Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive May 2016

Bidding intensifies for Dobbies 31 May 2016
The owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Philip Day has reportedly put in a surprise bid for Dobbies Garden Centres.

Gardenex members win Queen's Award 31 May 2016
Trimetals and Strata Products have been included in the 2016 Queen's Award list in the international trade category.

DIY spend reaches £5.8bn 31 May 2016
A new report from Lloyds Bank has revealed that spend on DIY home improvements has reached £5.8bn, the equivalent of £210 per household per year.

Sainsbury's Argos takeover under investigation by CMA 31 May 2016
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating Sainsbury's £1.4bn planned takeover of Argos.

Portuguese-backed consortium eyeing up BHS 27 May 2016
Reports are surfacing of a Portuguese-backed consortium led by ex-Burton owner Greg Tufnell making moves to take over BHS.

B&M smashes £2bn sales barrier 26 May 2016
B&M has announced preliminary results for its full trading year, with group revenues up 23.6% to £2.04bn.

HTA relocating to Oxfordshire 26 May 2016
Following an extensive search, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has found suitable new premises and the association will be relocating to Chilton, Oxfordshire in October 2016.

Hillier strikes Chelsea Gold 25 May 2016
Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres won gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the 71st consecutive year.

Screwfix drives Kingfisher's LfL up 6.2% in UK 24 May 2016
Kingfisher has released its first quarter results, with sales across the board up 3.6% like-for-like, and up 6.2% LfL in the UK.

More restructuring at Homebase 24 May 2016
Homebase's new owners are continuing to roll out the changes in their buying and store support departments.

Sales growth for Topps Tiles' first half 24 May 2016
Topps Tiles has released sales results for the 26 weeks ending April 2, with total sales growth of 3.8%, and like-for-like increases of 4.7%.

Dulux bike riders raise more than £100k 23 May 2016
A sponsored bike ride involving 2000 cyclers - 220 from the Dulux Trade team - raised more than £100,000 for the Outward Bound Trust.

April showers dampen traditional garden centre sales 22 May 2016
Cold and wet weather in April put a dampener on sales in traditional categories but boosted non-traditional ones at member garden centres according to the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) Barometer of Trade results.

Retail improves in April, and internet sales boom for home improvement 19 May 2016
According to the latest from the ONS, the volume of retail sales in April increased by approximately 4.3% compared with the same month last year.

Online home retailer to launch £50k store 18 May 2016
Rose & Grey, an online furniture and home accessories retailer, is set to open a £50k bricks-and-mortar shop in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.

B&Q petitioner: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything" 18 May 2016
The B&Q employee who created the now famous living wage petition has encouraged others to stand up to unfair employers.

Shop vacancy drops to lowest rate in six years 17 May 2016
Britain's shop vacancy dropped to 12.4% in April, the lowest since December 2009, according to the Local Data Company.

BHS Update: Bidders close in as administrators set terms 17 May 2016
Administrators for BHS have announced that any bidders interested in purchasing the trouble retailer outfit would have to make an offer for the entire 164 store chain.

Gold marketing award for Tile Choice 16 May 2016
A leading Midlands independent tile retail chain is celebrating a successful business year after winning a prestigious industry award.

Henry Squire & Son joins BHETA 16 May 2016
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has welcomed new member Henry Squire, the only independent family owned lock makers in the UK.

Lords named bira Independent Retail Business of the Year 13 May 2016
Lords, with shops in and around the capital, has been voted Independent Retail Business of the Year and received its prize during an awards ceremony at the bira High Street Conference on 11 May.

Online spend grows at fastest rate for 16 months 12 May 2016
Consumer spending online increased by 2.5% year-on-year in April, according to the latest report from Visa Europe.

British suppliers to meet international garden and pet buyers 12 May 2016
British suppliers will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with garden and pet buyers from the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland at a special 'Meet the Buyer' hosted by the Gardenex and PetQuip export associations.

Top suppliers rewarded in bira direct awards 12 May 2016
Independent retailers bestowed prizes on star suppliers in the latest bira direct awards, presented at the bira High Street Conference on 11 May.

Green Gate celebrates 10 years in business 12 May 2016
Green Gate Security Access Systems has established itself as one of the UK's leading companies in its sector during its first decade in business - and is looking forward to more success in the years ahead.

PetQuip to return to Glee 2016 11 May 2016
Introduced in 2015, the PetQuip Business Village is designed to offer pet suppliers wanting to build their presence within garden retailers, a platform to launch and showcase their latest ranges. Well-received in its inaugural year, the area is set to return at Glee 2016.

May Bank Holiday delivers patchy sales 11 May 2016
DIY, hardware and garden retailers have given a mixed review of sales over the May Bank Holiday, with location playing a huge part in the dice roll of the British weather.

Darts champ takes on Stax customers 10 May 2016
Customers and staff at Stax Trade Centres were challenged to step up to the oche and face one of the biggest names in darts.

Burgon & Ball supports new cancer centre 10 May 2016
Burgon & Ball is supporting a new cancer care centre in Manchester with garden tools for its spectacular glasshouse, a collaboration between architects Foster and Partners, and garden designers Dan Pearson and Lisa Rawley.

Squire's donates plastic bag charge to charity 10 May 2016

Squire's Garden Centres has given £1,829.08 to the charity Greenfingers from the carrier bag charge.

Retail flat in April, but home stores 'fare well' 10 May 2016
April saw a second month of flat sales for UK retailers, according to the BRC, but home accessories and furniture sales fared well "as retailers reaped the benefits of well-timed promotions."

BHS inquiry kicks off as owner cries witch hunt 9 May 2016
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has asked MPs to call off a "witch hunt" against him as an inquiry about the downfall of BHS gets underway.

One in three households struggle to find a good plumber 9 May 2016
Toolstation, one of Britain's fastest growing suppliers to the trade, home improvers and self-builders, has revealed that almost a third of property owners find it hard to hire good plumbers.

Garden suppliers join BHETA 6 May 2016
Three more garden market suppliers have joined the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) - Paroh, Bonnington Plastics and Globus.

Squires celebrates 80 years 6 May 2016
To celebrate the business' 80th anniversary, Squire's Garden Centres have donated plants from their '80th Celebration Collection', a range of their favourite plants over the last 80 years, to make a beautiful flowerbed in Gostrey Meadow Park in Farnham.

Greenfingers Chelsea garden relocation nears completion 5 May 2016
Greenfingers, the charity dedicated to creating gardens for children in hospices, is close to completing the relocation of the Royal Bank of Canada 2015 Chelsea Flower Show garden to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight.

Howarth Timber acquires Maltings Timber Merchants 5 May 2016
Howarth Timber and Building Supplies has strengthened its presence in Doncaster with the acquisition of Maltings Timber Merchants.

Austens HH celebrates re-launch and five year anniversary 5 May 2016
Billingshurst-based Austens Home Hardware recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a huge refit throughout the store.

Bunnings heads up next BHETA forum 4 May 2016
Bunnings CEO John Gillam and CFO for nine years Michael Wedgwood are to deliver a frank and open fifty minute recorded interview with BHETA members at BHETA's next forum event on Thursday, May 19.

The Range owner considering selling shares 3 May 2016
According to reports, the rags-to-riches owner of The Range is considering selling shares of his discount store chain in a deal which is estimated to earn him £1bn.

Disgruntled Homebase worker: "We're paid less than B&Q" 3 May 2016
A dissatisfied Homebase employee has approached with allegations of unfairness against the retailer.


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