Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive January 2019

BCT calls in administrators 30 January 2019

British Ceramic Tile in Heathfield appointed administrators today blaming challenging trading conditions and the loss of a key customer in recent days.The closure of the business has resulted in 313 redundancies. The remaining 67 employees will ...


Mortgage approvals exceed £4billion 30 January 2019

According to the latest figures from the Bank of England, mortgage market activity has been “broadly stable since 2016”, with the trend continuing, despite Brexit woes and weak consumer confidence.As a result, households borrowed £4.1billion secured ...


B&M shifts all imports to Liverpool port 30 January 2019

The value retailer has announced plans to have all of its cargo come into the Port of Liverpool in a permanent move, following frustrations with delays at southern ports.B&M has already run a trial through the port, and has taken the decision to ...


Hillier announces new charity partnership with Maggie's 30 January 2019

Hillier has announced a new charity partnership for 2019-20 with national cancer support charity, Maggie’s. Through the partnership, Hillier hopes to raise funds, give direct support to Maggie’s Centres and help bring Maggie’s to the South of ...


Tileflair expands with new showroom in Oxford 30 January 2019

The privately-owned business, which offers wall and floor tiles for both wholesale and retail, has opened its latest store off Garsington Road, Cowley, OxfordThe new 4,000sq ft tile showroom, takes the company portfolio to 10 branches and is part ...


B&Q leaks information on 7,000 suspected shoplifters 29 January 2019

B&Q has reportedly given up information on around 70,000 shoplifters on Elasticsearch, according to Australian security researcher Lee Johnstone.The exposed data included the names of thieves, along with the product codes of the things they had ...


Wilko to open in Putney 29 January 2019

The value home and garden retailer has signed a lease for a new store at the Putney Exchange Shopping Centre in southwest London.The new 8,000 sq ft store is expected to open in April and will generate more than 40 new jobs within the local area. ...


M&S launches new plastic take-back scheme 29 January 2019

Marks & Spencer is taking action to prevent plastic waste from going to landfill with the launch of a new initiative, which will enable customers to bring back non-recyclable plastic packaging and see it transformed into shop fittings and ...


Garden centres report continued growth in houseplant sales and strong Christmas 29 January 2019

The latest HTA Market Update reveals that garden centre sales were up 3% across the whole of 2018 compared with 2017. Houseplants continue to increase in popularity, with sales of this category up by 15% year on year. Christmas categories also saw ...


Outdoor plant sales continue to dominate 29 January 2019

Sales in outdoor plants continued to dominate other categories for a third month running in December (2018) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.Sales were up 17.73% compared to the previous year in 2017,...


Spring Fair sees significant increase in private label products and services 29 January 2019

Exhibitors at the UK home and gift marketplace are ramping up efforts to champion their private label ranges, which organisers believes is as a reflection of the significant growth in the own-label proposition across the UK retail industry.ITE Group ...


Home sales down 7.2% at John Lewis 29 January 2019

Total sales for the week across the department store chain were down 3.5% on the same trading period last year, with home one of the worst performers.John Lewis attributed the decline to tough comparatives, against strong clearance sales during the ...


Julia Kendell announced as official ambassador of National Home Improvement Month 28 January 2019

This April is National Home Improvement Month an awareness campaign organised by the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) to encourage home owners and renters to improve one area of their home during the month of April 2019.National ...


Garden Day launches in the UK for 2019 25 January 2019

On Sunday 12th May 2019, a community benefit project will be launching across the UK. At the peak of the horticultural season, Garden Day is aimed at encouraging people to spend the day celebrating their gardens with friends, family and neighbours. ...


Amtech launches first-ever TV ad campaign 25 January 2019

In a bid to increase brand awareness and create greater differentiation in the home improvement market, the DK Tools brand has invested in a brand new television advertising campaign, set to hit screens tomorrow.The ad, which makes its debut on ...


Top garden retailers recognised at GCA conference 23 January 2019

Another successful Garden Centre Association (GCA) conference and awards dinner saw staff from garden centres across the country celebrating, as they were named best in class and recognised for stand-out customer service, catering excellence, and ...


John Lewis announces store closure in Southsea 23 January 2019

The department store chain today announced plans to close Knight & Lee & Partners in Southsea this summer. The 35,000 sq ft outlet is the smallest full line shop in John Lewis’ estate but its closure in July still puts 127 jobs at risk.The ...


Kingfisher to phase out harmful chemicals from its supply chain 23 January 2019

Kingfisher, the international home improvement company, has today announced it will phase out three chemical groups from its own branded products by 2025, with an ambition to extend this to the rest of its supply chain. The move is part of the ...


Squire’s revamps eatery at West Horsley centre 23 January 2019

Squire’s Garden Centres has continued the roll-out of new-look Café Bars across its estate, with its centre in West Horsley the latest to benefit from an refurbishment, and the café now boasting a stylish new look, décor and furniture..As part of ...


Juliana Group reports great uptake of new model 18 January 2019

The greenhouse manufacturer launched its latest product via a roadshow to 50 of its key customers, resulting in 45 orders for a display model ready to start stocking the new line; the first new launch under the Halls brand in around 40 years.Plans ...


Covers to sponsor Sussex Heritage Awards for fourth year 18 January 2019

Covers Timber & Builders’ Merchants has announced it will sponsor the 2019 Sussex Heritage Awards. This will be the fourth consecutive year the company has supported the prestigious event. Organised by the Sussex Heritage Trust, the awards aim ...


BHETA adds live links to its data service 18 January 2019

BHETA’s quarterly retail data service now features live links to all the product groups represented in the four categories detailed in BHETA’s online Retailer Zone. This latest refinement to BHETA’s quarterly presentation of GfK’s most recent EPOS ...


Wholesalers show support for consumer awareness campaign 17 January 2019

Independent retail wholesaler groups and the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) are putting their weight behind April’s consumer awareness campaign, National Home Improvement Month.The campaign is the initiative of the British Home Enhancement ...


Tong invests in local economy with £4million development 17 January 2019

The garden centre business has brought in Yorkshire contractors to start work on the first phase of a £4million project to develop its Bradford site.Tong Garden Centre has contracted Leeds-based firm, Jennings to do the demolition work, whilst East ...


Akzo Nobel announces details of €2 billion capital repayment and share consolidation 17 January 2019

Akzo Nobel today announced details of the capital repayment and share consolidation approved by shareholders when it voted in favour of all resolutions at the company's Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) last November, following the sale of its ...


Broad Street DIY celebrates its 40th anniversary 16 January 2019

Family run DIY store, Broad Street DIY, in Worcestershire proudly celebrated its 40th business anniversary early January 2019. Broad Street DIY, in Bromsgrove, was opened by Tony and Linda Warren on 8 January 1979. The business has grown ...


Online builders' merchant achieves 46% growth in sales 16 January 2019

Construction Materials Online (CMO) reported sales of £38.6million in 2018. The business has seen rapid growth, having doubled in size since 2016.CMO supplies a range of over 70,000 construction materials to DIY and the trade. The firm received an ...


M&S to close 17 more stores 15 January 2019

The homeware retailer has announced a list of 17 outlets earmarked for closure. The move forms part of its five-year plan to shut more than 100 stores and have one third of sales online by 2022.The latest round of closures affect 1,045 jobs, with ...


DIY Week Awards 2019: Last chance to enter 14 January 2019

The deadline for entries to the 2019 DIY Week Awards is fast approaching, with supplier and retailer submissions to be completed online by the end of Friday, January 18.With just days left, don’t miss your chance to be in the running for a DIY Week ...


Grafton Group delivers exceptional revenue growth 11 January 2019

Grafton Group plc, the international builders merchanting and DIY Group, has issued its trading update for the year ended 31 December 2018 in advance of the announcement of its Final Results for 2018 on 28 February 2019.Group revenue for 2018 was £2....


Robert Dyas has flat Christmas on the back of expensive year 11 January 2019

The high street chain saw a 1.1% like-for-like uplift in the six weeks to December 24 – the lowest growth of all of the brands in the Theo Paphitis Retail Group. The trading update follows a year of positive trading for Dyas but profits took a hit ...


Grand Illusions launches retail website 10 January 2019

The garden and homeware brand has announced the launch of its new website, where consumers can easily browse and purchase items from the range.The website has been transformed to help consumers navigate more easily and explore the collection, which ...


Which Steamer stores have been saved? 10 January 2019

Following ProCook’s acquisition of the Steamer Trading business, saving the retailer from administration, it has been revealed that 27 stores will join the new owner’s portfolio, whilst 10 face immediate closure.The sale of the business was ...


ProCook buys Steamer Trading out of administration 10 January 2019

Cookware and kitchen retailer ProCook has announced the purchase of Steamer Trading after the independent specialist kitchenware chain appointed administrators yesterday. The deal saves 27 of the retailer’s 38 stores and includes the e-commerce ...


B&M manages profitability in an uncertain market 10 January 2019

UK variety goods value retailer, B&M European Value Retail S.A., has today announced a trading update for the third quarter of its current financial year, relating to the 13 week period from 30 September 2018 to 29 December 2018.This saw Group ...


Tesco reap the benefits of Christmas rush 10 January 2019

In the core Tesco UK business, third quarter like-for-like sales increased by 0.7%, representing the company's twelfth consecutive quarter of growth. In a more challenging market, Tesco said it made significant further improvements to its customer ...


Sainsburys profit plummet due to struggling Argos 9 January 2019

Total retail sales from J Sainsbury plc have been reported as down by 0.4%, and like-for-like sales decreasing by 1.1%. General Merchandise sales, which includes Argos, declined by 2.3%.The supermarket chain took over catalogue retailer Argos as ...


Profits fall at Topps Tiles "against challenging marketing backdrop" 9 January 2019

Tile specialist, Topps Tiles Plc has announced a trading update for the 13 week period ended 29 December 2018, with like-for-like revenues for the first 13 weeks of the current financial year decreased by 1.4%, when in 2018 revenue had increased by ...


Plans for new Aldi and Wickes in Isle of Wight 8 January 2019

Plans have been put in place to redevelop the Newport Football Club site on St George’s Way by the current football ground owners. The mixed development of the site will see both retail opportunities and leisure uses.The development will be made up ...


DIY Week Awards judging panels announced 7 January 2019

The line-up of judges for the supplier and retailer categories has been revealed, with key representatives from across the home improvement and garden industry set to take part in choosing the 2019 DIY Week Award winners.Each year, two independent ...


BHETA to own Exclusively shows outright 7 January 2019

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has purchased the two minority shareholdings in Brooke House Exhibitions, the owner of the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical shows, from Simon Boyd and Christopher Leonard-Morgan....


Plumbworld completes MBO from Grafton Group 7 January 2019

Online bathroom products retailer, Online Home Retail Limited, has just completed a successful management buyout (MBO). A team led by an original founder of the business, James Hickman, bought back the company, which trades as www.plumbworld.co.uk, ...


Toolbank secures new distribution partnership 7 January 2019

The specialist hand and power tool wholesaler announced, this month, it has been appointed as the exclusive distributor for US brand, ToughBuilt, in the UK and Ireland.The offer from the Las Vegas-based manufacturer includes saw horses and jobsite ...


Dunelm remains "cautious" despite profit increase 7 January 2019

UK homewares retailer Dunelm Group plc has reported its total LFL revenue growth for its second quarter was +9.0%, a pleasing result the company says, which builds upon the positive trading experienced in the first quarter.Like-for-like store ...


Lidl to take over former Homebase unit in Swansea 7 January 2019

Picton Property Income has completed an agreement to Lease with Lidl on its former Homebase unit at Parc Tawe North, Swansea. It will move Lidl from its existing premises on the retail park, making it the anchor occupier, alongside JD Sports, Pets ...


Footfall down on Boxing Day 4 January 2019

The number of shoppers out on December 26 this year fell by 3.1% and is the third consecutive year that has seen a decline, which could indicate a lessening in importance of Boxing Day as a trading day - but not all retailers had a quiet day...


TIMCo announces partnership with Fantom Hardware 4 January 2019

Wholesale supplier T.I. Midwood & Co, has become the UK’s exclusive supplier to merchants and retailers for Australian company Fantom Hardware, creator of the award-winning Fantom Doorstop....


Non-food price deflation eases in December 4 January 2019

The BRC-Nielsen shop price index for the final month of 2018 recorded the lowest rate of deflation of non-food goods since March 2013, despite deep discounting in several sectors. The reporting period covered 3-7 December.Non-food prices stabilised ...


Clas Ohlson to retain one UK store in "key location" 3 January 2019

Despite announcing plans to close all of its physical outlets acrosss the UK and Germany with a view to focusing on an online-only strategy, the Swedish retailer has made an about-turn and revealed it plan to keep trading from its Reading store on ...


Pantone announces colour of the year for 2019 3 January 2019

Pantone has announced its colour of the year for 2019 as 'Living Coral'. Vibrant, yet mellow, the company has said, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral "embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting ...


Peckish goes live with Channel 4 sponsorship 3 January 2019

In December it was announced that Peckish will be sponsoring the Channel 4 Weather bulletins, as part of wider plans to boost brand awareness and the wild bird card market.The “Love Every Bird” campaign, which it is hoped will expose the Peckish ...


Homebase introduces second concession partnership 3 January 2019

Homebase, one of the UK’s leading home improvement and garden retailers, has signed a concession partnership with UK bed brand, Silentnight.The partnership marks the first step in Homebase’s return into beds and mattresses, and will see several ...


Dobbies reports 21% uplift over Christmas 3 January 2019

The 40-strong garden centre chain posted total sales of £24.1million for the last six weeks of the year, with footfall up across its centres, and a number of categories delivering record performances.Like-for-like sales were up 8% year on year (YOY),...


Official ambassador for National Home Improvement Month is revealed 2 January 2019

National Home Improvement Month has announced it has recruited BBC presenter, DIY enthusiast and property developer Georgina Burnett to be an official ambassador for the National Home Improvement Month challenge commencing this April. Georgina has ...


Federation joins BHETA 2 January 2019

The Federation of British Hand Tool Manufacturers (FBHTM) has announced that it has joined The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) as of January 1st 2019.FBHTM will remain as a separate entity under the leadership the current ...


Better Bathrooms receives rap from ASA over misleading promotion 2 January 2019

The bathroom retailer’s ‘April Showers’ campaign was deemed to have breached CAP code rules, with it unclear as to whether discounts promised were genuine.The ads in question referred to banners that detailed the retailer’s April Showers promotion, ...


Hartley Botanic reveals 2019 greenhouse trends 2 January 2019

2019 has been reported as the year greenhouses and glasshouses will be just as likely to be used for parties and entertaining as younger families admit they see them, not just as a route to healthier and eco-friendly living, but as luxury lifestyle ...


Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen to speak at GCA Conference 2 January 2019

Attendees to the Garden Centre Association (GCA) annual conference, to be held on January 20 until 23, 2019, will be able to hear from former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen.Kevin will be a guest speaker at the conference, which takes place at ...


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