Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive October 2010

Homebase and B&Q ranked last in Which? online retail survey 29 October 2010
B&Q and Homebase have come bottom in the latest Which? consumer survey of 78 online retailers, with low ratings for both price and product.

Best Buy opens in Croydon 29 October 2010
Best Buy opened its fifth UK store this morning at Trafalgar Way Retail Park on the Purley Way in Croydon.

Asda trials Argos-style offer 29 October 2010
In-store ordering service 'Asda Extra' to be trialled in three Asda outlets in the north of England.

Apprentice makes rookie error at Home Hardware 28 October 2010
DIY Week readers who are fans of The Apprentice will have enjoyed last night's episode, which featured B&Q, Wolseley and Rowlands Home Hardware.

Retail jobs grow despite tough economy 28 October 2010
Retail employment went up by 2.1% in the third quarter of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009, according to the latest BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor.

Retail Trust Search for a Star continues 28 October 2010
X Factor-style competition has whittled contestants down to top 50 retail employees in a quest to find the best vocal performer for 2010 and raise funds for retail charity.

John Lewis at home opens in Swindon today 28 October 2010
Department store chain continues roll out of at home format with 40,000sq ft outlet on Mannington Retail Park.

Sales slide at Carpetright in "difficult market" 27 October 2010
Carpetright has reported a decline in group sales of 5.2% for the 12 weeks to October 23, 2010.

Wickes announces two-year extension to charity partnership 27 October 2010
DIY retailer to continue support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, after vote is put to Wickes employees.

Cameron pledges support for British business 26 October 2010
Prime Minister backs the "businesses of tomorrow" for economic growth, stresses the importance of competition and wants to get banks back lending to smaller firms.

Focus brand director Richard Bird steps down 26 October 2010
Focus DIY brand director Richard Bird has stepped down from his role to become a director of Focus' parent company FLP2.

Royal opening for RHS horticulture educational facility 25 October 2010
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall will officially open the new carbon neutral Bramall Learning Centre library at RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

Sales slip in September 25 October 2010
ONS reports 0.2% drop in sales volumes on previous month, despite positive growth seen in household goods categories and non-specialised stores.

Home Hardware welcomes newest member 25 October 2010
Avery Truman, the oldest independent store in Eltham, re-opened its doors earlier this month as the latest to adopt the Home Hardware name and fascia.

Colder weather enhances John Lewis' performance 22 October 2010
Pace picks up for department store following temperature drop, with sales of Christmas merchandise ahead of last year and shoppers wrapping up in winter clothing.

Brits may shun the high street over travel costs 22 October 2010
Rising travel expenses result in Brits spend more than £770 a year getting to the shops - before they have even bought anything.

Glee gallery goes live 22 October 2010
Some of the sights and stands spotted by DIY Week at this year's show.

Retailers hit out at CRC 'stealth tax' 21 October 2010
Retailers are "surprised and dismayed" after a £1bn environmental stealth tax was revealed in the Comprehensive Spending Review yesterday.

Decorative paints category up for Akzo in Q3 21 October 2010
Despite weak housing and construction market, Dulux parent company reports revenue increase but remains 'cautiously optimistic'.

Dragons' Den revisits Grillstream 21 October 2010
The inventors of the Grillstream grill tray will be featured on Dragons' Den this Sunday in a follow-up program to their first appearance back in August 2009.

Family spending power drops further in September 20 October 2010
Asda income tracker reports ninth consecutive month of decline, with average UK household £4 a week worse off compared with last year.

HRG profits fall as Argos customers feel the pinch 20 October 2010
Home Retail Group has confirmed a profit decline of nearly a quarter for the first half of 2010.

Home security market set to grow to £100m 20 October 2010
Basic home security measures are being ignored, despite the risk of burglary creating a huge security equipment industry, according to new research from Mintel.

John Lewis products available for collection from Waitrose 19 October 2010
Click and Collect service is rolled out to an additional 21 Waitrose branches, meaning shoppers will now be able pick-up John Lewis products along with their groceries.

Notcutts opens second Christmas store 19 October 2010
Garden centre chain Notcutts opened the second of its new Deck The Halls Christmas stores in The Centre: MK in Milton Keynes last week.

Denby supports Britain's Best 19 October 2010
Iconic tableware brand Denby has added its name to the list of big industry names supporting this Year's Britain's Best Retailer Awards.

Bents launches Christmas store in shopping centre 19 October 2010
Award-winning garden and home centre set to open specialist shop at Liverpool One this month.

Hard Landscaping Show moved back to 2012 19 October 2010
Marwood Events has announced that the 2011 Hard Landscaping Show (HLS) is moving to 2012.

More than 26,500 retailers will dissolve by 2015, says BDO 18 October 2010
More than 26,500 retailers could disappear from the high street by 2015 as consumers become increasingly canny, according to new research from accountancy firm BDO.

Obituary: Barry Cropper 15 October 2010
Barry Cropper (1953 - 2010), formerly of Beachwood Brushes, Mosley-Stone, Stanley, Lynwood Products and latterly A D Plastics, passed away on Wednesday October 6 following a fight against cancer.

OFT warns of cowboy traders 15 October 2010
As preparations for winter begin the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Age UK are warning people to be wary of rogue doorstep traders offering home improvement services.

SMEs question value of social media, says FPB 15 October 2010
More than half of Britain's small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) now use social media, according to a new survey from the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

B&Q board changes 15 October 2010
Kingfisher group commercial director Veronique Laury is to relocate to the UK from France to head up the commercial team on the B&Q board.

Consumers to spend an extra £1.6bn this Christmas 15 October 2010
Christmas 2010 is set to be the best Christmas for retailers since 2007, according to a new study from Verdict Research.

Currys launches Essentials electricals range 14 October 2010
DSG-owned electrical chain Currys has launched no-frills range of small and large kitchen appliances at value prices.

Fake trees boost festive sales at John Lewis 14 October 2010
Shoppers are preparing for the festive season earlier than ever this year, says John Lewis, as the retailer reports a strong start to Christmas trading.

Obituary: Marlows DIY & Garden Centre md Tony Williams 13 October 2010
Tony Williams, managing director of Marlows DIY & Garden Centre in Suffolk, passed away on October 1. Here, he is remembered by his daughter Sarah.

Consumer confidence takes a tumble ahead of Government Spending Review 13 October 2010
Index drops nine points to 53 in September, reversing "temporary uplift" seen in August, as shoppers left uncertain by Government action.

Small firms urged to prepare for wintry weather 12 October 2010
FPB recommends putting business continuity plans in place, as forecasters predict another harsh, snow-filled winter in the coming months.

Retail sales growth remains slow 12 October 2010
UK retail sales values for September 2010 were up 0.5% on a like-for-like basis compared with September 2009, when sales rose 2.8%, according to the latest results from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Business rates 'battering' could hit retailers hard 12 October 2010
September's Retail Price Index (RPI) threatens a business rates shock for retailers next year unless the Government takes action.

Retail administrations drop 50% 12 October 2010
Administrations for the first nine months of 2010 are down 36% compared with the same period in 2009, according to new research from Deloitte.

Wickes' turnover up 2% as showroom sales rise 11 October 2010
Wickes' parent Travis Perkins has reported a 6% increase in group turnover for the nine months to the end of September 2010, compared with the same period last year.

Big-ticket spending up on home products 11 October 2010
Homewares market reports 10% growth in September, as consumers rush to make purchases ahead of VAT increase in January.

Rightway opens Frodsham store 11 October 2010
New branch well received, while DIY and gardening chain continues with plan to reach to 20 outlets by 2013.

Totally shows set to be a third larger 11 October 2010
The latest news from the Totally shows is that the 2011 event is set to increase in size by a third, thanks to strong bookings and a move from hall 10 to hall 11.

Kingfisher considers DIY franchise roll-out 8 October 2010
B&Q parent looks at potential of expanding into new markets with franchised stores and own-brand products.

Houseproud goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness 8 October 2010
Houseproud of Morningside is showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness this month by creating pink window displays.

Home categories continue to show strong growth 8 October 2010
Textiles, carpets and fitted furniture lead the way, as department store group posts weekly sales rise of 14%.

Dobbies on track to reach 100 centres by 2020 8 October 2010
Dobbies chief executive James Barnes has confirmed that the company is still on track to have 100 garden centres by 2020, while ambitions to create a £1bn business "have not changed".

Marks & Spencer reports strong Q2 results 7 October 2010
Group sales up 6.5% for 13-week period, with home category showing the biggest rise.

Sales up at Dunelm as the retailer closes in on 100 stores 6 October 2010
Homewares retailer Dunelm has reported sales growth of 11.6% to £126.7m for the 13 weeks to October 2.

Non-food driving ahead at Sainsbury's 6 October 2010
Sainsbury's second quarter trading statement, released this morning and covering the 16 weeks to October 2, shows non-food is still growing at three times the rate of food.

John Lewis to launch mobile website 6 October 2010
Department store chain becomes the latest retailer to take advantage of the growing use of mobile internet devices, with an 'app' planned for next year.

Garden centre visitor numbers up 10% since 2006 6 October 2010
The number of adults visiting garden centres has risen by 10% in the past four years, according to a new report from the Horticultural Trades Association.

Good gardening saves on gas bills 5 October 2010
Some intelligent planting could save the average family £134 in gas bills if research from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is borne out.

Timber industry backs Timber Expo 2011 5 October 2010
Some 200 delegates attended the launch of Timber Expo 2011 last week at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, with more than 20 companies booking or reserving stands on the day.

B&Q campaigns to cut VAT on 'green goods' 5 October 2010
B&Q has today announced the launch of a petition as part of its campaign to get the Government to cut VAT on greener products.

Best Buy announces further store openings 5 October 2010
Three new sites in Hayes, Rotherham and Enfield will take the US electrical giant's UK store portfolio to 11 by the end of next year.

Glee emphasises quality over quantity 4 October 2010
Glee has reported a rise in the number of garden centre, DIY superstore, furniture and builders merchants buyers to this year's show, despite a drop in total visitor numbers.

The Range doubles profits to £20m 4 October 2010
Home, DIY and garden retailer The Range has almost doubled its pre-tax profits from £10.2m to £20.3m for the year to January 2010.

Klondyke buys Byrkley Garden Centre 4 October 2010
Klondyke Group has announced the acquisition of Byrkley Garden Centre in Rangemore, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffs, for an undisclosed sum.

Notcutts opens first ever Christmas store 1 October 2010
Garden centre group Notcutts is opening its first ever Christmas store in Bluewater shopping centre in Kent today.

Business groups wary of future wage rise 1 October 2010
As the national minimum wage increases 2%, the BRC warns of the effect of another increase next year, as retailers struggle to create jobs in tough conditions.

Britain's Best Retailer Awards announces compere 1 October 2010
Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2010 has announced today that comic actor Steve Furst will act as compere at the event.

Independent electrical retailer enters liquidation 1 October 2010
An independent electrical retailer based in Norwich has entered liquidation after struggling to compete with online retailers and national chains.

Autumn/winter home ranges strong at John Lewis 1 October 2010
Overall sales up 15% for department store chain. With home collections and white goods stealing the show.

Ikea reveals profits of €2.5bn for 2009 1 October 2010
The Ikea Group has publicly revealed its profits for the first time, releasing a yearly summary in a bid to share more information about the company.

Matalan chief executive to step down 1 October 2010
Alistair McGeorge to leave retailer by January but could retain position as a non-executive board member.

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