Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive August 2010

Clas Ohlson to open in Doncaster 31 August 2010
Swedish retailer Clas Ohlson is set to open a new store in Doncaster in December.

Consumer confidence up in August 31 August 2010
Shoppers take a more positive view of the economy and future prospects, with the overall confidence level reporting its first increase since February.

Bennetts branch to open in Kings Lynn 31 August 2010
East Anglian independent electrical chain to open a new superstore in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

Obituary: Jim Bone 31 August 2010
Worlds End Garden Centre founder remembered by friends in the industry.

DIY store arsonist sentenced to four years in prison 31 August 2010
Benny Joe Dighton awarded jail term after pleading guilty to string of arson attacks on DIY stores in Kent over busy May Bank Holiday.

Confetti "optimistic" about finding a buyer 31 August 2010
Update from administrators reveals that a sale could be on the cards for the online wedding business.

Fletcher O'Brien in liquidation 27 August 2010
As expected, Tabs for Tools company appoints liquidators following creditors meeting yesterday.

Aga and Rangemaster’s sales bounce back 27 August 2010
Cast-iron cookers drive £16.4m pre tax profit for the group after a slow start to the year.

Fletcher O’Brien creditors meeting rescheduled 26 August 2010
Future of company still unclear but liquidator could be appointed at meeting today.

John Lewis at home opens in Croydon today 26 August 2010
Department store chain opened the doors of its second 'at home' format store on the Purley Way store at 10am.

Supermarkets cut carrier bag usage by 4.6bn 26 August 2010

Grocers have reduced the number of single use carrier bags being handed out for the fourth year in a row through independent monitoring.


Branston Moor Garden Nursery sold at auction 25 August 2010
Lincoln-based independent goes under the hammer for £35,000, with completion of sale to take place today.

Clas Ohlson confirms two more stores 25 August 2010
Swedish hardware retailer Clas Ohlson is continuing its UK expansion with the announcement that contracts have been signed on two new stores in the UK.

Wolseley sells Brandon Hire for £43m 24 August 2010
Builders merchant chain Wolseley has announced today the sale of its Brandon Hire business to private investment company Rutland Partners.

Smallworths makes its debut on the high street 24 August 2010
Woolies store in Selsdon gets new lease of life today after standing empty for a year and a half.

MFI gears up for its return 24 August 2010
Furniture chain looks set to make a comeback, two years after it fell into administration.

Wrapit had £1m in the bank, says Gelardi 24 August 2010
Peter Gelardi has spoken to DIY Week's sister website HousewaresLive.net for the first time about the “totally unnecessary fiasco” of the collapse of his Wrapit wedding gift business - and although he will now no longer be able to act as a company director he insists that the company was not in fact trading whilst insolvent.

Dobbies submits Peterborough plans 23 August 2010
Dobbies has submitted a planning application for a brand new garden centre to Peterborough City Council, after plans received overwhelming public support.

Another big sponsor for BBRA 20 August 2010
Plasti-kote is the latest big name to lend their support to Britain's Best Retailer Awards 2010.

Flying Brands acquires gardening website 19 August 2010
Mail order group completes acquisition of Garden Centre Online for £0.13m.

Stax builds at Birmingham 19 August 2010
Stax Trade Centres has commenced the second phase of expansion at its Birmingham depot adding a further 2,300sq ft to the existing footprint.

Hosepipe ban lifted 19 August 2010
United Utilities have today lifted the hosepipe ban imposed on the north west of England last month.

Strong support for Best of British 19 August 2010
Wholesaler Decco is among those companies putting their full support behind Britain's Best Retailer Awards - in fact, the company has been a sponsor of the event since it launched in 2003.

UPDATE: Former Woolies reinvented as Smallworths 19 August 2010
Empty Woolworths store to re-open under new name this month.

Retail wedding company Confetti in administration 18 August 2010
48 employees made redundant and all five stores closed as administrators urgently seek a buyer for the remaining online business.

Business insolvencies down more than 30% in July 18 August 2010
The number of failed businesses dropped to 1,542 last month, while small to medium companies fared the best, with insolvency rates falling year on year.

June sales boost – the high point of the gardening season so far 17 August 2010
Independent garden centre sales up 8.2% for the month, helped by good weather and sporting events.

B&Q supports 'Garden Party to Make A Difference' 17 August 2010
DIY and garden centre giant to create interactive installations, including a large green pig and sheep climbing ladders, at the event to inspire the British public to lead a more sustainable life.

Jail term "inevitable" for rogue locksmith 16 August 2010
Master Locksmith Association helps Westminster City Council and trading standards win a landmark case against one of the UK’s most notorious rogue traders Mark Makowski.

ASBO swan re-housed in Lafarge quarry site 16 August 2010
The bird, which repeatedly attacked canoeists and walkers along the River Chelmer, has been evicted to new site in Suffolk.

Dunlop Adhesives announces new trade mornings 16 August 2010
Following success of the recent trade morning in Leeds, Dunlop adds six new dates for August and September.

Dobbies Carlisle centre gets green light 16 August 2010
Garden centre chain welcomes today’s decision by local councillors to grant permission for a new eco-friendly garden centre in Dalston, Carlisle, Cumbria.

Number of older workers in retail is growing 16 August 2010
New report reveals changing demographic that could transform the face of retail, with the number of over 50s employed within the sector set to grow by 22% in 10 years.

Sales up at John Lewis for first week of H2 13 August 2010
John Lewis reported a sales increase of 15.5% ahead of last year for the week to August 7, 2010.

Card spending up 9.9% in July 13 August 2010
Consumer spending on credit and debit cards rose by 9.9% in July compared to the same month last year, according to new figures released by Barclaycard yesterday.

Garden centre closes with 11 jobs lost 12 August 2010
The Penrith branch of JT Atkinson is to close its home and garden centre, making 11 staff redundant.

Dyson may appeal court’s decision over design infringement 11 August 2010
Dyson is being advised to seek permission to appeal against a High Court ruling that a rival’s vacuum cleaner did not copy a Dyson design.

Zara Home sees sales soar 11 August 2010
The homewares division of Spanish-owned fashion label Zara has seen UK sales grow by a fifth to £7.2m in the year to January 2010.

BALI launches new landscaping show 11 August 2010
The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) has joined up with event organisers Brintex to launch BALI 2011 - The Landscaping Show.

RWAF slams retailers for selling “cruel” rabbit hutches 11 August 2010
The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund has criticised Homebase and Argos for stocking hutches that are smaller than those used in laboratories for animal experimentation.

Associated Lighting Group in administration 11 August 2010
Lighting and electrical distributor calls in administrators, axing 58 staff at its subsidiaries Ring Lamp Company and Trident.

EXCLUSIVE: Liquidation on the cards for Fletcher O'Brien 11 August 2010
A liquidator is expected to be appointed to the Tabs for Tools owner following a creditors meeting that will be held on Wednesday, August 18.

Wrapit duo given 15-year ban on company directorships 10 August 2010
The Insolvency Office disqualifies Peter Gelardi and Pepita Diamand -former directors of the failed wedding gift service - from acting as company directors for a combined total of 15 years.

Dobbies sees profits rise 10 August 2010
Dobbies garden centres has revealed a sharp rise in operating profit, making £9.8m in the 12 months to February 28, 2010.

Tesco launches transactional app 9 August 2010
Tesco has followed other retailers such as Argos and M&S by launching the Tesco Grocery app with Ovi by Nokia.

Courts rule: Vax vacuum cleaner did not infringe Dyson design 6 August 2010
Dyson has failed in its bid to prove that a rival’s product copied one of its own vacuum cleaner designs.

Shoppers split on how VAT rise will affect their spending 6 August 2010
Consumers are split over whether the impending VAT rise will change their spending habits, with more than half (52%) saying it won't, says a new survey from research company Retail Eyes.

Two convicted over stock clearance fraud 6 August 2010
Health and family problems have saved two crooked businessmen from an immediate trip to jail for their £159,000 fraud.

Retailers plan for cautious Christmas 5 August 2010
The majority of shops in the Midlands will stock moderately to avoid being caught out this Christmas as consumers are bombarded with mixed messages about the economy.

Dobbies Preston has starring role in Top Gear 5 August 2010
Garden centre made its TV debut on Sunday after Jeremy Clarkson and crew filmed scenes at the site in Clifton for the BBC show earlier this year.

DIY inventor gets £100,000 investment for Wellitop 4 August 2010
Peter Manning has seen his patented clip-on boot cover reach the shelves of garden centres, DIY and department stores around the country, thanks to backing from an investor found on the xénos angel network.

Lowest non-food inflation since November 2009 4 August 2010
Non-food inflation slowed from 1.4% in June to 1% in July, the lowest rate since November 2009, according to the latest results from the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

Argos tests same-day delivery service 4 August 2010
Argos is testing a same-day delivery service in London allowing Check & Reserve customers to have their purchases couriered to them in as little as 90 minutes.

Carpetright remains cautious as lfl UK sales drop 3.4% 4 August 2010
Carpet and flooring specialist expected consumer demand to "remain subdued", while the closing of operations in Poland affects group sales.

BHETA to create 'retail store' at Good Food Show 3 August 2010
Members of the British Home Enhancement Trade Association will be showcasing their products to over 140,000 consumers at this November's BBC Good Food Show.

Business groups criticise 7p charge on carrier bags 3 August 2010

CBI Wales describes proposition by Welsh Assembly Government as a "big rush" and claim that some big retailers are not even aware of the plans, which could come into effect as early as next spring.


Gardening clubs report jump in membership figures 2 August 2010
RHS survey reveals a 'gardening renaissance' with increasing numbers of people joining their local garden and allotment clubs.

Retailers create 22,000 jobs in a year 2 August 2010
Full-time retail employment was up 3.6% for the second quarter of 2010, compared with the same period last year, according to the BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor.

Portas to address HTA delegates 2 August 2010
Mary Portas will headline at the Horticultural Trades Association Garden Futures Conference in October.

Another drop in family spending as one in eight fear job losses 2 August 2010
The average UK family was £7 a week worse off in June 2010 compared with last year, while a nationwide poll revealed that just 34% of people currently feel secure in their job.

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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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