Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive August 2009

Lochlands Garden Centre hit by blaze 26 August 2009
More than 20 firefighters battled to bring the fire under control in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Hobbycraft doubles expansion plan 26 August 2009
Strong sales encourage arts and crafts superstore chain to increase the rate of its store roll-out programme.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: There's still time to be Britain's Best! 26 August 2009
Deadline for entry into Britain's Best Retailer Awards has been extended by a week to Friday September 4 - so there's still time to prove that you are one of the best retailers in the country.

Wolf-Garten closes UK office 25 August 2009
Garden products manufacturer is to close its Worcester office as EP Barrus takes over as exclusive UK distributor for the brand.

Recycled nappies to be used for DIY products 25 August 2009
Recycling technologies developer Knowaste launches new venture, which sees roofing materials manufactured from recycled plastic in nappies and incontinence products.

Is the industry ready for the light bulb ban? 25 August 2009
News of the impending ban on opaque incandescent light bulbs has been rife but have you got your facts right and how do you plan to adapt your range?

John Lewis sees boost in sales of white goods and furniture 24 August 2009
Weekly sales miss last year's level of trade by just 1.4% as online sales see double-digit growth and hard-hit categories experience a return.

Positive signs for UK economy 24 August 2009
ICAEW's Business Confidence monitor reveals record rise in confidence and predicts that GDP will rise 0.5% this quarter, signalling the end of the recession.

Landlords set to back Focus CVA 24 August 2009
Creditors meet with Focus today to seal a company voluntary agreement that could see 5,000 jobs saved at the DIY chain.

Focus CVA approved 24 August 2009
DIY chain pleased with outcome after majority of its creditors vote for company voluntary agreement in today's meetings.

BHETA announces new director of housewares sector 21 August 2009
Will Jones will take up the new role in September, replacing Helen Hibbert who held the position in the interim, following Pam Plant's departure.

Retail sales rise 3.3% in July 21 August 2009
Household goods stores pick up, driven by hardware and furniture retailers, says ONS report.

Sainsbury's launches non-food catalogue 20 August 2009
Customers offered 'taster' of kitchen, dining, DIY and bathroom ranges available on supermarket website.

Home Hardware pays out record rebate 20 August 2009
Dealer-owned wholesaler pays £87,000 back to members as local consumers boost sales.

UK homeowners still reliant on DIY professionals 20 August 2009
Research commissioned by WD-40 reveals that, despite the recession, the British public are not rolling up their sleeves and tackling DIY problems around the house.

UPDATED: Dobbies wins approval for allotments 20 August 2009
Sefton Council recommends that go ahead be given for 20 allotments on land at Dobbies Southport centre.

Drop in sales for Lowe's as US puts DIY projects on hold 19 August 2009
World's second largest DIY retailer sees 19.1% drop in net earnings, as "cautious consumers" remain reluctant to take on home improvement projects.

£1,500 worth of fish stolen from garden centre 19 August 2009
Thieves escape with fish, including 10 Koi Carp after raid on Maidenhead Aquatics at St John's Garden Centre.

BRC says 'scrap VAT on eco-friendly white goods' 17 August 2009
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) believes the Government is "working against its own objectives" for reducing carbon emissions by charging full VAT on green domestic appliances.

Staff stage sit-in protest at Irish DIY store 17 August 2009
Employees at 4Home Superstores in Co Cork took part in protest over redundancies after it was announced store was to close the next day.

John Lewis sales hit by warm weekend 14 August 2009
Saturday's sunshine proved too tempting for shoppers as the department store chain experienced a 5.3% drop in trade for the week ending August 8.

Allied Carpets closes 142 stores 14 August 2009
Allied makes 850 redundancies after administrators fail to find a buyer for the ailing carpet chain.

Clas Ohlson signs contract for Reading store 13 August 2009
Swedish 'usefulshopp' set to open new 1,900 sq m branch in main shopping area of town.

Everbuild doubles vehicle fleet 13 August 2009
Building products manufacturer doubles the size of its fleet of branded articulated vehicles to meet European demand.

UPDATED: Croydon DIY retailer prosecuted for underage knife sale 13 August 2009
DIY Den fined £715 after selling knife blades to two schoolgirls in council sting operation.

Armed raid at Barton Grange 12 August 2009
A garden centre employee was tied up and the manager held at knifepoint in an early morning attack on Monday, August 10.

Grey skies boost DIY over summer 11 August 2009
Wet weather and discounting turn homeowners' focus indoors, increasing sales of homewares and furniture.

Armour Garden opens new showroom 11 August 2009
New kid on the block opens 100 sq m outdoor furniture showroom in Hindley Green, Manchester as part of its 'aggressive' pursuit of market share.

Obituary: David Messam 10 August 2009
Founder of David Messams in Chichester passed away August 9 after 50 years in the industry.

Bayer Garden appoints new head 10 August 2009
Former head of business planning Colin Golding takes the helm.

Loan availability improves for UK businesses but at what price? 10 August 2009
Firms finding it easier to obtain new credit for the first time this year, despite 50% reporting a rise in finance costs and the continuing struggle for trade credit insurance.

Home sales up for John Lewis on back of 'staycation' trend 7 August 2009
Department store chain experiences boost in sales of furniture, lighting and textiles, as well as big ticket items, thanks to increase in footfall as people holiday at home.

51% of businesses are still considering redundancies 7 August 2009
Survey by British Chambers of Commerce finds that one in two firms plan to make redundancies over the next six months.

Focus pursues CVA to shed unprofitable leases 6 August 2009
DIY chain in talks with creditors over deal that could save around £12m a year from non-trading properties.

The colour of money 5 August 2009
Colour trend research by Akzo Nobel reveals that people's choice of colour is influenced by the state of the economy, with neutral tones favoured for interiors during a downturn.

Rise in footfall signals ‘welcome step forward’ for retail 5 August 2009
Synovate records an encouraging year-on-year increase in non-food footfall, with July up 8.4% on previous month.

Topps Tiles sees 9.9% revenue drop 5 August 2009
Tile and flooring specialist reports a further sales fall of 0.3% on half-year results, following the release of its latest interim management statement.

Sales up 7.5% for Carpetright 5 August 2009
Carpet and floor coverings retailer reveals encouraging results, with first like-for-like sales growth in a quarter for more than a year.

Totally shows see positive signs 4 August 2009
Show director Paul Grinsell believes 'optimism is returning' in the DIY and security sectors.

Ironmongery Direct defies credit crunch 4 August 2009
Half year results for Ironmongery Direct, released this morning show the company is bucking the retail trend with turnover up 36% to £4.5m compared with £3.3m for the same period in 2008 and operating profits up 62% to £105k compared with £65k.

BHETA makes Helen Hibbert interim housewares director 4 August 2009
In a conversation with DIY Week this morning BHETA president Andrew Weiss confirmed Helen Hibbert's appointment as interim housewares director.

Waitrose to stock John Lewis homewares 3 August 2009
John Lewis Partnership has announced that homewares, kitchenware and gifts will be sold through Waitrose's online shop and in some of its best performing stores.

Strong results follow Wyevale name change 3 August 2009
The Garden Centre Group (formerly Wyevale Garden Centres) has reported strong sales for the half year to June 30, with like-for-like sales up 6%.

Almost 12,000 independents have closed as high street vacancy soars 3 August 2009
Local Data Company reveals average retail vacancy has reached 12%, with the North feeling the pinch worst in England and Wales.

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