Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive June 2014

DIY and gardening sales drop back in May 30 June 2014
Following two bumper months of growth, DIY and gardening sales lost momentum in May, according to new figures from GfK.

The Range prepares for Eccles opening 30 June 2014
The Range has named Friday, September 12 as the date for the opening of yet another superstore, this time in Eccles.

Bucks hardware shop calls on MP to sort parking mess 30 June 2014
A local MP has stepped in to try to help a Buckinghamshire hardware shop that is losing business because customers cannot park nearby.

'We won't change a thing,' say hardware shop's new owners 30 June 2014
A hardware shop in Greater Manchester has new owners as of this month following the retirement of the couple who ran it previously.

Argos bags two accolades at Internet Retailing Awards 27 June 2014
Home Retail Group chain took home Omni-Channel Award and ISIS Award at the event in Mayfair London last night, with organisers describing the retailer as "the grand-daddy of omni channel retail".

Discount shops finally see off historic DIY market stall 26 June 2014
This Saturday will see the end of an era when a long-established DIY market trader closes his stall for the last time.

Gardening season shows signs of returning to normality 25 June 2014
The Horticultural Trades Association says the 'average' garden season has returned after unusual weather patterns in recent years disrupted garden retail sales.

Global knives backs Marines in cookery contest 25 June 2014
I Grunwerg's Global knives brand will be supporting the Royal Marines in a special cookery contest kicking off tomorrow.

New website for Harvey Maria 25 June 2014
Flooring specialist Harvey Maria has today launched a new website which offers an enhanced experience for interior designers and trade customers.

Sam's Trade Centre celebrates 10th anniversary 25 June 2014
Hundreds of people joined Sam's Trade Centre in celebrating its 10th birthday at its warehouse in Harlow, Essex on Sunday, June 22.

The Range to take Homebase Burnley 25 June 2014
Homebase is handing over yet another of its stores to The Range, this time in Burnley.

Carpetright's profits plummet nearly 40% 24 June 2014
Europe's biggest carpet and floor coverings retailer, Carpetright, has announced in its year-end results that its profits fell by 39.5%.

TIMco opens new warehouse in Nantwich 23 June 2014
The new warehouse in Nantwich, Cheshire, will enable TIMco to capitalise on the growing demand for its products.

School receives £500 worth of gardening products from Gardman 23 June 2014
Lansbury Bridge School in St Helens, Lancashire, used the gardening products donated by Gardman to create a sensory environment for its pupils.

Administrators pull plug on Solus Norwich depot 23 June 2014
Administrators at Solus have announced that a second distribution centre is to close, with the likely loss of more jobs.

The Range continues with expansion and is to open 89th store 23 June 2014
With ambitious plans to breach the 100 store mark by the end of the year, The Range is on target as it opens its 89th store in Benton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Wickes continues partnership with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research 20 June 2014
The partnership between Wickes and the cancer charity began in 2006 after a staff vote, and the DIY retail chain says there is plenty of life left in it.

BHETA holds another successful Meet The Buyer event 20 June 2014
BHETA's seventh Meet The Buyer event was hailed as a triumph as suppliers in the garden, DIY and housewares industry got to meet with buyers from The Range.

Stewart Garden pledges to support HTA's 'It Starts with a Pot' campaign 20 June 2014
The 'It Starts with a Pot' campaign is a cross-industry initiative designed to demonstrate gardening can be fun and Stewart Garden has pledged its support.

B&Q extends lease on Branston depot until 2017 19 June 2014
Hundreds of jobs are secure for the next three years as DIY giant B&Q has extended its lease on its depot in Branston, Staffordshire until 2017.

Barbecues remain hot stuff throughout May 19 June 2014

The warm weather upheld strong sales of barbecues and garden furniture in May, according to the Garden Centre Association (GCA).

Last chance to enter GIMA Awards 2014 19 June 2014
The closing date for entries to win a Garden Industry Manufacturers' Assoication Award is tomorrow, Friday June 20.

Notcutts pulls out of Bagshot redevelopment 19 June 2014
It was announced in January 2013 that Notcutts would transform its Bagshot branch into a purpose-built single site, sharing an entrance hall with Waitrose. embarks on second European venture 18 June 2014
Following successful debut in France last year, the company has now launched in Germany and moved 25% of its manufacturing back to the UK from China in the process.

QD opens first Thingmebobs store since acquisition 18 June 2014
Thingmebobs was acquired by QD in January 2013 and now the value retail store operator has opened its first store under the brand in Swaffham, Norfolk.

Homebase Loughborough faces the axe 18 June 2014
The Range looks set to take over another Homebase store, this time in Loughborough.

Family-run housewares store celebrates 110 years of trading 17 June 2014
Independent housewares store Lawsons of Plymouth is celebrating 110 years of trading in the city this year.

Top buyers turn out for Exclusively Housewares 17 June 2014
Exhibitors at last week's Exclusively Housewares say they were impressed by the quality of visitors at the show, which came from a broad spectrum of retail businesses.

Roman joins contract furnishing body 17 June 2014
UK shower designer and manufacturer Roman has become a member of the British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA).

Supermarkets blamed for retail insolvency five-year high 17 June 2014
The number of businesses going under has reached a five-year high, with 1,287 businesses made insolvent in England, Scotland and Wales last year.

BRC hits out against 'complicated carrier bag charges' 17 June 2014

A 5p charge for carrier bags will be introduced in England next year, but the British Retail Consortium says this will cause confusion for customers.

Shoppers leave high street and head out of town 17 June 2014
High streets and shopping centres are losing out to retail parks, which are capitalising on the attractiveness of homewares as house prices continue to rise.

New Green Heart of Glee concept welcomed by industry 17 June 2014
The industry has welcomed the introduction of the Green Heart, which is a new exhibition at Glee and will see growers and nurseries showing their latest ranges.

Womenswear retailer Bonmarché to open in more garden centres 16 June 2014
After a successful trial in three garden centres last year, Bonmarché will open a further 15 to 20 concession stores this year.

Comet workers get payout after administrators 'flouted law' 16 June 2014
Shopworkers union Usdaw is calling for a reform of insolvency regulations, saying that administrators at Deloitte "deliberately flouted the law" when handling the collapse of Comet.

Jail for £58,000 garden centre fraudster 16 June 2014
A man who stole £58,000 from the Nottinghamshire garden centre and swimming pool business where he worked is now behind bars.

Cole & Mason wins CoolBrands status 16 June 2014
DKB Household has revealed that one of its brands, Cole & Mason, has been awarded CoolBrands status 2014/15.

Collaboration 'can add £30,000 to an independent's sales' 16 June 2014
Independent retailers that work together can end up enjoying a significant boost to their sales.

Kingfisher is in "good shape" to meet 2020 sustainability targets 13 June 2014
In the first full year Net Positive report, Kingfisher boss Sir Ian Cheshire says that steady progress has been made in reaching 2020 targets.

Soudal acquires American company Accumetric 13 June 2014
European company Soudal has continued with its plan to become a global player in the adhesives and sealants market by acquiring Accumetric.

Retailers invited to attend Glee pre-event study tour 13 June 2014
New to 2014 retailers looking to expand their knowledge of the garden market can attend a three-day Glee pre-event study tour.

Bond It donates thousands of rugby shirts to Papua New Guinea 13 June 2014
After teaming up with Papua New Guinea rugby league legend Stanley Gene, Bond It donated thousands of rugby shirts to young people in the Simbu province.

GIMA charity golf day scores hole in one 13 June 2014
The rain didn't stop 96 keen golfers from taking part in this year's Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association's charity golf day.

Homebase and Argos put on positive Q1 growth 12 June 2014
Homebase and Argos both enjoyed good like-for-like sales growth in this year's first quarter, boosted by strong demand for seasonal lines.

Revamped restaurant opens at the Brighton Garden Centre 12 June 2014
The new Garden Kitchen restaurant opened this month at the Brighton Garden Centre and aims to bring the green of the garden onto the plate.

Q1 non-food sales on a steady climb 12 June 2014
Slow food sales dragged down the overall performance of retail sales in May, but growth in non-food is accelerating.

Garden centre death driver sentenced to 300 hours' work 12 June 2014
An out-of-control driver who killed a woman and injured two others - one of them seriously - in a garden centre car park has been ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Doff Portland rebrand adds 50% to sales 11 June 2014
Doff Portland, manufacturer of insecticides, weedkillers and garden care products, has reported a steep rise in sales figures following its brand overhaul in autumn 2013.

Shopper numbers show cautious but steady recovery 11 June 2014
The number of non-food shoppers out and about fell in May, but the longer-term trend shows that footfall levels are gradually recovering.

Which? calls for date-of-manufacture info on compost 11 June 2014
Compost packaging should carry information showing when it was made, because old compost is less effective than it should be.

The Range set to move in as Homebase shuts Notts store 11 June 2014
Homebase's Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire store is the latest to be earmarked for closure.

Fire started at old Focus DIY shop 10 June 2014
A fire broke out at an empty Focus DIY store in Dudley yesterday after arsonists broke into the store and set alight bags of rubbish.

Tarmac and B&Q combine to create special football beach 10 June 2014
Tarmac Building Products, in partnership with B&Q, has donated 450 tonnes of sand to one of the country's biggest football fan parks ahead of the greatest sporting event of the summer.

B&Q lends a hand with Great British Bee Count 10 June 2014
B&Q will be helping Britain to get busy bee-spotting this summer, as it backs the launch of the first Great British Bee Count.

Karting challenge raises £3,000 for Rainy Day Trust 9 June 2014
Now in its 20th year the karting challenge, organised by Stax Trade Centres, has raised over £60,000 for industry charity the Rainy Day Trust.

New pieces unveiled in Homebase's Autumn/Winter 2014 range 9 June 2014
Home enhancement retailer Homebase, has introduced 28 statement furniture ranges, 83 accessories and 24 cushions to its Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.

Topps Tiles secures a £50m five-year finance deal 6 June 2014
The tile and wood flooring specialist, Topps Tiles, has agreed a new £50m financing package to support future store openings.

Dunelm lands sponsorship of new ITV channel 6 June 2014
The new ITV channel, ITV Encore, will launch with Dunelm, the homewares retailer, as its sponsor.

Edinburgh branch of Solus to close due to administration 6 June 2014
Solus' Edinburgh regional distribution centre will close at the end of June, as the wholesaler, which went into administration three weeks ago, continues to struggle financially.

Russell Kane to host the 2014 GIMA awards 6 June 2014
This year's Garden Industry Manufacturers Association's awards will take place on July 17 and will be hosted by comedian Russell Kane.

£18m expansion of Screwfix's Stoke distribution centre approved 5 June 2014
The approval by Stoke-on-Trent City Council will see Screwfix's distribution centre in Trentham double in size.

Shop vacancies at lowest rate for four years 5 June 2014
Around 13.4% of Britain's shops stood vacant in May, compared to 14.1% in May last year.

Cuprinol launches 'Cheers It Up' beer garden revival campaign 5 June 2014
Woodcare specialist Cuprinol is searching for a beer garden to makeover through its 'Cheers It Up' initiative, which aims to encourage communities to support their local.

Wolseley suffers a 3.5% like-for-like drop in UK revenue for Q3 4 June 2014
Heating and plumbing supplier Wolseley saw its UK revenue nose-dive from £464m in Q3 2013 to £451m in Q3 2014.

Duck to meet the Dolphins 4 June 2014
Shurtape's Duck brand will be there to help send the England team off in style for the last game before the World Cup.

New mobile website for Tradefix Direct 4 June 2014
DIY supplier Tradefix Direct has updated its mobile website to become more user-friendly and refreshed its image with a new logo.

Homebase confirms shut-down of Sunderland store 4 June 2014
Homebase's Sunderland branch is the latest to have hit the buffers.

John Lewis takes off at Heathrow 4 June 2014
John Lewis launched its first airport shop at Heathrow Terminal 2 at the crack of dawn this morning.

Victoria Plumb turns its hand to tiling 4 June 2014
Online bathroom retailer Victoria Plumb has expanded its product range to include tiles and tiling accessories for the first time.

Turnaround in fortunes for Klondyke 4 June 2014
After a poor 2012 where turnover dropped 7% from £47.5m, Klondyke has turned this around and reported a 7% rise in turnover from £44.1m to £47m.

Government forces 5p carrier bag charge on retailers 4 June 2014

At the state opening of Parliament today the Queen announced that retailers will charge 5p for carrier bags from 2015.

Argos moves to strengthen own-brand product ranges 3 June 2014
In a drive to develop and grow its own brand products, Argos has unveiled a new home and furniture range called Heart of House.

DIY and garden markets put on major growth 3 June 2014
The DIY and gardening markets have enjoyed significant growth over the last year, and the momentum has continued through 2014.

Kingfisher trials Brico Dépôt store in Portugal 3 June 2014
Following Kingfisher's successful move into Romania, the company is now trialling the Brico Dépôt store concept in Portugal.

First BHETA Meet the Buyer event with The Garden Centre Group hailed a success 3 June 2014
On May 23 eight TGCG buyers met with 56 members of The British Home Enhancement Trade Association to uncover potential future deals.

Amazon warehouse expansion will double existing capacity 3 June 2014
Amazon has applied to Cannock Chase Council to extend its Staffordshire fulfilment centre, which will see the interior reconfigured to double capacity.

Employee steals £22,000 from Homebase 2 June 2014
An employee at Homebase's Barnstaple, Devon branch, has appeared in court charged with stealing almost £22,000 from the company.

Percy Thrower's Garden & Leisure to become a "fitting legacy" 2 June 2014
A multi-million pound renovation will see Percy Thrower's Garden & Leisure in Shrewsbury developed into a destination garden centre, with a Waitrose store built next door.

Golf teams go head to head for peat's sake 2 June 2014
The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association's (GIMA) charity golf day tees off this Wednesday, June 4 - and will see two teams from the same company go head to head.

Customers are using less cash than ever before 2 June 2014
As retailers make it more convenient for customers to pay, research by the British Retail Consortium finds that cash use is down 14% over the last five years.

2m home owners improve rather than move 2 June 2014
As house prices increase, almost 2m home owners feel they can't afford to move and so have opted to improve their existing home instead.


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