Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive September 2012

Lack of mortgage lending is "hurting DIY retail" says BRC 28 September 2012
Enabling "prudent mortgage lending" to first time buyers (FTBs) will help reverse declining sales in DIY, gardening, homewares, furniture and floor coverings that accounted for £34bn in sales last year, according to the BRC and Genworth analysts.

Kingfisher boss Ian Cheshire takes over BRC 28 September 2012
The newest chairman of the British Retail Consortium started his new job on Monday, October 1. B&Q boss Ian Cheshire succeeds Rob Templeman, who will be staying on as deputy for another year.

B&Q recognised for its efforts in sustainability 28 September 2012
DIY giant received The Queen's Award this week for its work creating a sustainable business and helping people improve the sustainability of their homes.

Victoria Plumb to continue growth with TV ad campaign 27 September 2012
Online luxury bathroom retailer Victoria Plumb will be hitting TV screens next week with its first television advertising campaign.

Wienerberger employees trek, climb and abseil for charity 27 September 2012
More than 50 representatives of bricks and roof tiles manufacturer Wienerberger UK, recently took on a massive challenge on Holy Island, Angelsey, to raise more than £3,000 for CLIC Sargent.

Velcro unveils complete rebrand 27 September 2012
Velcro Industries has launched an overhaul of its global brand identity, including a new logo, brand architecture, website, packaging system and brand positioning.

Solus awarded Supplier of the Year 27 September 2012
Solus Garden & Leisure was delighted to be named Greatest Supplier at the recent Greatest Awards held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham.

Dunelm overthrows John Lewis as leading homewares retailer 27 September 2012
Dunelm Mill is leading the £11bn homewares retail market with 0.1% more market share than former top dog John Lewis, according to Verdict. The consultancy estimated Dunelm now has 6.9% market share, up from 6.1% last year.

GfK: optimism for decorative power tools and floorcare 26 September 2012
Bad weather over the summer drove consumers to spend more inside, helping to offset the impact of the declining housing market on the decorative and indoor power tools categories, according to market analyst GfK.

Topps Tiles back on form after positive Q4 26 September 2012
Revenues are estimated to have increased by 3.7% like-for-like during Topps Tiles' fourth quarter, the retailer announced in its pre-close trading update for the 52 weeks ending September 29, 2012.

Bayer will continue TV ads next spring 26 September 2012
Bayer Garden's weedkiller range will continue its TV campaign in the spring of 2013 following its successful run this year.

Retail up in September, but DIY sector remains depressed 26 September 2012
A third more DIY retailers reported sales volumes were down during the first two weeks of September than those reporting positive results, according to the latest distributive trades survey from the CBI.

M&S is named Responsible Retailer of the Year 25 September 2012
Marks & Spencer has received the accolade Responsible Retailer of the Year in a global awards scheme.

Convenience and speed are top click-and-collect priorities 25 September 2012
Around 44% of shoppers buying online from DIY and out-of-town retailers are choosing to collect their goods rather than have them delivered.

Smart Solar distributes Haxnicks range 25 September 2012
Smart Solar has announced it is distributing the Haxnicks range of products across the UK, France and Germany under an exclusive licensing deal.

B&Q and UK Youth triumph at London Triathlon 25 September 2012
Drawing inspiration from the performance of Team GB at London 2012, staff members from Kingfisher took to the water, bikes and track for partner charity UK Youth at this year's London Triathlon.

Fraudsters jailed for huge B&Q refunds swindle 25 September 2012
A group of criminals who defrauded B&Q of almost a quarter of a million pounds over a five-year period have been put behind bars.

Shoppers flock to opening of Leekes' new flagship Coventry store 25 September 2012
Leekes says the opening last Saturday of its biggest-yet store was one of the most important milestones in the family business's 115-year history.

Wickes employees trek through Alaska and raise £35,000 25 September 2012
A team of 19 Wickes workers braved the wilderness of Alaska on an eight day trek, raising £35,695 and counting for partner charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Terry Alderton to compere DIY Week Awards 24 September 2012
Known as "one of the few comics who can bring crowds to their feet," Terry Alderton will take to the stage at the upcoming DIY Week Awards.

151 Products boosts export with major African deal 24 September 2012
The UK manufacturer and supplier of DIY and home products has secured a partnership with a major distributor, helping extend its reach throughout Africa, with plans to double exports by 2015.

QEP acquires Nupla 24 September 2012
QEP has just announced the completion of two new acquisitions - Nupla Corporation and HISCO, operating collectively as Nupla.

Call to freeze business rates as retail growth halves 24 September 2012
Retailers are calling for business rates to be frozen next year, as new figures show that retail sales growth is now averaging half what it was in the years before the Lehman Brothers collapse.

Cork garden centre goes out of business 24 September 2012
Irish business Hosfords Geranium & Garden Centre has gone into liquidation.

Autumn brochure and show success for Home Hardware 24 September 2012
A record number of over 1m autumn brochures and leaflets have been ordered by Home Hardware retailers - an increase of 8.8% on last year.

Hardware store Morreys to team up with Sainsbury's 21 September 2012
Cheshire village hardware and DIY retailer Morreys is set to join up with Sainsbury's and incorporate a small convenience store within the unit.

Glee 2012: Quality over quantity 21 September 2012
"Less is more" - one of the visitor comments chalked up on the trend tunnel suggestion board, and a thematic response from exhibitors at this year's all-new Glee, which debuted at the NEC Birmingham this week.

'Barrows of booze' raise more than £2,300 for Greenfingers 21 September 2012
Three trolleys full of alcohol were up for grabs at the Birmingham NEC during Glee this week, with representatives from the Greenfingers charity selling raffle tickets to exhibitors and visitors for their chance to win them.

Eddingtons changes hands 21 September 2012
Housewares supplier Eddingtons Ltd has been taken on by a new management team following the sale of 85% of its shares.

DIY retail roles increased more than any other in retail 21 September 2012
DIY roles went up by 31% during the first six months of 2012 compared with the same period last year, according to job site retailchoice.com as reported by the Recruiter publication.

QD Stores acquires Roman Way garden centre 20 September 2012
Nottingham-based QD Stores recently bought the Roman Way garden centre in Milton Keynes.

Deadline extended: still time to be an Award winner 20 September 2012
If you haven't yet entered for the DIY Week Awards 2012 there's still time to do so now that we've extended the deadline to October 5.

Millbrook GC named Retailer of the Year 20 September 2012
Staff at East Sussex-based Millbrook Garden Centre are celebrating after being awarded Retailer of the Year by Crowborough Chamber of Commerce.

Rainy Day Trust volunteers parachute to victory 20 September 2012
Eight volunteers - including DIY Week's special projects consultant Colin Petty and his wife Nina - took part in a tandem parachute jump at the MOD's training facilities on Salisbury Plain last weekend.

Late summer sun boosted garden centre August sales 20 September 2012
Overall sales were up 5.37% in August 2012 compared with the same month last year for garden centre members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA).

Kingfisher board continues "evolution" with new appointments 19 September 2012
Following the home improvement retailer's announcement of a new senior management structure in February, three important additions have been made to its board.

DIY "poised to be second fastest-growing ecommerce category" 19 September 2012
DIY equipment and garden and outdoor goods are being tipped to rise rapidly up the list of products most bought over the internet, according to a new study.

Ocado launches DIY range 19 September 2012
Online retailer Ocado has launched a new DIY and car care range on the back of a 16.6% uptake in gross sales in its latest yearly results.

Special rate for small businesses at HTA conference 19 September 2012
Horticultural Trades Association member businesses with a turnover of under £1m can attend this year's HTA Garden Futures Conference for just £99 plus VAT.

Fountains supplier Henri Studio becomes part of Kelkay 18 September 2012
Landscape products specialist Kelkay has acquired the exclusive UK rights to the Henri Studio range of fountains and statuary.

Better-than-expected outcome as Atlantic Homecare is saved 18 September 2012
The future of Irish retail chain Atlantic Homecare has been secured with the approval by the High Court in Ireland of a survival plan.

Next growth to focus on Home and Garden rollout 17 September 2012
Future expansion at Next will focus on the rollout of its successful new Home and Garden superstore format, the retailer said as it unveiled its results for the half year to July 2012.

Recalls for fire- and shock-risk heater and adaptors 17 September 2012
A dangerous fan heater that caught fire while being used by a consumer has been recalled.

Radioactive kitchenware boosts fears over hazardous imports 17 September 2012
The confirmation on Friday that a shipment of stainless steel and aluminium kitchenware made in India was radioactive has heightened concerns over the integrity of the materials used in a range of imported consumer goods.

Dobbies plans first joint Tesco venture in Scotland 14 September 2012
A £5m proposal for Dobbies to take on a former Focus DIY unit and combine an entranceway with an existing Tesco store at Inshes retail park in Inverness could mark a Scottish first for the garden centre chain.

Brits get patriotic in the garden 14 September 2012
With a quarter of Brits claiming to be bored of traditional greens and browns for the garden, new research reveals that more homeowners are showing their patriotic side in their garden décor, with sales of red, white and blue paint on the increase.

Dunelm Mill flourishes with 12.1% revenue growth 14 September 2012
The out-of-town homewares retailer announced its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended June 30, 2012, revealing sales up from £538.5m to £603.7m, a like-for-like increase of 3.1%.

Sterling keen to reward retailers 14 September 2012
Security brand Sterling has pledged its support to recognising talent in the DIY and garden industry by sponsoring categories for two major industry awards over the coming year.

Akzo Nobel named as global sustainability leader 13 September 2012
Dulux parent ranked in first place in the Chemicals supersector on the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes (DJSI).

John Lewis Partnership sees 60% profits leap in H1... 13 September 2012
...And early indications show H2 shaping up to be another period of growth for the unstoppable retailer, as chairman Charlie Mayfield reveals gross sales are already 10% up on last year for the first six weeks.

Homebase like-for-like revenue down 6.2% for H1 13 September 2012
Poor weather conditions were blamed for Homebase's drop in sales for the 26 weeks to September 1, 2012, with the final figure revealed as £787m in Home Retail Group's half-yearly report.

Change of scenery for The Handyman 13 September 2012
Independent Eastbourne-based DIY, pet and garden store The Handyman has relocated 10 miles to Hailsham, bringing to a close three years of careful planning and negotiation.

Kingfisher's H1 results: retail profit and sales founder 12 September 2012
Record wet weather in the UK and Northern Europe was responsible for over £30million less profit (-14.7%) at B&Q's parent company Kingfisher during the 26 weeks to July 28, 2012.

GCG appoints former Virgin boss as new chairman 12 September 2012
The Garden Centre Group has announced the appointment of Stephen Murphy, former ceo of Virgin Group, as its newest chairman.

Putting faces to Mica names 12 September 2012
Mica is launching its autumn brochure with a personal twist this month, featuring member retailers and staff across selected front pages in an attempt to promote the local connection between the group’s retailers, customers and local communities.

Shuropody footcare chain bags £3m to expand in garden centres 12 September 2012
Specialist footcare provider Shuropody has secured funding that will allow it to expand its presence in garden centres.

Bheta to run without a president until May 2013 12 September 2012
Following the sudden resignation of former president John Newcomb, the British Home Enhancement Trades Association has decided not to rush the election process and run without a president until its next AGM in May 2013.

Bureaucracy and weather force garden centre closures 11 September 2012
Two separate garden centres - one in Devon and the other in Rutland - have revealed that they have been forced to close down.

New Wickes TV ad campaign rivals top dog Dulux 11 September 2012
A brand new advertising campaign from Wickes debuted on mainstream TV last night, featuring new character Wickesy the dog, who is seen in the advert overtaking an old English sheepdog similar to those used in Dulux marketing.

Stanley kicks off football season with new ad deal 11 September 2012
Stanley Hand Tools is continuing its association with top flight football this season, with a significant investment in perimeter advertising and exclusive deals as official partner of both Liverpool FC and Fulham FC.

End of the road for Cheltenham cookshop 11 September 2012
A Cheltenham cookshop ceased trading this weekend, having fallen victim to reduced customer spending and this year's poor weather.

Retail property body urges PM to act for high streets 11 September 2012
An influential retail property trade organisation has written to the Prime Minister today, urging action to help regenerate Britain's flagging high streets.

GCG customers raise £4,900 for Help for Heroes 10 September 2012
Customers at garden centres in The Garden Centre Group (GCG) nationwide have helped raise £4,900 for Help for Heroes, and the money was recently presented to a charity representative.

Debenhams director to speak at BHETA forum 10 September 2012
Debenhams commercial director Steve Lightfoot will be retail guest speaker at the next BHETA Housewares Open Forum.

John Lewis to enter Essex with new Chelmsford store 10 September 2012
John Lewis has chosen Chelmsford as the site for its third flexible-format department store.

Nearly half of shoppers want longer Sunday opening 10 September 2012
With both the Paralympic Games and the relaxation of the Sunday trading laws coming to an end yesterday, a new poll shows that almost half of shoppers support longer Sunday opening hours on a permanent basis.

Countdown to Glee: tours, panels and workshops 10 September 2012
Glee organisers are sending a reminder to all attendees at next week's Glee show to take advantage of one of the exciting new features of the show - the guided tours.

Failure to find buyer forces final closure of Allders 10 September 2012
Allders, the huge department store that has been trading in Croydon for a century and a half, is to close down

Screwfix steps up presence in Shepton Mallet 7 September 2012
Kingfisher-owned chain opens new trade counter alongside its trial DIY format DIY Express at Haskins retail complex.

Big names lend support to DIY Week awards 6 September 2012
Industry headliners - from AkzoNobel to Home Hardware - have lent their support to the upcoming DIY Week Awards ahead of the fast-approaching September 21 deadline for entries.

Dobbies and Tesco joint store gets green light 5 September 2012
The landmark Dobbies and Tesco shared store is now a certainty, after councillors in King's Lynn gave permission for the £8m development at a former Campbell's factory site on Hardwick Road.

The Sun seeks Britain's Best Garden Centre 5 September 2012
The Sun newspaper has launched a campaign to find Britain's Best Garden Centre.

Compulsory ban for asbestos vacuum flask 5 September 2012
A vacuum flask has been compulsorily withdrawn from the market because it contains asbestos.

High street boom for crafts, baking and health foods 5 September 2012
A growing presence of specialist shops such as arts and crafts stores, bakery and home baking stores and health food outlets reveals that high streets are adapting to take on the supermarkets and shopping centres.

Dobbies sets ambitious £50k target for new charity partner 5 September 2012
The garden centre chain has chosen CLIC Sargent, the leading cancer charity for children and young people, as its Christmas charity partner this year - and has pledged to raise £50,000 by Christmas Eve.

Study shows no improvement in empty shop blight 5 September 2012
There are no signs that the scourge of vacant shops mouldering on Britain's high streets is about to go away, new figures have revealed.

Garden centre business boosts Churchill China 5 September 2012
A growing focus on supplying outlets such as garden centres helped Stoke-on-Trent pottery maker Churchill China raise half-year profits by 22%.

Irresponsible iron ad showed woman steaming her hand 4 September 2012
A TV advertisement for an iron that showed a woman deliberately spraying steam onto her hand was irresponsible, the ad watchdog has ruled.

B&Q's kitchens feature on ITV's This Morning 4 September 2012
B&Q has announced a two-year agreement with ITV which will see a brand new kitchen feature on the set of the channel's flagship daytime programme, This Morning, from this week onwards.

Wickes puts its boss in a box 3 September 2012
A four by four feet glass box, suspended 20 ft over a car park in Aylesbury was where a director from Wickes spent a gruelling 34 hours of his bank holiday weekend last week.

Indies flock to Autumn Fair's first day 3 September 2012
Autumn Fair International 2012 got under way yesterday, and, as is usual for the show's Sunday, saw an influx of independents.

Hay fever drives boom in sales of fake flowers 3 September 2012
Sales of artificial flowers are enjoying a significant uplift on the back of the longest hay fever season experienced in two decades.

Flying Brands reports £1.1m losses as board members fly the coop 3 September 2012
The former gardening home shopping retailer has posted financial results for the 26 weeks ending June 29, 2012, rounding off a half year which saw much of the group's operations sold.

Liquidation for landscaping firm with skilled staff shortage 3 September 2012
A lack of skilled workers has helped put one of Scotland's leading independent landscaping businesses into liquidation.

Over £2.2bn spent on DIY tools that aren't used 3 September 2012
Almost half of Britons admit to buying DIY tools that hardly ever emerge from the toolbox, a new study has found.

Gardman signs McLoughlins as Ireland distributor 3 September 2012
Gardman has appointed McLoughlins as its distributor in the Republic of Ireland.

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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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