Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive December 2012

December fails to deliver retailers' hopes of Christmas sales 20 December 2012
According to the latest CBI report, more retailers saw a sales increase during the first two weeks of December than those who did not, but the number was far below retailers' expectations for the festive buying period.

Kingfisher COO Euan Sutherland quits for The Co-op 19 December 2012

Former Kingfisher CEO Euan Sutherland, who was named chief operating officer last February, has announced he is leaving the home improvement giant from March 2013 to become CEO of The Co-operative Group.


Irwin Tools pledges to raise £50k for Help for Heroes 19 December 2012
Hand tools manufacturer Irwin Tools has set itself the target of raising £50,000 for Help for Heroes next year through sales of a limited edition handsaw.

Reluctant farewell to "smashing" independent Haverfordwest DIY 19 December 2012
A 22-year-old DIY store in Pembrokeshire will close for good tomorrow (Thursday, December 20) - marking the sad demise of a "wonderful business" for owner Malcolm Walker.

GCA calling for votes for member of the year 19 December 2012
The Garden Centre Association is calling all garden centre members to cast their votes for the Associate Member of the Year award, recognising efficiency, helpfulness, professionalism and best product.

Christmas is a cracker for garden centre sales 19 December 2012
Members of the Garden Centre Association have reported Christmas product sales up 11% during November 2012 compared with November 2011.

Comet labelled "biggest high street failure since Woolworths" as last stores close 18 December 2012
The final 49 Comet stores will shut up shop for good today after administrators failed to find a buyer for the electrical chain, which would have celebrated 80 years of trading next year.

Garden Re-Leaf challenge has £6k compost prize for winning retailer 18 December 2012
The second ever Garden Re-Leaf Day will include a competition run by Westland Horticulture for retailers who run the most effective campaign - launched last year as the garden industry's Comic Relief equivalent - to win compost worth £6,000.

Rolawn bags green achiever award 17 December 2012
Turf and topsoil supplier is awarded Conditional Gold status by the Green Achiever Scheme.

Kitchen Compare firm launches bathroom site 17 December 2012
The company behind the Kitchen-compare website, Insight Retail Group has launched a new website Bathroomcompare.com, featuring products from B&Q, Bathstore, Homebase and Wickes.

Glee reverts to Sunday to Tuesday format 14 December 2012
The Glee show is returning to its former Sunday to Tuesday format because "Sunday remains a viable option for smaller independent garden centre visitors."

November disappoints but Christmas isn't cancelled, says BDO 13 December 2012
Retailers hoping for a last-minute Christmas boost from shoppers won't be disappointed, said national head of retail and wholesale at BDO, Don Williams.

Over 16% of independents fear they will go out of business in 2013 13 December 2012
A 'Support for Independent Retail' campaign urging independent traders to lead by example and only shop in fellow indie stores is underway in light of research compiled by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA).

Discounts help to boost footfall figures 13 December 2012
Last week saw more Christmas shoppers hitting the streets, according to the latest footfall figures from Ipsos Retail Performance's Retail Traffic Index.

Station retailers outperform the high street 13 December 2012
Retail sales within railway stations are steadily outstripping those on the high street, new figures show.

"Everyone does DIY" says new Kingfisher home report 13 December 2012
Kingfisher's first ever Europe home report reveals 90% of homeowners across Europe regularly carry out home improvements, and all are more likely to spend money on improving their homes rather than a holiday in the next 12 months.

Wickes sees sales rise as like-for-likes dip 5.8% 12 December 2012
Travis Perkins Plc has announced financial results for the 11 months to November 30, 2012, revealing sales in its consumer division - mainly Wickes, but also Toolstation following its consolidation in January - were up 13.3%, but down nearly 6% like-for-like.

Whiteleys GC attracts a lot of interest following administration 12 December 2012
West Yorkshire garden centre Whiteleys, which fell into administration for the second time just weeks ago, has already notched up several potential buyers.

Inverness says yes to Dobbies/Tesco joint venture 12 December 2012
Dobbies has been given the go-ahead to create a new garden centre adjoining a Tesco supermarket in Inverness.

Carpetright store closures see profits leap 550% 11 December 2012
Half-year results up to October 27, 2012, have revealed a profit jump from £800,000 last year to £5.4m in Carpetright's UK stores, a jump largely attributed to a net reduction of 10 stores.

Customers' Christmas donations to Comet staff are diverted to charity 11 December 2012
Staff facing redundancy at collapsed electrical chain Comet have been delivered another blow with the news that they will not be allowed to keep cash donated in stores by sympathetic customers.

Rainy Day Trust merges with pottery and glass charity 11 December 2012
Home improvement industry charity the Rainy Day Trust has substantially enlarged its range of activity by merging with the Pottery and Glass Trades Benevolent Fund.

GCA reveals Christmas regional winners 10 December 2012
The Garden Centre Association has announced the 12 regional winners of its annual Christmas display competition.

Garden centre concessions continue to open rapidly 10 December 2012
The final quarter of 2012 has seen a flurry of garden centre concession openings as retailers look to make up the shortfall of the year's tough spring and summer, according to First Franchise.

Sainsbury's enters home heating market in NI 10 December 2012
Sainsbury's says it expects to "grow the home heating market significantly" as it unveils plans to sell a range of gas and oil boilers in its 13 stores in Northern Ireland.

Bents reports record footfall and sales 7 December 2012
Bents Garden & Home bucks the doom and gloom trend recording its highest ever footfall last weekend and best week of sales.

Spring Fair adds new Outdoor Living & Leisure hall 7 December 2012
A dedicated Outdoor Living & Leisure section will be a new feature of next year's Spring Fair International, situated in Hall 10.

Chancellor sticks to his guns over business rates hike 6 December 2012
Retail organisations have expressed their frustration that Chancellor George Osborne failed to heed calls to freeze business rates next year, when making his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons yesterday.

Takeover strengthens Ostendorf's hold on European paint market 6 December 2012
JW Ostendorf, one of Europe's leading paint producers, has taken over French paint producer Renaulac in a bid to grow its international business.

Highfield Garden World receives planning nod 6 December 2012
Major developments including the relocation and expansion of a Greenways Restaurant, and more than 5,000sq m of extra retail space at Gloucestershire-based Highfields Garden World have been given the green light.

New director joins Home Retail Group to step up digital presence 5 December 2012
Home Retail Group has announced that CA Technologies' Jacqueline de Rojas has joined its board as a non-executive director, following news that Argos aims to position itself as a leading digital retailer and Homebase plans to focus on multi-channel.

November retail sales show shoppers are holding back 5 December 2012
Retailers will be hoping for a last-minute Christmas boost from shoppers, as new retail sales figures reveal that customers felt cautious about spending last month.

Wickes up-skilling the youth 5 December 2012
Wickes has been using the expertise of its trade customers to benefit local communities and tackle youth unemployment through its work with the Volunteer It Yourself project.

John Lewis snowman is top Christmas ad 5 December 2012
John Lewis' lovelorn snowman has beaten its nearest rival by a country mile in a poll to find consumers' favourite Christmas 2012 ad.

Robert Dyas Christmas sale ad launches this week 5 December 2012
Theo Paphitis, who took on Robert Dyas earlier this year, has boosted the marketing budget for his three major retail brands, Dyas, Boux Avenue and Ryman Stationery.

OJ Trade expands sourcing opportunities 4 December 2012
Fasteners and fixings supplier Owlett-Jaton has extended access to its popular online trading portal 'OJ Trade' to allow more customers to source fasteners, fixings, hardware and ironmongery.

B&M set for international expansion following £900m deal 4 December 2012
US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) have acquired a "significant stake" in discount retailer B&M in a deal rumoured to have valued the retailer at more than £900m.

Cocaine gang used Squires Garden Centre for dodgy dealings 4 December 2012
Eight men who used the car park of Squires Garden Centre in Windsor, Berkshire, for multi-million pound class A drugs deals have been jailed for a total of 59 years after a large-scale police drugs swoop.

GCA to relocate to HTA premises 4 December 2012
The Horticultural Trades and Garden Centre Associations are to share premises at Theale, Reading, from February 1, 2013.

Hardware and DIY goods among 'most stolen' at Christmas 3 December 2012
The cost of retail crime this year is estimated at £1bn, up 3.4% and £33m on last year.

MPs back call to freeze business rates 3 December 2012
Two-thirds of MPs are backing a demand for a freeze on business rates next year - and it is supported equally by Conservative and Labour MPs.

Poundworld sales up 55% as store openings continue 3 December 2012
Poundworld says difficult trading conditions on the high street are giving the retailer the chance to snap up stores cheaply, as it continues its ambitious store expansion programme.

Fast Track achievement for smoke alarm supplier Sprue Aegis 3 December 2012
Home safety products supplier Sprue Aegis has once again been recognised as one of Britain's 100 top-performing private companies in this year's Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table.

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