Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive May 2013

Retail sales plummet by fastest rate in a year 31 May 2013
Retail suffered its worst decline in more than a year during the first half of May, according to the latest Distributive Trades Survey from the CBI.

B&Q revenue drops 5.6% LfL during Q1 as weather cripples outdoor sales 30 May 2013
Total sales at the Kingfisher retailer B&Q fell by 5.7% to £913m during the 13 weeks to May 4, 2013, with unseasonably cold temperatures blamed for lower footfall and depressed sales of outdoor products.

Cash use down 10%, but remains customers' payment of choice 30 May 2013
New technology has transformed the way people pay for products on the high street and online, according to the BRC's Cost of Payment Collection Survey, which reported a 10% decrease in cash spending in the retail industry over 2012.

Last chance to attend next week's Global DIY Summit 30 May 2013
EDRA and fediyma have put out the call for last minute attendees of the second Global DIY Summit, which will take place next week in Rome, Italy.

Cycling team hoping to Vin big for charity 30 May 2013
Owner of London-based independent chain The Tool Shop Vin Vara will be donning the lycra as part of the Akzo Nobel team taking on the gruelling Deloitte Ride Across Britain (RAB) challenge in June.

Sales slide at Topps Tiles 29 May 2013
Like-for-likes dropped by 0.2% during the six months to the end of March at Topps Tiles, and although the group saw revenue increase by 0.9%, adjusted profit before tax fell by almost £1m.

M&S is repaid rent after landmark 'vacant premises' case 29 May 2013
Marks & Spencer has won what is being seen as potentially a landmark legal case over the requirement to pay retail rent even when the premises are no longer occupied.

Maize insecticide fipronil is 'acute risk' for bees 29 May 2013
Another insecticide has been found to be extremely dangerous for honeybees.

Spring cleaning steams ahead, says GfK 28 May 2013
Almost one million steam cleaners were sold in the last 12 months, according to the latest research from GfK, with an extra £12m worth of steam mops sold in the first quarter of 2013 alone.

Hayes Garden World md faces new trial over 'drink-driver-swap' 28 May 2013
A garden centre boss who has already been jailed for drink-driving will now go on trial for conspiring to pervert the course of justice over the same offence.

Fire rips through relaunched Cherry Lane garden centre 28 May 2013
A garden centre acquired by the Cherry Lane chain just four months ago has been severely damaged in a major blaze.

Bents celebrates a decade of long-service club 28 May 2013
Staff with 10 or more years' experience with Bents Garden & Home have been celebrating the tenth anniversary of the company's exclusive 10+ Club.

Future for shops is bleak, says retail report 28 May 2013
The number of shops in the UK will fall by 22% over the next five years, while online retail sales will almost double over the same period.

Rustins acquires Briwax International 23 May 2013
Briwax owners, the Bollom family, head for retirement, selling company and brands to competitor Rustins Limited.

Hozelock Flexi Spray scoops top Chelsea product award 22 May 2013
The innovative design of Hozelock's new Flexi Spray watering accessory has won it the prestigious Product of the Year 2013 title at this week's Chelsea Flower Show.

DIY job could have caused fatal explosion 22 May 2013
A DIY job going tragically wrong may be responsible for a fatal accident at a home in Nottinghamshire last weekend.

New B&Q service provides vetted tradesmen at fixed prices 22 May 2013
B&Q has launched a new service which it says will give customers an easy solution to addressing DIY tasks that they either cannot or should not undertake themselves.

Woman will stand trial over £55k garden centre theft 22 May 2013
A woman is due to stand trial after being charged with the theft of a large sum of money from Chepstow Garden Centre.

Garden centres' 2013 sales slump - then soar 21 May 2013
Garden centre sales in the first three months of 2013 plummeted by over a quarter compared to the first three months of 2012, with the cold weather keeping gardeners away.

Homebase and B&Q amongst Chelsea's winners 21 May 2013
Homebase, B&Q and Bord na Móna have all been awarded medals for their gardens at this week's Chelsea Flower Show.

DIY disasters cost enthusiasts over £3bn a year 21 May 2013
Britain is a nation of deluded DIY-ers, with most people believing they are good at DIY but collectively wasting billions of pounds each year on decorating disasters.

Lakeland man lined up for BHETA forum 21 May 2013
Matthew Canwell, director of buying at Lakeland, has been signed up as guest speaker at BHETA's member forum on September 26.

Mo Iqbal leaves Tile Giant board 20 May 2013
Five new additions to the board at Travis Perkins-owned Tile Giant have been made over the past six weeks, and managing director Mo Iqbal has stepped down.

New Bristol trade counter for Screwfix 20 May 2013
A 5,500sq ft trade counter unit at IM Properties' Longwell Green trade park development in Bristol has become the latest notch in Screwfix's belt.

Woodie's DIY robber gets five-year jail sentence 20 May 2013
A man who colluded with an employee of Grafton Group's Irish chain Woodie's DIY to steal almost €60,000 from the retailer has been put behind bars.

DIY store theft man must pay compensation 20 May 2013
An out-of-work man has been told by a court that he will have to pay compensation to a kitchens and bedrooms store from which he stole.

April brought shoppers flooding back to high streets 20 May 2013
The warmer weather in April reversed the fortunes of high streets, new footfall figures reveal.

Acquisition takes Hughes Electrical into Spalding 20 May 2013
Independent electrical specialist Hughes Electrical has opened a new outlet in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Three new judges for GIMA awards - including Waitrose buyer 17 May 2013
The GIMA awards for the garden retail product supply sector launched last month and today a further three judges were added to the panel.

Screwfix takes the spotlight on BBC Breakfast 17 May 2013
The Sutton Coldfield branch of Screwfix enjoyed some time in the spotlight last week, providing the venue for a lively debate on BBC Breakfast about current issues facing retailers.

Buyers enjoy better-organised National Hardware Show 17 May 2013
Just as retailers realise they must keep improving to satisfy customer needs, this year's National Hardware Show, held May 7-9, offered buyers a number of major improvements designed to make it easier to shop and easier to find new items or explore other market opportunities.

Duck Tape scores advertising high with England cricket matches 17 May 2013
Duck Tape has invested in pitch side advertising at two of this summer's upcoming England v New Zealand Investec Test Series cricket matches.

Wickes sees a depressed first quarter, as sales drop 6% LfL 17 May 2013
The four months to April 30 brought sales crashing 6.1% like-for-like at Wickes, with the early Easter and chilly start to Spring heavily impacting revenue.

The Range sees operating profit rocket by 27% 17 May 2013
South West retailer The Range saw turnover shoot up by 20% to £296.7m for the 52 weeks ending January 29, 2013.

B&Q to sign over 40% Wigan store space to Morrisons 17 May 2013
A novel store share is planned for the B&Q outlet in Wigan, with the DIY retailer agreeing to sign over almost half of its 100,000 sq ft trading space to a Morrisons food hall.

Leekes reveals plans for £1m makeover at Cross Hands store 17 May 2013
Family-owned independent department store chain Leekes announced a major revamp of its Cross Hands store, including the extensions of its restaurant, and a floor entirely dedicated to furniture studios.

Bira spreads independent fever at High St Conference 17 May 2013
It was standing room only at yesterday's 2013 bira conference - combining a tailor-made conference for retailers, a separate schedule of speeches for suppliers and a collective High St Conference for everyone during the afternoon.

Hundreds rally outside council offices to save Twyford garden centre 15 May 2013
A crowd of well wishers gathered outside Wokingham Borough Council offices with placards and banners reading 'Save our Sheeplands' yesterday to show their support for Hare Hatch Sheeplands garden centre, which could be facing closure.

Axminster Tool Centre opens new skill centre in Sittingbourne 15 May 2013
Following the success of Axminster Tool Centre's first skill centre, which opened at its Devon-based head office in 2004, the business has launched a brand new facility for its south east customers.

Big players sign up to GIMA golf day 14 May 2013
Hartman UK latest company to sign up, joining a host of other big names in the garden industry.

REMINDER: New contact details for DIY Week team 14 May 2013
Following DIY Week's move to Datateam Publishing last month, new contact details are now available for the editorial and advertising team.

UPDATE: Rapid re-opens 13 May 2013
Troubled Liverpool retailer Rapid Hardware re-opened its doors on Saturday under the new alias Rapid Discount Outlet Ltd.

GCA announces new venue for 2013 conference 10 May 2013
The Garden Centre Association has announced a brand new venue for its annual conference, taking place from January 26 to 29, 2014.

Late Easter heralds slow start to sales in April 8 May 2013
Retail sales decreased by 2.2% like-for-like in April, meaning a total reduction of 0.6% according to the BRC and KPMG sales monitor.

DIY spend sinks to new lows 7 May 2013
Cash splashed on DIY goods last year sank to the lowest level in 13 years according to a new report by Lloyds TSB.

Charity shoot will help Rainy Day Trust 7 May 2013
The Rainy Day Trust is offering an opportunity to spend a day at the UK's premier clay shooting school along with some of the UK's top DIY and home enhancement suppliers and retailers.

B&Q Ireland exits examinership, saving 640 jobs 7 May 2013
More than 600 B&Q employees in Ireland had their jobs saved today as the High Court approved the examiner's recommendations for the Kingfisher-owned retailer.

Youngsters rely on parents to do the DIY 7 May 2013
A growing DIY skills gap and an empty toolbox are leaving young adults ill-equipped to do basic household maintenance tasks, relying instead on mum and dad for both advice and hands-on help.

A sting in the tail for pesticide suppliers 2 May 2013
The European Commission has decided to approve a two year ban on all products containing neonicotinoid pesticides due to their potential harmful effect on bees.

Howden sees revenue climb 9.3% during first quarter 2 May 2013
Sales at Howden Joinery increased by 7.6% on a same depot basis for the first 16 weeks of 2013, according to an interim management statement released today, but the group has said it 'remains cautious' about the rest of the year.

The return of Rapid? 2 May 2013
Rumours have surfaced that Rapid Hardware could be back trading again in a matter of weeks. An anonymous caller tipped off DIY Week that the failed Liverpool retailer's original owners, the Dohertys had bought the business from adminstrators and planned to re-open in coming weeks.

Homebase profits fall by £12m, but HRG reports a 'solid' year 1 May 2013
Revenues at Home Retail Group, which owns Homebase and Argos, were reported as 'broadly flat' at £5.48bn for the 52 weeks ending March 2, 2013.

Michael Barrymore is working at Essex garden centre 1 May 2013
The controversial former television entertainer Michael Barrymore is now reported to be working in a garden centre.

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