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So, the Robert Dyas sale saga has finally come to a conclusion, with the news that Ryman's owner and star of BBC's Dragon's Den Theo Paphitis has bought the retail chain. The businessman proudly announced the acquisition on his Twitter page, exclaiming: "I am in the ironmongery business!" However, he may get a bit of a surprise when he reviews the retailer's offer, as last time I checked, there wasn't a huge amount of ironmongery to be had. Could this be a hint that he plans to take the chain back to its roots? Having said that, his investment vehicle, Gladys Emmanuel Limited, with its nod to grocery store Arkwrights in sitcom Open All Hours, could suggest a further diversification in Dyas' product offer.

The last time Dyas caught up with DIY Week, the chain said it was ready to start making capital investment in the business again and it may be that all it needed to kick this off was the financial backing of multi-millionaire Mr Paphitis.

It will certainly be interesting to see what his plans are for the chain, which is keen to get its growth back on track after big plans for a roll-out of its new-look stores and branding came to a halt in the wake of recent board-level departures and tough trading conditions. The news will also bring a bit of calm to the sector after ongoing reports of a bidding war for the retailer, running since the chain was first put up for sale in January.

Meanwhile, the BRC has come under fire for stating that our high streets can only thrive if they include multiple retailers - especially as the comments came on July 4, as traders across the country marked Independents' Day.

Having spent the day with traders celebrating Independents' Day last week and upon hearing about fantastic events up and down the country, I can honestly say that they are aware of their point of difference over the sheds and high street multiples, and the BRC's comments are unlikely to have fazed them.

In fact, many would probably agree that their businesses and their larger retail neighbours can have a mutually beneficial relationship on the high street, boosting footfall where needed and, in some instances, even pointing customers in the other's direction if their offer doesn't meet the shopper's needs. A good mix is certainly healthy and, as long as independents are aware of and make the most of their strengths, there should be room for everybody.
View User Profile for Fiona Garcia Blog entries from Fiona Garcia, DIY Week editor

Posted by Fiona Garcia | 19 July 2012 | 12:07 | More from: Editor's Blog


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