Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive June 2011

UPDATE: TJ Hughes in administration 30 June 2011
Tom Jack and Simon Allport from Ernst & Young were today appointed joint administrators of discount department store TJ Hughes.

FPB urges suppliers to name and shame late payers 29 June 2011
The Forum of Private Business is urging suppliers to anonymously name and shame late-paying companies.

Fire destroys Wilmslow garden centre 29 June 2011
70 firefighters required to tackle a huge blaze at the centre on Manchester Road this morning but thankfully no one was injured.

Kingfisher boss calls for global talks on deforestation 29 June 2011
Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire has called for annual government-level talks to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

Profits plunge further at Carpetright 28 June 2011
Carpetright has seen a 45% plunge in UK underlying operating profit for the year to April 30, 2011.

Robert Dyas appoints Stephen McVey as ceo 28 June 2011
Robert Dyas has appointed former Makro md Stephen McVey as chief executive officer, effective from July 25.

Beales reports losses of £1.2m in H1 28 June 2011
Department store group has a disappointing performance in the first half, with like-for-like sales down 9.2%.

Administration looms for TJ Hughes 28 June 2011
Discount department store chain TJ Hughes is on the brink of collapse after filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators this week.

Wheelie inspiring 27 June 2011
An array of allotment gardens grown in wheelbarrows went on display at this year's Devon County Show, created by local schoolchildren with a little help from Fermoy's Garden Centre.

Cash is king for hard-pressed shoppers 27 June 2011
Customers make the switch to cash and debit card payments to avoid spending money they haven't got, while "unjustifiably-high" bank charges continue to put the squeeze on retailers.

DIY spending hits 12-year low 27 June 2011
Household spending on DIY has dropped to a 12-year low, according to a new report from Lloyds TSB.

Akzo Nobel hit by raw material costs and weak demand 27 June 2011
Dulux parent reports that sales to date meet expectations but that results in Q2 are likely to be adversely impacted by challenging trading conditions and the rising costs of raw materials.

Focus creditors will not be paid 27 June 2011
No payment is likely to be made to non-preferential trade Focus creditors - who between them are owed some £61.5m, according to administrators Ernst & Young.

Homeform to appoint administrators, putting 1,300 jobs at risk 24 June 2011
Kitchen, bedroom and bathroom group Homeform has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

Retailers report flat sales in June 24 June 2011
Household goods suffer particularly badly, while grocers see their worst sales growth in two years, as consumers are squeezed by rising inflation.

UPDATE: Habitat in administration after selling brand rights to HRG 24 June 2011
Home furnishings group Habitat has been bought by Home Retail Group (HRG) in a multi-million pound deal.

Administrators in discussion over sale of Proteam 24 June 2011
Proteam administrator FRP Advisory has confirmed it is in discussions with a number of parties regarding the sale of the company.

British Ceramic Tile sells Trade Warehouses 24 June 2011
British Ceramic Tile (BCT) has announced the sale of its four Trade Warehouses to online tile retailer TileClick for an undisclosed sum.

John Lewis records best week of the half year to date 24 June 2011
Department store reports a 9% sales uplift, as customers snap up bed and bath linen, as well as cooking and dining ranges ahead of clearance sale.

New partner for Rainy Day Trust 23 June 2011
Toolbank is the latest company to sign up for the Rainy Day Trust's Partnership scheme.

Meet the buyers with BHETA 23 June 2011
New BHETA initiative will bring 31 Homebase buyers together under one roof for member 'speed-dating' event.

British consumers have little time for poor e-commerce sites 23 June 2011
According to new research, online shoppers in the UK show little forgiveness towards e-commerce sites that offer poor navigation, slow performance or unsatisfactory check-out but reward those sites that perform well and use personalised marketing tactics.

Home Retail in talks to buy Habitat 23 June 2011
Home Retail Group is in talks to buy home furnishings retailer Habitat, according to press reports today.

Rent day could hit struggling retailers tomorrow 23 June 2011
Many retailers will be feeling the pinch tomorrow, the day on which quarterly rents for commercial property are traditionally paid.

Comet to close 17 stores after £9m loss 22 June 2011
Comet is to shut 17 stores after making a £9m loss in retail profit for the year to April 30, 2011.

Further squeeze on finances in May 22 June 2011
Asda income tracker reveals a £61 a month drop in disposable income for UK households in May, as earnings growth lags behind price inflation.

Life & Style shuts 22 stores 22 June 2011
Fashion and homewares chain Life & Style is to close 22 of its 150 stores, with the loss of 274 jobs.

BHETA board elections confirmed 22 June 2011
Yesterday's BHETA agm saw John Newcomb re-elected for his second year as president of the association.

Plans afoot for M&S to buy garden centre site 22 June 2011
Retail chain in discussions to open a new store on the Stephen H. Smith Garden & Leisure site in Scunthorpe

Richard Burbidge owner buys FW Mason 22 June 2011
Ripat Ltd, which owns Richard Burbidge and sister company Atkinson & Kirby, has acquired troubled timber products firm FW Mason from administrators for an undisclosed sum.

Hosepipe ban code revised 21 June 2011
The HTA has welcomed the revised Code of Practice offering new guidance on water use restrictions water companies can impose during shortages.

Asda chief Simon King steps down 21 June 2011
Supermarket chain confirms Mr King's departure after just six months as chief operating officer.

Gardening guru’s book sells out in half an hour 21 June 2011
The book, a second edition of Richard Jackson's 150 Top Gardening Tips proved so popular with QVC customers, all 10,000 copies were sold in just 36 minutes.

Stores snap up space at UK's retail parks 21 June 2011
The number of empty units in retail parks has dropped as more high street retailers make the move to out-of-town stores.

Ikea crowned Advertiser of the Year 20 June 2011
Swedish home retailer picks up accolade at the 2011 Cannes Lions Awards and is praised for its "creative, unconventional and humorous advertising".

Focus to close Tamworth warehouse as stores shut 20 June 2011
The first 10 Focus stores shut their doors yesterday, with 112 set to follow this week, as shoppers loaded up on cut-price items.

Wickes md promoted 20 June 2011
Wickes md Jeremy Bird has been promoted to chairman of parent company Travis Perkins' retail arm.

First Global DIY Summit hailed a success 17 June 2011
More than 400 senior executives from 35 countries gathered in Brussels last week to attend the inaugural Global DIY Summit, organised by EDRA and fediyma.

Private sector boosts employment figures 17 June 2011
The unemployment rate for the three months to April 2011 fell to 7.7%, down 0.3% on the previous quarter and the largest quarterly drop since August 2000.

Act on emissions or risk losing sales, says Carbon Trust 17 June 2011
Almost one in two shoppers would shun brands that don't take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, according to new research from the Carbon Trust.

ONS: sales fall sharply in May 17 June 2011
Retail sales volumes fell 1.4% in May compared with the previous month, according to the latest report from the Office of National Statistics.

Stewart gets £12m PE investment 16 June 2011
Private equity firm ECI has invested £12m in plastics manufacturer Stewart, the company announced today.

Dyb Dyb DIY 16 June 2011
B&Q teams up with the Scouts to help plug the skills gap and teach DIY to half a million under 15s with the launch of a new badge.

Focus announces store closure dates 16 June 2011
The latest email from Focus liquidators hammers home the point that the first Focus stores will close this Sunday.

Argos TV goes live 15 June 2011
Argos launched its own home shopping channel today on Sky, available to view in 10m homes.

Non-food still strong at Sainsbury's 15 June 2011
Easter and the Royal wedding boost general merchandise ranges despite tough trading environment but supermarket chain predicts continued pressure on consumer spending and a competitive market.

B&Q makes Sunday Times Best Green Companies List 15 June 2011
B&Q was one of only three retailers to make The Sunday Times Best Green Companies List 2011, coming in at 18th place.

Akzo Nobel uses rainwater for paint production 15 June 2011
Paint firm's factory in Prudhoe, Northumberland is now harvesting rainwater to produce brands, such as Dulux and Cuprinol, as part of the company's operational Eco-Efficiency programme.

John Lewis to build 'at home' store in Ashford 15 June 2011
Department store chain announces plans for its 10th at home, set to open by autumn 2012.

Closure rate of independents significantly reduced, says Bira 14 June 2011
Independents are weathering the recession better than the multiples, and are capable of reviving UK high streets if "freed from the shackles that hamper them", the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has said.

Best Buy UK makes £62.2m loss 14 June 2011
Carphone Warehouse is considering the future of its Best Buy roll out following losses at the 10-strong chain of more than £60m for the full year to March 31 2011.

Focus forces Proteam administration 14 June 2011
Distributor Proteam UK has entered administration, owed £3m by Focus.

Confiscated tools are a real steal 13 June 2011
Police forces are auctioning off tools confiscated from burglars and robbers in a bid to clear their store rooms and raise some cash.

Home boosts sales at John Lewis 10 June 2011
Sales at John Lewis rose just 0.5% to £54.27m for the week to June 4, despite the Bank Holiday and exceptionally good weather, the company has reported.

13-year-old's invention goes into production 10 June 2011
Commtel Innovate has confirmed it is to put the Smart Bell doorbell, invented by 13-year-old Laurence Rook, into full production this July.

Drought declared in parts of UK but hosepipe ban "unlikely", says Defra 10 June 2011
Defra and the Environment Agency announce that parts of the Anglian region are now officially in a state of drought, with other areas on the brink, but reassures that water supplies are high enough to cope with dry conditions.

Third administration for Life & Style owner 10 June 2011
Fashion and homewares chain Life & Style has entered administration.

Crown sold to Danish coatings firm Hempel 10 June 2011
Hempel has acquired the leading paint brand for an undisclosed sum, as part of its ambitious expansion plans to double in size and strengthen its position in the decorative coatings industry.

B&Q makes the most of Prior's smashing actions 9 June 2011
DIY chain uses guerrilla marketing so that a personalised ad appears at the top of the page when users Google Matt Prior - the cricketer who broke a window at Lord's with his cricket bat.

Argos Q1 sales drop 9.6% 9 June 2011
Sales at Argos dropped nearly 10% in Q1, but remained steady at stablemate chain Homebase, according to figures released by parent company Home Retail Group (HRG) today.

Focus to pay out £330k to shower company 9 June 2011
New Zealand-based shower manufacturer Methven has announced it is to receive £329,675 plus VAT from Focus administrators, after losing NZ$2m (almost £1m) when the retailer went under in May.

Products set to feature in Alan Titchmarsh show revealed 8 June 2011
GIMA has teamed up with ITV to produce a list of items expected to appear in the first episode of Alan Titchmarsh's new TV show, Love Your Garden.

Focus closing down sale beats expectations 8 June 2011
As the failed DIY chain's stores continue to trade, selling off stock before their planned closure next month, liquidators report impressive sales.

UK lags behind on low-carbon investment 8 June 2011
The UK has fallen from 5th to 13th in a global ranking of low-carbon investment, as progress lags on decarbonising buildings, transport and industry, the CBI has said.

Garden centre sales soar in April 8 June 2011
Garden centre sales went up 25% in April, compared with the same month last year, as the garden industry capitalised on a late Easter, an extra Bank Holiday weekend and good weather.

Weak demand leads to slowdown in non-food inflation 8 June 2011
Non-food inflation slowed to 0.8% in May from 1.2% in April, reflecting the need for continued promotional activity in a bid to stimulate sales.

Williams-Sonoma fraudster jailed for eight years 7 June 2011
Employee Larry Settle has been sentenced to eight years in prison after lax security systems at the US housewares chain allowed him to steal $1.15m worth of merchandise.

Consumer caution returns in May 7 June 2011
UK retail sales fell 2.1% like-for-like in May compared to the same month last year, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Board changes at Carpetright as UK md stands down 6 June 2011
Carpetright's UK md Christian Sollesse has stood down from his position amid a board reshuffle at the struggling retailer.

Home Retail in talks with Habitat 6 June 2011
Home Retail Group has held talks with Habitat owner Hilco about selling Habitat-branded items within Homebase stores, according to reports.

HTA report reveals healthy growth in garden market 6 June 2011
Plant sales continue upward trend, boosted by GYO and a 'retreat to the home' mentality, while competition hots up between garden centres and DIY superstores.

The UK's favourite paint shades revealed 3 June 2011
Reds, creams and neutral shades have come out on top as the nation's favourite colours for the home.

Wet weather fails to dampen cooking and dining sales at John Lewis 3 June 2011
Rain, and even hail in some parts of the UK, led to a 9.7% increase in cooking and dining ranges, as consumers chose to eat indoors.

Debenhams chief exec appointed BRC chairman 3 June 2011
Rob Templeman, who will retire from his position at Debenhams on September 2, will succeed current BRC chairman Luke Mayhew.

Wolseley sees profits rise despite weak UK market 3 June 2011
Plumbers and builders merchants group Wolseley has reported a 30% rise in group trading profit for the third quarter to April 30, despite UK profits falling 11%.

Screwfix to open 100 trade counters 3 June 2011
DIY chain reveals growth plans with recent appointment of surveyors to secure 100 new units, significantly expanding its store portfolio.

B&Q reports strongest quarter for 18 months 2 June 2011
B&Q UK and Ireland sees positive like-for-like (lfl) sales growth for first time in six quarters.

Mobile shopping to deliver £4.5bn boost to UK economy 2 June 2011
M-commerce could be worth £19bn by 2010 but retailers could be missing out on a significant number of sales due to problems with mobile broadband connections.

Topps sees rise in like-for-like sales 2 June 2011
Topps Tiles has reported a slight decline in profits for the first half of its financial year, but says it is "encouraged" by trading patterns seen during the period.

Focus closing down sale continues 2 June 2011
Latest email shot to customers highlights big bargains and says more stock is coming into stores every day.

Sainburys doubles 'Click & Collect' network to grow non-food sales 1 June 2011
Supermarket chain to introduce the facility in more than 800 stores by Christmas, as it confirms that non-food merchandise is 'a key area of focus' for the retailer.

William Sinclair reports strong trading in H1 1 June 2011
Growing media firm's sales bolstered by acquisitions and good weather but ceo raises concerns over targets for peat reduction.


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