Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive February 2010

Garden centre break-in 26 February 2010
Trusthorpe Garden Centre was broken into on Monday night despite recently installing a new security system worth £1,500.

Best sales on high street for more than two years but DIY still struggles 26 February 2010
February exceeds expectations with homewares and furniture up, while sales volumes of hardware and DIY continue to fall.

Payment performance improves again 26 February 2010
UK businesses improved their payment performance for the fifth time in the last six months in January, according to the latest Late Payment Index from Experian.

John Lewis reports 40% jump in furniture sales 26 February 2010
Footfall up at department stores during half term week, with shoppers spending on beds, bedroom furniture and home accessories.

B&Q shoots new ad in Sutton store 25 February 2010
DIY chain continues its 'real staff, real value' campaign with new set of ads featuring employees at the Surrey store.

Garden centre groper found guilty 25 February 2010
The elderly proprietor of a Preston garden centre has been found guilty of groping two female customers.

Facebook campaign loses fight to keep Homebase ad makeover at Carlisle station 25 February 2010
Almost 8,000 members signed up in a bid to maintain vibrant paint scheme and garden creation at busy Citadel station.

Habitat unveils voluntary redundancy package 25 February 2010
Habitat offers voluntary redundancy packages to its London head office staff in a bid to cut costs and return to profitable trading.

Au Naturale enters administration 25 February 2010
Homewares retailer Au Naturale Limited will close 27 stores with an estimated loss of 270 jobs after entering into administration on 8 February.

World's biggest HI retailers see a return to DIY 24 February 2010
Home Depot and Lowe's report strong trading in Q4, as increase in consumer confidence boosts discretionary spending.

Travis Perkins sees 2009 retail profits soar 24 February 2010
Travis Perkins has seen group revenue decline by 8% yet its retail arm continues to grow, according to preliminary results released today.

Scotts contests Which? compost trial 24 February 2010
Gardencare manufacturer claims testers did not follow pack instructions, as Which? Gardening issues a 'Don't Buy' warning on Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Compost.

Big move for Bosmere 24 February 2010
Bosmere Products has moved its entire distribution centre from Portsmouth to a new 30,000sq ft facility in Crawley, Sussex.

Sanders Garden World to create 100 allotments 23 February 2010
Brent Knoll-based garden centre submits planning application for grow your own plots in empty field.

Totally shows quadruple visitor figures 23 February 2010
Totally shows organiser Brintex has announced that visitor numbers at this year's shows were almost four times higher than in 2009.

Last chance to enter: Deadline March 5 23 February 2010
There is only one week left to enter your products for the Product of the Year Awards 2010.

Axe swings at Makro 23 February 2010
500 departmental managers and supervisors enter into a period of consultation as the cash and carry chain "restructures" its workforce.

Best Buy Europe eyes Homebase superstores 22 February 2010
Home Retail Group has confirmed to DIY Week that electricals group Best Buy Europe is close to acquiring two Homebase superstores.

Ace Hardware to stock Craftsman tools 22 February 2010
Sears Holdings turns to outside help to grow sales of the popular tool brand, as department stores struggle to sell the range.

Blooms rents out GYO plots 19 February 2010
Solihull garden centre makes 44 plots available from £5 a week for customers who want to grow their own food this year.

Garden centre in green belt planning dispute 19 February 2010
A garden centre owner in Walmersley, near Bury, is in dispute with his local council over a temporary car park, laid on green belt land.

Competitors wade into insulation price war 19 February 2010
Echoing the price-slashing activities that took place last year, Homebase and Focus DIY respond to B&Q's 84p deal with heavy discounting on loft insulation.

Sales slip by 10% at Akzo Nobel 19 February 2010
Dulux's parent company Akzo Nobel has reported a 10% decline in both sales volume and revenue for 2009.

User-generated comment boosts B&Q's online figures 18 February 2010
Customer reviews and feedback leads to 40% increase in product click-throughs on DIY giant's website www.diy.com

Ironmongery Direct posts record sales of £10m 18 February 2010
Essex-based ironmongery supplier has "excellent" 2009, despite downturn in building trade.

Homebase makes over train station in new ad campaign 18 February 2010
Carlisle station painted in technicolour stripes and kitted out with Homebase furniture for filming of home improvement chain's latest advert.

Kingfisher Q4 lfl sales see return to negative 18 February 2010
Snow early in the year forces Kingfisher Q4 lfl sales growth back into decline after a strong third quarter.

Paint shop targeted in letterbox arson attack 18 February 2010
Suspicious blaze causes serious damage to Decorator Centre in Dorchester.

Asda aims for number one spot in non-food retailing 18 February 2010
Walmart-owned supermarket chain plans to accelerate the expansion of its Asda Living format, as well as opening 100 smaller format stores.

B&Q slashes loft insulation to just 84p a roll 17 February 2010
DIY chain could instigate another price war after announcing a four-day extravaganza, with triple packs of insulation offered at £2.50.

Wentworth completes £1.2m restaurant development 17 February 2010
South Yorkshire-based centre adds 350-seater eatery to its 7.7acre site with the help of Malcolm Scott Consultants.

South London wholesaler in liquidation 17 February 2010
New Cross-based cash and carry operation WACS Trade Centre appointed liquidators earlier this month and reached a resolution to wind up the business last week (Feb 8).

Ikea execs sacked over bribery allegations 16 February 2010
Swedish retailer Ikea has dismissed two executives from its Russian operations after they were allegedly complicit in bribing a local supplier.

Pyrex owner sells UK distribution arm 16 February 2010
Tableware manufacturer Arc International has sold Arc International Tableware UK Ltd (AITUK) for an undisclosed sum. The Pyrex brand is unaffected.

Appeal court ruling means £20m rebate for retailers 16 February 2010
An appeal court defeat for the company that licenses recorded music in shops is a victory for retailers, says the British Retail Consortium.

Two weeks wasted waiting for tradesmen! 15 February 2010
Brits spend more than two weeks of their lives waiting for tradesmen, according to new research.

Spectrum Brands incorporates Russell Hobbs into its portfolio 12 February 2010
Spectrum Brands signs agreement to bring Russell Hobbs' small appliance brands within its operating structure to form a new £3bn global company.

Multiples up the ante with more promotional activity this month 12 February 2010
In a bid to get consumers spending again Tile Depot launches BOGOF deal, while B&Q, Focus, Wickes and Homebase, offer as much as 70% off kitchens and bathrooms.

Barrettine's birthday bash 12 February 2010
Chemicals manufacturer Barrettine is celebrating more than 130 years in business as an independent company.

John Lewis 'at home' to open in Croydon 12 February 2010
Department store chain's second new format store will open its doors this autumn.

Wolf-Garten distributor adds Wilkinson Sword brand 12 February 2010
EP Barrus secures a trade license agreement to market and sell the Wilkinson Sword range of garden tools in the UK and ROI.

Carbon compliance deadline approaches 12 February 2010
Time is ticking for manufacturers who need to reduce their carbon emissions before the government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme kicks off in April 2010.

Fastener Fair sold 11 February 2010
Mack Brooks Exhibitions has acquired the entire shareholding of Fastener Fairs Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

B&Q and Richard Branson offer insulation help 11 February 2010
Euan Sutherland and Sir Richard Branson give a helping hand to insulate a Londoner's loft in support of Prince of Wales' new Start initiative.

Mary Portas films latest series at Totally 11 February 2010
Retail guru takes Lightwater Homecare in hand for the latest series of her BBC show Mary Queen of Shops, with live product demo at the trade exhibition.

January sales worst for 15 years 10 February 2010
UK high street has "awful start to the year" as heavy snowfall stops shoppers spending.

Show party raises £17k for Rainy Day Trust 10 February 2010
Industry charity the Rainy Day Trust is an estimated £17,000 better off after a successful fund-raising party at this week's Birmingham exhibitions: Spring Fair, Totally DIY, Totally Tools and Totally Secure.

Retail buyers pick the show's top new products 10 February 2010
Faithfull, Eco-Ezee, Yale, Holdfast, Luxform and Trollul were the six exhibitors who picked up Gold Show Stopper awards at this week's Totally DIY show in Birmingham.

Focus disputes claims that 'cash is tight' 9 February 2010
Home improvement retailer plays down reports that it is struggling and has been forced to ask for a payment holiday on rent.

FADS Parent company enters administration 8 February 2010
Divalimit, the parent company of FADS, Texstyle World and Leveys has been placed in administration little more than a year after it purchased the brands according to reports.

Homebase launches tools from 99p 5 February 2010
A new Value range of DIY essentials launched by Homebase this week includes tools offered for sale for less than a pound.

Thief 'couldn't be bothered' to queue in DIY shop 5 February 2010
Man walks out of Homebase store with two power tools because he didn't want to wait in line to pay.

Dobbies centres to co-locate with Tesco stores 5 February 2010
Tesco-owned garden centre chain aims to quadruple its number of outlets over the next eight years with a number of new branches to be built alongside supermarkets.

Garden & Leisure Group supports better environmental policies in garden centres 3 February 2010
Garden centre chain backs environmental campaigner Sir Jonathan Porrit’s criticism that garden centres are complacent about having environmental policies.

Homebase introduces re-useable packaging 3 February 2010
Homebase parent company Home Retail Group (HRG) has introduced a reusable bag as replacement packaging for sofas from its Homebase and Argos brands.

Snow keeps shoppers at home in January 3 February 2010
January 2010 sees the worst start to a new year for retailers in half a decade, as footfall drops 5%.

New miracle spray-on glass to launch at B&Q 2 February 2010
Silica-based solution, which makes cleaning easier and protects surfaces from bacteria, will be available at DIY chain this spring.

Bents named Garden Centre of the Year…again 2 February 2010
Glazebury-based centre wins prestigious GCA award for the second year in a row.

Make sure you're a winner! 1 February 2010
Be the best: The countdown to the Product of the Year Awards has begun!

B&Q doubles apprenticeship scheme 1 February 2010
In time for National Apprenticeship Week (Feb 1-5) B&Q has announced that it will double its apprenticeship intake this year.

Battery recycling not just down to retailers, says BRC 1 February 2010
Trade association questions methods of collecting used batteries and believes retailers should not be expected to bear the entire responsibility for meeting recycling targets.

Cook Live! comes to Spring Fair 1 February 2010
'Kitchen theatre' will showcase exhibitors' products, with celebrity chefs such as Raymond Blanc already lined up for the show.

Trumeter bought out of administration 1 February 2010
Private equity firm Energize Capital has bought measuring tool manufacturer Trumeter for an undisclosed sum. The firm was placed in the hands of administrators Leonard Curtis on Friday after failing to secure a finance deal.

Housing market slump impacts Ikea sales 1 February 2010
The Swedish furniture and home accessory retailer has reported a 58% drop in pre-tax profit for the 12 months to August 31 2009.

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