Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive January 2014

Turtle Wax to drive new growth strategy 31 January 2014
Turtle Wax has announced two new strategic distribution partnerships for its consumer retail products as part of a bold move in the UK car care market.

Learn the ingredients for success at the HTA Catering Conference 31 January 2014
Workshops tackling key areas for garden retailers who run cafes and restaurants will be at the centre of the HTA Catering Conference in February.

The industry loses a popular character 31 January 2014
Steve Bood, who was a senior sales manager at Keter, died suddenly last Saturday, January 25, at the age of 54.

Book your place now 30 January 2014
There are now only just over two weeks until the prestigious DIY Week Awards in Coventry, but there is still time to book your place.

GCA announces host of winners at annual conference 29 January 2014
The winners of the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) annual conference awards have been announced at the four-day Blackpool event, which ends today.

Leyland adds champ van Gerwen to darts sponsor line-up 29 January 2014
Leyland Paints has ramped up its sponsorship of stars from the world of darts by teaming up with newly-crowned world champion Michael van Gerwen.

Dutch stores 'will take bigger toll on Carpetright profit' 29 January 2014
Despite a better UK performance in its third quarter, Carpetright's fortunes continue to flag, dragged down by hostile conditions in its European markets.

Dobbies' Braehead centre enjoys a wee bit of PR 29 January 2014
Male customers at one of Dobbies' garden centres will no doubt now be lining up to use its loos following the news that they're among the best on the planet.

GCA members triumph at fund-raising event 29 January 2014
A team of Garden Centre Association (GCA) members is celebrating after beating a suppliers team in a special challenge held at this week's GCA annual conference in Blackpool.

Kelkay piles up the stock ahead of 'aggregates boom' 29 January 2014
Anticipating an increase in demand for aggregates in gardens this year, Kelkay says it has just made a substantial investment in opening up another 10 acres of its land bank.

Now Telegraph lists 'top 25 garden centres for food' 29 January 2014
Hot on the heels of its list of the UK's 'top 20 DIY stores', the Telegraph has once again stuck its neck out and named the 'top 25 garden centres for food'.

Homebase in consultation over future of Stevenage store 28 January 2014
Homebase has confirmed that closure is on the cards for its store in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

PPG Architectural Coatings joins BHETA 28 January 2014
PPG Architectural Coatings UK & I is the latest home improvement company to join the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA).

Lakeland says Meet the Buyer event produced 'gems' 28 January 2014
Lakeland buyers were presented with "some absolute gems" by suppliers when they came face to face at the British Home Enhancement Trade Association's (BHETA) latest Meet the Buyer day.

GIMA signs up four new members 28 January 2014
The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) has seen four new members join its ranks in as many weeks.

Trelawney poised to create its third garden centre 28 January 2014

With work set to begin on creating a new garden centre in the south west, its owners are promising that the finished article will "attract people from all over the UK".

UPDATE: Fast-acting Screwfix customers will keep website-glitch bargains 27 January 2014
Screwfix is this morning counting the cost of last week's website glitch that had customers clicking like crazy to buy online products, all of which were inadvertently reduced to £34.99.

Deco-Pak takes over Living Stone sales team 27 January 2014
Garden landscaping supplier Deco-Pak has acquired the national sales team of rival Living Stone, which has gone into administration.

Two weeks left to win free garden centre talks by TV garden guru 27 January 2014
Garden centres have just under two weeks left to win a footfall-boosting on-site appearance by ITV gardener David Domoney during this year's Garden Re-Leaf weekend.

London hardware store to close after 94 years 27 January 2014
A north London hardware shop will close down this summer just six years short of chalking up a century of trading.

Peter Burks lands managerial role at Trelawney Garden Leisure 27 January 2014

Peter Burks, who left The Garden Centre Group (TGCG) in November after a regional management overhaul, has been given a key role with Trelawney Garden Leisure.

Falmouth DIY shop seeks buyer or will close 27 January 2014
The owner of a Cornish DIY shop says he will close it if he is unable to sell the business as a going concern.

UPDATE: Hayes Garden World md trial delayed 24 January 2014
The jury in the trial of the boss of leading Cumbrian garden centre Hayes Garden World has been discharged and the case postponed for five weeks.

Kingfisher chooses X-IO Technologies to stabilise IT infrastructure 24 January 2014
Kingfisher has appointed storage industry company X-IO Technologies to stabilise and bolster the IT infrastructure underpinning the company's 1,060 stores.

Expanding Rising Star programme for GCA 24 January 2014
The GCA's Rising Stars programme will be expanded further this year due to its successes in 2013, and plans will be unveiled at its annual conference next week.

Screwfix website glitch reduces all items to £34.99 24 January 2014 suffered a glitch overnight that saw the price of all items reduced to just £34.99, and customers bagged some bargains, some buying thousands of pounds worth of goods.

EXCLUSIVE: Homebase md reveals plans for new store refit model 23 January 2014
Homebase managing director, Paul Loft, has told about plans for a brand new store refit model and a re-launched website in 2014.

Two flooring firms change pricing practices after OFT investigation 23 January 2014
United Carpets and Floors2Go have agreed to change their pricing practices after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

Christmasworld puts the style into Christmas 2014 23 January 2014
The Christmasworld trade fair, which opens its doors in Frankfurt tomorrow, will present four trends that organisers say will define the style of next Christmas.

Furniture website took months to honour 30-day-refund pledge 23 January 2014
The ad watchdog has upheld a complaint against a furniture website that took months to refund a customer, despite its pledge to do so within 30 days.

BHETA signs up Grange Fencing 22 January 2014
Grange Fencing is the latest home and garden improvement company to join the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA).

PHA KitchEssentials is latest Rainy Day Trust Partner 22 January 2014
The DIY and housewares industry charity The Rainy Day Trust (RDT) has signed up PHA KitchEssentials as its latest Partner company.

2013's freezing spring knocks William Sinclair results 22 January 2014
Growing media supplier William Sinclair said today that last year's bitterly-cold spring was partly to blame for a further slump into loss in the year to September 30 2013.

Hayes Garden World md in court on conspiracy charge 22 January 2014
The owner of leading Cumbrian garden centre Hayes Garden World, who has already spent time behind bars for a drink-driving offence, is back in court this week on a new charge.

George Home launch underpins Asda's massive homewares drive 22 January 2014
Asda said today that the UK homewares market is "there for the taking", as it announced a multi-million-pound investment in the launch of George Home.

JG Speedfit names lucky competition winners 21 January 2014
JG Speedfit has announced the winners of its JG Layflat pipe competition, Cash for Coils, held last year.

Thief breaks leg after attempting to rob a B&Q store 17 January 2014
A would-be thief ended up breaking his leg in 11 places after falling through the roof of the B&Q garden centre he was attempting to break into.

New West Midlands store for Dunelm 17 January 2014
Dunelm will be opening its newest store in Cannock, in the West Midlands, in March, securing 60 jobs for local people.

Garden centres had a sparkling Christmas 17 January 2014
Sales in garden centres were up in November and December last year, with festive decorations and gifts the most popular departments.

Like-for-like sales up 4.7% at Homebase 16 January 2014
Home Retail Group has today reported that like-for-like sales at Homebase increased by 4.7%, in the 18 weeks to January 4, thanks to growth in big ticket sales.

New BHF award for DIY Week Awards 16 January 2014
The BHF has announced it will present its annual British Hardware Federation Retailer of the Year Award at the DIY Week Awards in February.

Power tools retailer launches superbike team 16 January 2014
FFX, a fast-growing power tools retailer, has joined forces with Yamaha to form the FFX Yamaha MCE British Superbike racing team.

Town & Country pledges percentage of sales to charity 16 January 2014
Town & Country has announced an initiative to support the industry charity Greenfingers by pledging to donate 15% of all online sales.

Former Solus md unveils new company 15 January 2014
Former Solus Garden & Leisure md, Nick Davies, has unveiled his new garden product manufacturing company, called Crest Garden.

DRU wood fires and stoves re-branded as DG Fires 14 January 2014
DRU Verwarming, the European manufacturer of gas and wood-burning fires, has announced that its wood fires and stoves have been re-branded as DG Fires in the UK.

Suspected new boss for Home Retail Group 14 January 2014
The parent company of Homebase and Argos, Home Retail Group, is expected to announce the name of its new boss later this week.

December footfall less than previous year 14 January 2014
Footfall across the UK in December was 2.4% lower than in 2012 and high streets reported the greatest fall, down 3.7%.

Better Bathrooms launches apprenticeships for youngsters 14 January 2014
North-west bathroom retailer Better Bathrooms is launching an apprenticeship scheme aimed at local young people.

Exclusively Housewares looks forward to this year's show 14 January 2014
Organisers of the 13th edition of the housewares trade show Exclusively Housewares are promising it will be one of the best ever shows.

Next plans new Home and Garden store for Norwich 13 January 2014
Next is seeking planning permission to open another of its Home and Garden outlets in Norfolk, with the hope of creating over 150 jobs.

Last minute rush boosts Christmas trading results 13 January 2014
UK retail sales in December were up 0.4% LfL from December 2012, total sales were up 1.8% and there were mixed results in the home departments.

Bill Grimsey supports Labour's High Streets Advisory Group 13 January 2014
Former Wickes boss Bill Grimsey is set to embark on a national tour as part of the Labour Government's high street and business rates support campaign.

Star-studded support for Garden Re-Leaf Day 13 January 2014
Hollywood star Jude Law and former Dr Who actor David Tennant have been added to the list of celebrities supporting Garden Re-Leaf Day's Gardening Quiz.

Shop vacancies drop to three-year low 13 January 2014
A drop in the number of empty shops in December 2013 is being hailed as "very significant".

Warmup 'feel-me' display wins award 13 January 2014
Underfloor heating specialist Warmup is celebrating after winning a prestigious award for one of its in-store displays.

Screwfix moves into Northern Ireland with four new stores 10 January 2014
Multi-channel hardware and DIY tools supplier Screwfix is opening its first stores in Northern Ireland, creating 50 new jobs.

B&Q and Homebase websites rank low against global competitors' 10 January 2014
The websites of DIY giants B&Q and Homebase came near the bottom of the pile in a recent report comparing eight of the top homewares retailers online, while Ikea's site shone through.

Topps Tiles launches new boutique store 9 January 2014
Topps Tiles is launching its Boutique store chain, which is a new smaller high street format, with the opening of its Walton-on-Thames store tomorrow (January 10).

Furniture most popular with home and garden searchers 9 January 2014
In November, 16.9m searches were made by consumers looking for home and garden-related terms on Google UK, with searches for furniture keywords the most popular.

Strong festive period sales for QD Group 8 January 2014
Value retailer QD Commercial Group Holdings has posted increased like-for-like sales over the key Christmas period for the fourth consecutive year.

Forest Garden acquires M&M Timber 8 January 2014
Timber garden products supplier Forest Garden Group has acquired fellow timber goods company M&M Timber.

Kitchenware supplier flouts raft of advertising rules 8 January 2014
The website of and an email from cookware and kitchenware supplier Jean-Patrique have broken no fewer than seven of the Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) rules.

Topps sales surge on back of housing market revival 8 January 2014
Topps Tiles has enjoyed a strong start to its new financial year, with the recovering housing market generating better-than-expected sales.

UK flooding: Have you been affected? 8 January 2014
The UK has been hit by adverse weather in recent weeks, leaving some areas without power and parts of many towns under water. Weather warnings are also still in place in some parts of the country.

H1 like-for-likes dip at Dunelm 7 January 2014
Dunelm saw like-for-like sales dip in the first half of its current financial year, although they were significantly better in the latter weeks of the period.

Planned expansion at Dobbies stores 7 January 2014
Dobbies Garden Centres has submitted planning applications to extend its retail offer at its Braehead and Dundee stores.

A possible store merger for B&Q in Norwich 6 January 2014
Plans have been submitted to Norwich City Council to reduce the size of the B&Q store at Neatmarket to allow Morrisons to move in.

Still time to book your place at awards 6 January 2014
There are now only five weeks to go before the identities of the prestigious Gold winners in the 2014 DIY Week Awards are revealed.

£8.24m financing boost will drive William Sinclair development 3 January 2014
Growing media supplier William Sinclair has secured an injection of working capital that will allow it to reinvigorate its brands and push forward with the development of its Ellesmere Port manufacturing site.

Sales ahead of expectations at Next 3 January 2014
Sales for the year to December 24 are 1.25% ahead of expectations and sales growth in the final week before Christmas reached nearly £24m.

Axminster joins Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers 3 January 2014
Axminster Tools & Machinery has been created the 15th corporate member of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers of the City of London.

B&Q thefts gang is put behind bars 3 January 2014
A gang of thieves who stole thousands of pounds' worth of goods from branches of B&Q has been jailed for a total of six years.

Hardware independents enjoy a positive Christmas 3 January 2014
Early reports from the high street suggest that hardware and garden independents for the most part enjoyed good sales over the Christmas 2013 trading period.

A record-breaking Christmas for John Lewis 2 January 2014
John Lewis has published its trading report for the five weeks to December 28. It revealed new "bricks and clicks" records as total sales amounted to £734m, up 7.2% from last year, 6.9% like-for-like.

New Year knighthood for Ian Cheshire 2 January 2014
Kingfisher group ceo Ian Cheshire has been recognised in the New Year Honours list with a knighthood.

Datateam grows medical communications presence 2 January 2014
DIY Week publisher Datateam has expanded its presence in the medical communications sector with a new acquisition.

Builders merchant md tragically dies in car crash 2 January 2014
Joe Inzani, managing director of independent builders merchant Lawsons, was involved in a fatal car accident on Christmas Eve, and died in the early hours of Christmas morning.

French DIY stores get Sunday opening go-ahead - for now 2 January 2014
French DIY retailers have moved a step closer to full freedom to trade on Sundays with a new ruling from the country's government.

The Telegraph names UK's 'top 20 DIY stores' 2 January 2014
B&Q has come first in a list of the top 20 DIY and hardware stores in Britain that has been compiled by The Telegraph. Companies range from country-wide chains to "independent gems".


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