Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive September 2011

B&Q launches mobile transactional website 29 September 2011
DIY giant will offer around 15,000 lines for sale on new mobile specific site, with the ability to reserve and collect any product from the full B&Q range within half a day.

Dobbies to close Paisley centre 29 September 2011
Demand for small centre has dropped off following the opening of Dobbies' state-of-the-art Garden World just three miles down the road in Braehead, Glasgow.

Non-food insolvency figures flat in August 29 September 2011
While the overall rate of insolvencies has increased 12%, the number of firms in the non-food sector, including DIY, home and garden retailers, that failed in August, remained relatively unchanged from last year.

Thieves target Bromsgrove garden centres 28 September 2011
Fresh@Burcot Garden Centre and Little Heath Garden Centre broken into over the weekend, with offenders escaping with a substantial amount of cash, say police.

HTA issues security alert 28 September 2011
The trade association has issued a warning after three Midlands garden centres were targeted by thieves at the weekend.

B&Q announces Youth Board 27 September 2011
Scheme designed to help ambitious young people develop their boardroom and business skills, as B&Q hopes to encourage the country's "future leaders".

BHETA reports flood of new members 27 September 2011
DIY sector director Peter Stone says new members are flooding in to join the trade organisation, as it introduces a host of new services aimed at driving member sales.

Rayware ranges featured on Great British Bake Off 27 September 2011
Homewares supplier delighted with coverage, as its products are used by contestants on every episode of BBC2's reality baking show.

Hub Retail goes into liquidation 27 September 2011
Poundland founder Dave Dodd's attempt to 'shake-up' the retail sector with a new variety chain fails after just one year, as he admits he was unable to make the business viable.

Rainy Day Trust parachute jump a success 26 September 2011
Sponsorship continues to roll in after DIY Week ad manager Rachael Lyon and former DIY Week editor Will Parsons took to the skies yesterday for the Rainy Day Trust parachute jump.

Garden centres need to 'step up their game', says customer service guru 26 September 2011
Mario Dolcezza believes many garden centres outlets are not customer-focused and need to up their game in the current economic climate or customers will shop elsewhere.

Sheffield team launches online drill accessory shop 23 September 2011
Drillfix, a new Sheffield-based online store for drilling and power tools, claims to offer the UK's most extensive product range.

Flying Brands could breach banking covenants 23 September 2011
Flying Brands has warned it will breach its banking covenants next month unless further action is taken, after the business continued to perform below management expectations.

John Lewis reports strong sales from new Stratford store 23 September 2011
Retailer pleased with performance of its first London department store for 20 years.

Carpetright to open standalone bed stores 23 September 2011
Floorcoverings retailer to rebrand five of its existing carpet outlets as 'Sleepright by Carpetright'.

Suspicious fire at Wickes store 22 September 2011
Police are appealing for witnesses after a suspicious fire broke out at a Wickes store in Worksop on Saturday night.

Bents celebrates 10 years with 10 tiers 22 September 2011
Bents Home & Garden is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Fresh Approach Restaurant with a 10-tier cake created by the restaurant team.

Tesco teams up with Crimestoppers 22 September 2011
Supermarket chain to offer 'property protector' kit instore alongside its range of electrical security accessories.

Last chance to sponsor charity skydive 22 September 2011
DIY Week's Rachael Lyon and former editor Will Parsons are joining 16 other volunteers taking part in the inaugural Rainy Day Trust tandem parachute jump this weekend.

Mako opens new Burnley unit 21 September 2011
Paintbrush and roller maker Mako UK has moved to new premises in Burnley, with a spacious showroom, improved order processing and advanced IT support.

Lloyds starts sale of Garden Centre Group 21 September 2011
Lloyds Banking Group has begun the process of selling the Garden Centre Group, with a deal expected to raise £300m.

Pextons Hardware set to open standalone cookshop 21 September 2011
The award-winning York retailer has announced plans to open a new cookshop in the city in around six weeks' time.

Golden opportunity at Solus show 16 September 2011
Solus is opening up its extensive Droitwich showroom for a pre-season trade event from October 3-14.

B&Q sales dip 2% in first half 15 September 2011
Kingfisher-owned DIY chain manages to grow profits but blames tough retail environment and Focus clearance sale for decline in sales in H1.

Garden centres take advantage of early autumn 14 September 2011
Garden retailers are reporting strong sales of bulbs and autumn bedding as an early autumn sets in, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has reported.

Online and multi-channel drives sales growth at John Lewis 14 September 2011
As a "highly competitive trading environment" impacts on John Lewis' profits for the first half, online sales soar 27%, with predictions johnlewis.com could achieve a turnover of £1bn by 2014.

Home Retail appoints Habitat md 14 September 2011
Home Retail Group (HRG) has appointed a new managing director for Habitat.

UK housing market remains subdued 13 September 2011
Economic uncertainty and lack of mortgage finance led to a decline in the number of property sales over the past three months.

Homebase trials decorating service 13 September 2011
Homebase is testing several new ranges and services as part of its strategy to become 'first for decorating'.

B&Q parent steps up investment in Russia 12 September 2011
Kingfisher group to plough £115m into opening nine new Castorama home improvement stores over next two years.

Homebase launches interactive touch screens 9 September 2011
Homebase has launched 'Create the Look' touch screens at its Aylesford branch to help customers visualise different products in their homes.

Yeoman celebrates 21 years with world record attempt 9 September 2011
Solus garden tool brand Yeoman is celebrating its 21st anniversary with a Guinness World Record attempt.

GIMA shows support for DIY Week Awards 9 September 2011
DIY Week is delighted to add the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) to a growing list of sponsors for the 2011 DIY Week Awards.

UK vacancy rate stabilises in H1 but only prime retail destinations see the benefits 9 September 2011
Retailers are cutting their losses and closing older and poor performing outlets in secondary locations, in a bid to boost sales and footfall in a continuing tough climate.

Homebase continues to outperform Argos 8 September 2011
Like-for-like sales held flat at Homebase for the first half of 2011, but slumped 9.1% at sister chain Argos.

DIY, garden and hardware sector drives up non-food shop price inflation 8 September 2011
Non-food shop price inflation increased to 1.4% in August from 1.3% in July, the first increase since May, driven by accelerating inflation in the DIY, gardening and hardware category.

Home and garden market won't recover until 2013, says Mintel 7 September 2011
UK consumers spent £38.7bn on the home and garden in 2010, according to new data from the Mintel British Lifestyles 2011 report.

Homebase embarks on major revamp of home offer 6 September 2011
Retailer plans to redefine its home assortment and bring decorating ranges and home accessories together to create a one-stop shop, complete with room sets and 'create the look' cards in store.

Homewares sales suffer in August 6 September 2011
UK retail sales values fell 0.6% like-for-like in August, against a 1% rise in August 2010, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Wickes offers business advice to tradesmen 6 September 2011
Wickes has launched a new business information website for tradesmen, providing industry-specific advice and guidance.

BHETA 'meet the buyers' event hailed a success 6 September 2011
BHETA members were given a unique opportunity to meet buyers from Homebase last week, in a special 'meet the buyers' day organised as part of BHETA's new 'Drive for Growth' initiative.

B&Q boosts board with two new appointments 6 September 2011
B&Q UK & Ireland ceo Martyn Phillips has announced two appointments to the B&Q board.

August sales figures are subdued after disruption of riots 5 September 2011
Like-for-like sales figures are worst for two years, says BDO, as mid-market retailers report a year-on-year sales drop of 2.2% , with home and non-fashion badly hit.

Brammer acquires Buck & Hickman 5 September 2011
Coventry-based tool distributor Buck & Hickman has been acquired from owner Travis Perkins by industrial distribution group Brammer for £27.6m.

Next plans for more home and garden stores 2 September 2011
Next has revealed plans to open more home and garden stores after the format's successful debut in Shoreham, and is already scoping out possible locations.

Sika goes after DIY market 2 September 2011
Speciality chemicals brand keen to grow its UK market share and expand the DIY side of its business to reach smaller hardware stores.

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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 ...

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