Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive April 2010

Best Buy opens this morning 30 April 2010
As US retail chain Best Buy opens the doors on its first UK store this morning there may be a few surprises on offer - including electric vehicles, scooters and bikes.

Garden centre closes to make room for station car park 30 April 2010
Abbeydale Garden Company in Sheffield will close in June, with the land lined up for use as a car park for Dore railway station.

GfK sees 'improving trend' 29 April 2010
March saw sales of durable goods rise 3.3% in March compared with the same month last year, with DIY and garden only just behind the average. GfK says "worst of credit crunch appears to be over" but consumers remain cautious.

B&Q announces bank holiday bargains for May 29 April 2010
B&Q is launching its biggest ever May price investment campaign in preparation for the double May bank holiday DIY season, the retailer announced yesterday.

Best Buy goes after Currys with consumer ad campaign 29 April 2010
US electricals giant Best Buy has set Currys firmly in its sights with a new price comparison advert ahead of its first store opening at Thurrock retail park tomorrow.

Kynaston's to close after 104 years 29 April 2010
Owner of Essex-based ironmongers blames sheds for demise as it plans to close its door for good next month.

Growth continues on the high street 28 April 2010
Retail sales up for third consecutive month as shoppers spend despite fragile economy.

Home Retail sees 11% slip in pre-tax profits 28 April 2010
Home Retail Group (HRG), owner of Argos and Homebase, has reported an 11% drop in pre-tax profits from £328m to £293m in its results for the year to 27 February 2010.

'Toxic sofa' claimants to get £20m payout 28 April 2010
Hundreds of consumers injured by 'toxic sofas' are to receive a shared payout of up to £20m, the High Court agreed on Monday.

Trading slows at Dunelm after strong Easter 27 April 2010
Homewares retailer reports a slowdown in sales over past four months, despite year-to-date figures up 19.9%, bolstered by strong Easter promotion.

Businesses settle bills faster 27 April 2010
UK businesses are paying their bills up to three days faster than they did this time last year.

Lighting Association launches awards 27 April 2010
2010 will see the LA's first Lighting Industry Awards. Closing date for entries Friday, May 28.

Family finances decline again in March 26 April 2010
Asda income tracker reveals British households are £2 a week worse off than last year, with rising transport costs and inflation rates putting pressure on spending power.

Brits committed to gardening in 2010, as GYO trend shows no sign of abating 26 April 2010
Weather permitting; UK gardeners plan to be out in full force this year, with 45% getting set to grow their own produce, according to latest research from the HTA.

EDRA adds weight to Product of the Year Awards 26 April 2010
The European DIY Retail Association (EDRA) has confirmed its support for this year's awards by sponsoring the Decorative Product of the Year category.

Outdoor living up at John Lewis 23 April 2010
Shoppers seek out summer ranges from garden furniture to barbecues, while home and kitchen ranges still strong.

Cautious optimism at Akzo Nobel 23 April 2010
Akzo Nobel have reported revenue growth of 6% in their Q1 2010 results published today.

Glee grows stronger with floorspace sales up 20% 23 April 2010
Sales of exhibition floorspace at Glee 2010 are more than 20% higher compared with this time last year, members of the Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association heard at its AGM yesterday.

Changes at the top for Focus 23 April 2010
Bill Grimsey is stepping down as chief executive at Focus to become chairman at the DIY chain.

Dobbies ceo aims for a £1bn business 22 April 2010
Dobbies announced total sales of £104m for the financial year end (March 2009 to February 2010) on Tuesday, breaking the £100m mark for the first time.

FADS creditors to receive part payment 22 April 2010
Hodgsons, appointed administrators for FADS parent company Divalimit, told DIY Week that the company's creditors are now likely to receive a 'prescribed-part payment' following last week's deadline for creditor claims.

Retail health shows positive signs in March 22 April 2010
Non-food sales values up 6.7% for the month, with stronger demand expected to drive growth in Q2.

Defra to work with garden industry on hosepipe ban code 21 April 2010
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) says it will keep up pressure on the Government after assurances that the garden industry will be involved in discussions over a code of practice on hosepipe bans.

B&Q partners JCB to launch new tool range 21 April 2010
B&Q has joined up with construction equipment manufacturer JCB to develop a range of power and hand tools.

Easter holiday boosts footfall and sales in the capital 20 April 2010
Retail sales up almost 10% in central London in March, with department stores attracting visitors.

New roles to be announced at GIMA AGM 20 April 2010
Spencer Goodall will be announced as the new president of the Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association (GIMA) at its AGM on Thursday.

Tesco commits to non-food sector 20 April 2010
Tesco has confirmed its commitment to growing its non-food stores in its preliminary results statement for 2009/2010.

John Lewis pushes 'Never Knowingly Undersold' with new ad campaign 20 April 2010
£6m marketing push on price promise signals a first for the department store chain, with TV ad set to debut this Friday.

More big names support Product of the Year Awards 20 April 2010
Momentum gathers pace for the Product of the Year Awards 2010, with two new high profile sponsors signing up to show their support for the most prestigious awards event for the whole home improvement industry.

Jegs named Direct Diamond Supplier of the Year 19 April 2010
The BHF Direct Company awarded its 'suppliers of the year' last week at its annual Away Day on April 14th.

Online sales up 60% over Easter 16 April 2010
UK shoppers beat the queues this Easter by making their DIY purchases from the comfort of their own homes, says payment fraud protection specialist Retail Decisions (ReD).

Weekly sales up at John Lewis 16 April 2010
Sales at John Lewis were up 0.6% year on year in the week to April 10.

Shoppers 'tiptoe' back onto high street but poor weather hits Easter footfall 16 April 2010
Synovate urges retailers to take heart from 'above seasonal average', despite wet weather resulting in an 8.5% drop in shopper numbers over the first week of Easter.

Consumer confidence drops in March as election looms 15 April 2010
Confidence among shoppers sees largest monthly fall since July 2008, while spending index picks up.

The BRC reacts to political pledges 15 April 2010
The BRC has released its response to the three main parties' manifestos, which were published this week in the run up to May's general election.

Peat-free compost sales strong for William Sinclair as it receives £9m for Bolton Fell peat bog 15 April 2010
Compost manufacturer reports strong trading and announces £9m advance payment from Defra to cease peat harvesting at its Bolton Fell site.

First independent garden centre joins Growing Media Initiative 15 April 2010
Aylett Nurseries in St Albans has become the first independent garden centre to become a full member of the Growing Media Initiative (GMI), the cross-industry scheme to reduce peat in bagged growing media.

Obituary: David Quayle 15 April 2010
David Quayle, one of the co-founders of B&Q, has died aged 73.

Sick-leave rules stop small firms hiring, says FSB 14 April 2010
New rules on long-term sick leave are preventing small firms from hiring new staff, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Wolseley to double number of kitchen showrooms 14 April 2010
Build and Plumb Center parent plans to double number of kitchen studio showrooms it will open across the UK.

No buyer found for FADS 13 April 2010
Administrators see 'no prospects of recovery for the ongoing business', and have initiated a closing down procedure of the decorating chain. Twelve of the 16 retail outlets that were still trading have already closed.

Retail administrations fall to lowest level in four years 13 April 2010
The number of retailers entering into administration fell to its lowest level in four years in the first quarter of 2010.

Easter boosts sales on the high street 13 April 2010
Total sales up 6.6% in March, with homewares driven by mid-season sales but BRC warns of consumer caution and a 'gloomier picture'.

Sales up at Golden Acres 12 April 2010
Garden centre group Golden Acres has reported a 20% retail sales increase.

Consumers shop home categories over Easter period 12 April 2010
Sales of furniture and textiles saw a boost on the high street in March, with shoppers attracted by 'cleverly targeted promotions'.

John Newcomb to stand in BHETA presidential election 12 April 2010
BHETA has announced that vice president John Newcomb will stand as president at the June 3 agm, with the full backing of the board and the sector committees. A number of other representatives will also stand for key positions on the board and on the committees.

Home Retail shares climb after bid rumours 12 April 2010
Home Retail Group was a top riser on the stock market today after media speculation suggested Asda parent Wal-Mart is eyeing the British retailer as a potential acquisition.

EPE wins at Home Hardware show 9 April 2010
EPE International was voted the 'best display stand' at Home Hardware's Spring Trade Show at Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter on March 9.

Easter and price competitor check drives sales at John Lewis 9 April 2010
Department store's weekly sales up 30% on 2009, with its Never Knowingly Undersold campaign boosting sales in home categories.

Brits lack interest in DIY compared with Europe 8 April 2010
British houses are in the worst state of repair compared to the rest of Europe, with nearly every second home in need of renovation, according to research released last week by Bosch.

Employee theft causes significant losses, says G4S 8 April 2010
Almost one in ten retail employees have committed a crime against their employer in the last 12 months, says new research from G4S Secure Solutions.

Mica DIY becomes a co-operative 8 April 2010
Trading group changes business model and appoints new board of directors, while managing director Steve Ball takes up role of chief executive.

Wickes trials new-format stores 7 April 2010
Wickes is trialling smaller format kitchen and bathroom stores in a bid to soak up market share left by the collapse of MFI in 2008.

Brits' spending power continues to decline 7 April 2010
Average UK family £6 a week worse off in February 2010 than they were a year ago.

Shop price inflation slows in March 7 April 2010
Non-food inflation drops 0.6% – the first time since the VAT reversal – as retailers drive footfall with promotional activity over the Easter period.

Garden Centre Group tests Easter Sunday opening 7 April 2010
The Garden Centre Group tested trading laws last weekend by opening 74 stores across England and Wales on Easter Sunday despite the ban.

UK's upturn still on course but recovery is fragile, says the BCC 7 April 2010
British economy avoids a double-dip recession but the country is still at serious risk of a setback, according to results of recent survey.

Charity Shoot in aid of the Rainy Day Trust attracts top retailers 6 April 2010
Thursday 3rd June - a date for the diary and not to be missed. An opportunity to spend a day at the UK's premier clay shooting school along with some of the UK's Top DIY & Home Enhancement Suppliers and Retailers.

MBO of ADP commercial division 6 April 2010
The commercial division of ADP has returned to private ownership, four years after its acquisition from Kerridge.

B&Q joins the Rainy Day Trust 4 April 2010
B&Q, Europe's largest DIY retailer, has become a corporate member of the Rainy Day Trust, the charity of the home improvement industry.

Danaher and Cooper Tools form joint tools business 2 April 2010
US firms Danaher Corp, which makes the Craftsman tool brand, and Cooper Industrial, whose brands include Campbell, Apex and Crescent, have announced a joint tool venture.

B&Q to dispose of Croydon development site 2 April 2010
B&Q parent Kingfisher has decided to release its freehold development site at Fiveways in Croydon.

Soaring business rates will harm jobs, says BRC 1 April 2010
A series of new property tax increases could harm retailers' ability to support the millions of jobs they provide, the British Retail Consortium said today.

B&Q to utilise 'power of wee' in compost accelerator 1 April 2010
Litre bottles of new Wee&Q will retail for just 10p, made up of urine collected from the DIY store's plumbing system.

Jeff Moody leaves BDC 1 April 2010
Jeff Moody and Ray Taylor, two of the three-strong team who led a management buyout of BDC in 2008, have left the company. The third, Steve Gallagher, has been retained as commercial director by new md Eamonn Swift.

Garden Expo cancelled 1 April 2010
Clarion Events, organiser of Garden Expo 2010, has announced the show has been cancelled due to lack of support.

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