Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive April 2013

Screwfix tops DIY customer satisfaction awards 29 April 2013
Kingfisher scored high in the DIY sector of the Verdict Customer Satisfactions Awards, with Screwfix winning first place and B&Q taking home second.

Duck Tape launches new website 29 April 2013
Designed to educate and inform consumers about the many uses of Duck Tape, the supplier's new website recently went live.

Chelsea marks 100 years by letting gnomes through the doors 29 April 2013
Previously banned at the famous gardening show, 150 gnomes will be on display at this year's event as part of its centenary celebrations, but not before they've had a makeover by some high-profile figures.

Homebase 'will see profits halved' 29 April 2013
Homebase's performance has taken a severe blow over the past year, results released later this week are expected to show.

Home improvements take a hammering in financial squeeze 29 April 2013
The economic downturn has generated "an extreme unwillingness to spend on homes", with home and garden set to be one of the slowest areas of growth over the next few years.

Paris Natar takes majority stake in Smart Solar 29 April 2013
The former owner of Gardman, Paris Natar, has acquired a majority stake in Smart Solar for an undisclosed sum.

Police release CCTV stills following garden centre raid 25 April 2013
Images of two women have been released by Herfordshire police following a theft from Carpenders Park Garden Centre in Little Oxhey Lane, Watford.

B&Q pulls out of Football League sponsorship 25 April 2013
B&Q has pulled out of negotiations to sponsor the Football League from the start of next season.

Hillier's Eastbourne centre recognised as tourist destination 25 April 2013
Hillier Garden Centre Eastbourne has been granted seven brown tourist signs by East Sussex County Council, officially putting it on the map as a tourist destination.

Greenfingers announces major new fundraising drive 24 April 2013
A new appeal called 'Rosy Cheeks' has been launched by Greenfingers, the industry charity dedicated to creating gardens in children's hospices, with the aim of raising £750,000 over the next two years.

Barnstaple garden centre gets relocation go-ahead 24 April 2013
Leading North Devon business St John's Garden Centre has finally been given the go-ahead to relocate to a larger site.

Disappointing start for April sales 24 April 2013
April got off to a poor start for retailers, according to the CBI's latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

Cold weather drives Carpetright's like-for-likes up 5.6% 23 April 2013
Carpetright proved itself one of the few members of the high street to benefit from the recent cold snap, as customers' increased focus on interiors saw sales rise 4.4% overall during the retailer's final quarter.

Home Hardware puts emphasis on outdoor living 23 April 2013
Home Hardware retailers are set to distribute 760,000 Summer Leisure brochures and leaflets during May and June.

Six out of ten SMEs impacted by bitter spring 23 April 2013
The unexpectedly prolonged cold weather cost small businesses £174million this March according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

LOFA welcomes La Hacienda as member 23 April 2013
La Hacienda, the Gloucestershire-based supplier of outdoor heating products and lanterns, has become the latest member of LOFA.

Independents' Q1 sales hit by poor weather 22 April 2013
This year's poor weather has taken a toll of sales within independent retailers across a wide diversity of product categories.

John Lewis notches up £1bn of online sales 22 April 2013
Annual online sales at John Lewis have passed the £1bn mark - a year ahead of the retailer's forecast.

Founder of award-winning Gordale dies 22 April 2013
A co-founder of Gordale Nurseries, which was a joint Gold winner of DIY Week's Garden Retailer of the Year award last year, has died.

Stewart expands manufacturing facilities 22 April 2013
The home and garden plastics manufacturer has further improved and expanded its manufacturing capabilities with plans to install a 3 axis Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) at its 178,000sq ft facility in Banbury.

Monument Tools rewards long-serving employees 19 April 2013
British manufacturer Monument Tools awarded long service certificates to 11 employees who have clocked up a staggering 340 years of service between them.

B&M founder becomes Britain's first billionaire under 30 19 April 2013
Robin Arora, 28, who runs Liverpool-based discount home store B&M Bargains with his older brothers Simon and Bobby, topped the Sunday Times' Young Rich List, despite sharing his £1.1bn fortune with his brothers.

Dobbies Edinburgh prepares to re-open, with 13 added businesses 18 April 2013
Dobbies Garden World in Melville, Edinburgh, will reopen tomorrow (Friday, April 19) with a brand new retail village offering 13 concessions within the outdoor space.

Kingfisher enters Romania with Brico Dépôt 18 April 2013
Kingfisher, parent company to B&Q and Screwfix, has acquired 15 'Bricostore' home improvement sites in Romania from Group Bresson, a French retail company, for an undisclosed sum.

Take part in the peat debate 17 April 2013
Garden Centre Association (GCA) members are being invited to attend a meeting in June to discuss the peat issue.

GCG launches apprenticeship scheme 17 April 2013
The Garden Centre Group hopes to recruit 120 young trainees into its horticultural apprenticeship programme in a bid to create the garden centre managers of the future.

Cuprinol launches competition to find Britain's most neglected shed 17 April 2013
Shed of the Year sponsor Cuprinol recently scoured the nation to find the UK's oldest and most dilapidated shed, and is now opening a nationwide competition to find "the shed most in need of love".

Vicky Nuttall takes over as GIMA president 16 April 2013
Vicky Nuttall, head of marketing at Forest Garden, has been voted in as the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association's new president.

Administrators say there is nothing for Rapid Hardware creditors 16 April 2013
Failed Liverpool retailer Rapid Hardware went down owing £3m - and unsecured creditors will take a total loss.

Am-Tech invests £100k in newly re-vamped showroom 16 April 2013
At a time when many businesses are buckling down and watching what they spend, tool brand Am-Tech has ploughed £100,000 back into the business to create a new-look showroom to support its brand refresh.

Start-up businesses pitch to John Lewis 16 April 2013
Fledgling businesses lined up last week to impress a panel of seasoned judges from John Lewis in a bid to get their big break.

A third of shoppers target supermarkets for DIY goods 15 April 2013
Almost a third of shoppers have bought gardening equipment and DIY tools from a supermarket, according to new research.

March shoppers give high streets the cold shoulder 15 April 2013
The bitterly cold weather kept shoppers indoors in March and slashed 5.2% off the year-on-year footfall figures

99p Stores makes its Scottish debut 15 April 2013
Single-price retailer 99p Stores is to open its first outlet in Scotland over the next few weeks.

Retailers gear up for sunnier climes 12 April 2013
Temperatures have finally reached the double digits, and retailers have been making the most of the sunniest weather of 2013 so far, pulling out all the stops with springtime promotions and offers on seasonal products.

B&Q steps up support for Bee Cause campaign 11 April 2013
As the debate on neonicotinoid pesticides and their potential harmfulness to bees rumbles on, B&Q is launching the B&Q Bee Friendly Campaign and signing up to support Friends of the Earth's call for stakeholders to protect the UK's bee population with a National Bee Action Plan.

Dunelm posts positive Q3 results, but fears a tough final quarter 10 April 2013
Revenue for the 13 weeks to March 30, 2013, was up 15.4% at Dunelm Mill, bringing total sales value for the 39 weeks to March 30 up to £517.9m, an increase of 12.3% since last year.

Notcutts Tunbridge Wells to undergo redevelopment 9 April 2013
A state of the art redevelopment is on the cards for Notcutts garden centre in Pembury, Tunbridge Wells in spring 2014.

Pets at Home buys Vets4Pets 9 April 2013
Pets at Home is investing in its veterinary services by snapping up Vets4Pets, in a deal rumoured to have cost the specialist retailer between £30m and £50m.

Screwfix now shipping to 23 European countries 9 April 2013
Screwfix has launched a European shipping service as a result of what it calls "intense interest from international customers".

Landlord deal saves B&Q's Athlone store 9 April 2013
B&Q Ireland's Athlone store has been given a reprieve after the company managed to negotiate a better rent deal with its landlord.

Croydon opening for Al-Murad Tiles 9 April 2013
A new Al-Murad tile and DIY superstore has been officially opened in Croydon.

Early Easter boosted retail sales, but cold weather hit DIY and gardening 9 April 2013
Sales during March were up 1.9% like-for-like for retailers last month compared with March 2012, with a total increase of 3.7%, according to a new report from the BRC and KPMG.

Everyone's a winner at the Totally shows 9 April 2013
Buyers visiting this year's Totally DIY and Totally Tools show had the chance to walk away with a host of prizes on offer from exhibitors, and the organisers have now brought together and released all the names of the lucky winners.

Young generation flummoxed by DIY tasks 9 April 2013
Young people are unable to do the simplest of DIY skills, such as wiring a plug and using a power drill, a new survey has found.

Homewares proved the star of the high street in snowy March 8 April 2013
The UK could be in danger of a triple dip recession due to a poor retail performance during an unseasonably cold March this year, which saw sales contract by 0.9% year-on-year.

Local consortium saves Axminster Carpets 8 April 2013
The future of Axminster Carpets was secured over the weekend with the sale of the business as a going concern.

'Tesco' prices-request email is a scam 8 April 2013
Suppliers are being warned about a scam under which they are being targeted by a 'buyer' purporting to be from Tesco.

UPDATE: New contact details for DIY Week team 8 April 2013
Following DIY Week's move to Datateam Publishing last Friday, new contact details are now available for the editorial and advertising team.

John Colley becomes ceo of Dutch DIY chain Praxis 5 April 2013
Former B&Q director John Colley has been appointed chief executive officer of Praxis, having spent the last few years as chief commercial officer of parent group Maxeda.

Bents GC shows its green side 4 April 2013
The latest waste recycling figures from Bents Garden & Home show that the Glazebury-based centre now recycles 98.9% of its waste, putting its target of 100% well within reach.

Textiles Direct enters administration, risking 300 jobs 4 April 2013
More than 300 employees at homewares retailer Textiles Direct are facing the possibility of redundancy after the Oldham-based business was placed into administration this week.

Monkton Elm donates over 2,000 saplings 4 April 2013
Twenty-seven worthy causes across Somerset were the recent recipients of 2,013 saplings, donated by Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre to help with various projects and activities.

Independents' Day campaign kicks off with a vengeance 4 April 2013
With just four months to go until the big day, Skillsmart Retail has launched the 2013 Independents' Day campaign.

Bitter weather chills Easter weekend sales 4 April 2013
Garden centres hoping the long Easter weekend would bring a turn in the weather after the coldest March in 50 years were disappointed. The bitter conditions persisted over what should be one of their busiest periods, and ripped into sales.

DIY Week has a new owner 3 April 2013
After 13 years with Faversham House, DIY Week has been bought by a new publishing firm

Kitchens and cooking enjoy robust growth 2 April 2013
Kitchens and cookware were strong performers at the start of the year, according to new data from GfK.

B&M gets go-ahead in Shepton Mallet 2 April 2013
Budget retailer B&M has received the green light to open a new store in Shepton Mallet, in Somerset.

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