Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive May 2010

Brits' to spend more time and money in the garden 28 May 2010
Recent survey reveals British gardening habits, with people in Bristol investing more money in their gardens and Gloucester residents more likely to get frisky in the back yard.

Top of the shops - Which? reveals the high street's best and worst 28 May 2010
Lakeland has been named Britain's best shop, coming joint first with audio-visual chain Richer Sounds in the 2010 Which? high street survey.

Out to shop, forgot to stop! 28 May 2010
A customer at a garden centre in Buckinghamshire was left red faced after she drove straight into a greenhouse on display near the car park.

Asda buys Netto 28 May 2010
The move signals supermarket chain's commitment to smaller store format, as it plans to incorporate 193 Netto stores into its portfolio.

Typhoon bought by Rayware 28 May 2010
Rayware announces acquisition of intellectual property and stock for Typhoon Housewares UK Ltd.

Stax raises funds for RDT with new promotion 27 May 2010
Football-themed 'Everyone's a Winner' promotion offers Stax customers the chance to win prizes and raise money for industry charity.

Glee offers marketing workshops for exhibitors 26 May 2010
Organisers of Glee have announced they will once again team up with GIMA to offer exhibitors at this year's show a series of marketing workshops to help them get the most out of their three days at the NEC.

Brits risk dangerous DIY to save money 26 May 2010
New research reveals that 31% of people would fit a gas appliance in the hope of saving as little as £60.

Obituary: Roger Aylett 26 May 2010
Roger Aylett, founder of Aylett Nurseries, has died aged 76.

Typhoon falls into administration 26 May 2010
Housewares supplier calls in administrators yesterday but a buyer is already waiting in the wings.

Product of the Year 2010 video goes live 26 May 2010
You've heard the results and seen the fabulous photos, now check out the new video of the Product of the Year Awards 2010!

US homewares chain sees sales recovery 25 May 2010
US chain William-Sonoma, which owns the Pottery Barn brand, has beaten revenue expectations in the first quarter of 2010, with sales rising 17.3% to $718m in the period ending May 2.

Your vote, your choice 25 May 2010
With a little over a week to go before members vote for a new BHETA president, it's difficult to call which of the two candidates will be successful.

Chelsea set to be a scorcher 25 May 2010
RHS flower show opens today with a host of award-winning gardens, following a glorious press day.

M&S profit up 4.6%, but outlook remains cautious 25 May 2010
Group sales at Marks & Spencer increased 3.2% to £9.3bn in the year to March 27 2010, while adjusted profit before tax rose 4.6% to £632.5m, according to a statement of results released today.

Garden centre manager to plead guilty 24 May 2010
The former assistant manager of Tunbridge Wells Garden Centre has indicated that he will plead guilty to stealing more than £14,000 in cash from his employers.

Dobbies to create 120 jobs with new store 24 May 2010
Dobbies is set to open a new £8m store in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, in the autumn, creating 120 full-time and part-time jobs.

RHS introduces Chelsea 2010 Plant of the Year award 21 May 2010
Royal Horticultural Society launches search to find the most inspiring new plant at its famous annual gardening event - the Chelsea Flower Show.

Garden security tops the bill this summer 21 May 2010
Gardeners looking to remodel their outdoor space plan to make security their priority over the summer months, according to new survey.

TV ad boosts footfall at John Lewis 21 May 2010
Overall footfall at the retail chain was driven last week by heightened awareness of 'Never Knowingly Undersold', the main focus of the company's latest television advert.

Wolfcraft re-enters UK market 21 May 2010
German tool and accessories manufacturer Wolfcraft is returning to the UK after partnering with Birmingham-based tool distributor Brian Hyde Limited.

Leboff hands charity presidency to DIY Week publisher 21 May 2010
Long-standing Rainy Day Trust board member Ashley Leboff has stepped down from the charity after 20 years as a trustee - the last two of them as president.

Argos launches iphone shopping app 21 May 2010
General merchandise retailer launches new application for Apple mobile devices, which will allow customers to browse more than 25,000 products on the go.

Focus DIY offers summer savings card 21 May 2010
Focus DIY are offering a summer discount card for customers spending £50 in store or online from May 21 - 31.

Home improvement on the up, says Lowe's 20 May 2010
World's second largest DIY retailer reports net earnings of $489m for Q1 and is optimistic as discretionary spending picks up in the US.

GIMA opens charity golf day up to the industry 20 May 2010
Trade association announces there is still space for four more teams to play at charity event on June 9.

Ethel Austin owner to launch new homewares chain 20 May 2010
Elaine McPherson, whose fashion retail business Ethel Austin went into administration in February, has secured an injection of funds to launch a fashion and homewares chain called Life & Style.

National Hardware Show sees 20% uplift in attendance 20 May 2010
Trade show reports high footfall and significant number of orders booked over three days at Las Vegas Convention Centre.

Sainsbury's launches first TV ad for non-food 20 May 2010
The supermarket chain launched its first TV ad campaign to support its non-food website on Tuesday.

22% return rate could cost online retailers £10.5bn 20 May 2010
New research reveals, while the e-commerce market appears to be thriving, online retailers face significant annual losses as a result of increasing product returns.

Neighbourhood Crop Swap launched to get the nation growing 19 May 2010
PlantforLife's new campaign will see households grow their own fruit and veg and swap with neighbours to help communities make the most of their space.

Experts predict sizzling summer 19 May 2010
Weather experts have predicted summer 2010 to be one of the five hottest on record, with garden and DIY retailers gearing up to make the most of seasonal sales.

Screwfix switches to 'British Football Time' for World Cup 19 May 2010
Kingfisher-owned trade DIY chain Screwfix is switching its trading hours to 'British Football Time' on days when England are playing during the World Cup.

Sales down at Asda but non-food expansion still underway 19 May 2010
Supermarket chain reports 0.3% like-for-like sales drop for the first quarter, and expects conditions to remain tough, but continues plans to "broaden its appeal".

Product of the Year award winners and photos now online 19 May 2010
View the Gold and Silver winners and the snaps from the industry's hottest event – The Product of the Year Awards 2010.

Best Buy to open second store on Bank Holiday weekend 18 May 2010
Best Buy has revealed they will open their second UK store on May 28 at Hedge End retail park in Southampton.

John Lewis doubles number of 'at home' stores 18 May 2010
Department store chain secures two further sites in Swindon and Tunbridge Wells, ready to open this autumn.

DIY and garden markets see growth in Q1 18 May 2010
Sealants and lawn seeds star products since January, as sectors show positive signs for the year ahead.

Chelsea sells out in record time 17 May 2010
Tickets to the RHS flower show sold out on Friday - the earliest in more than 20 years.

Product of the Year 2010: Gold winners announced 17 May 2010
The great and the good of the DIY industry gathered together last Friday at London's Sheraton Park Lane Hotel for the Product of the Year Awards 2010.

High street homewares sales up 10% 17 May 2010
High street sales saw positive growth across the board for the week ending May 9, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker.

UK business insolvencies drop a further 15% in April 17 May 2010
Small businesses showed "great resilience" last month, says Experian, while mid-sized companies fared the worst.

Wickes like-for-like sales slip in tough consumer conditions 17 May 2010
Wickes owner Travis Perkins has reported a 1.7% like-for-like sales decline in its retail arm for the 17 weeks to May 1.

Footfall increases in April by 1.6% 13 May 2010
UK footfall increased 1.6% year-on-year in April 2010 in comparison to the same month last year, according to The Experian Retail Footfall Index.

Non-food growing at three times the rate of food at Sainsbury's 13 May 2010
Expanding non-food offer continues to perform well as supermarket chain posts pre-tax profit increase of 57.3% for the year to March 2010.

National Insurance rise partly scrapped by new government 13 May 2010
The planned increase in National Insurance Contributions (NICs), scheduled to take affect in 2011, will be partly scrapped by the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

M&S launches new mobile shopping site 12 May 2010
Specifically designed for mobile phones and mobile devices, m.marksandspencer.com allows customers to shop Marks' website and browse more than 24,000 products on the move.

Argos prepares for football fever with 'World Truck' 12 May 2010
Argos has launched www.worldtruck.co.uk to engage customers before, during and after this summer's World Cup.

Business groups welcome new coalition but stress they want stability 12 May 2010
CBI, FPB and BCC announce they are pleased with outcome of election and hope the new government is able to 'put aside their differences' in order to fix the economy.

Harrods sold for £1.5bn 11 May 2010
London department store Harrods has been sold to Qatar Holding, the Qatari royal family's investment company, in a deal reported to be worth £1.5bn.

Latest BRC figures show sales drop in April 11 May 2010
UK retail sales values fell 2.3% last month compared with 2009, with housewares below year-earlier levels but DIY showing strong signs.

Nearly half of firms want new election, says FSB 11 May 2010
Small firms lack confidence in the economy after last week's election results, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.

DIY and home record sales uplift in April 10 May 2010
BDO reports mixed sales for the month, with non-fashion down 3.2% but DIY boosted by good weather.

Election 2010: business groups react to political uncertainty 10 May 2010
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called for MPs to put aside their differences and create a functioning administration as quickly as possible after last week's general election result.

Shoppers look online for outdoor living with John Lewis 7 May 2010
Department store chain reports sales increase in barbecues and garden furniture on the web, boosted by "recent hint of summer".

Paul McCartney says let it be...&Q 7 May 2010
Sir Paul McCartney revealed he likes to shop in B&Q in a recent interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

HTA reveals response to EU pesticides consultation 7 May 2010
The 12-week consultation period launched by Defra to discuss implementation of the EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides came to an end on May 4.

Do you like DIY Week? 7 May 2010
We've added a new facility to allow you to flag up the stories you like on Facebook.

Beam Group signs up for Product of the Year Awards 6 May 2010
Beam Group has joined the growing list of big-name sponsors of next week's Product of the Year Awards.

Brand new market monitor 6 May 2010
DIY Week has teamed up with retail analyst GfK to launch a new market monitor for the home improvement sector.

Clas Ohlson launches two new stores 6 May 2010

Swedish retailer Clas Ohlson opened its sixth and seventh stores last week, in Liverpool and Leeds.


Grafton Group optimistic as UK housebuilding picks up 6 May 2010
Despite €25m sales drop in January due to severe weather, UK trading improves with like-for-like growth in recent months.

TradePoint seeks tuneful tradesmen 6 May 2010
B&Q's new trade counter division TradePoint has launched the 'Whistle While You Work' campaign to get Britain's builders whistling again.

Wickes launches next day delivery service 6 May 2010
The retail chain has announced it will offer a new national next day delivery service covering its entire product range.

Poundland sold for £200m 5 May 2010
Poundland has been bought be US private equity firm Warburg Pincus in a deal believed to be worth around £200m.

Shop price inflation jumps in April as Easter discounts expire 5 May 2010
Overall shop price inflation rose to 2% last month, as seasonal promotions come to an end and commodity prices soar.

JML Magic Carpet mat ad deemed misleading 5 May 2010
JML Direct has had its knuckles rapped by the ASA over a television advertisement for its Magic Carpet mat.

Cargo calls time on garden centre concessions 4 May 2010
Home products retail chain Cargo has announced its withdrawal from garden centre concessions after trials failed to live up to expectations.

Top Drawer sponsorship for Product of the Year Awards 4 May 2010
Top Drawer Home is the latest high-profile name to add its support to the Product of the Year Awards 2010.

Homebase gutted by 'suspicious' fire 4 May 2010
A fire that ripped through a Homebase store in Kent at the weekend is being investigated as suspicious, along with the possibility of a link with another fire half an hour later at a local B&Q.

*

What do you think?


Do you think enough is being done to secure connected/smart home products from hackers and cybercrime?


Latest reader comments

re: B&Q sales dip 2.5%, as showroom sales decline

B&Q bob
Screwfix sales are up because they position new stores close to B&Q stores but then price like for like products cheaper than within BQ ...

re: B&Q kicks off kitchen & bathroom recruitment drive

B&Q bob
Wickes are not alone, Wrens kitchens has seen large numbers of unappreciated BQ kitchen sales staff join them because of BQs attitude ...

re: Toolstation.com excels in Which? website survey

Roger Bishop
This was my first visit to toolstation in farnham but it will definatly not be my last the service was exceptional staff were welcoming i ...

re: Graham Bell to head up B&Q as part of Kingfisher reshuffle

B&Q bob
Ms Laury has overseen perhaps the worst period of BQ history under her leadership, staff have had their wages cut while witnessing their ...

re: Screwfix opens 600th store as business continues to build

B&Q bob
Why is kingfisher giving screwfix lower prices to sell at than their BQ stores? Staff in B&Q suffer constant abuse from trade customers ...

Most read stories

Blog and Comment

Dawn of a new age in customer service

Customer service used to be about answering telephones and responding to written requests, but our fast paced, social media driven society ... Read More >>