Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive May 2009

House prices rise in May 29 May 2009
House prices rose by 1.2% in May, according to Nationwide, the second increase in three months and the strongest increase for 19 months - another sign that we may be making tentative steps towards recovery.

Wolseley announces 80% profit drop 29 May 2009
Building materials company blames "weakness" in market for drop to £72m and predicts trading conditions will remain tough into next year.

Extra space now available for GIMA Awards dinner 29 May 2009
The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) has had to make extra places available for this year's GIMA Awards dinner as demand has outstripped supply.

Tommy Gill resigns from Bayer Garden 29 May 2009
A Bayer Garden spokesperson has confirmed to DIY Week that Tommy Gill, head of Bayer UK and Ireland, has resigned from the company with immediate effect.

Stronger Sterling boosts outlook 28 May 2009
The pound has risen to its highest point above the dollar in almost six months, another indicator, slight as it may be, that the worst may be behind us.

B&Q launches range to rival Argos and Ikea 28 May 2009
£18m investment sees DIY giant enter the furniture market, stocking sofas, beds and white goods.

Gordon Brown drops into local B&Q 27 May 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid a visit to the new B&Q store in Kirkcaldy earlier this week ahead of its official opening on Friday (May 29).

John Lewis reveals name for new concept 27 May 2009
Department Store chain John Lewis has announced that its new specialist homestore format will be rolled out under the name 'John Lewis at home'.

Jegs officially opens new building 27 May 2009
David Amess, MP for Southend West officially opened the new Jegs premises this month.

Topps feels the pinch 27 May 2009
Interim report shows profits plunge for tile retailer.

HomeSense and TK Maxx parent drives profits by 42% 26 May 2009
European profits at the US parent of HomeSense and TK Maxx, The TJX Companies, have rocketed by 42%.

Average home improvement spend hits £5,300 26 May 2009
Latest research from the Halifax shows that home improvement spending is on the rise.

BHETA appoints new DIY sector chairman 26 May 2009
Hamilton Acorn md John Grayson has been named as the new BHETA DIY sector chairman, replacing Home Décor Innovations' Max Crosby-Browne.

Are we a nation of disastrous diyers? 22 May 2009
More than a quarter of Britons have injured themselves doing DIY according to research by Ask Jeeves - with assembling flatpack furniture the most dangerous job despite using little more than a screwdriver and an Allen key!

New store proves a hit for Nixons 22 May 2009
Former Woolworths store is packed with customers on opening day

53% of Brits are 'DIY Shy' 21 May 2009
Research from Energy Saving Trust reveals more than half of population are not confident enough to use basic home improvement skills.

Building to start on Redfields Garden Centre 21 May 2009
Malcolm Scotts Consultants gains planning permission for redevelopment of centre, releasing more than one hectare of land.

Wyevale hunts for new chairman 21 May 2009
Sir Tom Hunter to stand down from his position as chairman of Wyevale Garden Centres.

Oven cleaner ad 'not sexist' says watchdog 20 May 2009
The TV ad for HomePride oven cleaner, which claimed the product made cleaning "so easy even a man can do it", was not sexist according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling.

Lawsons celebrates 30 years 19 May 2009
Independent housewares and hardware chain Lawsons will celebrate 30 years in Totnes later this month, having opened the branch in 1979.

JT Dove opens largest centre in Newcastle 19 May 2009
North East builders merchant J T Dove has unveiled a purpose-built landscaping centre at its £1.6m site in Newburn, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, boasting the largest freestanding landscaping display in Newcastle.

M&S slashes dividend on back of £400m profits slump 19 May 2009
Marks & Spencer is to slash its dividend to shareholders by a third - from 22.5p to 15p per share - in the face of what executive chairman Stuart Rose described as "an uncertain economic outlook."

Sector's best recognised at Industry Awards 2009 18 May 2009
The best product innovation of 2008 was awarded at the glittering awards lunch on Friday, at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel.

Olympic diver fined for theft at B&Q 18 May 2009
Blake Aldridge, formerly part of Team B&Q, accused of stealing plumbing fittings from the B&Q store that sponsored him.

Obituary: Gerald Kingdon 18 May 2009
Former Home Hardware SouthWest director and BHF national president Gerald Kingdon died at Barnstaple Hospital on April 28. He was 79.

New initiatives for Glee 2009 14 May 2009
Glee organiser Emap Connect has announced a number of new features for this year's show, as well as improvements to existing aspects.

Woolworths hires B&Q's agency for relaunch 14 May 2009
The failed high street chain brings in Hill & Knowlton to help with its reincarnation as an online retailer.

Bents gets naked 14 May 2009
Bents Garden & Home staff get naked for charity calendar shoot.

HTA launches training diploma for garden retail 14 May 2009
Candidates to receive Government funding for the course, which provides a nationally recognised qualification.

Webbs expands with Hurrans site 13 May 2009
Wychbold-based garden centre takes over the former Hurrans centre in West Hagley.

Footprint Tools enters voluntary liquidation 13 May 2009
The credit crunch and subsequent recession have forced Footprint Tools into making a "dignified exit" from the market.

Jewson scoops safety awards 13 May 2009
Builders merchant chain takes home four silver awards from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Retail sales growth hits three-year high 12 May 2009
In line with recent reports about a rise in retail footfall in April, the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor has shown the best retail sales growth for three years.

Wyevale launches landscaping and fencing centres 12 May 2009
Wyevale will launch landscaping and fencing centres in eight of its centres this month and throughout June, each measuring up to 300sq m.

Kingfisher opens new showroom 12 May 2009
New 8,000 sq ft site allows company to display every item in its range, including furniture and outdoor living products.

1.2% increase in minimum wage 12 May 2009
BRC says Low Pay Commission made the "right decision for these difficult times".

Fiskars launches regeneration project 11 May 2009
Garden tools manufacturer Fiskars is appealing to the public to nominate community garden spaces throughout the UK that are in need of some serious attention.

Travis Perkins announces £300m rights issue 11 May 2009
Builders Merchant Travis Perkins has announced this morning a rights issue to raise gross proceeds of around £314m - £300m net of expenses - through the sale of almost 86 million new shares.

JT Dove celebrates Stockton investment 11 May 2009
Builders merchant opens brand new outlet in its 140th year of trading, following a £1.5m investment.

Dobbies expands on back of sales increase 11 May 2009
Tesco-owned garden centre chain Dobbies, the second largest in the UK after Wyevale, has bucked the sales trend of the past 12 months with an annual sales increase of 12% taking turnover to £97m.

Hutsons Cookshop closes 8 May 2009
Lincolnshire business to shut its doors for the last time next month after more than 100 years of trading.

John Lewis launches new concept stores 7 May 2009
Department store chain to roll out up to 50 specialist home stores across UK and Ireland as part of a £6m initiative.

Garden centres up 38% for April 7 May 2009
Garden retailers are "bucking the trend" according to the GCA, as people choose to stay at home this spring.

High street sees strongest rise in footfall for five years 7 May 2009
Positive signs for retailers but experts warn not to view figures as "sure signs of green shoots of recovery".

William Sinclair boosted by 'grow your own' trend 6 May 2009
Garden products company's share price rises 11.64% following release of trading update ahead of interim results.

ERA Products and LSH join forces 6 May 2009
Sister companies form newly created business, to provide customers with complete package in door and window hardware.

Crown Paints joins recycling scheme 5 May 2009
Paint company teams up with metal packaging supplier Impress in a ‘bring-back’ scheme to recycle used paint cans.

Tile Association Awards supports children's charity 5 May 2009
TTA gala dinner raises £14,000 for Children Today Charitable Trust - its nominated charity of the year.

Pam Plant resigns from BHETA 5 May 2009
Pam Plant, housewares director of the British Home Enhancement Trades Association, has resigned after nine years in the role.

Arsonists target Homebase store 5 May 2009
Tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage caused at Oswestry branch by fire, which firefighters believe was started deliberately.

BHF officially elects 'First Lady' 5 May 2009
The British Hardware Federation has elected the first female president in its 110-year history.

Solex 2009 sold out 5 May 2009
Breakaway LOFA exhibition looks set for another successful showing.

Homebase tells customers 'How to' 1 May 2009
DIY chain launches 'how to' guides after research revealed a skills gap amongst would-be DIYers.

Met Office predicts good summer 1 May 2009
Summer forecast reveals the UK is likely to experience warmer than average temperatures, with rainfall near or below average.

Judging panel announced for GIMA Awards 2009 1 May 2009
Top names from the industry will take part in the judging at Garden Organic, Ryton on June 4.

Focus DIY ramps up May ad campaign 1 May 2009
Focus DIY has announced that throughout the May Bank Holiday its ad campaign will include prominent TV ads across ITV and Channel Four and Five in key time slots.

Wolseley announces closures 1 May 2009
Builders merchants chain Wolseley has announced it will close its distribution centres in Didcot and Chorley as part of an efficiency drive designed to mitigate the effects of the recession.

Tile Depot branches out into bathrooms 1 May 2009
Tile and stone retailer extends customer offering with Balterley bathroom suites at selected retail outlets.

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