Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive June 2013

Topps Tiles to boost web community after competition success 28 June 2013
Topps Tiles says its first online competition and web app, launched in February, attracted over 500 entrants and more than 21,000 votes.

UPDATE: Dobbies will appeal £75,000 raw sewage fine 28 June 2013
Tesco-owned garden centre giant Dobbies will appeal against a hefty fine imposed for allowing sewage from a Cumbrian garden centre to pollute a local waterway.

Operating profit almost triples at Carpetright 26 June 2013
Group revenue for the UK remained level at Carpetright over the 52 weeks ending April 27, 2013, dropping 15.5% across the rest of Europe, bringing the total group revenue to £457.6m.

Employee theft a top concern for retailers 26 June 2013
'Insider theft' or theft by employees of stock and/or cash is now among retailers' top three areas of concern, according to a new study released by consultancy Retail Knowledge.

'Best paint in the world' ads come under fire 26 June 2013
Paint suppliers Farrow & Ball and Marston & Langinger have clashed over the latter's claim to make the best paint in the world.

Brits spend almost two months of their lives mowing the lawn 26 June 2013
Green fingered enthusiasts spend up to two months of their lives mowing the lawn, according to new research from artificial lawn retailer Grono.

QEP announces acquisition of Plasplugs 25 June 2013
Tiling and tiling accessories supplier Q.E.P. Co. U.K. Limited completed the purchase of the Plasplugs trade name and other assets of the Plasplugs business on Friday, June 21.

Centurion's Ken finally shelves the catalogues 25 June 2013
Quite possibly the most senior agent in the hardware industry, Ken Oxley has at last settled down to a well-earned retirement.

Which? raps DIY stores over poor gardening advice 24 June 2013
Homebase and B&Q have been slammed by Which? Gardening magazine after research revealed a poor quality of staff knowledge about a common gardening problem.

Garden-centre-crash drunk driver fined 24 June 2013
A drunk driver has been fined for crashing her car into a Norfolk garden centre and causing thousands of pounds' worth of damage.

GIMA signs Gyles Brandreth for Awards Dinner 24 June 2013
GIMA has named television and radio celebrity Gyles Brandreth as the after-dinner speaker and host for its 2013 GIMA Awards Dinner and Presentation Evening.

Seed sales soared in May at GCA garden centres 24 June 2013
Despite temperamental weather, sales performed well at GCA garden centres during the month of May, up 15% compared with last year according to the group's Barometer of Trade results.

Canadian DIY retail giant Rona sells commercial arm 24 June 2013
Rona, Canada's largest home improvement and gardening retailer, is selling off its commercial and professional market division.

Gardening Royal Warrant holders all set for palace festival 24 June 2013
Three garden product suppliers will be taking part in a one-off event in Buckingham Palace gardens next month marking the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation.

Hanging baskets boom as gardeners seek quick fixes 24 June 2013
The delayed summer season has turned 2013 into the year of the instant garden, with consumers desperate for quick fixes and instant colour.

Harper to head up Bord na Móna UK retail business 20 June 2013
Former managing director of Vital Earth GB Ltd and, latterly, business operations manager UK at Bord na Móna UK, Steve Harper is now to head up all of the Bord na Móna UK (BNM UK) retail business.

Take a leap and show your support for RDT 20 June 2013
Fancy flinging yourself out of an aeroplane to help raise funds for the dedicated industry charity? If so, the Rainy Day Trust is recruiting volunteers for its annual parachute jump in September.

Waitrose steps up gardening credentials with online TV channel 20 June 2013
The first ever Waitrose gardening TV channel launched yesterday, featuring tips and advice from the UK's favourite gardening celeb and new Waitrose brand ambassador, Alan Titchmarsh.

Ironmongery Direct launches apprenticeship scheme 20 June 2013
Online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products has taken on four new apprentices in contact centre and distribution department at its HQ in Basildon, working towards NVQ and City & Guilds qualifications.

Furniture retailer Dwell collapses, closing all shops 20 June 2013
Up-market furniture chain Dwell has ceased trading, it was announced today.

Lowe's bids for stricken US chain Orchard Supply Hardware 19 June 2013
US chain Orchard Supply Hardware Stores looks set to be acquired by home improvement rival Lowe's after Orchard filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.

Barton Grange sells Bolton to The Garden Centre Group 18 June 2013
The Garden Centre Group has acquired Barton Grange's Bolton branch to add to the 129 garden centres already within the group.

B&Q ad campaign will focus on 'unloved rooms' 18 June 2013
B&Q will try to persuade consumers to transform 'unloved rooms' with the launch of a new summer advertising campaign.

Bord na Móna supports RSPB show garden 17 June 2013
Bord na Móna UK has supplied a pallet of its RSPB-branded Vital Earth compost to plant up the bird protection charity's show garden at BBC Gardeners' World Live.

Sika buys Everbuild Building Products 17 June 2013
Sika has acquired Everbuild, the UK's largest independent manufacturer of sealants, adhesives and construction chemicals, to help strengthen its position in the builder's merchant market.

Kingfisher makes 'great progress' in sustainability programme 17 June 2013
Reporting on the first year of its Net Positive sustainability programme, Kingfisher says it has already made progress against its ambitious targets.

B&Q thieves lift £900-worth of tools 17 June 2013
A Cambridgeshire branch of B&Q has been targeted by thieves twice in one week.

Record sales boost Durston Garden Products 14 June 2013
Growing media supplier Durston Garden Products has recorded its highest sales figures ever since the company was established in 1860, despite the continued economic downturn and poor weather.

Homebase sees marginal sales increase during Q1 13 June 2013
Following several consecutive reports of depressed sales, Home Retail Group's Homebase has reported sales growth for the 13 weeks to June 1, 2013, albeit marginal and "behind expectations".

REMINDER: DIY Week contact details have changed 13 June 2013
Following DIY Week magazine and's move to new owner Datateam Publishing this spring, you will no longer be able to contact the team using the old Faversham House contact details.

Suppliers give Exclusively Housewares the thumbs up 13 June 2013
The Business Design Centre, London, was packed to the rafters once again for Exclusively Housewares this week, with suppliers and retailers crossing the country to mull over the latest trends at the forefront of the homewares industry.

Former Tile Giant and Topps bosses launch Tile Mountain 13 June 2013
Mo Iqbal, former owner of Tile Giant, has joined forces with former Topps Tiles commercial director Jeremy Harris to form a specialist tiles etailer called Tile Mountain.

'Tesco order' scam still targeting suppliers 12 June 2013
Fraudsters are still operating a scam whereby suppliers are led to believe that Tesco wants to place an order with them.

Cheshire names potential heirs to Kingfisher throne 12 June 2013
Kingfisher CEO Ian Cheshire has named two of his colleagues as his possible successors after he leaves the company.

B&Q links with prisoners for tool recycling trial 12 June 2013
B&Q is launching a trial tool trade-in in Bristol this week, which will invite people to hand in broken or old garden hand tools for recycling in return for a saving on replacement tools.

DIY Summit in Rome is a global success 11 June 2013
More than 600 delegates and participants flocked to Rome from more than 41 countries, including Australia, Peru and Russia, for the 2nd Global DIY Summit last week, chaired by EDRA, fediyma and GHIN.

May bank holidays boost garden and DIY 11 June 2013
Consumers spent £20m more on DIY during the two weeks around the May 27 bank holiday than they did last year.

Hall’s Mica Hardware notches up 25 years in business 10 June 2013
Chapel‐en‐le‐Frith store Hall’s Mica Hardware has celebrated its quarter-century in business this year with a weekend of giveaways, special offers and a charity prize draw.

Lords launches 'completely different' flagship store 10 June 2013
London-based chain Lords has opened a new flagship store in the west of the capital which it says is unlike anything seen before in the hardware and DIY market.

Recycling enterprise offers DIYers cheap timber 7 June 2013
A former banker is now helping to reduce the amount of timber waste going to landfill by recycling it for use by DIY enthusiasts.

Home Hardware launches new Summer Savings gap filler 6 June 2013
Following requests from its members to organise additional promotional activity during the later summer months, Home Hardware has launched a new sixth promotion, Summer Savings.

Online shoppers want more delivery info 6 June 2013
Many online shoppers feel left in the dark when it comes to the delivery of their purchases, with one in three saying they often don't hear anything until their parcel arrives on their doorstep.

Summerseat acquires second garden centre 5 June 2013
Summerseat Garden Centre has bought out Stephen H. Smith's Garden & Leisure Bolton branch, a 1.67 hectare purpose-built business including a restaurant and Edinburgh Woollen Mill concession.

Online home improvement giant bags new funding 5 June 2013
The rapidly-growing UK-based home and garden online retailer WorldStores has raised £10m to help its future expansion.

BHETA names new president and executive chairman 5 June 2013
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association's recent AGM saw the appointment of a new president and executive chairman.

Topps Tiles earmarks more Tile Clearing Houses for brand conversion 5 June 2013
Topps Tiles is to strengthen its brand presence in the market by converting more of its Tile Clearing House (TCH) outlets to Topps Tiles Clearance branches.

Garden lights multi-buy ad did not mislead on costs 5 June 2013
A teleshopping presentation for a pair of solar-powered Tiffany-style garden lights did not mislead viewers over the cost of post and packaging, the ad watchdog has decided.

Garden centre staff mark 86 years of service 5 June 2013
Seven members of staff at a family-run Powys garden centre are celebrating this month after clocking up more than 86 years of dedicated service to the business between them.

W. L. Brown Ironmongers celebrates 100 years 4 June 2013
Pershore-based family firm W. L. Brown Ironmongers will be celebrating a century in business this August.

Flooring shines as May boosts retail sales 4 June 2013
Retailers across the board enjoyed sales growth in May, with furniture and flooring the star category, according to figures released today by the British Retail Consortium.

Car tears through Aylsham Garden Centre 4 June 2013
Norfolk business Aylsham Garden Centre suffered a devastating blow on Friday when a car ploughed through the building, causing around £50,000 damage.

Paul Grinsell gets on his bike for charity 3 June 2013
Totally Shows director Paul Grinsell will be trading in his motorcycle leathers for Lycra on Sunday, June 16 to take part in the London to Brighton cycle ride to raise money for industry charity the Rainy Day Trust.

Cold German spring hits Praktiker sales hard 3 June 2013
The fortunes of German DIY and home improvement giant Praktiker mirrored those of many UK companies this spring as cold, wet weather sent a chill through sales.

New rules 'will turn high streets into money-lenders' ghettoes' 3 June 2013
Planning rules that have just come into force in England risk draining the life from high streets.

Retailers to investigate retail taxation 3 June 2013
The British Retail Consortium has announced that it is to investigate retail taxation - as B&Q's boss highlights the disparity in taxes paid by bricks-and-mortar and online retailers.

Home Hardware celebrates customer service 3 June 2013
Home Hardware has been promoting quality customer service within its corporate membership by inviting all corporate stores to take part in two mystery shopper surveys, taking part over the busy Christmas period and earlier this year.


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