Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive October 2013

Westland retains top BRC accreditation 31 October 2013
The move means that the UK firm Westland remains the only bird food manufacturer to achieve accreditation from The British Retail Consortium.

New website for Axminster Tools 31 October 2013
Axminster Tools has launched a new website - a complete revamp of its existing site with a more contemporary style and new features to help the user.

Gwynedd garden centre plans expansion 31 October 2013
An award-winning Gwynedd garden centre is hoping to gain permission for a significant expansion.

Major drive launched to get independents trading online 31 October 2013
Today saw the launch in the Houses of Parliament of a powerful new coalition called Target200 that aims to get many more independent retailers trading online.

B&Q and Castorama unveil 2014 products at joint show 30 October 2013
Smoke alarms that send a text to your mobile, dishwasher-proof barbecues and sheds that can be constructed in an hour - these are just some of the innovations newly unveiled by B&Q and its French sister company.

New asbestos safety guidance for retailers 30 October 2013
A new guide has been published to help retailers stay within the law when it comes to asbestos on their premises

DIY and gardening 'cuts death risk by 30%' 30 October 2013
Home improvement retailers can expect a new influx of mature customers after the publication of research that finds DIY and gardening is good for you - possibly adding years to older people's lives.

One up to Castorama in French DIY Sunday trading row 30 October 2013
French DIY retail giants Leroy Merlin and Kingfisher-owned Castorama have won a partial victory in a bitter quarrel over Sunday opening.

Crown Paints is BHETA's newest member 30 October 2013
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has signed up yet another big home improvement name as a member, Crown Paints.

Gorilla Glue launches first national marketing campaign 29 October 2013
All purpose adhesive brand, Gorilla Glue, has embarked on its first national marketing campaign with a £500,000 investment supporting its UK growth.

Ilkley hardware store founder Ralph Morten dies 28 October 2013
Ralph Morten, founder of the Ilkley, West Yorkshire hardware independent RW Morten, has passed away at the age of 101.

MKM responds to BBC's DIY SOS plea 28 October 2013
The Peterlee branch of builders' merchant MKM has donated a raft of materials to a project being undertaken by BBC television's DIY SOS: The Big Build series.

Four more housewares members for BHETA 28 October 2013
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has signed up another four companies from within the housewares industry.

Dulux urges Brits to get back into decorating 25 October 2013
Paint brand Dulux is launching a nationwide campaign to encourage hesitant homeowners to get back into decorating.

Doff Portland celebrates its major rebrand 25 October 2013
Doff Portland has undergone a major rebrand as part of its strategy to grow its share of the lawn care and pest control market.

Two FireAngel smoke alarms fail Which? fire test 24 October 2013
Which? is telling consumers not to buy two FireAngel brand smoke alarms after they failed a fire test.

300th store milestone for Screwfix 23 October 2013
Screwfix has opened its 300th trade counter - just eight years after it launched its first store, in Yeovil.

Squire's buys Secretts Garden Centre 23 October 2013
FA Secrett has announced that it has sold its garden centre in Milford, Surrey, to Squire's Garden Centres for an undisclosed figure.

DIY Week Awards 2014 – Entry is open! 23 October 2013
Following news that the annual awards event has moved to a new time and place for next year, entry to both the retailer and product categories is now open.

Homebase achieves its 'best performance since 2002' 23 October 2013
Like-for-like sales at Homebase for the first half of this year were up 5.9%, its best performance since acquisition in 2002.

Wallpaper and DIY are top search keywords 23 October 2013
'Wallpaper' and 'DIY' were the most popular keywords used for online searches on Google UK in August, within the furniture, garden products, decorating products and homewares categories.

Christmas off to a flying start in garden centres 23 October 2013
Garden centre customers have started preparing for Christmas early, with sales of festive products in September showing double-digit growth on last year.

Home Hardware Scotland extends offers in Christmas brochure 22 October 2013
This year's Home Hardware Scotland Christmas brochure is offering more to its customers - a giveaway of a kitchen timer (worth £10) and the chance to win a six foot Christmas tree (worth £40).

Bostik joins BHETA 22 October 2013
The British Home Enhancement Trade has signed up another big-name member in the form of DIY adhesives and sealants producer Bostik.

Rainy Day Trust wants your old mobiles 22 October 2013
Rainy Day Trust, the DIY and housewares industry charity, is appealing for more old mobile phones and printer cartridges for recycling to raise funds for its beneficiaries.

13 stores saved as Homebase Ireland exits examinership 22 October 2013
Having reached a settlement with its creditors, Homebase Ireland has successfully exited examinership and secured almost 500 jobs.

Screwfix to trial 120 new products after BHETA day 22 October 2013
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) says this month's Meet the Buyer initiative, the second Screwfix Innovation Day, was another winner for all parties.

Totally 2014 partners with THS Tools Group 22 October 2013
THS Tools Group, the national network of local industrial distributors, has committed to becoming an event partner at next year's Totally Tools show.

Glee visitor numbers shrink again 22 October 2013
Glee's organiser has admitted that "there is still work to be done to engage with a wider audience" as it released figures showing another slump in visitor numbers.

Free workshop to accompany Gardenex and PetQuip meet-the-buyer event 22 October 2013
A free workshop, called 'Going Global', will run alongside the next meet-the-buyer event organised by Gardenex and PetQuip on November 14.

'Killer slugs' pose a threat to gardeners 21 October 2013
Gardeners could soon be seeking the best in slug-killing products as an invasion of Spanish 'killer slugs' has taken over the UK.

B&Q supports Grown in Britain 21 October 2013
B&Q has confirmed its support for Grown in Britain, as it continues to sell British-grown timber products in 356 stores across the country.

Which? says B&Q website is bottom of the pile 21 October 2013
B&Q's website has hit rock bottom in Which?'s annual survey of online shops, with one user reporting how they suffered "a truly terrible experience".

Seasonal Plants Focus Conference line-up added to 18 October 2013
The line-up of the HTA Seasonal Plants Focus Conference has been added to, as Nicky Roeber from The Garden Centre Group joins the list of speakers.

Squires in Stanmore announces new chosen charity 18 October 2013
Squires Garden Centre in Stanmore has announced that its new chosen charity will be Disability Recreation Unity Movement (DRUM).

Wickes, Tile Giant sales fall flat in third quarter 17 October 2013
Wickes and Tile Giant were the poor relations within the Travis Perkins stable in the third quarter, the merchanting and retail giant said today.

B&Q recalls child-risk blinds 17 October 2013
B&Q has put out a product recall on several of its blinds because they pose a risk to children.

Verdict predicts best Christmas for five years 17 October 2013
Retailers can look forward to a bumper Christmas this year, with sales set to enjoy the strongest growth since pre-recession 2007.

Totally's BHF Village expands to meet demand 17 October 2013
High demand for stands has led to the British Hardware Federation (BHF) Village at next February's Totally shows being expanded.

Axminster adds sixth store, in Basingstoke 17 October 2013
Axminster Tools & Machinery has opened a new store in Basingstoke - the company's sixth.

Negotiation partner joins the HTA's Cost Reduction Programme 16 October 2013
Negotiating specialist ReSharpen has entered into a new partnership with the HTA to help cut operational costs for HTA members.

Successful golf day and charity auction held by Lords Builders Merchants 16 October 2013
Lords Builders Merchants held its annual golf day and charity auction with customers and suppliers making generous donations.

Capital Gardens in lease wrangle with National Trust 16 October 2013
London chain Capital Gardens is embroiled in a row with the National Trust that could see it lose another of its garden centres.

New bathrooms augmented reality app launched 16 October 2013 has announced the launch of the first augmented reality app for bathrooms.

B&Q offer extension disadvantaged customers, ASA rules 16 October 2013
The ad watchdog has upheld a complaint by Homebase that B&Q extended the date of two promotions without a good enough reason.

Garden centre to shut after Webbs ends lease 14 October 2013
Ryton Gardens in Coventry, where organic growing charity Garden Organic is based, is closing its garden centre and café following the withdrawal of their operator, Webbs Garden Centres.

The Range plans seven new stores for November 14 October 2013
As The Range climbed 63 places in The Sunday Times 250 Top Track, it also announced that it will be opening seven new superstores in November, creating 1050 jobs.

Dobbies in Inverness opens its doors 14 October 2013
The new Dobbies Garden Centre in Inverness opened on Friday, marking the company's 15th centre in Scotland.

Bents launches loyalty scheme 14 October 2013
Glazebury-based Bents Garden & Home has created its own customer loyalty scheme, the 'be inspired' club, which will reward members and help build a picture of the centre's customer base.

OpCapita will get £117m from demise of Comet 14 October 2013
The owner of Comet, which spectacularly collapsed last November with the loss of over 6,000 jobs, is to walk away with £117m.

B&Q boss leaves the company 11 October 2013
Kingfisher has announced that B&Q's chief executive Martyn Phillips is leaving the business after 19 years, with Kevin O'Byrne assuming direct leadership.

Family-run Scunthorpe garden centre to close 11 October 2013
The Stephen H Smith Garden Centre in Scunthorpe will close at the end of October after a developer bought the site to build a new retail park.

Exclusively Housewares sells out in record time 10 October 2013
Exclusively Housewares says it has a full line-up for its 2014 event, just 16 weeks after the 2013 edition of the London show.

The Range opening three stores in one day 10 October 2013
The Range has announced that it will be opening its three newest stores at the end of November, all on the same day.

Managing director Neville Prest to leave Garden & Leisure 10 October 2013
Neville Prest, managing director of the Garden & Leisure Group, will be leaving the company following the recent acquisition by The Garden Centre Group.

B&Q York store to close 9 October 2013
The B&Q store on Hull Road in York is set to close and be replaced by Sainsbury's, after a deal was made between the two companies.

Suffolk retailer re-launches under Home Hardware identity 9 October 2013
A second independent DIY retailer has re-launched as a Home Hardware store.

Headline sponsors for GCA conference revealed 9 October 2013
The Garden Centre Association has announced that Davidson Richards and Westland Horticulture will be its headline sponsors for its annual conference in January next year.

Irwin says 'thank you' to tradesmen 9 October 2013
Irwin tools held its most successful National Tradesmen Day at the end of September to say 'thank you' to the trade professionals, working for their customers.

Top buyers feature in new Totally campaign 8 October 2013
Some of the industry's leading buyers have lined up behind the Totally Shows in an effort to encourage other retailers to attend next February.

'Cautious' retail sales growth ahead of Christmas 8 October 2013
UK retail sales were up 0.7% on a like-for-like basis this September, compared to the same month last year, when they increased 1.5% on 2011.

Bolton Homebase to close 8 October 2013
The Homebase store in Bolton town centre is to close at the end of next week.

Carpetright issues profit warning, parts with CEO 8 October 2013
Carpetright chief executive Darren Shapland is stepping down from the role - which he has occupied for less than two years - and from the retailer's board, with immediate effect.

Fermoy's to become Blue Diamond's 15th centre 7 October 2013
Fermoy's Garden Centre looks set to become Blue Diamond's 15th centre, with the takeover process due to be completed by mid-October, according to property consultancy firm Gilbert Evans.

Bonmarché concessions to trial in GCG garden centres 7 October 2013
The Garden Centre Group has signed a deal with clothing retailer Bonmarché that will see the latter trial concessions within a number of centres.

Garden centre hit-and-run thief sentence is 'a joke' 7 October 2013
A Yorkshire garden centre manager has described as "a joke" a sentence handed out to a thief who ran over his pensioner grandfather in his car whilst trying to make a getaway.

Two Surrey shops re-launch under Home Hardware identity 7 October 2013
A DIY retailer has a new identity after becoming part of the Home Hardware group.

Good move for DIY Week Awards 7 October 2013
DIY Week is ringing in the changes for its annual awards event, with a new date and a new venue for 2014.

Blue Diamond looks to buy Fermoy's Garden Centre 4 October 2013
Fermoy's Garden Centre in Devon has said it is in talks about Blue Diamond taking it over.

Yale launches animated character for online campaign 4 October 2013
As part of its social media and online campaign, Yale has created an animated advice expert character that offers help and tips to its customers.

Baking and making boost Lakeland's annual sales 3 October 2013
The rise and rise of home baking helped boost 2012 sales at Lakeland 4% to £157.4m.

Summer boost for garden centre sales 3 October 2013
The HTA has reported that garden centre sales have grown for five consecutive months and that year-to-date sales figures are above the 2012 levels.

British Coatings Federation expands its training programme 2 October 2013
The British Coatings Federation (BCF) has expanded its training programme by teaming up with a new partner, Vincentz Network, to take the web-based Coatings Training worldwide.

Would-be suppliers learn what Lakeland wants 2 October 2013
Lakeland director of buying Matthew Canwell revealed to another record audience at BHETA's latest forum what are the retailer's hottest product categories right now.

Whitehall Garden Centre's centenarian Phyllis Self dies 2 October 2013
Phyllis Self, a former director of Wiltshire's Whitehall Garden Centre, has died at the age of 105.

Possible takeover for Fermoy's 2 October 2013
Fermoy's Garden Centre in Devon has confirmed that there are talks of it being taken over by a new owner.

Critics slam Miliband's business rates plan 2 October 2013
Opposition leader Ed Miliband has said a business rates freeze would provide some relief for small businesses, but others say there is much more that needs to be done.

Sales surge at Poundland 1 October 2013
Sales at Poundland were up 15% to £880 million last year and 51 new stores opened. The company said it also plans to open 1,000 new stores across the UK.

CHA announces 2014 independents' cooking day 1 October 2013
The Cookshop and Housewares Association has set the date for its next fun-filled CHA Independents Day.


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