Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive July 2010

B&Q launches 'hero product' eco range 30 July 2010
B&Q is reinforcing its commitment to sustainability with the launch of a new own-label range called 'Home Eco at B&Q' and its first Fairtrade products. Its exclusive JCB tool range will also be in store this year.

Smoothie makers 'a waste of money' says Which? 30 July 2010
Smoothie machines and peanut butter makers are among 10 products written off as worthless in the latest issue of Which? magazine.

Home and bedroom furniture are star performers for John Lewis 30 July 2010
Despite summer holidays and warm weather, customers "were in the mood for spending", sending furniture sales soaring at the department store.

Yale and Hozelock join BHETA 29 July 2010
BHETA has welcomed two new DIY members to the association: Yale EMEA and Hozelock.

BDC sold by administrators 29 July 2010
BDC 2008, the latest incarnation of the troubled Bridisco wholesale business, entered administration on July 20 and was sold the same day.

Travis Perkins results beat expectations 29 July 2010
Travis Perkins has posted interim results ahead of management expectations for the six months to June 30, 2010.

Bedroom furniture market set to grow £79.4m, while floorcovering sales dip 29 July 2010
Brits are spending money on beds and bedroom furniture, despite high-ticket prices, while the rest of the floorcoverings and furniture market continues to struggle.

High street sales beat retailer predictions in July 28 July 2010
Sales on the high street increased in July compared with 2009, surpassing retailers' expectations, according to the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey.

Danaher and Cooper Tools launch Apex Tool Group 28 July 2010
US tool manufacturers Danaher Tool Group and Cooper Tools have launched joint tool venture Apex Tool Group.

Matalan reports 3% rise in lfl sales 28 July 2010
Fashion and homewares retailer Matalan has reported like-for-like sales growth of 3% for the 13 weeks to May 29, 2010.

Profits up 120% at Wilko after record year for own brand 27 July 2010
Wilkinson posts strong results and announces significant expansion of own brand products and major push in Scotland.

Consumer confidence drops 26 July 2010
Consumer confidence has fallen for the first time in a year, according to a new survey by market research company Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released today.

Suppliers - nominate now! 26 July 2010
DIY Week is calling on all suppliers to nominate their customers for Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2010.

John Lewis chases corporate sales 23 July 2010
John Lewis has launched a corporate sales service to help organisations furnish their offices.

Sales fall at B&Q 22 July 2010
B&Q parent company Kingfisher has reported a dip in sales, down 0.8% on a like-for-like (lfl) basis, for the 10 weeks to July 10, 2010.

EXCLUSIVE: Q2 sector update 22 July 2010
Garden, unsurprisingly, is the star of the Q2 figures on the DIY Week/GfK barometer. However, both the exterior and interior markets have seen sales growth compared with Q2 2009.

Ex-Woolworths managers reopen store 22 July 2010
Two ex-Woolworths managers are reopening one of the failed retailer's former stores in Selsdon.

Scottish sales growing at half the rate of UK 21 July 2010
Scottish sales fell 1.1% on a like-for-like basis in June compared to the same month last year when sales rose 2.2%, according to the latest report from the SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor.

Shoppers feel worse off after Emergency Budget 20 July 2010
The recession is still hitting UK shoppers, with 54% saying they felt the Government's emergency budget would make things worse for their financial situation.

New RHS qualifications 20 July 2010
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced the launch of a new set of horticultural qualifications this September.

Better customer advice could boost online sales 20 July 2010
More than a third (35%) of Brits would spend more online if offered better customer advice, according to new research from Avail Intelligence.

Solus offers up to 60% off 20 July 2010
Solus Garden & Leisure's first-ever end of season sale will begin on August 5, exclusively through its online portal Solus Connect.

UK insolvencies drop 13% in June 19 July 2010
UK business insolvencies dropped 13% year-on-year in June, according to the latest Insolvency Index from Experian.

Argos files £13m lawsuit over 'toxic' sofas 19 July 2010
Insurers to Argos launch legal proceedings against leather technology supplier in connection with 'toxic' sofas sold to consumers.

Selfridges launches Christmas in August 19 July 2010
Christmas has come early to Selfridges this year, with Christmas trading due to start on August 2.

UPDATE: Mystery surrounds BDC 16 July 2010
Electrical wholesaler cuts depot numbers amid rumours the business is in trouble again.

UK DIYers clueless about tools, says survey 16 July 2010
The majority of British DIYers don't know their screws from their spanners, choosing everyday household objects over DIY tools to get the job done, says the 2010 Focus DIY 'Tools of the Nation' report.

Fitted furniture soars ahead at John Lewis 16 July 2010
Sales at the retailer rose 9.1% for the week to July 10, 2010, according to the latest weekly sales report.

£2,000 prize draw winner revealed 16 July 2010
Fiona Fabien, owner of Papyrus Gifts, has won the £2,000 travel voucher prize draw at Exclusively Housewares in June.

Secret 'guerrilla handyman' unmasked 16 July 2010
A 37-year-old former soldier has been secretly renovating dilapidated benches and play areas in the middle of the night.

Robbery at Focus store 15 July 2010
Masked men robbed Focus DIY store in Newport, taking a "significant amount" of cash.

Retail administrations down 57% 15 July 2010
Corporate administrations have dropped to a pre-credit crunch low, according to analysis by business advisory firm Deloitte.

Entry is now open! 15 July 2010
Reward your staff, excite your customers, impress your suppliers and give your business a real boost! Entry forms for Britain's Best Retailer Awards are now live. Click here to download.

Home Retail raises £3m for British Heart Foundation 15 July 2010
Home Retail Group (HRG) has been confirmed as The British Heart Foundation's (BHF) biggest ever fundraiser after raising £3m for the charity.

Topps Tiles trading "improving" 14 July 2010
Topps Tiles plc has reported that trading in its third quarter has improved in its trading update for the 13 weeks to July 3, 2010.

New to see at Glee 14 July 2010
Glee has unveiled details of several new visitor attractions at this year's show, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham on September 20-22.

Sunny weather boosts sales in June 14 July 2010
UK retail sales values rose 1.2% on a like-for-like (lfl) basis in June, compared to the same month last year, according to the latest report from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Turnover dips at Grafton 13 July 2010
Builders merchants and DIY group Grafton Group plc has reported group turnover of around €980m for the six months to June 30, 2010.

Ransons opens in Warwickshire 13 July 2010
Ransons Family Garden Centre opened its doors on Monday, July 5.

Best Buy UK chief resigns 9 July 2010
Best Buy's ceo for branded operations Paul Antoniadis has left the company less than three months after the opening of its first UK store.

Clearance offer boosts home at John Lewis 9 July 2010
Home sales were up 12% at John Lewis for the week to July 3, 2010, as customers returned to the shops after England's demise in the World Cup.

EXCLUSIVE: Focus launches convenience format 8 July 2010
Focus will target urban infill areas and the UK's high streets with a new smaller 'convenience' DIY store format.

PMI appoints Burton McCall as UK distributor 8 July 2010
Pacific Market International (PMI), manufacturer of food and beverage brands Aladdin and Stanley, has partnered up with UK distributor Burton McCall.

Amazon takes on the supermarkets with grocery offer 8 July 2010
Leading non-food e-tailer ventures into the grocery market with the launch of its new site www.amazon.co.uk/grocery.

Remembered: Toolbank co-founder Arthur Clemson 7 July 2010
Arthur Clemson, co-founder of Toolbank, passed away on June 5, aged 91. Here, he is remembered by his son, current Toolbank md Steve Clemson.

Marks and Spencer cautious despite Q1 sales increase 7 July 2010
UK sales up 4.8% , with general merchandise and home putting in a strong performance but M&S chief exec is cautious about consumer confidence following the budget.

Notcutts branches into online market 7 July 2010
Independent garden centre group Notcutts has launched its first e-commerce site, with more than 2,000 products listed.

Hosepipe ban imposed in north west 7 July 2010
United Utilities announces it will impose a hosepipe ban in the north west of England – the first in the area for 14 years – as reservoir levels remain low.

One to watch: Totally on TV 6 July 2010
An episode of 'Mary Queen of Shops' which features retail guru Mary Portas filming at Totally DIY 2010 is set to air on Monday, July 12 on BBC2 at 9pm.

The movers and shakers in online retail 6 July 2010
The IMRG/Hitwise Hot Shops List celebrates its fourth anniversary, looking at how e-tail market leaders are doing, in terms of attracting visitors to their sites, while DIY retailers move up in the rankings.

Business in London feeling more upbeat 5 July 2010
Survey reveals that more than half of companies in the capital are optimistic about future prospects, with expansion plans on the horizon but concerns are raised over the cost of doing business in London.

Travis Perkins confirms BSS takeover agreement 5 July 2010
Travis Perkins has confirmed that an agreement has been reached on its proposal to take over plumbing and heating merchant The BSS Group.

LG Harris buys Lynwood brand 5 July 2010
LG Harris has announced an agreement to acquire the Lynwood decorating sundries brand for an undisclosed sum.

GIMA winners announced 5 July 2010
Almost 400 guests joined the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association at the Manchester Midland Hotel last Thursday (July 1) to celebrate the 2010 GIMA Awards and to toast the winners.

QVC named Best Shopping Channel 2 July 2010
QVC beats off competition at the Freesat Awards, which recognises channels and services available on the free-to-air digital satellite TV service.

Online sales up nearly 60% at John Lewis as shoppers stay home in the heat 2 July 2010
Department store chain reports another week of sales increases, with summer ranges performing well but online showing the best growth as consumers chose to stay home and enjoy the sun.

EU fines bathroom cartel €622m 2 July 2010
The European Commission has fined 17 bathroom manufacturers a total of €622m (£510m) for price fixing.

Bents film encourages effective outdoor insurance cover 1 July 2010
Bents Garden and Home has teamed up with moneysupermarket.com to make a short film about the importance of insuring outdoor furniture and barbecues.

£1m Jewson fraud case goes to court 1 July 2010
Long-running fraud case, involving builders merchant's former sales and marketing director, is due to have its first court hearing next week.

Government scraps subsidies to promote energy saving bulbs 1 July 2010
Climate change secretary Chris Huhne demands that energy suppliers stop promoting compact fluorescent bulbs in DIY stores and supermarkets in order to prioritise insulation.

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