Group 17 November 2011
The Hillview Group has a "huge opportunity" in the garden retail industry, the group's garden retail division md Boyd Douglas Davies has said.

DIY Week Awards attracts more big names 17 November 2011
Araldite, Era Products and Everbuild are the latest companies to come on board as sponsors of the first-ever DIY Week Awards next week.

Strong results for independent garden centres 15 November 2011
Garsons, Polhill, Stewarts and Webbs all achieved sales growth in their most recent accounting periods, according to new accounts filed at Companies House.

Christmas trading could be better than expected, says Mintel 14 November 2011
Research firm predicts retail sales will grow by between 4% and 5% in December if the UK doesn't suffer another harsh winter.

Suppliers warned of new scam 14 November 2011
A new scam is taking advantage of busy suppliers, the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) has warned.

Rightway opens biggest store yet 14 November 2011
Rightway Bevan has opened its largest store to date at Chester, and is using the extra space to make a move into the wallcoverings market for the first time.

Changes at BHETA 14 November 2011
The BHETA team has seen a number of changes in recent weeks.

MFI to relaunch online 11 November 2011
MFI is preparing to relaunch as an online-only retailer at the end of this month, sources close to the company have revealed.

John Lewis launches Christmas ad 11 November 2011
John Lewis launched its £6m Christmas campaign today, with a TV advert set to a cover of The Smiths' 'Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want', sung by singer-songwriter Slow Moving Millie.

William Sinclair moves into composting with new acquisition 10 November 2011
Growing media supplier William Sinclair has acquired the assets and business of compost manufacturer Yorkshire Horticultural Supplies (YHS).

Comet sold for £2 10 November 2011
Loss-making electricals chain Comet has been sold to private investment firm OpCapita for a token £2, just days after Best Buy pulled the plug on its UK operation.

UK brands boost sales at Grafton 10 November 2011
Interim management statement reveals a 4.8% increase in turnover in the firm's UK merchanting business, while Irish operations report declines.

B&Q opens new eco store in Tamworth 9 November 2011
B&Q has opened a new low-carbon store in Tamworth to trial a number of new initiatives as part of the company's plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 90% by 2023.

Builders merchant Martin & Partners scoops two awards 9 November 2011
Family-owned Northampton builders and plumbers merchant Martin & Partners has won two national awards in as many weeks.

Fixings Warehouse opens new Ashford store 9 November 2011
Fixings Warehouse has expanded its Ashford store into new premises in order to meet growing demand from DIY customers.

Obituary: Edmond Hobden 9 November 2011
BHETA director Peter Stone pays tribute to Mr Hobden, who passed away last week.

Retail sales struggle as Christmas gets closer 8 November 2011
Retail sales continue to drop, says BRC, with weak levels of consumer demand "worrying this close to Christmas".

Haskins opens £2.3m restaurant 8 November 2011
Haskins Garden Centre at West End has officially opened its new £2.3m restaurant.

Creative Tops sold to US firm 8 November 2011
Creative Tops Ltd has been acquired by US tableware, home décor and kitchenware company Lifetime Brands Inc.

Wolseley completes sale of Build Center 7 November 2011
Heating and plumbing product distributor completed the sale of its Build Center business to Jewson on Friday, November 4, following a review by the European Commission.

Home Hardware inundated with orders for Christmas brochure 7 November 2011
Member-owned buying group reports a record number of more than 1.3 million orders for its Christmas brochures and leaflets, which feature'3 for 2' deals to get shoppers spending over the festive period.

Plug pulled on Best Buy UK 7 November 2011
More than 1,000 jobs at risk as Carphone Warehouse announces plans to close loss-making UK electronics chain by the end of the year.

Dobbies centre gives Santa the sack 4 November 2011
Father Christmas impersonator creates petition to get his job back after he is let go from the temporary festive role.

NMBS dinner raises thousands for Rainy Day Trust 3 November 2011
Prize draw at dinner dance event brings in £20,000 for buying group's chosen charities RDT and Crash.

Totally launches new strapline for 2012 3 November 2011
The Totally Shows has introduced a new strapline - 'It's where the trade trades' - along with a new tool box image to promote the show this year.

John Lewis launches 'Made in UK' logo and reveals plans for next smaller format store 3 November 2011
John Lewis is launching a 'Made in UK' logo to highlight British-made products instore.

Man jailed for stealing python from Dobbies 2 November 2011
A man has been jailed for stealing a snake from Dobbies Garden World in Stirling.

Online sales boost Next's performance in Q3 2 November 2011
Next Directory reported a 17% sales increase for the quarter, while retail sales were down 3.3%.

B&Q offers Christmas skills classes 2 November 2011
Festive DIY demos for parents and children will be on offer in B&Q stores across the UK, supported by online videos and tips for creating a homemade Christmas.

Optimism falters among UK manufacturers 1 November 2011
UK manufacturers are expecting significant falls in activity over the next three months, according to the latest Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey from the CBI.

Another host of RDT parachute jumpers take to the sky 1 November 2011
Among the latest group of fundraisers, BHETA housewares director Will Jones finally achieved his charity parachute jump on Saturday, raising £1,205 for the Rainy Day Trust.


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