Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive September 2013

Topps Tiles predicts small rise in annual profit 30 September 2013
Topps Tiles is expecting to report a marginal rise in profits when it posts its full-year results on November 26.

Essex garden centre forced to shut up shop 30 September 2013
Competition from supermarkets and online retailers is forcing the closure of a long-established Essex garden centre.

Home Hardware raises £525 for charity 30 September 2013
A prize draw at the Home Hardware Southwest Autumn Trade Show raised £525 for the Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF). Fire Angel was also voted Best Display Stand, awarding a cash prize and certificate to the company.

BIRA announces details of 2014 conference 30 September 2013
The British Independent Retailers Association has revealed the details of its next annual High Street Conference, which will take place on Thursday May 15, 2014 at Four Pillars Hotel, Cotswold Water Park.

Fire at Homebase store near Plymouth 30 September 2013
A fire broke out at the Homebase store in Liskeard, near Plymouth, in the early hours of Saturday morning. After initial inspection, backup crews were called and around eight fire engines attended the scene to tackle the blaze.

Bristol garden centre gets set for major rebuild 30 September 2013
An independent garden centre near Bristol is marking its 80th birthday this year by unveiling plans for a dramatic redevelopment.

Home Hardware Southwest pays £137,000 to members 30 September 2013
The dealer-owned buying group recently made the payout in the form of dividends and rebates to its retail members.

Ikea starts selling solar panels in store 30 September 2013
Ikea has teamed up with global solar company, Hanergy, to sell solar panels and a full installation service to its customers in its stores.

Screwfix achieves “zero waste to landfill” across all UK stores 27 September 2013
Screwfix has managed to achieve zero waste to landfill at its 285 UK stores through a series of initiatives in recent years.

Major re-brand for Aggregate Industries 27 September 2013
Aggregate Industries, one of the UK's leading aggregates, construction and building materials groups, has announced a major re-brand which will consolidate 25 of its businesses under the Aggregate Industries name.

Furniture and carpet stores reports strongest sales increase in 17 years 26 September 2013
Retail sales exceeded expectations, growing strongly in the year to September 2013, with furniture and carpet retailers leading the way, according to CBI results.

Man charged over Homebase break-in 26 September 2013
A man has been charged following a break-in at a Homebase store in Epsom at the weekend.

Argos to take on 10,000 seasonal workers 26 September 2013
In anticipation of strong demand this Christmas, the high street retailer is looking to increase its existing 30,000-strong workforce by a third over the festive shopping season, taking on 10,000 temporary store workers across the UK.

Second store for B&M in Carlisle 24 September 2013
B&M Homestore is opening a second store in Carlisle, that will focus mainly on selling paint, soft furnishings, homeware and gardening goods.

BHETA teams up with Screwfix for 2013 Innovation Day 24 September 2013
Following on from last year's successful event with Screwfix, BHETA has announced plans for another 'Innovation Day', to give members the chance to get their ranges in front of the Screwfix buying team.

The BRC calls for a reform on business rates 24 September 2013
"The business rates system is no longer fit-for-purpose" and "is particularly damaging for the retail industry", said the British Retail Consortium, which has published a report calling for a reform on business rates, adding that it wants to work closely with the Government on the issue.

Links to compost in Lothian outbreak of Legionella 24 September 2013
Garden centres in the Scottish region are offering advice to customers in the wake of investigations into the link between possible contaminated bags of compost and confirmed cases of Legionella longbeachae.

JML to rival QVC with launch of shopping channel 24 September 2013
Consumer products brand, JML, which specialises in TV home shopping experts and broadcaster ITV are extending their existing teleshopping relationship with the launch of a new shopping channel called The Store.

Ebay sellers offer Click & Collect at Argos 24 September 2013
Ebay and Argos have joined forces in a new trial where selected Ebay sellers will be able to offer a Click & Collect service, with customers able to pick up their items at Argos stores throughout the UK.

HTA Garden Futures and the rise of multichannel shopping 23 September 2013
The HTA Garden Futures Conference will feature Josh McBain, from Future Foundation, a consumer trends and insight organisation, as he explores how the retail environment is set to evolve in response to the rise of multichannel shopping.

Topps Tiles expands into Northern Ireland 20 September 2013
Tile and wood flooring retailer opens store in Newtownabbey, Belfast.

Retail sales fall in August 19 September 2013
Retail sales volumes fell by 0.9% in August, compared to a growth of 1.1% in July, according to the Office for National Statistics. Sales in household goods stores were down, as well. Year-on-year estimates for August this year, however, showed that the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.1%.

Change of venue for BHETA housewares forum 19 September 2013
To meet unprecendented demand for places, BHETA will now be holding the event at The Regency Hotel, Solihull.

Squire's signs new waste management contract 19 September 2013
Squire's Garden Centres has appointed Specialist Waste Recycling (SWR) to manage all its waste across its 14 sites in the south of England.

Opinion divided over Glee Sunday opening 19 September 2013
Exhibitors on the floor expressed mixed views over whether the garden and leisure show should have reverted to its original Sunday to Tuesday format this year.

Natures Menu pet food wins Supplier of the Year award 19 September 2013
Pet food company, Natures Menu, won a hat-trick of awards on the first day of PATS Harrogate at the inaugural PetQuip Industry Awards, held last weekend. The raw food specialists won the Supplier of the Year award and earlier picked up PATS New Product Showcase awards in both the cat and dog categories, too.

Dunelm reports pre-tax profits up 12.3% and 80% multichannel growth 17 September 2013
Homewares retailer Dunelm has reported a pre-tax profit figure of £108.1m for the 52 weeks to the end of June 2013, a rise of 12.3% against the same period last year. It added that it has also seen an 80% growth in multichannel revenues; this now represents over 4% of the total business.

Wickes extends TalkSport sponsorship 16 September 2013
Wickes has renewed its sponsorship with TalkSport, the world's biggest sports radio station, for another year.

Garden Centre Group acquires Garden & Leisure 16 September 2013
The Garden Centre Group has acquired the Garden & Leisure Group from Louis Delhaize, which also owns leading French garden centre group Truffaut.

GCA announces the venue for its 2014 conference 13 September 2013
The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has revealed the location of its next annual conference and the winners of its 'guess the venue competition'.

Soaring sales at Homebase in Q2 this summer 13 September 2013
Home Retail Group has reported sales at Homebase in Q2 rose by 9.3% to £400m and like-for-like sales climbed 11%, compared to just 1.4% in Q1 of this year. It's being reported as the retailer's strongest performance in over a decade.

Next plans to open 11 more Home and Garden stores 12 September 2013
Next has revealed that it has planning permission to open 11 more of its large format Fashion, Home and Garden stores, as it reports robust sales figures for the first half of this year.

John Lewis boasts “strong first-half trading performance” this year 12 September 2013
In the first six months of this year, the John Lewis Partnership achieved a "robust" sales growth with gross sales recorded at £4.73bn, a rise of 7.3% against the same period last year. The company's profit took a blow, however, due to a large payout of missed holiday payments.

Scotsdales in talks to buy Notcutts Cambridge centre 11 September 2013
Notcutts has announced that it is in talks to sell its Horningsea, near Cambridge, garden centre to Scotsdales.

Speedy launches new superstore in Liverpool 11 September 2013
Speedy, the provider of equipment rental and support services to the construction industry, has consolidated its three Liverpool stores for the launch of a new superstore in the city.

Sunshine in Q2 helps lift Kingfisher's H1 results 11 September 2013
The heatwave in recent months gave Kingfisher's businesses the boost it needed after a difficult first quarter and resulted in a fairly flat performance across the board.

Entry to 'best-street' competition now closed 11 September 2013
Entry to Cultivation Street, the nationwide competition launched by television gardener David Domoney to find Britain's best floral street, is now closed.

1m more households suffering financial squeeze 10 September 2013
Consumer confidence is on the up - but far more households are worried now about their finances than they were a year ago.

Screwfix launches trade and DIY show 10 September 2013
Screwfix has launched its first show dedicated to trade and DIY, 'Screwfix Live', with more than 120 suppliers exhibiting at Farnborough Five this month.

New Poundland distribution centre will underpin growth 9 September 2013
Poundland has been given the go-ahead to build a new-state-of-the-art distribution centre in Harlow, Essex.

Redditch B&Q robber causes £50,000-worth of damage 9 September 2013
A Worcestershire B&Q store suffered tens of thousands of pounds' worth of damage during a burglary last week.

Century-old Solihull ironmonger's closes down 9 September 2013
A West Midlands ironmonger's has closed its doors for the last time, having been trading for more than 100 years.

Homebase launches discount co-buy website 9 September 2013
Homebase has launched an innovative online shopping initiative offering customers deals on specially selected products, the final price being determined by the number of people who sign up to the deal.

Fermoy's Garden Centre expansion plans get under way 6 September 2013
Multi-award-winning Devon garden centre Fermoy's has kick-started plans for a major re-development and expansion of its business.

Garden centre calls time after roundabout kills trade 6 September 2013
The owner of a Cheshire garden centre on the brink of losing both her business and her home because of a new roundabout has described the situation as "heartbreaking".

GIMA to launch supplier/buyer 'speed dating' at Glee 6 September 2013
Exhibitors at next week's Glee will be able to book a 10-minute 'speed dating' slot with one of a range of buyers, thanks to a new GIMA initiative.

Garden Centre Group buys two new garden centres 5 September 2013
The Garden Centre Group has acquired Cheddar and Lechlade Garden Centres from the Park Garden Centres company in the west country. This now brings the total number of the Group's outlets to 132.

GIMA director Neil Gow to step down 5 September 2013
Neil Gow announced today that he will be stepping down as director of the Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association in the New Year.

Terry Duddy to leave HRG next year 4 September 2013
Home Retail Group announced today that its chief executive, Terry Duddy, has informed the board of his intention to step down from the role by the next AGM on July 2 next year.

Oak Furniture Land ad misled on promotion prices 4 September 2013
The Oak Furniture Land chain has found itself in trouble with the ad watchdog again, this time for failing to prove that promotional prices were genuine reductions.

AkzoNobel becomes member of BHETA 4 September 2013
AkzoNobel Decorative Coatings is the latest DIY sector company to join the British Home Enhancement Trade Association.

Sales up 3.6% in August with ‘home’ categories named best performers 4 September 2013
UK retail sales in August were up 1.8% on a like-for-like basis compared with August 2012, while total sales saw a 3.6% increase in the same period, according to the BRC-KPMG's latest Retail Sales Monitor.

Getaway thief drove over garden centre owner 4 September 2013
A thief who ran over the retired owner of a garden centre with his car has had his case referred by magistrates to a Crown Court so that he can receive a stiffer sentence.

Monkton Elm given go-ahead for restaurant expansion 4 September 2013
Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre near Taunton has had the green light to revamp and nearly double the size of its Four Seasons restaurant to meet growing customer demand.

Topps Tiles launches mobile-optimised website 4 September 2013
Topps Tiles has launched a mobile version of its website, catering for both trade and consumer visitors.

Kingfisher extends graduate programme for 2013 3 September 2013
Kingfisher has announced new changes for its graduate scheme this year, including the launch of an IT services programme, as it takes on its fresh recruits for 2013.

B&Q announces deal to merge Ipswich store with Morrisons 3 September 2013
B&Q and Morrisons have announced a deal that will see B&Q's Ipswich (Euro Retail Park) store converted to make way for a new Morrisons store.

Police seek power drills theft suspect 3 September 2013
Police in the West Country are trying to trace a woman suspected of stealing around £300-worth of Stanley power drills from a branch of Homebase.

Victoria Plumb launches new mobile shopping site 3 September 2013
Online bathroom retailer, Victoria Plumb, has launched a new adaptive version of its website that is tailored towards mobile users. Following its extensive TV campaign, the retailer wants to offer customers the ability to browse and even buy on the go.

Masseys to treble in size with store move 3 September 2013
Derbyshire DIY and garden store Masseys is now just months away from moving into purpose-built new premises, which will see the business almost triple in size.

Court upholds Dobbies' record sewage-breach fine 2 September 2013
Dobbies says it is "disappointed" that a court has rejected its appeal over a £75,000 fine imposed on it earlier this year for polluting a stream with sewage.

Home Hardware's new-style cookshop catalogue flies 2 September 2013
A record number of 371,000 cookshop catalogues have been ordered by Home Hardware retailers.

Garden plastics supplier reports 40% sales hike 2 September 2013
Garland Products reported a 40% annual increase in business for 2013 and then addition of 800 new UK garden accounts for its recently-introduced Worth Gardening brand.

Irish garden centre to close 2 September 2013
One of Ireland's Gardenworks garden centres is to close after the company reported huge losses in 2011 and failed to keep the store alive.

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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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