Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive August 2013

UK growth forecasts are upgraded - but challenges still remain 30 August 2013
The British Chambers of Commerce has upgraded its UK growth forecasts for the next three years, saying the figures are encouraging but recovery is still not secure. Export activity is also reported to be at record levels but manufacturing figures have declined, with only a small output increase expected in 2014.

Crown Paints secures top Saturday night sponsorship campaign 30 August 2013
Crown Paints is to sponsor ITV's new 'Through the Keyhole' programme.

B&Q makes 180 redundancies under management re-structure 30 August 2013
B&Q has made around 180 redundancies across its store management teams under restructuring plans across the business.

150,000 plant bulbs to keep Sidmouth beautiful 30 August 2013
An investment banker from Devon has donated his entire £2.3million fortune to the town of Sidmouth, with only one stipulation - plant a million flower bulbs and keep the town "beautiful".

Homebase launches its Garden Academy 30 August 2013
Homebase is to cultivate its own generation of gardeners through its new Garden Academy apprenticeship scheme.

John Lewis Partnership to make £40m in missed payments to staff 29 August 2013
A review of the John Lewis Partnership's holiday pay policy found that some partners' pay packet additions have not been paid properly since 2006.

Topps Tiles website surges in quarterly survey 29 August 2013
Topps Tiles is one of the top five climbers in an ongoing survey of retail websites.

Cardwell Garden Centre founder Eric Gallagher dies 29 August 2013
Eric Gallagher, the celebrated founder and chairman of Cardwell Garden Centre near Gourock, Renfrewshire, has died.

Hardware shop denies fly swat was 'offensive weapon' 28 August 2013
A Hampshire hardware store has denied press reports that a customer who went in to buy a fly swat was asked to produce proof of her age.

Bord na Móna UK signs up with BHETA 28 August 2013
Growing media and fertilisers supplier Bord na Móna UK has become the latest garden products company to join the British Home Enhancement Trade Association.

Win a day's consultancy with Alex Polizzi 28 August 2013
Independents are being given the chance to win a free day's consultancy with the small and medium-sized business expert Alex Polizzi in a competition being organised by Autumn Fair International and energy supplier Npower.

Garden centre owner John Toomer dies 28 August 2013
John Toomer, who owned and ran the Toomers garden and pet retail businesses in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, has died.

Wickes makes changes to retail units 28 August 2013
Wickes has made plans to halve the size of its Kettering store to incorporate a B&M Homestore.

DIY industry applauded for smashing landfill and packaging targets 28 August 2013
Some of DIY's biggest retailers and suppliers have delivered "deeply impressive" results in a scheme aimed at reducing landfill waste and packaging.

UPDATE: Reference pricing investigation 27 August 2013
Last week, reported that the OFT had begun an investigation into six retailers over their sales practices. Now, the names of those thought to be involved have been revealed.

Sex assault victim takes B&Q Ireland to court 27 August 2013
B&Q Ireland is facing two cases in the High Court involving a pair of former employees' claims of sexual assault, intimidation and bullying.

Companies investigated for reference pricing 23 August 2013
Six carpet and furniture retailers are under investigation for using misleading reference pricing.

British manufacturing at a two year high 23 August 2013
UK manufacturers have reported a marked improvement in activity in the three months to August, according to the CBI. Output in some sectors, including building materials and metal manufacture, was particularly strong.

Houses could replace two garden centres 22 August 2013
The independent garden centre industry has taken a hit as plans have been submitted to knock down two garden centres which could make way for housing developments.

Floramedia lends support to Garden Re-Leaf Day 22 August 2013
Horticultural design and print company Floramedia has pledged to donate label printing support to Garden Re-Leaf, which raises money for charity.

Gardeners go crazy for weeds being sold online 22 August 2013
An online garden centre has become the first in the UK to sell weeds, thanks to a new craze for wildflowers and increased demand from many gardeners.

Glee 2013 prepares for Sunday-opening boost 22 August 2013
The countdown to next month's Glee has begun, with the show promising a host of special business-focused features for garden industry professionals, 30 brand-new exhibitors and a return to its Sunday-to-Tuesday format.

Expected boost for retailers this bank holiday weekend 22 August 2013
Consumers are expected to hit the high streets this bank holiday weekend, to shop for DIY and gardening products to make the most of the expected warm weather.

Totally 2014 signs up Bira Village again 21 August 2013
The British Independent Retailers Association has confirmed it will be creating its own 'village' of Bira suppliers again at next year's Totally DIY and Totally Tools exhibition.

Business owners held back by lack of financial knowledge 21 August 2013
Many small, independent retailers are threatened by a lack of basic financial knowledge, according to a survey.

Rainy Day Trust bags £7,000 from shoot 21 August 2013
The Rainy Day Trust has benefited from the lion's share of over £7,000 raised at the annual clay pigeon shoot held at the Royal Berkshire shooting school last month.

Gardeners seek more advice and help when shopping 21 August 2013
Young gardeners spend more money on gardening products and are more enthusiastic about growing their own fruit and veg.

TV baking show sets bakeware sales soaring 21 August 2013
Sales of bakeware and baking accessories are enjoying a major boost from the launch of the latest series of BBC television's hit show, Great British Bake Off.

Green light for Next Home and Garden in Wilmslow 21 August 2013
Next has been given the go-ahead to build a new Home and Garden store in Cheshire.

UPDATE: Lowe's bid for Orchard hardware chain approved 21 August 2013
US home improvement chain Lowe's has had its bid to acquire rival Orchard Supply Hardware approved by a bankruptcy court.

New criteria for 2013 Ruxley Rose competition 21 August 2013
The Garden Centre Association has launched its annual Ruxley Rose competition, recognising excellent quality and range of plants, but with a new twist for 2013.

Consumers use hammers and screwdrivers to open packaging 20 August 2013
Frustrated consumers are having to resort to Stanley knives and screwdrivers in their efforts to get through the packaging of some everyday products.

Orchard to sue Home Depot over Makita supply row 19 August 2013
US giant Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, is being taken to court by rival Orchard Supply Hardware after the supply of Makita and Milwaukee power tools to Orchard dried up.

Expansion plans at The Range 19 August 2013
The Range is set to open 45 stores in the next three years, and opened its first store in Scotland on Friday.

Hardware shop sign causes row over racism 19 August 2013
A shop owner advertising 'immigrant bags' has caused uproar among locals in Crowborough and sparked outrage on Twitter over the offensive image.

Salisbury MP says parking charges review not a retail fix-it 16 August 2013
Wiltshire Council has agreed to carry out a review of car parking charges in Salisbury in 2014, but local MP John Glen has said this won't automatically fix all local retailers' problems.

Garden centre sales up 5% on last year 16 August 2013
July garden centre sales show retailers are up by 5% on 2012, but still behind 2011 and 2010.

John Lewis sets target to boost UK-manufactured offer 15 August 2013
John Lewis is ramping up its support for UK manufacturing with a plan to boost significantly the amount of home-produced goods it sells.

Work begins on new £10m gardens at Bents 15 August 2013
Work is underway at Bents to transform wasteland next to one of its stores into an area of extensive natural environmental and wildlife gardens.

New stores and new staff for Homebase 14 August 2013
Homebase is to target a new generation of store managers to head up its newly refitted stores as part of its redevelopment programme.

Single homeowners cause a rise in 'wasted' DIY call outs 14 August 2013
The decline in marriage rates is leading to a rise in the number of botched DIY jobs around Britain's homes.

Wind farm to power Ikea's stores in Ireland 13 August 2013
Furniture giant Ikea has bought a wind farm in Ireland to power its two stores in Belfast and Dublin.

DIY retailer relocates business across the road 13 August 2013
Independent retailer Do It Best Hardware is re-locating and re-launching and hoping for a boost in business.

Rayware donation boosts Rainy Day Trust 12 August 2013
DIY and housewares industry charity The Rainy Day Trust has received what it calls "a significantly large donation" from homewares supplier Rayware.

B&M eyeing up B&Q retail space 12 August 2013
Retailer B&M Bargains is considering moving into a new unit at a Dundee retail park that is currently occupied by B&Q.

Exclusively Housewares to add small appliances hall 12 August 2013
The Exclusively Housewares show is embarking on a two-year project that will culminate in the creation of a dedicated hall for its small domestic appliance exhibitors in 2015.

Lowe's on brink of Orchard Supply Hardware acquisition 12 August 2013
American home improvement retail giant Lowe's is on target to succeed in its bid to acquire the Orchard Supply Hardware Stores chain.

A re-decoration of the paint industry 12 August 2013
A new online paint retailer has been launched, claiming it will 'change the paint industry'.

Stanley fantasy football returns for new season 12 August 2013
With the start of the new English Premier League season edging closer, Stanley has announced that it will again play host to a fantasy football tournament, running for the duration of the 2013-2014 season.

QVC launches two new channels 9 August 2013
Home shopping channel QVC has launched two new channels, one dedicated to its fashion lines and the other, QVC Extra, showing the best of its entire product range.

Ikea launches new augmented reality app 8 August 2013
Ikea has created an augmented reality app for customers to trial new products from the comfort of their own home.

Dyson challenges Black & Decker's steam mop claims 7 August 2013
Household cleaning giant Dyson has been left red faced after the ASA overruled its challenge whether ads for the new Stanley Black & Decker steam mop were misleading due to unsubstantiated claims.

Rainy Day Trust signs IKO as its latest Partner 7 August 2013
The DIY and housewares industry charity The Rainy Day Trust has welcomed another Partner in this, its 170th birthday year.

BHETA does deal on meet-the-press event 7 August 2013
Members of the British Home Enhancement Trade Association are being offered special rates to take part in a show that will bring them face to face with the cream of garden and home consumer journalists.

Work starts on Next's new Hedge End Home and Garden 7 August 2013
Work has begun on a new multi-million-pound Next Home and Garden store in Hedge End, near Southampton.

Leading plant supplier bought out of administration 7 August 2013
RA Meredith & Son, a supplier of plants to major DIY and garden centre retailers, has been rescued via a pre-pack administration.

Ad watchdog rules on 'despatched' and 'delivered' claims 7 August 2013
The Oak Furniture Land chain has been taken to task by the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading customers over delivery times on its website.

Young conservationists Bee&Q it 7 August 2013
Watford MP Richard Harrington has paid a visit to his local B&Q to watch children in action helping to save Hertfordshire's bees.

July delivers best retail sales since 2006 6 August 2013
The British Retail Consortium has reported a 2.2% like-for-like increase in UK retail sales for July, with the recent heatwave leading to mixed figures for the DIY/gardening industries.

Best-ever July for Home Hardware Scotland 6 August 2013
Home Hardware Scotland says it has enjoyed the best July on record, thanks to a huge uplift in sales of DIY and garden products.

DIY and gardening enjoy major growth in June 5 August 2013
With value growth of 16% compared with the same month last year, the DIY and gardening sector stood out as a clear winner in the durables sector during June, according to the latest report from GfK.

Relocation delivers massive expansion for Ross-on-Wye store 5 August 2013
A Herefordshire DIY store has increased its selling area more than tenfold after expanding into new premises - and is now preparing to add a garden centre.

Longacres to add second garden centre 5 August 2013
Longacres, which claims to be the largest independent garden centre in the south-east of England, has acquired a second outlet.

Entry now open for Glee New Product Showcase 5 August 2013
Next month's Glee exhibition is calling for entries into its New Product Showcase, hoping to find the next big thing or something with the potential to boost the profits of any garden retailer.

Smart Solar acquires Greentree supplier 1 August 2013
Garden products supplier Greentree has been acquired by Smart Solar for an undisclosed sum, and its founder Gary Ackers has been appointed to a new role of commercial director.

QD Stores to open online shopping channel 1 August 2013
Norwich-based value retailer QD Stores has announced it will be opening an online shopping channel to complement its high street business.


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