Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive June 2010

Low rainfall means gardeners need to take action, says RHS 30 June 2010
As threats of a hosepipe ban continue, the RHS issues a soil dryness warning to UK gardeners.

Grafton Merchanting makes acquisition 30 June 2010
Grafton Merchanting has announced the acquisition of Corgi-direct, an online shop selling a wide range of products for plumbing and heating tradesmen.

Matalan re-commences store openings after strong year 29 June 2010
Homewares and fashion retail reports sales of £1,119.6m, with own brands performing well.

Performance improves at Carpetright 29 June 2010
Carpet and flooring specialist reports a 7% sales boost for the year, driven by competitors exiting the UK market and a "trend back to carpet".

Clock ticking for remaining Vergo stores 28 June 2010
Five further stores closed their doors at the weekend, with four outlets still holding out for a buyer.

Hanson fined £280,000 after worker's death 28 June 2010
Hanson Building Products has been fined £280,000 after a worker's head was crushed between concrete blocks and a metal platform.

Fiskars moves to Nottingham 28 June 2010
Garden products supplier Fiskars has announced that it will close its Bridgend operation later this year, integrating operations into its Nottingham-based Sankey site.

British Ceramic Tile sells Trade Warehouse format 24 June 2010
After a review of the company's "distribution routes to the market place" British Ceramic Tile (BCT) has agreed to sell its four Trade Warehouses for an undisclosed sum.

Store revamps boost profits at DSGi 24 June 2010
Electricals giant DSG international has reported an increase in underlying pre-tax profit of 61% to £90.5m in its preliminary audited results statement for the 52 weeks to May 1.

Kesa results ahead of expectations 24 June 2010
Kesa Electricals turns in full year results ahead of market expectations, with plans to expand web-based business and refurbish 40 Comet stores this year.

Is the UK facing another hosepipe ban? 24 June 2010
As country sees its driest start to the year in nearly 50 years, a water company is considering imposing a hosepipe ban in the north-west of England.

Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen new face of kitchen and bathroom brands 23 June 2010
Moben Kitchens, Sharps Bedrooms and Dolphin bathrooms unveil renowned interior designer as their new ambassador.

Trada launches timber exhibition 23 June 2010
Trada Technology has launched Timber Expo, a new exhibition for innovation in wood products across the construction industry and built environment.

Gardman raises £1m for BTO 23 June 2010
Wild bird care products supplier Gardman has raised £1m to fund the British Trust for Ornithology's (BTO) research and conservation programme, the company announced this month.

Wilkinson reports 7% sales increase for 2009 23 June 2010
Family-owned retail chain reports continued strong growth in face of the tough economic climate last year.

June sales decline "slower than expected" 23 June 2010
High street sales volumes fell again in June, according to the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey, but the rate of decline was slower than expected.

Household spending power in decline for fifth month in a row 22 June 2010
Average UK family £6 worse off a week in May than a year earlier - the biggest fall since the start of 2010, as earnings growth remains below pre-recession levels.

Exclusively winds up after a successful 2010 show 22 June 2010
Visitor feedback positive from ninth Exclusively Housewares show, which ran earlier this month at the Business Design Centre in London.

B&Q to open smaller stores in city centres 22 June 2010
B&Q is set to expand into city centres with smaller-format stores after successful pilots run by parent company Kingfisher overseas.

Emergency Budget: VAT to rise to 20% 22 June 2010
Chancellor George Osbourne pledged to support businesses in his Emergency Budget speech today, but his announcement that VAT will be increased to 20% will prove costly for retailers.

Online sales reach highest growth in two years 21 June 2010
Online sales increased by 22% in May compared to last year in the highest growth since June 2008, according to results from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Argos iPhone app hits half a million downloads 21 June 2010
Argos' new iPhone app has been downloaded 500,000 times in the three weeks since its launch on May 22.

Vergo Retail closures continue 21 June 2010
Department store and homewares chain sees eight closures and nearly 500 redundancies, with more confirmed for this weekend, after it called in the administrators last month.

John Lewis sales boosted by World Cup and warm weather 18 June 2010
Department store chain reports uplift in demand for white goods, outdoor living and home ranges.

HTA garden centres to offer RHS membership 18 June 2010
Under an exclusive agreement with the RHS, HTA member garden centres and retail nurseries will be able to offers RHS membership to their customers.

Family opens new garden centre in West Midlands 18 June 2010
A new independent, family-run garden centre is set to open at the Hatton Experience at Hatton Country World in Warwickshire on Monday, July 5.

Scottish sales slip amid fears of spending cuts 17 June 2010
Like-for-like sales down 0.8% in May, with homewares and discretionary items down on a year ago.

Garden centre celebrates 25 years 17 June 2010
Fulham Palace Garden Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Clas Ohlson expands with Birmingham store 17 June 2010
Swedish retailer enters into an agreement for a lease pertaining to a new store in Merry Hill Shopping centre, Brierley Hill/Birmingham.

Cut card charges, says BRC 16 June 2010
The British Retail Consortium is calling on the Government to cut the "excessive" charges banks levy on retailers for accepting plastic.

UK economic recovery still on track but CBI warns it will be protracted. 16 June 2010
Despite faster economic growth in 2010, urgent action to reduce the budget deficit could prolong recovery.

UPDATE: Homebase shopper who alleged kidnap is given prison sentence 16 June 2010
Noor Ramjanally who was found to have been wandering around his local DIY store at the time he claimed two BNP thugs abducted him at knifepoint, is found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

380 jobs at risk as Pilkington’s appoints administrators 16 June 2010
Tile manufacturer blames cash flow problems as it becomes the latest victim of recent tough trading conditions in the furniture and floorcoverings sector.

IHA to host congress at National Hardware Show 15 June 2010
The 2011 International Hardware Association Biennial Congress will be held during the show in Las Vegas in May.

Tesco sales slow due to rising petrol prices 15 June 2010
Tesco has reported a rise in UK overall like-for-like sales of just 0.1% (VAT adjusted, excluding petrol) for the 13 weeks to May 30, due to rising fuel prices and low food inflation.

Kingfisher nets environmental award 15 June 2010
B&Q's parent company Kingfisher plc has been recognised for its commitment to spearheading sustainable timber sourcing practices at this year's Business Commitment to the Environment (BCE) Environmental Leadership Awards.

Webbs crowned Business of the Year 15 June 2010
Independent family-run garden centre business received the award at this year's Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber Business Awards.

Lafarge Plasterboard opens new depot 15 June 2010
Company expands with new site in Grangemouth, Scotland.

London sales bounce back in May 14 June 2010
Retail sales in the capital up 11.6% on like-for-like basis, boosted by improved consumer confidence and widespread discounting.

Survey shows Brits shelling out more on DIY 14 June 2010
New research from mortgage lender Halifax shows UK homeowners are spending £1,000 more than last year on home improvements.

Inflation slows as weak demand drives discounts 11 June 2010
Shop price inflation slows to 1.8% in May, with clothes and electrical cheaper than last year, as retailers try and encourage shoppers to spend.

H&M set to launch homewares range 11 June 2010
Swedish fashion retailer H&M is set to launch its homewares range in the UK this autumn.

Sales decline at Home Retail 10 June 2010
Home Retail Group (HRG) has reported a dip in sales at both Homebase and Argos for the 13 weeks to May 29, 2010.

Women opt for DIYers over green-fingered men 10 June 2010
Survey reveals that women prefer men who can tackle jobs around the home to those who are handy in the garden, despite just 38% of male respondents admitting they enjoy DIY.

DIY retailing of the future 10 June 2010
What does Kingfisher ceo Ian Cheshire think retailers need to do to 'win the game'? How is B&Q's product-sourcing strategy changing going forward? Just two of the questions addressed today at the inaugural European Home Improvement Forum organised by EDRA and Fediyma.

Alleged kidnap victim caught shopping in Homebase 9 June 2010
Muslim leader who accused BNP thugs of snatching him from his home and driving him out to Epping Forest was seen on CCTV browsing the aisles of his local DIY store at the time.

HTA offers security workshops 9 June 2010
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is running a series of security and loss prevention workshops as customer theft and staff attacks are shown to be on the rise.

Warm weather boosts outdoor DIY in May 8 June 2010
UK retail sales values up 0.8% on last year, as consumer confidence shows signs of improvement, boosting leisure items.

JWP stresses its orders are unaffected by Typhoon troubles 8 June 2010
JWP has moved to reassure its customers that orders will not be "disrupted" by the recent Typhoon administration.

Terry Leahy to retire from Tesco 8 June 2010
Tesco has announced today that Sir Terry Leahy has decided to retire in March 2011 after 14 years as ceo.

Home Hardware Scotland continues upward trend 8 June 2010
Dealer-owned buying group has reported its best ever month with turnover for May up 46.61%. The year to date figure is also up by 25.16%.

PPG responds to ICI's legal challenge 8 June 2010
PPG Architectural Coatings Limited has filed its defence in the court action brought against it earlier this year by ICI Paints Akzo Nobel regarding Johnstone's Paints' 'Best by Test' advertising campaign.

1,031 jobs under threat following B&Q distribution shake-up 8 June 2010
DIY giant withdraws activity from seven distribution centres across the UK, as it announces plans for a new 796,649sq ft site in Swindon.

BRC warns Government against tax hikes 7 June 2010
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called for the Government to focus on spending cuts, not tax hikes, ahead of this month's Emergency Budget.

Matalan store damaged by fire 7 June 2010
Cost of damage caused at outlet in Grimsby could run into thousands of pounds after blaze was sparked yesterday afternoon. Read full story here and watch a video of the scene.

Chelsea Flower Show gallery goes live 7 June 2010
Take a look at DIY Week's snaps from the famous RHS gardening show last month.

Wickes staff step up for charity 4 June 2010
Colleagues at 28 Wickes stores across the country take on a 341-mile relay walk from Preston, in Lancashire, to Havant, in Hampshire, to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the DIY chain's national charity partner.

John Lewis: best outdoor living sales for two years 4 June 2010
Outdoor living at John Lewis had its best sales week for more than two years for the week ending May 29, according to the retailer's weekly sales report.

Trade groups welcome measures to cut red tape 4 June 2010
Business secretary Vince Cable announces new action plan to tackle the "deluge of regulations" that have been stifling businesses for too long.

Rightway Bevans to open 16th store 4 June 2010
DIY, home and garden chain Bevans, now owned by the Rightway chain, announces new store opening this summer.

Blue Diamond buys Redfields Garden Centre 3 June 2010
Redfields Garden Centre in Hampshire is to be redeveloped with Blue Diamond, who will then take over the new centre.

B&Q sales drop but profit jumps 12% in first quarter 3 June 2010
Kingfisher trading statement announces flat group sales in Q1, while profit is up, boosted by B&Q in UK and Ireland and performance in France.

H + H UK makes green top ten 3 June 2010
H + H UK jumped 20 places in this year's Sunday Times Best Green Companies list, making the top 10 for the first time.

Jobs axed at Typhoon as sale completes 3 June 2010
Administrators MCR confirm successful sale of intellectual property and assets to Rayware Limited, while all Typhoon staff have now been made redundant.

Outdoor living sales are up, say garden retailers 3 June 2010
HTA Council meeting finds, despite poor weather, barbecues and garden furniture are performing well.

Newcomb wins presidential election 3 June 2010
John Newcomb was elected president of BHETA in a decisive vote at the association's AGM today.

Tile Depot opens new store 3 June 2010
Independent tile and stone retailer announces the opening of an outlet in Crawley - the 15th store in the Tile Depot portfolio and the first of 16 planned by 2012.

Spending on green products to double by 2015 2 June 2010
Despite Brits paying average price premium of 46% for green retail products, market looks set to grow to €114bn in five years.

Profits fall at Topps Tiles 2 June 2010
The retailer sees a decline in profits, but says it is "well placed" for when consumer confidence returns, with controlled costs and new marketing plans.

Portmeirion sales boosted by acquisitions 2 June 2010
Revenue up 40% in Q1 2010, with more than half of the increase attributed to Royal Worcester and Spode.

Plant poisoner strikes in North Yorkshire 2 June 2010
Banned weedkiller used in a number of attacks on plants in the village of Cayton, threatening the locals' chances in the Britain in Bloom competition.

Travis Perkins bids for BSS 2 June 2010
Travis Perkins has announced it has made an indicative offer of £553m for the BSS Group.

Surprise as sales volumes fall on the high street 1 June 2010
Hardware and household goods among categories that reported the sharpest falls, as high prices and low salary increases mean consumers "feel the pinch" again.

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What do you think?


Do you expect to see an increase in demand for garden pest control products as the huge trend for houseplants continues?



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