Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive November 2013

Iain Wylie secures GCA chief exec role 29 November 2013
The Garden Centre Association (GCA) today announced that Mr Wylie, who until recently was the interim Chief Executive, has been confirmed in the position

Kingfisher drives Screwfix sales up 21% in Q3 28 November 2013
A sterling performance by Screwfix helped drive up UK sales and profits at Kingfisher during its third quarter, the group said this morning.

New B&Q store opens in Consett, north-east England 27 November 2013
A brand-new B&Q store opened in Consett, near Newcastle upon Tyne, on Friday.

Plans unveiled for Dobbies and Tesco store in Scotland 27 November 2013
Dobbies and parent company Tesco have unveiled plans for their first new-build in Scotland.

Wickes turns London roundabout into a building site 27 November 2013
Wickes is hoping to catch the eyes of motorists driving in London's Elephant and Castle with an imitation building site it has constructed on the famous roundabout there.

Irwin kits out aspiring tradesmen at SkillBuild 27 November 2013
Irwin Tools has supported trainee tradesmen in their bid to be named the best of the best by sponsoring a national skills competition.

Nursery thieves make off with valuable hydroponics equipment 27 November 2013
The owner of a family-run nursery in Cheshire says she is living "a nightmare" after thieves broke in and stole thousands of pounds' worth of growing equipment.

All-year-round offer boosts Ikea outdoor furniture 58% 26 November 2013
Ikea revealed that outdoor furniture has been its star category this year, as the retailer released its UK results for the year to August 31 2013.

Topps' full-year results show market share growing 26 November 2013
Topps Tiles said today that the company had "successfully achieved our primary goal of growing profitable market share", as it released its full-year results to September 28 2013.

Strong start for garden centre food hall 25 November 2013
The new Food Hall at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre has had a successful first month, with customers left surprised at just how much is on offer.

Earlex acquired by Wagner-Group 23 November 2013
Earlex Ltd is now part of the Wagner-Group, following an acquisition, it announced yesterday (Friday).

Peter Burks quits The Garden Centre Group in reshuffle 23 November 2013

Peter Burks is one of several senior personnel leaving The Garden Centre Group in a further shake-up of staff.

Lifting the lid on loo seat sales 21 November 2013
Figures from Homebase have revealed a trend in toilet seat sales in the lead up to Christmas.

Poores of Acton sold to Lawsons builder's merchant 21 November 2013
The south east hardware independent Poores of Acton has been bought by independent builder's merchant Lawsons.

Fire at Blooms Garden Centre in Cardiff 21 November 2013
A fire at the Blooms Garden Centre near Cardiff has almost destroyed the site and buildings, forcing it to close.

Scottish businesses unconvinced about independence 21 November 2013
Based on the current information available, an overwhelming 73% of Scottish small businesses believe Scotland should remain part of the UK, with only 15% intending to vote in favour of independence next year.

TradePoint signs partnership deal with Football League 21 November 2013
B&Q's trade counter, TradePoint, has become the first ever official trade supplier to The Football League in a new partnership.

Historic independent ironmonger's is brought back to life 20 November 2013
A Wiltshire ironmonger's that closed earlier this year after trading for over 150 years has been restored to life by the owners of a nearby garden centre.

LG Harris and Bill Grimsey join forces to help indies 20 November 2013
LG Harris has joined forces with retail veteran Bill Grimsey to launch a new marketing campaign to support small, independent retailers across the country.

Charlie Dimmock heats up Hillier 20 November 2013
Gardening expert and TV presenter, Charlie Dimmock, visited the Hillier Garden Centre in Eastbourne to help Horlicks promote its new hot drink.

Victoria Plumb 'poised for sale' 19 November 2013
Victoria Plumb, the online retailer of bathrooms and bathroom accessories, is reportedly on the verge of being sold.

The Range in Maidstone opens its doors 19 November 2013
A new The Range store opened in Maidstone, Kent, today and DIY Week went along to be the first inside.

Freeze 'iniquitous' business rates for two years, BCC demands 19 November 2013
The business rates system is iniquitous, absurd and broken, says The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which is calling on the government to freeze rates for the next two years.

High streets bear brunt of dwindling footfall 19 November 2013
There was more bad news for high streets this week, with the British Retail Consortium reporting that, of all shopping areas, they sustained the biggest drop in footfall in October.

B&Q swipes voucher business from decor independent 19 November 2013
The owner of an independent decorating shop in Greater Manchester says he is losing thousands of pounds' worth of business to B&Q because of a change of policy at a local social housing provider.

Possible store closure for B&Q 18 November 2013
B&Q could be closing its store in Dundee as its lease on the unit expires in March 2015.

Metal paint can recycling project scoops top award 18 November 2013
The Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association and Ardagh Group scooped the packaging industry's top corporate and social responsibility award - CSR Initiative of the Year - at the recent UK Packaging Awards for their metal paint can recycling project.

Notcutts opens two pop-up Christmas stores 18 November 2013
Notcutts has opened two temporary Christmas stores in Kingston and Cambridge in a bid to further drive sales during the festive period.

DIY Week Awards - LAST CALL FOR ENTRIES 18 November 2013
Retailers and suppliers have until Monday, November 25 to get their entries to us and be in with a chance of winning Gold at the DIY Week Awards in February.

New Hopetoun Gardens to sponsor Gardening Scotland 15 November 2013
New Hopetoun Gardens, a Scottish independent garden centre, has confirmed that it will continue its sponsorship of the Floral Hall at Gardening Scotland 2014.

Screwfix and B&Q support Children in Need 15 November 2013
Kingfisher businesses, Screwfix and B&Q, are doing their bit to help this year's Children in Need.

Exhibitor line-up builds ahead of February's Totally shows 15 November 2013
A host of suppliers have recently joined the line-up at the Totally DIY and Totally Tools Shows for the first time in February, marking the Show's 20th anniversary.

New export opportunities for BHETA members 14 November 2013
BHETA has become one of 99 UKTI Trade Challenge Partners, which will increase the funding it is able to offer members for shows like Ambiente and Cologne.

John Lewis to open at Westfield London 14 November 2013
John Lewis has announced plans to open a four-level department store at the Westfield shopping centre in London.

Lack of finance 'is stifling SME growth' 14 November 2013
One in five owners of small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) have missed out on a growth opportunity because of a lack of accessible finance, new research shows.

DIY-er wins in court over yellowing Dulux brilliant white 14 November 2013
A Leeds homeowner is the latest DIY enthusiast to have won compensation from Dulux after decorating much of his house with the company's brilliant white paint, only to find it turning yellow.

October retail sales on the up 14 November 2013
Retail sales volumes rose by 1.8% in October, compared with October 2012, while the amount spent increased as well, by 2.5%. Volumes bought in DIY stores also increased.

Poundland links with Jane Asher for exclusive bakeware launch 14 November 2013
Poundland is going after a bigger slice of the burgeoning bakeware market by partnering with actress and celebrity baker Jane Asher for a new product launch.

Rainy Day Trust golf 'absolutely great' 14 November 2013
This year's Rainy Day Trust Golf Classic has been pronounced a triumph, with 92 golfers from the DIY industry taking part.

BHETA members to meet Lakeland buyers 14 November 2013
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has lined up another of its Meet The Buyer events, this time with Lakeland.

Report abuse, union urges shop workers 13 November 2013
At least half of retail staff have suffered some form of abuse while at work, but many of the incidents are not reported.

Rainy Day Trust appeals for raffle donations 13 November 2013
The Rainy Day Trust (RDT) is appealing to members and supporters for donations of popular consumer durable products that might make suitable prizes for raffles and prize draws in aid of its fund-raising efforts.

The Range ends 2013 with a bang 13 November 2013
The Range will be ending this year on a high as it opens a further 7 stores in just two weeks, starting this weekend.

Retailers prepare to enjoy a merry Christmas 12 November 2013
British consumers will spend freely this Christmas, and practical presents will still top festive shopping lists.

Furniture retailer's new app 12 November 2013
London-based furniture retailer has launched an augmented reality app for customers to virtually try out products in their own homes.

Early bird discount for GCA conference 12 November 2013
The Garden Centre Association is offering an early bird booking discount for delegates looking to book a place online for its annual conference before November 15.

DIY stores thrive in gale-force weather 11 November 2013
DIY stores saw double-digit percentage rises in spending in October, while other industries suffered as the stormy weather kept shoppers away from the high street.

Arthur Price joins BHETA 11 November 2013
Cutlery and gifts brand Arthur Price has joined BHETA following discussions at the Autumn Fair.

H&B Group is charity's latest Partner 11 November 2013
The DIY and housewares industry charity The Rainy Day Trust (RDT) has welcomed another Partner as its 170th birthday year draws to a close.

Vital Earth sponsors Chelsea gold winners again 11 November 2013
Bord na Móna is to feature its peat-free compost brand Vital Earth in its sponsorship of Rich Landscapes' 2014 Chelsea show garden, Vital Earth The Night Sky Garden.

New power tools store opens in Somerset 11 November 2013
It is only a few days since a brand new specialist power tool shop opened in Somerset but the owner reports that business has been "very good so far".

Major blaze devastates Webbs of Tenterden 11 November 2013
The damage caused by a fire that ripped through one of a Kent ironmonger's businesses on Bonfire Night is likely to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

DIY Week Awards 2014 - deadline now extended 11 November 2013
Retailers and suppliers have been given more time to prove that they are amongst the best in the business, now that the deadline for entry to the DIY Week Awards 2014 has been extended.

B&M store in Kettering opens 8 November 2013
A new B&M Homestore in Kettering opened today, after moving into a former Focus DIY unit.

Mixed results for gardening and DIY sector 8 November 2013
The gardening and DIY sector saw a 2.2% growth in the year to September, according to GfK.

Garden centre caught up in ongoing planning row 7 November 2013
The owner of a garden centre has told about his ongoing dispute with the local council that has lasted nearly 20 years.

Revenue rise for Woodie's DIY 7 November 2013
Parent firm Grafton Group reported a 4.1% lift in total revenue for its retailing division, which includes Irish DIY chain Woodies, for the four months ending October 31.

Tesco and Dobbies first new-build venture in Scotland 7 November 2013
Dobbies and parent company, Tesco, have announced plans for a new joint development store in East Kilbride - its first new build in Scotland.

Ashford's John Lewis at home now open 7 November 2013
John Lewis opened the doors to its new 'at home' store in Ashford, Kent, today, which is the tenth store of its kind for the company.

'Encouraging' pre-Christmas sales for October 6 November 2013
The British Retail Consortium has reported an "encouraging" sales pick up for October this year; total UK sales were up 2.6%, against a 1.1% increase in October 2012.

Free talk on customer service for GCA members 6 November 2013
Garden Centre Association members are being offered the chance to sign up for a free online presentation from motivational speaker and success coach, Michael Heppell.

DFS acquires Sofa Workshop 5 November 2013
DFS has acquired smaller rival company, Sofa Workshop, as it makes a "modest investment" to take on its 14 stores.

Multi-channel marketing talk at HTA Seasonal Plants Focus 5 November 2013
Peter McDermott, managing director of online garden centre, YouGarden, will share his top tips on multi-channel marketing at the HTA Seasonal Plants Focus Conference 2013.

New B&Q Bedford opens for business 5 November 2013
A brand new B&Q store has opened in Bedford, as local residents queued up in anticipation of winning a £100 voucher to spend inside.

Business costs rising 3.5% ahead of inflation, new research finds 5 November 2013
The Forum of Private Business has found that 94% of members it surveyed have seen an increase in business costs and 87% reported an increase in energy costs.

The GCA to announce its new chief executive 5 November 2013
The Garden Centre Association will finalise and announce its choice of chief executive on November 28.

Struggling hardware independents slam business rates 4 November 2013
Garden machinery was the stand-out performer amongst independent retailers in the third quarter of this year, but the DIY and hardware sector barely managed to hold its own.

Seedy Sunday returns to Brighton Corn Exchange next year 4 November 2013
Seedy Sunday, the UK's largest community seed swap event, will return to Brighton for its 13th annual event on February 2, 2014.

The Range kicks off its Christmas ads 1 November 2013
The Range has launched a new multi million pound Christmas marketing campaign that sees TV adverts hitting our screens today.

John Lewis highlights a 'downsize' in furniture this year 1 November 2013
John Lewis has reported that furniture items have been getting smaller as the public maximise their "shrinking living spaces", while they have also been making the most of their outside space.

Retailers' charity efforts go unnoticed 1 November 2013
87% of Britons believe that their favourite retailers fail to support good causes, and DIY was one of the worst named sectors.


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