Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive January 2012

Carpetright UK sales drop by 4.8% in Q3 31 January 2012
The carpet and flooring specialist blamed “tough trading conditions” and “fragile consumer confidence” for its decline in the UK, with like-for-like (lfl) sales down 0.5%.

MP treated to tour of What More UK factory 31 January 2012
Graham Jones MP for Haslingden and Hyndburn Lancashire, visited What More UK Limited to meet staff and undertake a tour of the factory.

Retailers encouraged to 'set an example' for greener living 31 January 2012
The Secretary of State for environment, food and rural affairs Caroline Spelman MP addressed some of the country's leading retailers and members of the BRC at the group's Sustainable Retail reception today.

Garden centre goes up in flames 30 January 2012
Booth's Garden and Pet Centre in Royton, Oldham, is thought to have been completely destroyed when a ferocious blaze took hold of the Turf Lane business on Friday evening, killing a number of animals.

Cuprinol launches garden colour mixing 30 January 2012
Cuprinol is claiming to be the first woodcare brand to offer a range of colours in a garden coating.

New beginnings for B&Q 30 January 2012
The DIY retail giant has confirmed it will be opening a new store in Arbroath, as 31 new B&Q staff members in Louth prepare to open for trading from next week.

Retailers put in an Olympic effort at trade show 30 January 2012
The recent Decco McMinn Olympics-themed trades show saw more than 300 independent retailers take advantage of exclusive 'Gold Medal' offers available from at least 90 leading exhibitors.

Asda Living brand to expand in 2012 30 January 2012
Supermarket chain Asda reveals plans to open more of its new format 'Living' stores in 2012 as part of a £500m investment over the next 12 months.

Homewares sales at John Lewis are "on a roll" 27 January 2012
Figures for the department chain's penultimate week of its financial year showed sales up 15.2% at the Croydon 'at home' branch.

Prince Charles: "I like to do my own DIY" 27 January 2012
The Prince of Wales caught up with Vin Vara of the Tool Shop during a Prince's Foundation visit to the Lower Marsh market in Waterloo today.

Screwfix celebrates 200th store milestone 26 January 2012
The multi-channel trade supplier is celebrating the launch of its 200th store today at Heathrow.

Insolvency rates hit DIY and hardware retailers hard 26 January 2012
Almost 3,000 businesses falling under the umbrella categories covering DIY and hardware suffered insolvency last year, according to new data and analysis released by Experian this week.

CBI: December discounts backfired for DIY retailers 26 January 2012
DIY and hardware sales were significantly down during the first two weeks of January because shoppers had already taken advantage of pre-Christmas discounts, says the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Garden centre celebrates 30th anniversary 25 January 2012
Monkton Elm Garden and Pet Centre is pulling out all the stops to celebrate 30 years of trading, by inviting children to come and paint a giant terracotta '30' and donating tree saplings to worthy causes.

Garden centres celebrate following GCA award success 25 January 2012
Members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) are celebrating this week after many picked up prestigious awards at the organisation's annual conference.

Eurocell opens new branch in Brighton 24 January 2012
Eurocell Building Plastics has expanded with a new outlet on Freshfields business park in Brighton, bringing the total number of stores to more than 120.

Flying Brands still in sale discussions, as it posts 33% sales decline 24 January 2012
Gardening Direct parent Flying Brands has confirmed that it remains in discussions over the possible sale of some of its businesses, as it reports a slowdown in trading in the last quarter of 2011.

'Job Build' tool to make life easier for tradesmen 23 January 2012
Dunlop Adhesives has launched part one of a new 'Job Build' feature on the newly launched Trade Zone - an interactive site designed for tradesmen.

Rothenberger issues urgent global product recall 23 January 2012
All Map/Pro stock has been recalled over fears that faulty valves are causing leaks on gas cylinders.

The Range opens its 60th store 23 January 2012
The Range has kicked off 2012 with a milestone, opening its 60th store in the Welsh town of Carmarthen. Owner Chris Dawson also announces plans for a further 15 outlets this year.

Avocet goes into administration 23 January 2012
Hardware distributor Avocet Hardware was placed in administration on January 23.

DIY store raided by gravity-defying thieves 23 January 2012
Burglars stamped a hole through the corrugated tin roof of South Derbyshire DIY and garden store Masseys before raiding £3,000 worth of goods in what was the store's first crime in more than 25 years of trading.

Top nomination for 'Sunflower Waooh!' 20 January 2012
Torbay-based Suttons Seeds has been nominated for two prestigious awards, one of which is for its group-grown, multi-headed sunflower.

Leekes announces plans for new Coventry store 20 January 2012
Welsh independent home and garden chain reveals it is close to receiving planning permission to redevelop a former Makro site into a 130,000sq ft department store.

Online growth continues to outstrip sales on the high street 19 January 2012
Internet sales in the UK have grown 48% since 2008 to reach £50.34bn in 2011, now accounting for 12% of total retail sales.

Appetite for garden centre catering still growing 19 January 2012
There has been a 51% increase in the number of visits to garden centre cafes over the last three years according to the latest Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) report.

Garden centres warned of busy lizzies time bomb 18 January 2012
The nation's favourite summer bedding plant has been uprooted from the beds of the country's biggest garden centres due to an outbreak of an airborne and fungicide-resistant mildew.

Loft insulation work to plummet by 93% 17 January 2012
The government has released figures suggesting that the number of loft insulations being carried out in UK homes will significantly drop once the new Green Deal comes into effect in October.

B&Q starts the gardening season with £12m investment in own brands 17 January 2012
The DIY giant has extended its own-brand gardening, outdoor leisure and garden power ranges for the 2012 season, as well as locking in TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh for another year as an ambassador for the group.

PlumbNation predicts turnover of £25m by 2015 17 January 2012
The plumbing and heating business, which deals exclusively online, says an increase in customer demand for new boilers, radiators, and kitchen and bathroom makeovers means it is on track to record sales of £16million by the end of June 2012.

Thieves smash hole in wall to raid B&Q store 17 January 2012
High-value power tools and fires stolen from Wolverhampton DIY store in early hours of Monday, January 16.

Number of burglaries drop but cost to retailers is greater 16 January 2012
The BRC's Retail Crime Survey has today revealed that the overall cost of retail crime has soared to £1.4bn, as the sector is increasingly targeted by "serious, organised criminals".

Two burglaries in 24 hours costs garden centre £15,000 16 January 2012
"They knew exactly what they were looking for," said Steve Mole, the owner of Manor Garden Centre in Leasowe, Merseyside.

New POS to support Plant of the Month campaign 12 January 2012

The Horticultural Trades Association has joined forces with Hortipak to provide a new range of point of sale materials for each plant featured in the 2012 Plant of the Month calendar.

Top award recognises growth in export sales 12 January 2012
Manufacturer of plastic household products, What More UK has won big for its outstanding growth in export sales.

Johnstone's paint trophy a firm fixture until 2015 12 January 2012
Paint brand Johnstone's has renewed its longstanding sponsorship of The Johnstone's Paint Trophy for a further three seasons.

Homebase sales hit by soft demand for big-ticket items 12 January 2012
Home improvement retailer posts 2.6% like-for-like sales decline for 18 weeks from August 28 to December 31 but still manages to grow gross margin during "volatile" trading period.

HRG to close HomeStore & More 12 January 2012
Homebase parent reveals plans to call time on its UK homewares trial format, closing all four HomeStore & More stores by the end of February.

Garden gift voucher sales to drive footfall this Spring 12 January 2012
Strong pre-Christmas sales of National Garden gift vouchers and the new gift card will coax more customers into garden centres and nurseries in coming months, says the HTA.

Dunelm reports buoyant first half 11 January 2012
The British homewares retailer reported sales reaching £299.9m in the 26 week period to December 2011, which its attributes to the group's continued development programme.

Topps to continue with expansion despite continued sales slump 11 January 2012
Following on from the 36% drop in revenue reported at the end of its last financial year, Topps Tiles' latest interim management statement has revealed that its financial position is unchanged after what it describes as a "tough" first quarter.

Charles Bentley named as one of Britain's Brightest Businesses 11 January 2012
Brushware supplier is listed in The Telegraph's rundown of 1,000 mid-sized firms that it feels have "weathered the recession and are set to be the foundation of the UK's recovery".

PPG Architectural Coatings sign up as Partners with the Rainy Day Trust 9 January 2012
PPG Architectural Coatings - the second largest supplier of Paint and sundry products - has signed up for the Rainy Day Trust's Partnership scheme.

Pets at Home reports 6.4% sales growth in H1 9 January 2012
A record year of new store openings has helped fuel Pets at Home's sales growth for the first half ended September 2011.

Retail administrations increase by 27% in Q4 9 January 2012
According to Gazette listings the number of retailers who have fallen into administration over the past year has gone from 165 to 183 - and financial experts predict worse to come in Q1 2012.

High-ticket sales see increase in lead up to Christmas 5 January 2012
GfK Retail and Technology recorded a bumper sales growth within durable product sectors, including white goods and home electricals, in the week ending December 24.

John Lewis reports bumper Christmas sales 5 January 2012
Home categories saw the biggest increase in the five weeks to December 31, while sales across the department store chain were up nearly 33% in the week before Christmas.

More acquisitions likely, says William Sinclair, as company profits soar 5 January 2012
William Sinclair chief executive Bernard Burns revealed that the growing media firm could look to acquire other horticultural brands and businesses in the next financial year, following the release of its full year results.

Rollins takes on Arrow UK distribution 4 January 2012
Tool distributor Rollins Group has taken over UK and Ireland distribution rights for the Arrow Fastener range of staple guns and other tools.

B&Q ramps up advertising on kitchens and bathrooms 3 January 2012
Home improvement retailer launches its largest digital advertising campaign to help drive spending and promote its winter kitchen and bathroom sale.

Obituary: Colin Rodway 3 January 2012
Colin Rodway, former BHF national president and owner of Rodways hardware store in Ledbury, Herefordshire, died on December 29 after a long illness. He was 67.

Travis Perkins takes full control of Toolstation 3 January 2012
Wickes' parent firm announces that it has acquired the remaining 70% of the issued share capital of Toolstation Limited it does not already own from Mark Goddard-Watts and his family trusts for £24m.

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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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