Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive August 2007

UK's summer set to be recorded as second wettest since records began 31 August 2007
As if we didn't already know how wet the summer has been, the Met Office is likely to confirm it as one of the wettest since records began in 1914.

Screwfix appoints new agency for tv campaign 31 August 2007
Screwfix has appointed media agency Mustoes to develop a tv campaign to push its services to the trade and diy customers.

Kelly Osbourne and Rolf Harris star in Worthit! tv push 30 August 2007
Woolworths is set to launch a major tv campaign next week to support the second phase of the launch of its value brand Worthit!

Buoyant results from Churchill China 30 August 2007
Churchill China is expected to exceed market expectations when it announces its results for the current financial year.

Sponsors sign up for Britain’s Best Retailer Awards 2007 30 August 2007
The fifth annual Britain’s Best Retailer Awards is pleased to announce the continuing support from the diy, garden, and housewares industries leading brands.

Notcutts completes sale of nursery arm 30 August 2007
Family business Notcutts has sold its nurseries division to two former directors to concentrate on retailing.

Argos heads Tesco in online shopping list 30 August 2007
Argos swapped places with supermarket giant Tesco in the August listing of the UK's top e-retailers.

Former Mica manager joins Home Hardware 29 August 2007
Home Hardware has announced the appointment of Steve Fletcher as business development officer (Midlands and North). He will take over from Ian Blake, who retires later this year.

Poor turn-out for Bank Holiday, says shopper index 28 August 2007
Data released today shows that 73% of the 3,100 stores that make up the sample for The Retail Traffic Index suffered a year-on-year decline in footfall.

BRC urges EU to reject import tax on energy saving lightbulbs 28 August 2007
Retail body calls for EU commissioners to reject a move which will force consumers to pay more for energy efficient light bulbs.

Must-have features for the garden 27 August 2007
New research by Halifax Estate Agents shows that mature shrubs and trees together with a paved patio area are the nation's favoured garden features.

Aylesbury is the first site for Home Retail's pilot homewares store 24 August 2007
Home Retail Group is to open its first pilot Home Store + More outlet in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire this year.

Diy retailer websites fail to impress 24 August 2007
August's website rankings of 100 retailers' sites has put diy retailers among the worst performers.

Dobbies to miss sales targets as poor weather hits profits 22 August 2007
Dobbies Garden Centres has said the sustained poor weather over the key summer months will mean internal sales targets are unlikely to be met.

Boost for British suppliers as GIMA warns of the dangers of direct importing 21 August 2007
In light of the recent spate of product recalls by toy manufacturers, GIMA has quickly added its voice to those praising UK-based suppliers and spelt out the dangers of importing from overseas.

Rolawn says turf prices are set to rise 21 August 2007
Turf prices are going to rise over the next couple of years following difficult growing conditions throughout the UK, Rolawn has warned.

Aqualux claims top spot 21 August 2007
Aqualux has officially been confirmed as the UK's number one volume supplier of shower enclosures.

Leahy expresses delight at Tesco takeover of Dobbies 18 August 2007
Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said the company was 'absolutely delighted' after it finally won control of Dobbies.

Dobbies issues clarification statement after chief executive's comments 17 August 2007
Dobbies has seen fit to issue a clarification statement to investors after comments made by its chief executive, James Barnes, to the Daily Mail.

Wet weather doesn't dampen Direct Company's momentum 16 August 2007
The Direct Company has announced a 14% increase in turnover for the first half of a very wet 2007.

Metpost's new owners announce big plans 16 August 2007
Continuous investment in its brand and its people are top of the agenda at Exmet, the new owners of Metpost, the UK’s top brand of fence post supports and accessories.

Two thirds of gardeners are feeling the effects of global warming 16 August 2007
A survey by gardening.co.uk, the online home of Gardens Monthly magazine, finds climate change is affecting UK gardens.

Brand share gains for Bayer Garden 15 August 2007
Bayer Garden says it has bucked the downward trend in overall sales of pest and weed control products and achieved an increase in market share.

NWF's six garden centres generate 38% sales rise 14 August 2007
The NWF Group has reported turnover up 38% to £21.5 million in its preliminary results announced today.

Record results for diy outlets drive sales at Grafton 14 August 2007
Sales at the Irish retail division of Grafton Group increased by 14.4% to £114 million (2006: £100 million).

Retailers in Scotland decide that Fair & Square is the way forward 14 August 2007
Decco has further boosted its Fair & Square membership with the announcement of three key new members in Scotland.

Dobbies issues second rallying call for shareholders to back Tesco bid 14 August 2007
The board of Dobbies has written to shareholders for a second time reminding them that the Tesco deal is the 'the only one on offer'.

Charles Notcutt to speak at HTA Conference 13 August 2007
The former chairman of Notcutts Nurseries will join the line up of speakers for the key note opening session at the annual event.

'Compelling offer' too strong for ICI to reject 13 August 2007
Akzo Nobel and ICI have reached agreement over the sale of the British company to the Dutch giant.

Bents voted Business of the Year 13 August 2007
Glazebury-based garden centre takes home top prize at Warrington Business Awards

Atco Qualcast Ltd re-branded as Bosch 13 August 2007
Garden machinery manufacturer changes its name to 'Bosch Lawn and Garden' Ltd

Dobbies embarks on last ditch attempt to entice shareholders 10 August 2007
The board of Dobbies is using a research note from broker Seymour Pierce to push the sale of the garden centre chain in favour of Tesco’s offer.

Sir Tom continues his stake building 10 August 2007
Sir Tom Hunter has raised his stake holding in Dobbies yet again – a day after he stated he would neither sell his shares nor accept Tesco's offer.

Sales managers are 'quids in' 10 August 2007
HTA’s annual salary survey offers a broad review of 2007 salaries within the nursery and garden centre sectors.

Tesco extends deadline for shareholders 9 August 2007
The supermarket giant has extended the deadline to August 19, and has strongly urged Dobbies Shareholders who have not yet accepted its offer to do so 'as soon as possible'.

Byron wins B&Q contract 9 August 2007
Byron, the electrical accessories specialist, has won a multi-million pound contract to supply B&Q with its ‘Home Easy’ range of home automation products.

Former Wickes md joins Focus revolution 9 August 2007
Former Wickes managing director, Richard Bird, has joined the new team at Focus DIY.

Get your entries in for the Retailer Awards 9 August 2007
Entry forms are available for the major retail event in the industry – Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2007.

Hunter to stay in the background - in the interests of the shareholders 9 August 2007
Sir Tom Hunter has said he is not going to bid for Dobbies, however he is to remain a minority shareholder looking forward to Tesco's plans to grow the business.

Takeover Panel could grant Akzo Nobel more time to pursue ICI 7 August 2007
It has emerged that the Takeover Panel Executive may extend the date by which Akzo Nobel must announce a firm offer for ICI.

Dobbies chief executive sells up 7 August 2007
In yet another twist in the long-running Dobbies and Tesco saga, it has emerged that ceo James Barnes has sold his shares in the garden centre.

Akzo Nobel gains access to the books of ICI 6 August 2007
Paint giant sweetens its offer the British company with a £8 billion indicative bid

Tesco raises its stake in Dobbies 6 August 2007
Tesco has upped the ante in its bid to gain control of Dobbies by raising its stake in the company as it seeks to win over shareholders.

Diy market sees a 'positive' performance in the second quarter 6 August 2007
Despite the poor weather of May and June, the second quarter of 2007 has continued to see positive growth in the diy superstore market, the latest research from GfK finds.

Kalon 'extremely happy' with PPG offer 6 August 2007
Sigma Kalon has expressed its delight at the offer tendered for the company, saying it is 'extremely happy with this exciting opportunity'.

Call for green, lightweight and quiet mowers 6 August 2007
Wolf-Garten's investment in lawn care market research has lead it to develop a lawnmower range – Hybrid Power – that, the business says, builds on consumers' desire to have green, lightweight and quiet mowers.

Big week for... 5 August 2007
ICI - Britain's Takeover Panel has given the Dutch conglomerate Akzo Nobel until Thursday August 9 to conclude terms with ICI, while trader talk has left stock markets expecting further news of Tesco's bid, and Sir Tom Hunter's countermoves, for Dobbies.

US coatings, glass and chemicals company offers £1.5bn for Sigma Kalon 4 August 2007
Pittsburgh-based PPG has offered £1.5 ($3.3) billion including debt for the SigmaKalon Group.

New manager for J S Copsey Decco Ipswich 4 August 2007
Decco have announced the appointment of Andy Birrell as manager at the Decco Copsey business in Ipswich.

Lupus Capital sells Laird Lifestyle Products 3 August 2007
Best Value Conservatories Ltd has acquired the business and assets of LLP (formerly known as Laird Lifestyle Products) for an undisclosed sum.

OFT clears Tesco's proposed takeover of Dobbies 3 August 2007
The Office of Fair Trading has today cleared Tesco's proposed takeover of Dobbies Garden Centres.

Monro Brands come of age 3 August 2007
Garden sector buyers can add a new name to their contact listings with the introduction of Monro Brands.

Friends of the Earth calls for tax breaks for homeowners 3 August 2007
Homeowners willing to undertake green diy work to make their properties more energy efficient should be rewarded with tax rebates, says Friends of the Earth.

Big Red Book, Worth It, and indoor come up trumps for Woolworths 3 August 2007
Tuesday's half year trading update for Woolworths showed the high street retailer benefiting from good performances in the Big Red Book, the Worth It range and 'indoor' products.

William Sinclair increases shareholding 1 August 2007
William Sinclair Holdings has increased its shareholding in Freeland, a green waste recycling business, from 50% to 87.5%.

Business news round-up 1 August 2007
Akzo Nobel faces shareholder rebellion; Beale sells up; John Lewis sees yet another storming week

Trade initatives and range reviews drive sales rise at Travis Perkins retail 1 August 2007
Travis Perkins has reported sales growth of 6.3% for its retail division following investment in new ranges and initiatives to attract trade customers.

Plasti-kote outperforms specialist paint market 1 August 2007
Plasti-kote, part of the Valspar Corporation, has said a recent £500,000 investment in a consumer advertising campaign has paid huge dividends.

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Latest reader comments

re: B&Q sales dip 2.5%, as showroom sales decline

B&Q bob
Screwfix sales are up because they position new stores close to B&Q stores but then price like for like products cheaper than within BQ ...

re: B&Q kicks off kitchen & bathroom recruitment drive

B&Q bob
Wickes are not alone, Wrens kitchens has seen large numbers of unappreciated BQ kitchen sales staff join them because of BQs attitude ...

re: Toolstation.com excels in Which? website survey

Roger Bishop
This was my first visit to toolstation in farnham but it will definatly not be my last the service was exceptional staff were welcoming i ...

re: Graham Bell to head up B&Q as part of Kingfisher reshuffle

B&Q bob
Ms Laury has overseen perhaps the worst period of BQ history under her leadership, staff have had their wages cut while witnessing their ...

re: Screwfix opens 600th store as business continues to build

B&Q bob
Why is kingfisher giving screwfix lower prices to sell at than their BQ stores? Staff in B&Q suffer constant abuse from trade customers ...

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