Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive June 2012

PPG Industries announces charitable partnership 28 June 2012
Paints and coatings firm PPG has established a partnership with the Geneva-based Paint a Smile Foundation.

Welsh Retail Consortium launches today 28 June 2012
Retailers in Wales are being given a louder voice with the launch of the BRC's sister body, the Welsh Retail Consortium (WRC).

Devon hardware shop recognised for courtesy 27 June 2012
Ilfracombe hardware store Chas N Pedlar & Son has taken part in a new initiative that aims to promote and recognise good manners in business.

Paws for thought: QD Stores consults its canine consumers 27 June 2012
With sales of pet products growing rapidly at value retailer QD Stores, the company has decided there is no better way to make the right new stock selection than to run it past the end users first.

Empty shops scourge "could have peaked" 27 June 2012
The rise in town centre shop vacancy rates appears to have peaked, according to new research released this week.

Argos alien cleared of promoting unsafe trampolining 27 June 2012
Argos has successfully defended itself against an accusation that its advertisement showing a trampolining alien was irresponsible.

Liverpool Dobbies open for business despite blaze 27 June 2012
Dobbies Garden World in Liverpool is open for business as usual despite a fire breaking out on the premises in the early hours of yesterday.

Carpetright and United Carpets struggle in weak market 26 June 2012
Tough conditions in the floorcoverings market have taken a heavy toll on annual profits at Carpetright and on the performance of United Carpets stores.

B&Q board changes "will reflect new customer focus" 26 June 2012
B&Q has today announced two new permanent appointments to its board and a shake-up of board responsibilities.

House of Fraser calls time on Burton's Beatties 25 June 2012
The Beatties department store in Burton-on-Trent is to close at the end of September.

Garden centre to triple café size 25 June 2012
A Gloucestershire garden centre is hoping to enjoy a boost to business by more than tripling the size of its café.

Retailers take the lead with greener products campaign 21 June 2012
A "ground-breaking" new collaboration setting out to reduce the environmental impact of everday products, from DIY materials to dairy produce, is being spear-headed by more than 80 organisations of retailers and suppliers.

Ex-Focus employees could receive payout of £2,500 each 21 June 2012
Tribunal rules that collapsed DIY chain "failed to fully consult" with trade union Unite when it let employees go last year, meaning around 1,500 former Focus store workers could be in line for compensation.

Household goods LfL sales volume rises 5.1% in May... 21 June 2012
...And the sector saw the largest year-on-year growth in internet sales out of all other retail categories, tying in with a recent report showing more and more people are looking to the internet for their home improvement purchases.

HTA takes £350,000 out of horticultural retail cost base 20 June 2012
The Horticultural Trades Association has agreed a new debit and credit card processing deal with Barclaycard Payment Acceptance which it says will mean the industry will have around £350k per annum out of its card processing costs.

66% of people shop online for homewares 20 June 2012
A nationwide survey by online interior specialist Wayfair has revealed that the majority of people look online to purchase items for the home, and most of these are aged 18 to 24 years old.

Next's DIY and garden format opens in Ipswich 20 June 2012
The Next chain's venture into DIY and garden retailing will be extended tomorrow - June 21 - when it opens its second Home and Garden superstore.

Bristan exits FPB's 'hall of shame' after signing Prompt Payment Code 20 June 2012
The Staffordshire-based bathroom manufacturer Bristan, which has been the target of negative publicity for increasing its payment terms by 60 days, has now relented.

DIY seasonal sales reign triumphant over Jubilee 19 June 2012
The DIY market saw a year-on-year sales increase of 4.2% over the Jubilee weekend. That's according to new GfK data, which also revealed mass merchandisers' sales of DIY seasonal products increased by 22.4% over the long Bank holiday.

Shoppers choose high-ticket value over discounted wares 19 June 2012
A new survey conducted by Shoppercentric has revealed that 75% of all UK shoppers believe good value means paying more than the lowest possible price.

Homebase sales drop 8% in Q1, as Argos reports a slight increase 19 June 2012
Home improvement chain's figures for first quarter reveal an 8.1% decline in total sales to £421m, impacted by disappointing sales of seasonal goods in poor weather, while HRG stablemate Argos recorded a 0.2% increase.

Sunshine brings out the garden centre shoppers in May 19 June 2012
Outdoor furniture and barbecues were top sellers for members of the Garden Centre Association during the sunnier days of May, according to the latest Barometer of Trade results.

Slump in sales forces Allders into administration 18 June 2012
Department store Allders of Croydon collapsed into administration last week, blaming its failure on adverse trading conditions.

New garden centre planned for shopping village 18 June 2012
A new garden centre is to be created within an outlet shopping centre in West Yorkshire.

Garden Centre Group plans more concessions 18 June 2012
The Garden Centre Group has revealed that it is looking to boost revenue by developing a strong presence of concessions in its stores to complement its core horticulture ranges.

B&Q gives away 150,000 sunflowers to get kids growing 18 June 2012
Last Friday saw B&Q stores up and down the country take part in a 'great sunflower grow' which saw the retailer give away thousands of Verve sunflower plants to children and their parents.

Thieving garden centre employee is jailed 18 June 2012
An employee who stole thousands of pounds from a Norfolk garden centre has been given an eight-week prison sentence.

GCG's rose talks get 'overwhelming' response 18 June 2012
A series of free summer events dedicated to David Austin roses are taking place across The Garden Centre Group's member businesses this month and next, and more than 5,000 people have already signed up to attend.

Lakeland and Autumn Fair seek The Next Big Thing 18 June 2012
Young companies with innovative ideas and designers with products that need bringing to market are being asked to enter a competition organised by Autumn Fair and home solutions chain Lakeland.

John Lewis homewares and outdoor furniture bloom over Jubilee 15 June 2012
With total sales up 18.1% for the week ending June 9, the department store proved an exception to the disappointment expressed by many retailers following the long, wet Bank holiday weekend.

New publisher for DIY Week 15 June 2012
DIY Week and diyweek.net are to have a new publisher: Jan Thorpe is taking over from Colin Petty

Garden Centres offered free advice on solar panels 15 June 2012
Boost growth, save money on energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint - those are just some of the benefits Solar Systems says garden centres can enjoy if they install solar panels.

Return of Fence Factor, "the most boring competition ever" 14 June 2012
The search to find Britain's best garden fence, dubbed in the press last year as the most boring competition in the country, is on once again.

Wilkinson pulls out of Robert Dyas bid 14 June 2012
The general merchandising retailer has walked away from the multimillion pound bidding for Robert Dyas.

New chair for Greenfingers 14 June 2012
The charity has appointed horticultural expert, garden designer, TV presenter ad radio panelist Matthew Wilson as its new chairman.

Midlands business bulldozes garden centre to save costs 13 June 2012
The tough economic climate has forced a Wolverhampton business to demolish its garden centre and concentrate on its operation at its remaining site.

Allders of Croydon 'facing administration' 13 June 2012
Famous Croydon department store Allders is reportedly once more facing administration if it fails to reach an agreement with its landlord over its rent.

Three water areas lift hosepipe bans 13 June 2012
Hosepipe bans have now been lifted by Anglian Water, Southern Water and Thames Water.

Cherry Lane garden centre chain to double in size 12 June 2012
The chain of Cherry Lane Garden Centres has revealed plans to double the number of its outlets to 20 by 2015.

Housewares buyers turn out in force 12 June 2012
Cold, wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of the housewares industry as it turned out in force for the first day of the Exclusively Housewares show in London today.

Topps Tiles aims to inspire at new flagship store 12 June 2012
Topps Tiles is unveiling what it calls its 'next generation' flagship store in Milton Keynes this Saturday

Cash transactions 24 times cheaper for retailers than card payments 11 June 2012
More people are paying for goods with cash than a year ago, according to new findings by the BRC.

Joint Dobbies and Tesco store plans formally submitted 11 June 2012
The blueprints for the £8million construction, which is the first of its kind and would see a Dobbies Garden World trading alongside a Tesco supermarket in King's Lynn, are now under scrutiny at the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.

Hillview announces another acquisition 11 June 2012
The Hillview Group's garden centre arm has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Hilltop Garden Centre, Ramsden, Oxfordshire from Paul and Adrian Prové.

Playtime at Bents Garden & Leisure marks latest in £10m plans 8 June 2012
A new play area, tried and tested by the grandchildren of the garden centre's Bent family owners, is the latest stage in the multi-million pound 'Bents the future' plans for the business.

Epic spring rainfall means hosepipe ban could be lifted for millions 8 June 2012
More than 8 million Thames Water customers could see the hosepipe restrictions lifted before autumn thanks to the recent rainfall, which has seen water levels of the river Thames restored to normal.

Wickes bosses to pedal 300 miles for Leukaemia charity 8 June 2012
The DIY retailer's marketing director Rob Murray and former md Jeremy Bird will join more than 200 of their colleagues in training for the Big 10 Cycle Challenge this month.

Closing date for GIMA Awards approaches 8 June 2012
There’s just one week to go for suppliers to get their entries ready for the 2012 Garden Industry Manufacturers Awards.

BRC: May sales rose with temperature 7 June 2012
Retail sales values were up by 1.3% in May 2012 compared with May 2011, when the LfL figure was down 2.1% on the previous year.

Everything's coming up roses for HTA plant of the month 7 June 2012
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has announced the rose as its June plant of the month.

Ironmongery Direct launches second TV campaign and mobile site 7 June 2012
The online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade has its eyes firmly on its multi-channel offering, testing new markets with its second national TV campaign and launching a mobile website for tradesmen on-the-go.

Next Gardenex 'Meet the Buyer' event to be bigger and better 7 June 2012
British suppliers of garden, leisure and pet products attending the June 20 'Meet the Buyer' day by Gardenex and PetQuip are aiming to match the recent successes of firms who are now selling in Dubai following a similar event.

Gardman streamlines operations 7 June 2012
Gardman announces plans to relocate all production operations for its wild bird foods to a single site in Kings Lynn, leading to the closure of its plants in Devon and Moulton.

LDC to support first 12 Portas Town Teams with data and insight 7 June 2012
The Local Data Company has jumped on board the Mary Portas Pilot project, which will see 12 trial high streets rejuvenated in an attempt to boost vacancy rates.

Homewares LfL sales up 4.2% due to sunshine and Jubilee 6 June 2012
According to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, homewares sales across UK retailers were buoyed by the improved weather in May and Jubilee shoppers' lifted spirits.

Garden centre sales slow during Jubilee weekend 6 June 2012
Members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) have reported that the additional footfall hoped for over the Jubilee weekend never happened, with the poor weather blamed for the most part.

DIY Week has moved offices 6 June 2012
DIY Week's publishing company Faversham House Group has changed its name to Faversham House Ltd and relocated to East Grinstead.

Troubled Atlantic Homecare enters Examinership 6 June 2012
Atlantic, a member of the DIY division of Grafton Group Plc, has filed a petition seeking the appointment of an examiner, meaning it is now under the protection of the High Court while the company restructures for survival.

GIMA members tee off for charity 6 June 2012
The annual GIMA charity golf day and evening dinner took place in Northamptonshire recently, raising money for Greenfingers, Rugby for Heroes and Sporting Hearts.

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