Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive July 2019

DIY and garden shoppers favour physical outlets over online 30 July 2019

Bricks-and-mortar DIY and garden stores could mop up trade from ailing competitors, as shoppers in the category favour physical outlets over online.DIY and gardening shoppers in the UK are most likely to switch to a different retailer’s physical ...


Wyevale Garden Centres announces sale of two centres 30 July 2019

Wyevale Garden Centres (WGC) has announced the sale of two centres in two separate transactions. Springfield Garden Centre is being sold to Longacres Garden Centres and Par Garden Centre to Maidenhead Aquatics, following its purchase of Dummer ...


Sir Terry Leahy to headline Cultivating Retail conference 29 July 2019

British businessman and former Tesco boss, Sir Terry Leahy will top the programme at the Cultivating Retail conference this autumnThe former Tesco plc chief executive, who has an active interest in the garden industry as a shareholder of Dobbies, ...


Wales & West GCA regional winners revealed 29 July 2019

Staff at garden centres across the Wales & West region are celebrating after scooping awards during a presentation evening at Castle Gardens last week (Tuesday, July 23, 2019).Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre was awarded Garden Centre of the ...


Mica and BIRA announce proposed merger 26 July 2019

Mica, the UK’s co-operative group of independent hardware, DIY and garden retailers has today announced a proposed merged with the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), the UK’s largest independent trade retailer association.The proposal ...


Wilko to open new store in Acton 26 July 2019

Britain's value home and garden retailer, wilko, will open the doors to its new store at The Oaks Shopping Centre, Acton on Wednesday 7 August at 9am. To mark the special occasion, Joe Swan a representative from the Alzheimer’s Society will lead a ...


Rainy Day Trust reports busiest month ever 26 July 2019

As Brexit uncertainty continues to bite and retailers cut costs, industry charity the Rainy Day Trust (RDT) says it has seen a huge uptake in enquiries from people seeking support this month, with more applications from the DIY sector than ever ...


Westland picks its 2019 Rising Stars 26 July 2019

Each year Westland and the Garden Centre Association (GCA) search for the most up-and-coming employees at garden centres who show great potential and would benefit from the opportunity to further their skills and experiences as part of the Rising ...


Homebase tops best single day of trading, as UK heatwave peaks 25 July 2019

As Britain continues to sizzle in soaring temperatures, major retailers report a surge in sales of cooling products and outdoor lines, with Homebase raking in £690,000 yesterday alone.The impressive figure, beat Homebase’s best single day last year, ...


Mid-Sussex Timber celebrates 90th year in business 25 July 2019

Mid-Sussex Timber (MST) saw in a milestone this year, as it proudly celebrated its 90th year in business. Since 1929, MST has been supplying directly imported Timber to the Building Trade & Retail markets and is now has said it is one of the ...


Disappointing quarter for independent retailers 24 July 2019

The latest sales figures reported by members of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) show an average fall in sales of -2.94% compared to the same three months in 2018.Scotland saw the sharpest fall in the UK during April to June ...


GJ's holds successful Trade Day 24 July 2019

After becoming a DIY Week Finalist this Spring, GJ’s, the Derbyshire-based DIY retailer, decided to host a follow-up Trade Day at its Alfreton store on Friday 12 July. GJ’s said it contacted all the companies who supported the recent store expansion ...


Wyevale sells six more centres to Blue Diamond 23 July 2019

Wyevale Garden Centres (WGC) announce the sale of six centres to Blue Diamond. This follows the sale of eight centres to the garden centre operator in July 2018 and one in August 2018. The acquisition of this portfolio increases the presence of the ...


GCA’s South Thames area award winners revealed 22 July 2019

Members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) in the South Thames region are celebrating after picking up awards during a presentation evening last week (Wednesday, July 17, 2019) at Haskins Garden Centre – Snowhill.The title of Garden Centre of ...


Homebase snaps up Bathstore 22 July 2019

With the rumour mill in overdrive since Friday, Homebase has today confirmed its acquisition of Bathstore, saving the bathroom specialist from administration and considerably strengthening its own bathroom proposition.The move will bolster Homebase’...


Cambridgeshire Bathrooms to open showroom in St Ives 22 July 2019

Cambridgeshire Bathrooms has opened a second location in St Ives after securing a funding package from Natwest to revamp a unit at The Lakes Business Park in Fenstanton.The move gives the bathroom design and supply service a second showroom premises ...


BIRA joins Down Your High Street for workshop event 22 July 2019

Independent retailers came together at the OXO Tower in London to celebrate the ongoing success of the national online selling platform – Down Your High Street, alongside event organisers Network & Chill and partners The British Independent ...


Thompson & Parkes to open DIY retail outlet in Stourport 19 July 2019

The established local builders merchant has announced that it will be opening a new retail shop serving the DIY market in Stourport later this year, supporting its two merchant branches.Trading locally within Worcestershire and Shropshire since 1937,...


BHETA to announce ‘Challenge 25’ equivalent for knife sector 19 July 2019

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has met with the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG) with a view to securing approval to adopt its Challenge 25 retailing strategy for use in the responsible retailing of knives, and ...


GIMA's Innovators' Seed Corn Fund open for entries 19 July 2019

As activity ramps up for Glee 2019, GIMA is encouraging new businesses and innovators to enter this year’s annual GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund (GISCF); a fund set up to encourage grass root business and product development.Judged by a panel of ...


Wyevale nurseries announces partnership with Joy of Plants 19 July 2019

Wyevale nurseries has announced it has linked with a plant information company to offer its customers a more environmentally-friendly point of sale option.Wyevale Nurseries has recently been looking at ways to help reduce the amount of single use ...


Online retail sales record strongest growth this year in June 18 July 2019

After a disappointing May, the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index revealed an 8.5% year-on-year (YOY) jump in online retail sales last month, thanks to great weather kick-starting summer spending.Sales were up 5.1% on May; above the five-year ...


DIY Rainbows introduced as new stockist for Benjamin Moore 17 July 2019

Benjamin Moore has announced the appointment of DIY Rainbows in Marlborough, Wiltshire as the newest Authorised Stockist of its paint range.Owned by Jignesh Patel, DIY Rainbows is a family-run independent paint retailer with a glowing reputation in ...


GCA announces North Thames award winners 17 July 2019

The Garden Centre Association (GCA) unveiled on July 15 its winners for the North Thames region during a presentation at Poplars Garden Centre.Perrywood Garden Centre – Tiptree won Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) ...


Mica introduces eco advertising campaign 17 July 2019

The Mica co-operative of independent retailers (Mica) has unveiled plans several months in the making for its first ever eco advertising campaign, which will run during August and September this year.Independent retailers are excellent champions for ...


Sales of warm weather products dip but smart home posts double-digit growth at John Lewis 17 July 2019

Cooler weather last week, compared with the same period the previous year, impacted sales of warm weather products, such as refrigeration and fans, contributing to a 2.3% decline in sales of electrical and home technology across the department store ...


Dyson fan ad banned over cordless claims 17 July 2019

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has deemed an advert for Dyson’s Pure Hot + Cool Fan could mislead consumers into believing the product was a cordless fan by using images that do not clearly show the need to plug into mains electric.The ad,...


Amazon workers strike during Prime Day 16 July 2019

Employees in Europe and the US are up in arms over wages and “dehumanising working conditions” during the e-commerce giant’s famous Prime Day sales extravaganza - although Amazon has dismissed claims by unions, calling them "misleading" and accusing certain groups ...


HTA announces theme for this year's marketing forum 16 July 2019

‘The Power of Social’ is the theme for this year’s HTA Marketing Forum which takes place on 16 October 2019 at Horticulture House in Oxfordshire. This one-day event is aimed at all those delivering marketing and public relations in the garden ...


Wayfair to open first UK pop-up showroom 16 July 2019

Wayfair has announced it will open a pop-up showroom in London on 1 August. The event is being held for one day only at an immersive Soho townhouse to discover a world of destination-themed interiors trends, and specifically revealing its Christmas ...


Amazon Prime kicks off with "more deals than ever" 15 July 2019

Amazon launched its two-day parade of discounts today and is promising more deals than ever before for UK customers. The sale promotion started just past midnight last night and will run until 11.59pm on Tuesday, July 16, offering more than one ...


Notcutts reports 52.5% profit jump 15 July 2019

Despite major upgrades to a number of its centres, Notcutts has recorded strong growth in the year to February 2019, with operating profit up 52.5% to £1.5m.Gross margin increased by 0.6% basis points to 47.5% and stock turn improved from 3.4 to 3.9 ...


Footfall declines for UK retail in June 15 July 2019

Footfall declined by 2.9% in June, compared to the same point last year when it declined by 0.9%. On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 2.4%. The six and twelve–month averages are at -1.3% and -1.7% respectively.High Street footfall declined ...


Further Homebase closures ahead 12 July 2019

As Homebase struggles to agree new rent terms with landlords and continues to review its estate under the terms of its CVA, yet more stores are set to close in coming months.It has been revealed that the Homebase store on Newbury Retail Park will ...


BHETA wins website of the year at TAF Awards 12 July 2019

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has announced it has won the Website of the Year award at the Trade Association Forum’s TA Best Practice Awards 2019. The annual event, now in its seventeenth year is formally supported by the ...


GCA announces regional award meetings 12 July 2019

The Garden Centre Association (GCA) members will find out who has come out on top in its annual inspections this year at regional award meetings taking place this month. Garden centres are encouraged to attend the event in their area and to bring as ...


Retail professionals would rather learn new skills than get pay rise or promotion this year 11 July 2019

New research reveals that 40% of retail professionals say learning new skills is their main career priority right now, beating both a pay rise and a promotion.Independent job board, CV-Library, which surveyed 2,000 UK professionals, found that ...


CMA blocks Asda Sainsbury’s merger for next decade 11 July 2019

Having blocked the deal in April, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has now issued an final order to its report, stating that neither of the grocers may acquire an interest in the other Asda for 10 years.The ruling also applies to each of ...


Woodies DIY challenged by softer UK market 10 July 2019

Grafton Group plc, the merchanting and DIY Group with operations in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium, has issued a trading update for the half year to 30 June 2019.The Group said trading in May and June was measured against very strong ...


Debenhams calls on Mike Ashley to drop legal action 10 July 2019

As landlords M&G withdraw challenge to Debenhams' Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs), the ailing department store business has called on Sports Direct and House of Fraser boss Mike Ashley to do the same.A statement issued by Debenhams ...


Amazon set for Cardiff with second Clicks & Mortar store 10 July 2019

As Amazon works to provide physical space for small, online-only sellers and “remove the friction of small businesses selling on the high street”, the e-commerce giant is set to open the second of its pop-up shops in St David’s Shopping Centre in ...


Dunelm sees double digit growth in Q4 10 July 2019

Homewares retailer, Dunelm Group plc, has reported the following trading update for the 13-week period ended 29 June 2019 and reports total like-for-like (LFL) revenue for the fourth quarter as seeing an increase of 15.4%, reflecting strong ...


John Lewis expands Home Solutions to the South East 10 July 2019

John Lewis & Partners home improvement service, Home Solutions, has expanded across the South East. Home Solutions allows customers to source and book trusted tradespeople both online and via an app for a range of home improvement services. It ...


Bedford hardware store survives Great Depression but not Internet Age 9 July 2019

It has been announced that a 152 year old hardware store located on Bedford high street, has decided to close the business down due to its struggle in a shopping environment which is heavily dominated by online and discounted sales.Goldings of ...


Pre-Brexit stockpiling causes volatility but “modest growth” is ahead 9 July 2019

Economic growth has been volatile in the first half of 2019, due to pre-Brexit stockpiling pushing up imports growth. However, further ahead, the Confederation of British Industry expects the UK economy to grow at a modest pace ...


Summer discounts help boost John Lewis sales 9 July 2019

The department store chain reported a 1.3% uplift in total sales over the past week, as customers continued to enjoy shopping summer clearance.Clearance sales had started well from the middle of June but had slowed due to warmer weather, with home ...


Squires snaps up Heathlands Garden Centre from Wyevale 9 July 2019

Wyevale Garden Centres has announced it has sold Heathlands Garden Centre to Squires. The sale is expected to complete by early August, with WGC continuing to operate the centre until this date.Anthony Jones, chief operating officer at WGC, said: We ...


Gardening and health experts line up to launch skin cancer campaign 8 July 2019

National garden centre chain Notcutts has teamed up with skin cancer awareness charity the Melanoma Fund and leading gardening experts to educate gardeners about the risks of skin cancer, which affects over 15,000 people every year. Established in ...


Travis Perkins wins award for promoting charity messages through vehicle livery 8 July 2019

Travis Perkins, the UK’s largest supplier of building materials, won this year’s 'Livery of the Year’ award in the annual Motor Transport Awards. The award, which was sponsored by Pirelli Truck (Prometeon), was presented at an awards dinner at the ...


Screwfix to open three new trade counters in one day 8 July 2019

The Kingfisher-owned chain is set to open four new branches this month, with three officially opening their doors on July 18.The first new site will begin trading this week, on Thursday, July 11 on Warminster Business Park and will be managed by Jon ...


Rise of the ‘barbecue bandits’ 8 July 2019

Thieves are taking advantage of a growing trend for garden gadgets, with new report revealing the number of thefts from outside dwellings rose by 23% in just 12 months.Official data shows there were 112,000 more thefts from people's gardens last ...


Wren Kitchens submits plans for new showroom in Mansfield 5 July 2019

Following the opening of its 79th showroom last month in Tamworth, the kitchen retailer has put forward plans to open a showroom on Portland Retail Park, taking over a unknit currently occupied by Dreams.Plans have been submitted to Mansfield ...


GIMA reveals 2019 award winners 5 July 2019

The Garden Industry Trade Association Manufacturers Association (GIMA) held its annual awards event last night, announcing 16 winners from across the garden industry at the event.This year, Primeur with its Tierra Verde Recycled Rubber Planters, ...


Argos grows market share in key categories 4 July 2019

Parent firm, Sainsbury’s reported growth across all channels in Q3, with its general merchandise business Argos seeing an uplift in sales and outperforming what the retailer described as “a highly competitive and very promotional market”.The ...


Wickes launches week-long promotion on grey paint 4 July 2019

Wickes has slashed the price of seven of its best-selling paint shades for just one week, dubbing the promotion ‘seven shades of grey for seven days’.With grey still considered very much on trend and a popular choice with consumers, Wickes has cut ...


B&Q portfolio stores acquired in sale-and-leaseback deal 3 July 2019

Three B&Q stores – equating to a retail store portfolio of 306,000sq ft – have been acquired by Palmer Capital by way of sale and leaseback.The real estate investment management company has taken on three solus B&Q stores in Birmingham, ...


Amazon to expand UK operations and create more than 2,000 jobs in 2019 3 July 2019

The e-commerce giant has vowed to create more than 2,000 permanent jobs in the UK in 2019, with new roles within head office, R&D, Amazon Web services and operations. The recruitment drive will take Amazon UK’s total workforce to more than 29,500 ...


‘No-deal’ Brexit could see soaring material prices and lower workloads 3 July 2019

Construction SMEs want the new Prime Minister to slash VAT on housing, renovation and repair work to help tempt homeowners to finally commission the home improvement projects they’ve been putting off due to Brexit-related uncertainty. New research ...


Topps reports 3.8% uplift in Q3 3 July 2019

Topps Tiles has seen sales rise nearly 4% during the last quarter, bolstered by its venture into the commercial market, and new range launches, as the retailer’s strategy of ‘out-specialising the specialists’ “delivers strong results”.The sales jump ...


Choice Marketing adds three new garden centres and changes marketing agency 3 July 2019

The new additions - Highfield Garden World in Whitminster and Blackbrooks Garden Centre’s two new garden centres at Hastings and Lower Dicker – take the number of Choice Marketing’s members to 45, and bolster its group retail turnover to more than £...


Garden centre sales still ahead despite wetter and cooler May 2 July 2019

Garden centre sales are 13% up based on the calendar year to May 2019 vs 2018, according to the June 2019 issue of HTA Market Update published last week.Houseplant sales remained strong in May, but sales of garden and outdoor ranges suffered in the ...


The ‘Let’s Explore’ Greenfingers garden opens at Richard House Children’s Hospice 2 July 2019

Greenfingers Charity has announced it was delighted to be joined by children, families and supporters at the official opening of the charity’s latest garden project at London’s first children’s hospice, Richard House, on 27 June 2018. Greenfingers ...


DIY SOS will head to Blackburn this year for Children in Need special 2 July 2019

DIY SOS, BBC One’s popular property renovation show, will head to Blackburn with Darwen later this year to take on an ambitious build to benefit a local charity. DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special (working title) will see Nick ...


Smart Garden Products named in London Stock Exchange dynamic companies list 2 July 2019

Smart Garden Products Ltd has been identified as one of London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019. The report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), with ...


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