Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive May 2014

The Garden Centre Group appoints CrowdControlHQ to manage social media 30 May 2014
CrowdControlHQ has been appointed by TGCG to control and monitor the use of the group's social media to build on brand identity.

Customers are putting more effort into creating their ideal outdoor space, says Dobbies 30 May 2014
As sales of outdoor products are on the increase, Dobbies has noticed a trend for customers giving more thought to their outdoor space as they strive to achieve the wow factor.

Yes vote in Scottish referendum could halt investment plans for Kingfisher 30 May 2014
Boss of Kingfisher, Sir Ian Cheshire, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, has warned that investment in Scotland could be paused if the country gains independence.

Warm weather helps B&Q grow sales by 10.5% 29 May 2014
A warm start to the year helped the DIY retailer achieve sales of £1,008m, with sales of outdoor seasonal and building products soaring by 30%.

Solus crisis should provoke debate, says Westland 29 May 2014
Growing media and plant care supplier Westland Horticulture says the crisis at Solus should compel everyone in the garden industry to consider the best way now to move forward.

Young people invest the most in their outdoor spaces 29 May 2014
People aged 25 to 34 spend nearly twice as much on their outdoor spaces as the average UK homeowner, according to new research.

PR Industrial gears up for third Toolshow 29 May 2014
This July will see the third Toolshow take place at the Amex Stadium in Brighton and it is set to be the largest show of its kind in the south of England.

Grange creates fence promotions to link with TV appearance 29 May 2014
Fencing and garden structure retailers and merchants look set to benefit from the appearance of a selection of Grange products on the popular TV programme, Love Your Garden.

Exclusively Housewares counts down to June opening 29 May 2014
There are now less than two weeks to go before Exclusively Housewares opens in London.

Solus/Scotts deal 'back on table' claim denied 29 May 2014
Solus and Scotts both denied this afternoon that a deal between the two companies has been resurrected.

Rare plant discovered at Squire's Garden Centre in Milford 28 May 2014
Three rare Kalmia cuneata plants have been discovered growing at Squire's Garden in Milford, Surrey.

Lakeland enters India with opening of two stores 28 May 2014
After successfully opening nine stores in the Middle East, kitchenware company Lakeland has now opened two stores in India.

The spoga+gafa 2014 garden trade fair will bring three days of diversity to Cologne 27 May 2014
Spread over nine exhibition halls and covering five areas specific to gardening, the spoga+gafa 2014 will take place between August 31 and September 2 in Cologne, Germany.

Mica becomes partner of industry charity 27 May 2014
Following many years of association and another successful fundraising event at its March conference, Mica is to become the latest partner of industry charity the Rainy Day Trust.

Bents' expansion creates 150 new jobs 27 May 2014
The £10m redevelopment of the Warrington branch of Bents Garden & Home will create 150 new jobs for the area.

Strong American presence welcomed at Glee 2014 27 May 2014
Glee 2014 sees one of the strongest influxes of American and North American exhibitors to the show yet.

Air ambulance has lift-off thanks to Hamilton Acorn 27 May 2014
Professional and DIY decorating sundries company Hamilton Acorn donated almost £1,000 to its chosen charity of 2013, the East Anglian Air Ambulance, at a presentation recently. reports increase in sales of DIY products 23 May 2014
In the lead up to May Bank holiday has seen huge increases in sales of DIY products, such as sledgehammers and plastering tools.

Online spending is on the rise 23 May 2014
Consumer spending online now accounts for 20% of all debit and credit card transactions, with the average UK household set to spend £4,000 online next year.

HTA partners with renewable energy company to help members cut costs 23 May 2014
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has partnered with Ecovision as part of its Cost Reduction Programme to help member's cut their energy bills.

First coffee shop for Homebase 22 May 2014
Food provider Compass Instore has secured a five-year multi-million pound partnership with Homebase to introduce coffee shops into 30 of its stores across the UK.

B&Q's smartphone app is the best among UK retailers 22 May 2014
Research has found that B&Q's smartphone app has topped a list of brands that employ the best use of mobile marketing tactics.

Assistant Screwfix manager stole £900 worth of goods and money 22 May 2014
A 24-year-old man has pleaded guilty to stealing money and goods valued at over £900 from the Grantham Screwfix store, where he was employed as an assistant manager

Lawsons sells Poores Chorleywood on to Lords 22 May 2014
The hardware store Poores of Chorleywood has a new owner - the second in less than a year.

Furniture and barbecue sales led the way in April 21 May 2014
According to the Garden Centre Association's Barometer of Trade results sales of furniture and barbecues were up 51% compared to April 2013.

Homebase ranks 99 out of 100 stores in Which? best and worst shop survey 21 May 2014
Which? surveyed 12,504 people to expose the best and worst of UK shops, revealing Homebase to come second from last place with a customer satisfaction score of 56%.

Wells hardware shop recognised for local services 21 May 2014
A long-established Somerset hardware store has been recognised for the level of service it provides to local people as an independent retailer.

Less than four weeks left to bag a GIMA Award 21 May 2014
Suppliers now have less than four weeks to enter for this year's prestigious GIMA Awards.

UPDATE: 91 jobs go at Solus 21 May 2014
Sweeping redundancies were announced at Solus this afternoon, less than a week after the garden wholesaler went into administration.

Improving consumer confidence helps Topps Tiles achieve successful first half 20 May 2014
Topps Tiles has reported in its interim results that pre-tax profits have soared from £4.7m to £8m, helped by a boost in consumer confidence.

Ryobi celebrates success of third annual conference 20 May 2014
More than 300 customers from all over Europe attended the tool brand's conference, which took place at Chateau St Just, near Paris last month.

William Sinclair reports disappointing sales and increased debt 20 May 2014
Growing media supplier William Sinclair today issued a trading update stating that sales and margins have disappointed and it expects to report a loss for the year.

Dulux defends decision to sell direct online 20 May 2014
Having come under fire from independent retailers and wholesalers in the industry, paint brand Dulux is defending its latest move to sell paint and brushes direct to consumers online, stating that the findings will benefit its retail customers.

Stanley Black & Decker partners with FC Barcelona 19 May 2014
Stanley Black & Decker has announced one of its largest global partnerships ever - an association with football giant FC Barcelona.

Discount chain B&M set for £2bn share listing 19 May 2014
Discount retailer B&M will outline plans this week for a share listing in a deal that reports estimate will be worth £2bn or more.

Plant nursery staff to walk 30 miles for Greenfingers 16 May 2014
Staff from Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford will walk 30 miles on Saturday, June 7, to raise money for Greenfingers.

Remaining 22 Paul Simon stores to close as no buyer is found 16 May 2014
Shutters have already closed for the final time on 21 Paul Simon stores and now administrators have announced that the remaining 22 stores will close as a buyer could not be found.

Napoleon Grills supports Epilepsy Action's barbecue fundraiser 15 May 2014
Napoleon Grills is supporting Epilepsy Action's Get Grilling, Get Giving fundraising campaign this summer.

10,000 children help Scotts Miracle-Gro with Chelsea gardens 15 May 2014
More than 10,000 primary and secondary school children have embraced gardening and horticulture for the first time, thanks to Scotts Miracle-Gro's community outreach programme.

Growing demand 'points to better year for retail' 15 May 2014
The health of UK retail is steadily improving, with an uplift in the first quarter expected to be matched in the second.

Footwear retailer Brantano plans more garden centre concessions 15 May 2014
Footwear specialist Brantano is poised to set up 30 more concessions within garden centres this year.

Solus up for sale as it goes into administration 15 May 2014
Troubles at Solus Garden & Leisure came to a head today as the company collapsed into administration.

BHETA explores trading potential with US homewares giant 14 May 2014
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) is in talks with US retailer Bed Bath & Beyond with a view to identifying potential trading opportunities for its members.

Wyevale merges its three separate companies into one 14 May 2014
Wyevale Containers, Wyevale Trees and Wyevale Transplants in Herefordshire have merged and relaunched this month to become Wyevale Nurseries.

Homebase Grimsby is latest earmarked for closure 14 May 2014
Homebase's Grimsby branch could be the next in the retailer's growing list of outlets set to close.

Retirement sees hardware shop get new owners and new name 14 May 2014
A long-established Lincolnshire hardware shop adopted a new name this month after its owner decided it was time to retire and sell the business on.

Hillview adds its ninth garden centre 13 May 2014
Hillview Garden Centres has acquired the Little Heath Garden & Aquatics Centre business in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

Garden centre helps out with services memorial garden 13 May 2014
The Royal Marines base in Chivenor, North Devon, and the wider community are benefiting from a nearby garden centre's help to create a new memorial garden.

Burge & Gunson wins prize draw 13 May 2014
Burge & Gunson, which claims to be London's largest independent bathroom specialist, was the winner of the prize draw held at the recent Meet the Merchant conference.

Consumer spend in DIY and gardening grows in April year-on-year 13 May 2014
According to Barclay Card warmer weather and a late Easter saw UK consumer spend in April grow by 3.7% year-on-year, with DIY and gardening categories showing strong growth.

Glee to transform entrance into dedicated plant area 13 May 2014
The entrance to this year's Glee is being dubbed The Green Heart of Glee, with the area set to be a leading showcase of British-grown plants.

Husband and wife retire after 35 years in the gardening business 12 May 2014
Tim and Helen Noble, owners of Holly Farm Nurseries and Garden Centre in Prees, Shropshire, are retiring and have put their 35-year-old business up for sale.

Owner of The Range, Chris Dawson, joins billionaires on Sunday Times Rich List 12 May 2014
For the first time Chris Dawson, owner of The Range, has joined Britain's other 103 billionaires on the Sunday Times Rich List 2014.

Footfall figures see DIY and garden retailers overtake all 12 May 2014
DIY retailers and garden centres saw outstanding year-on-year growth in the number of shoppers through their doors over the Easter fortnight.

Distinctive chairs stolen in overnight raid on Hillier garden centre 9 May 2014
Six distinctive Bellagio cast aluminium garden chairs were stolen during an overnight raid on Hillier Garden Centre in Braishfield, Hampshire.

Demand for seasonal products enables good start to 2014 for Woodie's 9 May 2014
The year has started well for parent firm Grafton Group which reported a 3.4% rise in total revenue for its retailing division, which comprises Irish DIY chain Woodie's.

Book a place at the annual Rainy Day Trust Karting Challenge 8 May 2014
The 2014 Rainy Day Trust Karting Challenge takes place on Sunday June 1 and teams can still book their place for the event.

Doomed Holyhead Homebase will be taken over by B&M 8 May 2014
Despite a huge petition to save Homebase in Holyhead, Anglesey, it is confirmed the store is to close and discount retailer B&M will move in.

Thousands of poppy seeds sown at Trelawney@Wadebridge garden centre to remember WWI 8 May 2014

On Friday, May 2 staff from Trelawney Garden Leisure @Wadebridge in Cornwall sowed 40,000 poppy seeds to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One.

Glee offers special exhibitor package to garden product newcomers 8 May 2014
This year's Glee is calling on all start-up businesses and entrepreneurs to reserve their space at the show's Innovators Zone.

Carpet store told to remove irresponsible beer-drinking radio ad 7 May 2014
The ASA has come down hard on Mallusk Carpets in Antrim, Northern Ireland, over the irresponsible nature of its latest radio ad which gives a suggestion of drink driving.

Garden sales up for Waitrose in Q1 7 May 2014
As Waitrose expands its gardening offer, the retailer sees a rise in sales of 22.4% in Q1.

Seven troubled Paul Simon stores saved by Lewis's Home Retail 7 May 2014
Although seven Paul Simon stores have been bought by Lewis's Home Retail, the administrators have announced a further six will close.

Bank holiday kicks off good gardening start to May 7 May 2014

The first Bank holiday weekend of the month saw garden trade holding up well, according to research by the Garden Centre Association (GCA).

Closure of road causes Right Price DIY to be 'cut off from the world' 7 May 2014
Right Price DIY in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, has been left feeling cut off from the rest of the world as repairs to a viaduct have closed the main road passed the store.

Stax's new website scheme goes from strength to strength 7 May 2014
Following record results for the wholesale business, Stax has seen an impressive uptake of its new website service, bringing it closer to its target of 500 retail members by the end of the year.

Hardware shop faces three-month closure after 'traumatic' fire 6 May 2014
The owner of an East Sussex hardware shop forced into a temporary shut-down after a fire has spoken of his distress over the ordeal.

Gardening surge smashes records at Home Hardware (Scotland) 6 May 2014
Home Hardware (Scotland) has seen sales records tumble over the last couple of months, with gardening being the stand-out category.

New high at BIRA Bank 'indicates growing confidence' 6 May 2014
BIRA Bank celebrated its first £1m turnover month in March this year.

Police appeal to Devon DIY shops over decorator overalls sales 6 May 2014
Devon & Cornwall Police are appealing to DIY shops and builders merchants for information about any recent sales they might have made of disposable decorator's outfits.

BHETA stages Meet the Buyer with The Range 6 May 2014
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association's (BHETA) seventh Meet the Buyer event will be with The Range.

Halfords to stock Gorilla Glue for first time 2 May 2014
Available to buy from tomorrow, Gorilla Glue will be stocked in Halfords' stores across the UK and Ireland for the first time.

Supermarket giant Tesco launches 2,000 new home and garden products 2 May 2014
As part of plans to re-energise its home and lifestyle offering Tesco has launched five key collections across the home and garden range both in store and online.

Increase in house prices leads to 47% rise in sales, says Deco-Pak 2 May 2014
Deco-Pak says demand for its products has risen because homeowners are spending more on their properties, leading to an increase in sales of 47% LFL.

New video-centred website for Homebase 2 May 2014
Home enhancement chain Homebase has revamped its website to include a video-integrated approach to help customers with inspiration before they buy.

New garden buildings department for Trelawney@Wadebridge 1 May 2014

A partnership between Trelawney Garden Leisure @Wadebridge and Elite Spas & Leisure has seen the creation of a new garden buildings department at the garden centre.

New activities to entice visitors to attend first day of Glee 1 May 2014
Dubbed 'Super Sunday', organisers have revealed a whole host of new activities and events to drive up visitor numbers on the first day of the 40th annual Glee.

Hardware indies are first quarter's top performers 1 May 2014
DIY and hardware independents enjoyed the best growth of 10 product sector retailers surveyed for the first quarter of this year.

Bord na Móna launches compost education campaign 1 May 2014
To coincide with International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) from May 5-11 Bord na Móna is launching a consumer compost education campaign.

USDAW calls for action against violent shoplifters 1 May 2014
The shop workers union is calling for greater protection for store staff after new figures show that shoplifting is on the rise.

QD Stores launches new website and reveals plans for four more stores 1 May 2014
After more than a year in fruition QD Stores has launched its new transactional website and revealed plans to open four new stores.


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