Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive September 2019

Better Bathrooms set to ‘smash’ record-high revenue of £50m in two years 26 September 2019

Despite falling into administration earlier this year, Better Bathrooms has seen a huge turnaround under new owners, Buy it Direct, as its new online-only model moves the company into profit within just six monthsThe Buy it Direct Group, which also ...


Perrywood celebrates first year of trading at former Wyevale site in Sudbury 26 September 2019

A garden centre which was saved from uncertainty last year, when family-run Perrywood Garden Centre bought the business to expand its portfolio, is celebrating its first anniversary.Now known as Perrywood Sudbury, the site on Newton Road in Sudbury, ...


Christmas tree shortage hits the UK 26 September 2019

The UK is facing a shortage of real Christmas trees this year due new legislation which will push up red tape and importation costs. For the first time this year, Christmas trees over three metres in height will require a ‘Plant Passport’ to enter ...


Sainsbury's plans to axe 55 stores and up to 70 Argos closures 25 September 2019

Although Sainsbury's plc reported a general outlook of growth in its second quarter trading update, with a 0.1% increase in retail sales and an improved 0.2% fall in like-for-like sales over the 12 weeks to 21 September, the update was offset by the ...


Online retail slumps in August 24 September 2019

Internet sales continued on a downward trend last month, failing to receive a boost from the late summer sunshine and Bank Holiday weekend, with transactions in home and garden reportedly down by 6.9%.After online sales slumped to their lowest-ever ...


Houseplants continue upward sales trend in August 24 September 2019

The August Bank holiday weekend gave sales at garden centres across the country a welcome boost at the end of the month, according to new figures from the GCA, with houseplants up in double figures.The Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of ...


Blanchard’s Home Hardware wins cookshop window dressing competition 23 September 2019

It has been announced that Blanchard’s Home Hardware (Bideford) has won Home Hardware’s Cookshop Window Dressing Competition for the second consecutive year. Snapes Home Hardware (Cheadle Hulme) received the runner’s up prize. The competition was ...


HTA encourages industry to prepare for plant passport regulations 20 September 2019

Horticultural businesses are being urged to prepare now for the imminent changes to the plant passporting regulations which come into force on December 14. In preparation for this, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) have produced an animated ...


Homebase to close Worle store and downsize Gateshead branch 20 September 2019

As the home improvement retailer continues to consult with landlords following its CVA, it has been revealed that its Queensway store in Worle will close before Christmas and its Gateshead branch will be split into two retail units.Homebase, in ...


Tesco ads deemed misleading 20 September 2019

Supermarket giant rapped by Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for price comparison ad that suggested its products were consistently cheaper than competitors Aldi and Lidl.Tesco has had a series of its ads banned by the ad watchdog for misleading ...


Poll reveals worrying lack of fire door knowledge across trades 20 September 2019

Despite reporting a growth in demand for fire safety products and devices in the last year, a new poll by online ironmongery supplier, Ironmongery Direct, has revealed that over half of tradespeople do not know how to check that a fire door is ...


CMOstores.com launches new tile and floor e-superstore 19 September 2019

The rapidly-expanding online builders’ merchant has added a sixth portal to its family of e-commerce building material retail platforms, serving both professional contractors and DIY enthusiasts throughout the UK.The new online superstore, ...


International Garden Centre Association Congress visits Squire’s 18 September 2019

Around 250 International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) delegates from 19 countries visited Squire’s Garden Centres in Hersham and Badshot Lea on September 4. IGCA delegates from as far afield as the USA, Europe, South Africa, Australasia, China ...


Rosebourne Aldermaston surpasses £6million turnover in year one 18 September 2019

The independent garden centre group is celebrating what it describes as “a fantastic first year of trading” at its Aldermaston site after turning over more than £6million.The Rosebourne business – headed up by garden industry veterans John Kitching ...


B&Q sales slide, as Screwfix decision to exit German market costs millions 18 September 2019

In the UK and Ireland, B&Q total sales dropped 3.3% to £1,773million in H1, impacted by the axing of installation services and declines across showroom and weather-related categories. Meanwhile, the closure of all 19 Screwfix outlets in Germany ...


First-time buyers are driving the property market 17 September 2019

FTBs were the largest group of purchasers in 2018, accounting for 36% of all sales, and are expected to remain so in 2019.The latest report from Hometrack has looked at the rising number of first-time buyers in the UK property market and how they ...


Houzz survey finds growth in kitchen renovation spend 16 September 2019

Spend on kitchen renovations, one of the most popular rooms to renovate, grew by 11% in the past year to a median spend of £10,000, according to the annual Houzz & Home UK survey of more than 7,500 respondents in the United Kingdom. Median spend ...


Pets at Glee New Product Showcase 2019 winners revealed 16 September 2019

Nine new pet products were confirmed as the winners of the inaugural Pets at Glee New Product Showcase 2019, at a special award presentation at last week’s show. More than 360 entries were put forward this year – a record number for the competition...


Service from ‘robotic staff’ is negatively impacting UK businesses 16 September 2019

In an age of artificial intelligence and automation, new research finds that the inability of workers to improvise and innovate is causing consumers to make negative assumptions about companies. A study of 1,000 workplaces published in ‘Thinking on...


Thompson & Parkes opens new DIY retail shop 16 September 2019

After much anticipation, the independent builders merchant officially launched its first retail shop serving the DIY market in Stourport on Saturday, September 14.Having taken over the site of an old wedding shop Minster Road, Stourport during the ...


Taskers reveals most common British living room fit-out 13 September 2019

The furniture retailer says it has identified the average UK living room and, using online data gathered from its own website, has unveiled a photo-fit of the nation’s most likely lounge.The photo-fit was created using sales and search data over the ...


Growers and traders urge for caution on oak imports 13 September 2019

A group of Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) traders and growers are urging importers to ensure oaks being brought into the UK, not only comply with current legislation to combat Oak Processionary Moth (OPM), but are also not sourced from Italy’...


Henry Bell wins major Dobbies listing 12 September 2019

Family-run small animal and pet feed producer, Henry Bell & Co has secured a listing with the largest national garden centre group, Dobbies.As well as supplying a number of independent garden centres and retail outlets, Henry Bell has landed a ...


John Lewis blames Brexit for slide in home and EHT sales as it posts £25.9m profit loss 12 September 2019

Despite trading peaks over the summer period, the department store parent has reported a huge dip in profits during H1, as a result of subdued consumer confidence in the wake of Brexit woes.Publishing its half-year results for the 26 weeks ...


Mid-Sussex Timber announces annual Open Day 12 September 2019

Mid-Sussex Timber has announced it will be holding its annual Open Day this September, taking place at its East Grinstead branch on the September 18 2019. Mid-Sussex Timber, who was founded in 1929, continues to operate as a family-run business to ...


Glee's New Product Showcase 2019 winners revealed 11 September 2019

Eleven ground-breaking new garden products have been confirmed as the winners of the coveted Glee New Product Showcase 2019, at a special award presentation organised and run by Garden Trade News.Selected from hundreds of entries showcased at Glee (...


Homebase launches new creative platform with Atomic 11 September 2019

Home and DIY giant, Homebase, has announced it is launching a fresh, new-look creative to support its new autumn range and kitchens.The campaign signals a shift towards a more emotionally-led communications approach and is the first under Homebase's ...


Wyevale sells last of its centres to BGC 11 September 2019

Wyevale Garden Centres has announced it has sold its remaining trading business to British Garden Centres. Since the sale process began in May last year, Wyevale has sold 145 garden centres in 57 separate transactions, with over 90% continuing to ...


MarXman awarded retailers choice award at National Hardware Show 10 September 2019

MarXman, the UK manufactured professional marking tool, was awarded the prestigious “Retailers Choice Award” at the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.A panel of volunteer judges from a wide range of home improvement retailers took on the task ...


Sipcam announces new distribution partnership with Thompson & Morgan 10 September 2019

As part of the ongoing growth and expansion of Sipcam Home & Garden, the company has announced a new distribution partnership with the seed and horticultural brand supplier, Thompson & Morgan.As of October 2019, Thompson and Morgan will be ...


Cornish couple acquire Chacewater Garden Centre in Truro 10 September 2019

A Cornish couple have purchased a second garden centre in Truro with the support of a six-figure finance package from HSBC UK, enabling them to expand their blossoming horticultural business. Husband and wife duo Chris and Liz Finney have acquired ...


Akzo Nobel announces 2020 colour of the year 10 September 2019

Tranquil Dawn has been announced as Akzo Nobel’s Colour of the Year for 2020. The culmination of extensive trend research by experts around the world, the company has said it is designed to capture the essence of what makes us human as the dawn of a ...


Hottest July on record sends core gardening lines soaring 9 September 2019

Outdoor plants, seeds and bulbs, and garden sundries were amongst the key garden categories that recorded double-digit growth in July, thanks to hot weather over the summer.According to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT )...


Toolstation opens three new branches today 9 September 2019

The trade chain is continuing its roll out, with seven new branches set to open this month - three of which are officially opening their doors today – and other locations in the pipeline set to take the estate to 381.Toolstation is opening trade ...


High street footfall declines further while retail parks rise 9 September 2019

Reports from the BRC and Springboard has shown footfall figures for August, which shows a decline by 1.3%, compared to the same point last year when it declined by 1.6%. On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 2.1%. The six and twelve–month ...


SBM Life Science announces strategic partnership with Stax 6 September 2019

SBM Life Science has announced it has agreed a sole strategic distribution partnership for the traditional trade business with Stax Trade Centres, due to begin from October 1, 2019.. Nick Walton, who heads up the UK/I operation for SBM Life Science, ...


Brits take to Google to answer smart meter queries 6 September 2019

Recent research from SafeStyle has shown that customers are turning to Google to solve household queries and DIY conundrums, especially when it comes to new home technology including smart meters.[1] And of those queries, topics range from the ...


Outdoor living sales continue to soar at John Lewis 5 September 2019

As the good weather continues and consumers seek to make the most of their gardens, the department store chain reported another big spike in sales of barbecues and outdoor furniture last week, despite home sales being down overall.Total sales for ...


Retail salaries rise, but number of vacancies falls dramatically 5 September 2019

As uncertainty looms over the UK economy, retail businesses took action to hike up their pay in August, in a bid to combat a typically tricky period for hiring. In fact, the latest job market data reveals that salaries for new roles have risen by 1.4%...


Home Improvement brands report success with 'addressable' ads 5 September 2019

Tapi and Bathroom Village are amongst a number of retailers to see targeted TV campaigns give business a boost. According to new research from Sky Media and, addressable TV – which targets a specific customer type or even location – can boost ad ...


What More invests in future of employees with apprenticeship scheme 5 September 2019

What More UK are investing in the future of employees and young adults in education through funding apprenticeship and NVQ courses at their Altham-based warehouse site.A number of their existing employees, including James Howell and Alex Graham, ...


Businesses come together to urge business rates inquiry results 5 September 2019

The British Independent Retailers Assocation (BIRA) has joined forces with a number of bodies, including the BRC and Association of Convenience Stores, to urge the Treasury Select Committee to release the findings of its inquiry into business rates. ...


Toolbank parent overhauls HR & payroll system 5 September 2019

Dormole says it is laying the foundations for future growth by undertaking a major overhaul of its HR and payroll processes in partnership with MHR.The family-owned Dormole group of companies which includes Toolbank, Forgefix, Faithfull, Olympia, ...


The Range set to open new store in Derbyshire 4 September 2019

Value retailer The Range has announced it is to open another store in Derbyshire later this year. The firm, which sells products for the home, leisure and gardens, has confirmed it will open a new superstore at Somercotes.The building of the new ...


Dunelm sees strong growth in store and online 4 September 2019

Homeware giant Dunelm Group plc has announced its preliminary results to June 29 2019. The brand’s total like-for-like (LFL) sales increased by 10.7% with strong growth both in stores (7.7%) and dunelm.com (35.1%).Dunelm’s supposed current aim is to ...


John Lewis becomes first UK retailer to apply for self-supply water license 3 September 2019

John Lewis plc has become the first UK retailer to apply to Ofwat for a water and sewerage self-supply licence. The department store retailer is partnering with Waterscan to facilitate the application process and to subsequently deliver water cost ...


Weak consumer spending see retail prices decrease 2 September 2019

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), August Shop Prices fell by 0.4% compared to a 0.1% decrease in July. This is below the 12- and 6-month average price increases, both of 0.3%, and is the fastest rate of decline since June 2018.Non-...


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re: Planning application submitted for new Homebase store in Abingdon

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re: Latest update on Green Homes Grant and implications for homeowners and landlords

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