Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive June 2009

Home Retail Group bonus scheme attacked 30 June 2009
A new bonus scheme introduced by the Homebase and Argos parent company, which could see some executives paid up to 150% of their salaries in cash, has come under fire from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), The Times has reported.

Beales feels effect of administrations 30 June 2009
Turnover remains stable with a small drop in post tax profit, but concession sales hit by administrations.

JT Dove surrenders landmark Orchard Street site 30 June 2009
Newcastle-based builders merchant closes its original trading centre as part of business plan, which has seen three new flagship outlets open across the region.

Armed robbery at garden centre 30 June 2009
Bolton branch of Stephen H Smith's Garden & Leisure loses four-figure sum after knife-wielding thief bursts into centre in daylight raid.

B&Q offers staff new £12m bonus scheme 30 June 2009
As many companies cut back in tough retail environment, the Kingfisher-owned DIY chain introduces new bonus scheme that will benefit around 30,000 of its shop floor-based employees.

Grow your own still driving sales 29 June 2009
Garden retail sales are up 10% on average when compared with last year according to last week's HTA Retail Management Group (RMG) with grow your own a major driving force behind the uplift.

More than a third of ex-Woolies staff still unemployed 29 June 2009
Online survey conducted by reveals 64.7% have started in new jobs but around 35% are still looking for work, six months after the closure of the last Woolworths stores.

Focus launches online plant range 29 June 2009
DIY chain introduces its first internet-only range of plants in conjunction with Chessum Plants.

Retail Trust Search for a Star campaign 29 June 2009
Charity launches nationwide campaign to find the most talented variety acts in the retail sector.

Currys firm posts £140.4m loss 26 June 2009
Annual results for parent company DSG International reveal substantial loss following write-down of assets and drop in like-for like sales.

Wyevale Castleton to become commercial nursery 26 June 2009
Castleton site, which is "just down the road" from another Wyevale centre, to convert to nursery to supply other centres in the chain.

John Lewis reports ‘best week of first half’ 26 June 2009
Department store chain says brisk trading and Father’s Day spending lead to its best performance of the first half so far and a long-awaited increase in homeware sales. ditches DIY 25 June 2009
Shop Direct launches Woolworths name as e-tail store, stocking toys, garden furniture, home accessories and pick'n'mix, but no longer sells DIY or domestic appliances.

B&Q recalls hammock over safety risk 25 June 2009
DIY giant issues recall notice for wooden garden hammock after tests find water damage weakens its timber frame.

Mary Queen of shops to makes a success of the high street 25 June 2009
Third series of the BBC2 show to focus on independent businesses including DIY stores and garden centres.

B&Q launches own-brand kitchen ads 25 June 2009
DIY chain invests £1m in first ever ad campaign for Cooke & Lewis kitchen range.

Wyevale UK's best 24 June 2009
Garden centre group celebrates after being voted 'Best Garden Centre' in an online poll by Gardeners' World Magazine.

'Scam' targets Totally DIY exhibitors 24 June 2009
'Free' listings in Expo Guide could prove expensive.

Home Hardware store to open at former Woolworths site 24 June 2009
A Scottish couple plan to open a Home Hardware concept store on the site of an old Woolworths in Dunoon, Argyll.

Wyevale says no to name change 24 June 2009
Owners of Stratford Garden Centre "disappointed" by Wyevale's refusal to reconsider the renaming of its nearby store to 'Stratford-upon-Avon garden centre'.

Focus prepares CVA in bid to secure its future 23 June 2009
DIY retailer considers Company Voluntary Arrangement

Lanco Teksolve in trouble 18 June 2009
Supplier of Coolskin Oven Gloves looks for a buyer, as it becomes the latest victim of the downturn.

GIMA Awards a success 18 June 2009
Garden industry gathers to hail 'the brightest and the best in the trade' at the annual awards dinner on June 16.

BHETA calls EGM over merger unrest 18 June 2009
In a letter to members, Association president Andrew Weiss calls for an end to "destructive activity".

Plasplugs resurrected by founder 17 June 2009
Stuart Turner's new firm Turner Intl Limited (TIL) acquires business and assets of Plasplugs three months after it went into administration.

Netto competes for homeware sales 16 June 2009
UK discount chain steps up competition with a series of deals on housewares and decorating products.

B&Q introduces double-decker lorries 16 June 2009
60 of the new vehicles will be added to the DIY giant's delivery fleet in a bid to reduce road miles.

Mulcahy joins battle to re-open Woolies stores 16 June 2009
Ex-Woolworths boss Sir Geoff Mulcahy has teamed up with a group to work on opening a 200-strong 'Woolworths-style' chain.

B&Q to offer DIY classes 15 June 2009
DIY giant to help customers beat the credit crunch with instruction in home improvement techniques.

Decco man celebrates 25 years' service 15 June 2009
Paul Conway's quarter century with wholesaler is rewarded

Garden centre reports 70% sales boost after £1m makeover 12 June 2009
Golden Acres group's investment in John Browns Garden Centre pays off after two years of hard work.

B&Q steps up pressure on rival retailers 12 June 2009
DIY chain offers 15% off everything this weekend on top of any other deals running in store.

Glee organiser bullish about competition. 12 June 2009
Most people want a September garden exhibition, claims Glee show director Daniel Thurlow.

GCA announces new chairman 12 June 2009
Martin Stewart to enjoy a second stint.

Argos and Homebase enjoy 'better than expected sales' 11 June 2009
Home Retail Group posts positive Q1 results on the back of strong gardening and outdoor living sales.

Wickes names Store Manager of the Year 11 June 2009
Simon Cowling from Stevenage has been named the Wickes Store Manager of the Year.

Reward offered after Bentley Plant Centre robbed 11 June 2009
Garden centre puts up £1,000 for information leading to the recovery of stolen trees and shrubs worth £4,000.

Which? magazine slaps warning on B&Q barbecue 10 June 2009
Gardening title deems Quebec Round barbecue a safety hazard in latest charcoal grill test.

Glee to face competitor exhibition 10 June 2009
Garden Expo will become "the flagship event for the garden and outdoor living sector", hopes organiser.

UK retail sales fall 0.8% in May 9 June 2009
Like-for-like sales disappointing after 'strong Easter boost' in April, while online and mail order non-food sales 7.6% higher than a year ago.

Fire at Rushmere DIY 9 June 2009
Firefighters spend more than an hour to get blaze under control at DIY store in Lowestoft, Suffolk at the weekend.

Debenhams raises £323m to help slash debt 5 June 2009
Department store chain sells new shares to reduce £970m debt and help fund future expansion.

New chairman for Wyevale 5 June 2009
The Board of Wyevale has announced the appointment of Andrew Sells as chairman, replacing Sir Tom Hunter.

Suppliers push for breakaway associations 4 June 2009
Several prominent housewares suppliers have called for breakaway associations in the face of BHETA's merger with the BJGF (British jewellery, giftware and finishing federation).

William Sinclair profits from GYO 4 June 2009
William Sinclair's interim results for the six months to March 31 have shown a return to profitability despite being compared with a nine-month period the year before.

Stax reveals bullish sales figures 4 June 2009
Stax Trade Centres has consistently outperformed the market this spring, purchasing director Simon Wright said this week.

Online spending will increase to £20.9bn this year 3 June 2009
Recession drives customers online in search of bargains with the e-tail market set to expand by 13.3% over the course of the year.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009 highlights 3 June 2009
DIY Week paid a visit to the gardening event of the year to see what inspiration some of the industry's biggest names had to offer. Click through for Chelsea image gallery.

BHF’s raises concerns with Government over battery legislation 3 June 2009
Changes to regulations means battery recycling scheme is "a bit more manageable" for smaller retailers but some issues still need to be resolved.

Non-food prices 1.3% lower than a year ago but DIY on the up 3 June 2009
Big discounts and lower VAT mean non-food goods are cheaper than a year ago for the sixth consecutive month, but DIY and gardening shows a 2.3% increase.

Stax shows suppliers its new HQ 3 June 2009
Cash & carry giant Stax Trade Centres this week showed its massive new Manchester warehouse to an invited audience of more than 200 suppliers.

Homebase boss misses bonus 2 June 2009
Tough year for Home Retail Group hits chief executive Terry Duddy in the pocket.

B&Q doubles UK profit 2 June 2009
DIY chain's UK profits jump to £58m in Q1 thanks to warm weather and late Easter.

What customers want 2 June 2009
Survey reveals that 84% of consumers believe bathroom retailers should offer flexible opening times.

Independents named as Britain's best local businesses 2 June 2009
Webbs of Crickhowell and Wright Ironmongers make the shortlist for Which? Local Business of the Year award.

Homebase well placed despite weaker market 1 June 2009
Despite the economic pressures, which have resulted in Homebase and Argos parent Home Retail Group posting a £394m annual loss before tax, chief executive Terry Duddy says Homebase is "well positioned across the broad home enhancement market".

Ikea commits to charity drive 1 June 2009
Ikea has teamed up with charity UNICEF to support children around the world with the Sunnan solar-powered lamp.

Over 45s prefer a spot of gardening to a pint 1 June 2009
Older consumers more likely than average to spend money on gardening and home improvement than on drinking in pubs.

Inquiry after dog killed by Homebase slug pellets 1 June 2009
Calls for better labelling on hazardous products after family pet dies from ingesting own-brand pellets.


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