Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive October 2012

Furniture and carpet retailers see positive October 31 October 2012
Retailers have reported a strong rise in sales volumes during the first two and a half weeks of October, according to the latest Distributive Trades Survey from the CBI.

Halloween more likely to scare up sales than ever before 31 October 2012
Retailers across the garden, DIY and homewares market have been getting into the spirit of Halloween, and their efforts won't be in vain according to UK Point of Sale, who says the season will be the third most significant for retailers behind Christmas and Easter this year.

Retail property construction suffers five-year 27% slump 31 October 2012
A significant over-supply of retail property is contributing to a gloomy picture of the overall commercial real estate construction market.

HTA supports ash import ban 31 October 2012
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has announced it is fully supporting government legislation banning the import and movement of ash trees in the UK.

Next revises profit forecast upward 31 October 2012
Next upped its forecast for annual pre-tax profit today as it revealed its performance for the third quarter to October 27.

Electric-shock adaptor and inverter withdrawn 30 October 2012
A travel plug adaptor and a power inverter have both been withdrawn from the market because they can give users an electric shock.

DIY Week Awards gain Ambassador Tools sponsorship 30 October 2012
Another high-profile name has given its support to the DIY Week 2012 Awards.

Avocado knife scoops global design award 29 October 2012
The new avocado knife from Kuhn Rikon's successful Colori collection of kitchen knives and gadgets has won an international design accolade.

Ilminster Home Hardware launches 29 October 2012
Somerset's former Town & Country Hardware store has been transformed into Ilminster Home Hardware, and new owners Phillip and Kate Wyatt launched the store officially earlier this month with the help of the town mayor Roger Swann.

Loch Lomond Garden Centre fined for sewage offence 29 October 2012
A West Dunbartonshire garden centre has been fined for discharging insufficiently-treated sewage into a local waterway.

Ironmongery Direct orders up 26% since relocation 29 October 2012
Since Ironmongery Direct moved to its premises in Basildon a year ago the company has reported that new customers are up 26% on last year and on track to recruit 60,000 new customers this year alone.

Rising star B&M 'set to challenge Tesco' 29 October 2012
UK discount retailer B&M is among a handful of retailers across Europe that could be challenging the likes of Tesco and Carrefour within 10 to 15 years.

Travis Perkins Group donates to The Coldest Journey 29 October 2012
A specially-designed kitchen and building materials worth £10,000 have been donated by the Travis Perkins Group to Antarctic expedition The Coldest Journey, led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Christmasworld package includes garden centres tour 29 October 2012
The organisers of Christmasworld have put together a special package for UK visitors that includes a trip to the show and a tour of leading German garden centres around Frankfurt.

Obituary: Martyn Hocking 26 October 2012
Former DIY Week news editor Martyn Hocking died on Friday October 19 after a battle with cancer. He was 48.

QEP acquires Ludell and Imperial Industries 26 October 2012
Just one month after its acquisition of Nupla, QEP has now taken on two more companies - Ludell and Imperial Industries.

GCG to buy up to 70 new centres by 2019 26 October 2012
Acting Garden Centre Group ceo Stephen Murphy has announced that the 129-centre chain could expand by up to 70 more centres in the next five to seven years.

Klondyke reopens Wilmslow Garden Centre after fire 26 October 2012
Wilmslow Garden Centre has reopened following last June's devastating fire at the Cheshire outlet.

Debenhams posts 2.6% sales upturn in yearly results 26 October 2012
UK segment sales at the multi-channel brand were up 2.6% for the 52 weeks ending September 1, 2012.

Retail jobs grow by 2.9% as UK economy exits recession 25 October 2012
The third quarter of 2012 has seen retail employment grow by the fastest rate in two years, as well as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 1%, pulling the UK out of the longest double-dip recession since World War II.

Hozelock appoints new CEO following French takeover 25 October 2012
Hozelock ceo David Algar is being replaced by Marc Ballu, a third generation member of the Ballu family who own Exel Industries, the company which took over the gardening supplier just weeks ago.

GCA announces Ruxley Rose winners 25 October 2012
Eleven garden centres have been named regional winners of the GCA's Ruxley Rose competition, which recognises excellent quality and range of plants.

Kitchen retailer promised "solid granite" but delivered laminate 24 October 2012
The Advertising Standards Agency has banned an advert from Really Cheap Kitchens after a customer enquired about a £795 granite worktop kitchen and was told the worktops were laminate and the price did not include fitting costs.

Argos outlines plan to switch from catalogues to digital 24 October 2012
Argos intends to transform itself from a catalogue-led business to a digitally-led business, parent Home Retail Group said today as it revealed its results for the half year to September 1 2012.

Garden retail up 3% year-on-year for September 23 October 2012
September saw a second month's rise in garden centre and nursery sales, according to the Horticultural Trades Association's garden retail monitor.

Hozelock acquired by Exel Industries 22 October 2012
Gardening equipment supplier Hozelock has been bought by French spraying specialist Exel Industries, but will continue to manufacture in the UK.

Wheelbarrow Booster scoops first million despite Dragons Den rejection 22 October 2012
A product which increases the capacity of a wheelbarrow by up to 300% has made its inventors more than £1.3m in its first year on the market, despite the entrepreneurs rejecting an offer from two Dragons' Den millionaires.

Rates revaluation deferral piles on the pain for retailers 22 October 2012
The government has been slammed for its decision to defer the business rate revaluation for two years - a move that has left retailers and other interested parties reeling.

Bungling garden centre thieves make off with £1 22 October 2012
A Hampshire garden centre has been targeted by burglars for the fourth time in a year.

B&Q and Homebase websites rank in bottom five for online shoppers 19 October 2012
A survey of 96 shopping websites taken by more than 14,000 consumers ranked and B&Q's as 92nd and 95th respectively, revealed Which? this week.

DIY Week Awards: Shortlisted products revealed 19 October 2012
The judging process is nearly complete and DIY Week can now reveal the product entries shortlisted for Gold at this year's DIY Week Awards.

Multiples closed at rate of 32 a day during summer 18 October 2012
New research from the Local Data Company and professional services firm PwC has shown chain stores have been closing at a rate of 20 per day on average during the first half of 2012, and significantly faster during the eventful summer months.

Household goods stores see September sales drop 18 October 2012
The latest report from the Office for National Statistics has revealed an overall sunny picture for retail during September (up an estimated 2.5% in volume and 3.2% spend) but the household goods sector saw a dip of 2.7% in goods bought and 2.4% in spend compared with September 2011.

Dangerous adaptors taken off the market 15 October 2012
A plug adaptor and a mains adaptor have both been withdrawn from the market because of the dangers they pose to users.

Glee visitor numbers drop as industry assesses show's importance 15 October 2012
The number of visitors to Glee 2012 dropped by almost 20% to 9,112 this year, after attracting 11,149 last year and 13,050 in 2010.

Dixons axes website to focus on Currys 15 October 2012
Currys and PC World owner Dixons Retail has closed its website in order to bring its stores' and online presence in line.

B&Q sublets store to Asda 15 October 2012
B&Q has kicked off a series of multi-channel initiatives with the splitting of its 120,000 sq ft Belvedere store, subletting half the space to a new small-scale Asda supermarket.

Consumers doubt big firms' green motives, Kingfisher survey shows 15 October 2012
A quarter of consumers think large companies have a negative impact on the environment, research from Kingfisher shows - although new figures reveal that retailers are in fact doing well on their green targets.

Hardware and electricals boost The Original Factory Shop 15 October 2012
Hardware lines were a star performer for The Original Factory Shop in the six months to September 30.

Wickes' like-for-like sales drop in Q3 12 October 2012
Travis Perkins plc has revealed a 7% drop in like-for-like sales in its consumer division, largely comprising Wickes, during the third quarter to September 30 2012.

Demand for retail premises continues its slide 12 October 2012
A new survey of the commercial property market suggests that retail is bearing the brunt of the downturn, with the sector showing the greatest falls in tenant demand and rental expectations.

First John Lewis flexible-format store opens 12 October 2012
Over 150 eager customers queued from 8am last week to be the first to shop in John Lewis' first new full-line, flexible-format department store.

New UK distributor signed for Peugeot mills 11 October 2012
Burton McCall has done a deal with mills and wine accessories supplier Peugeot for exclusive distribution into the UK and Eire retail channels.

Latest store opening in Poole is Screwfix's 250th 11 October 2012
Screwfix has marked an important milestone for the brand with the opening of its 250th store.

Homebase discount offer judged 'misleading' by ASA 11 October 2012
A TV, radio and internet ad campaign for 15% off at Homebase when customers spent £50 during a 'national discount day' has been banned by the ASA because of implications the offer could be used in conjunction with other offers at the DIY store.

BHETA goes international with Meet the Buyers 11 October 2012
The Meet the Buyers initiative set up for members by The British Home Enhancement Trade Association is now working with overseas retailers for the first time.

Mica tackles the Christmas baking season 11 October 2012
Following on from the successful 'Gift Guide for Tools' aimed at consumers looking for unique gifts last year, Mica has its sights set on the cookware and baking market this Christmas, with its premier 'Cookshop Special' brochure.

BHETA signs two more housewares members 10 October 2012
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association has added two more companies to its expanding membership.

Scam warning for garden industry suppliers 9 October 2012
Members of the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) have once again issued a warning to suppliers being targeted by hoax order requests.

The Garden Centre Group ceo Nicholas Marshall steps down 9 October 2012

Nicholas Marshall, who has been leading the UK's largest garden retailer for almost four years, has resigned with immediate effect, it was announced today.

B&Q cuts 220 head office jobs 9 October 2012
Kingfisher-owned B&Q is making nearly 20% of its head office staff redundant, cutting 220 of the 1,200 jobs based from its Hampshire headquarters in order to deliver a more "agile" service to its customers.

B&Q and Screwfix kit out polar expedition 8 October 2012
Kingfisher retailers B&Q and Screwfix have supplied a range of equipment, tools and clothing to the South Georgia Heritage Trust, which is leading a conservation project to protect seabirds in the sub-Antarctic.

Bathroom market "remains in the throes of recession" 8 October 2012
According to research analysts GfK, while the consumer confidence index edged up to a 15 month high between July 2011 and July 2012, the value sales of bathroom suites declined by 9%.

United Carpets buys its shops out of administration 8 October 2012
United Carpets has effectively put its shops into administration and then bought them straight back again in order to save on crippling rent liabilities.

Obituary: Deborah Jennings 8 October 2012
Deborah Jennings, a director of Jackloc and described as "a pioneering businesswoman", has died at the age of 44.

Homewares left out in the cold during September high street boost 8 October 2012
Following several months of flat or negative growth, the high street is showing signs of recovery, according to the BDO high street sales tracker, with like-for-like sales up 3.5% for September.

Grimsby garden centre goes on the market 8 October 2012
A garden centre near Grimsby has been put up for sale as the owners prepare to retire.

John Lewis sales surge brings "a real sense of Christmas buying" 5 October 2012
The recent cold and wet snap put customers "in the right mood for shopping" at John Lewis last week. The retailer posted sales up 26.5% on the same week last year, which, incidentally, saw the country engulfed in an unseasonable heat wave.

PlumbNation tops £14m turnover 5 October 2012
Online plumbing and heating retailer PlumbNation has smashed the £14million sales mark for the year 2011/2012, a yearly increase of more than 20%.

One day left to be a winner 4 October 2012
The closing date for entries to the DIY Week Awards is tomorrow - enter now to get your stand-out retail business or products noticed.

BHETA sets up John Lewis Meet the Buyer Day 4 October 2012
The next Meet the Buyer Day organised by the British Home Enhancement Trade Association will allow members of the organisation to go head-to-head with buyers from John Lewis.

GCG restaurants helped "mitigate the shortfall" for H1 2012 3 October 2012
The 129-strong Garden Centre Group has posted results showing a profit dip for the year to December 25, 2011, but an upbeat picture of H1 2012.

GCA boss defends streamlined Glee 3 October 2012
Following criticism at the reduced size of Glee 2012, the Garden Centre Association (GCA) executive committee has spoken up in the trade show's defence.

New identity for family-run Home Hardware store 3 October 2012
Jacques Home Hardware - named for the four Jacques family members who run it - is the fresh new identity marking a new era for the Market Rasen hardware store.

Garden Centre Group raises funds for Macmillan 2 October 2012
The Garden Centre Group has helped raise £21,143 for Macmillan Cancer Support by taking part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning.

Ironmongery Direct increases staff numbers by 15% 2 October 2012
Since moving to 50,000 sq ft new premises in Basildon, Ironmongery Direct has taken on an influx of new recruits, including the recent appointment of Karla Matthew as HR and payroll co-ordinator.

Hardman Isherwood goes into administration with HI Group 1 October 2012
The electrical products distributor Hardman Isherwood has gone into administration, along with its parent HI Group and a number of the group's other subsidiaries.

Discount phenomenon B&M up for sale 1 October 2012
B&M, the hugely-successful Liverpool-based discount retailer, has been put up for sale.

Iain Wylie takes over GCA 1 October 2012
Iain Wylie, previously MD of Grosvenor Garden Centre, has taken on the position of interim chief executive of the Garden Centre Association.

Tool kit and ceiling fan deemed dangerous 1 October 2012
A tool kit and a ceiling fan are amongst the latest dangerous products to have been withdrawn or recalled from the market.


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