Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive July 2014

BHETA to host export forum 31 July 2014
DIY, garden and housewares companies looking to export further afield are invited to gain insider knowledge from the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA).

O'Keeffe's Working Hands lands deal with Lakeland 31 July 2014
Lakeland has become the first homeware retailer to stock O'Keeffe's Working Hands hand cream in its 68 UK stores and online.

Homebase launches its Interior Design and Decorating Academy 31 July 2014
Following on from the success of its Garden Academy, Homebase has launched its Interior Design and Decorating Academy.

All-In-One Garden Centre fined for illegally selling fireworks 30 July 2014
The Manchester-based All-In-One Garden Centre has been fined over £2,500 for selling fireworks to underage children.

Travis Perkins' consumer division performs well in first six months of 2014 30 July 2014
The Travis Perkins consumer division, which comprises Tile Giant, Toolstation and Wickes, saw a like-for-like revenue rise of 6.8% during the first half of 2014.

Strong Q2 for Next as sales storm ahead of expectations 29 July 2014
Sales for Next in the 26 weeks to July 26 are up 10.7%, ahead of the 5.5%-9.5% full year growth guidance given in April.

Gateacre closes as sister garden centre Burleydam wins award 29 July 2014
Gateacre Garden Centre in Liverpool is closing down, however its sister garden centre, Burleydam in Little Sutton, is thriving and winning awards.

New and improved website for Timco 29 July 2014
Customers will see an improvement in ordering services and a greater access to products when using Timco's new website.

Family-run Alca Tools marks 40 years 29 July 2014
Formed in 1974 by husband and wife team Alan and Carole Hopkins, Alca Tools is very much still a family affair 40 years on.

Tindalls DIY becomes a Home Hardware store 28 July 2014
The latest independent DIY store to join the Home Hardware community is Tindalls DIY in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, which has relaunched with a new look.

BIRA to tour country offering advice to independents 28 July 2014
This summer the British Independent Retailers Association will hit the road touring the UK offering free advice and support to independent retailers.

Home Retail Group to consider selling off Homebase? 28 July 2014
It has been reported that Home Retail Group is planning to sell its £1.5bn Homebase business so it can focus on bolstering the stronger Argos chain.

Consumer division of CWV acquired by Duchy Active Equity 25 July 2014
Duchy Active Equity has acquired the consumer division of wallcoverings company CWV and will now trade under the name CWV Wallcoverings.

Not-so-good Q2 for B&Q as sales drop by 2.5% 24 July 2014
The second quarter has brought mixed results for Kingfisher-owned B&Q and Screwfix - B&Q sales are down 2.5%, whereas Screwfix has grown by 22.6%.

GCA announces the winners of the South Thames region 24 July 2014
The winners of the Garden Centre Association's annual awards in the South Thames region were announced at a special ceremony held last night.

GCA reveals Midlands regional winners 23 July 2014
At a special awards ceremony held Monday evening at Klondyke's Byrkley Park Garden Centre in Burton Upon Trent, the Garden Centre Association revealed its Midlands winners.

Complaint against Lovesofas' website thrown out 23 July 2014
A complaint made against Lovesofas' claim to being the 'UK's largest sofa website' has not been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Warm weather boosts hardware and DIY sales by 20% 23 July 2014
As the temperature across the UK rose so did retail sales in most sub-sectors, with solid growth reported in the year to July.

North Thames winners announced by the GCA 23 July 2014
The Garden Centre Association unveiled its North Thames regional award winners in a special ceremony held last night.

Former Kingfisher boss gets £1m Co-op payoff 22 July 2014
Euan Sutherland, former Co-operative Group chief executive and, before that, boss of Kingfisher, is to receive a £1m golden handshake from the mutual.

B&Q sells mole repellent in Ireland where moles don't exist 22 July 2014
A customer found the mole repellent on sale in B&Q's Derry store, despite the fact that moles don't exist in Ireland.

The Range is set to take another Homebase store 21 July 2014
Rental costs and competition from B&Q has forced Homebase in Kirkcaldy, Fife, to call it a day, with the store lease reportedly transferring to The Range.

Floors-2-Go enters administration for the third time 21 July 2014
Wood flooring expert Floors-2-Go has entered into administration for the third time since 2008.

Garden Re-Leaf Day raises £60,000 for Greenfingers 18 July 2014
Over 230 garden centres took part in fundraising events during Garden Re-Leaf Day to raise over £60,000 for children's hospice garden charity Greenfingers.

GCA names winners from Wales and west of England 18 July 2014
Garden centres across Wales and the west of England are today celebrating their successes in the Garden Centre Association's annual awards held last night.

GIMA 2014 award winners announced 18 July 2014
The winners of the Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association's annual awards were announced last night at a ceremony held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Wales.

TGCG is no more: group changes name back to Wyevale Garden Centres 17 July 2014
It's been five years since The Garden Centre Group ditched the Wyevale identity, but now in a bid to increase brand awareness the Wyevale name makes a return.

June sunshine keeps outdoor living sales on the boil 17 July 2014
The continued warm weather saw barbecues and garden furniture continue to be amongst the top sellers for garden centres in June.

2014 paint sales could grow by 10%, say suppliers 16 July 2014
Decorative paint and woodcare sales continued to improve in June, and the outlook for future business is positive too.

John Lewis tops customer service survey 16 July 2014
The Institute of Customer Service has found John Lewis to be the best customer service provider in the UK, while Homebase and B&Q ranked outside the top 50 organisations surveyed.

Floramedia links with RHS to back Plants for Pollinators 16 July 2014
Horticultural design and print company Floramedia is this month getting behind the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Plants for Pollinators initiative.

Gorilla Glue celebrates after record year of sales 16 July 2014
Six years ago Gorilla Glue launched in the UK and each year the company has gone from strength to strength.

GCA names best northern garden centres 16 July 2014
Four garden centres are today celebrating top wins after the Garden Centre Association (GCA) revealed its 2014 award winners for the north east and north west regions at a special presentation last night.

Outdoor Living Survey: how is the category performing for you? 16 July 2014
Calling all garden and DIY retailers, take DIY Week's survey and let us know your experiences in the Outdoor Living market.

Recycle plastic plant pots in exchange for Grow Pots 16 July 2014
Vitax are offering visitors to this year's National Forest Wood Fair a chance to swap their plastic plant pots for biodegradable Grow Pots.

Wilko store to stay closed for the summer after arson attack 15 July 2014
A 15-year-old girl has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of arson after the attack on Wilko's Nuneaton store on Tuesday, July 8.

Independent Retailer Month sees retailers collaborate for success 15 July 2014
As Independent Retailer Month enters its third week, retailers are being encouraged to recognise the benefits of collaboration on the high street.

Scotts goes back to Solus and buys own brands 15 July 2014
Scotts Miracle-Gro said today that it had reached an agreement to acquire the own brands of stricken wholesaler Solus.

GCA signs up five new members in June 14 July 2014
Following successful inspections the Garden Centre Association signed up five more members last month.

Mackays employs a not-so-dumb approach to promotion 14 July 2014
Dickie Mackay is a mannequin used by Mackays of Cambridge as a promotional tool and most recently he was filmed cycling around the city for the Tour de France.

Huddersfield ironmongery stall brought back from the brink 14 July 2014
A long-established West Yorkshire ironmongery market stall that was set to close for good has had a last-minute reprieve.

Five-year high for first-half footfall figures 14 July 2014
The latest footfall figures show that non-food retailers enjoyed a significantly better first half of the year than any since 2009.

Annual conference proves ever-popular among members and suppliers 11 July 2014
Choice Marketing's 12th annual conference took place last month and was attended by over 100 garden centre members and suppliers.

Argos applies to open concession inside Homebase 11 July 2014
The Branksome branch of Homebase in Dorset has been chosen as the destination for Argos to open a concession.

DeWalt sells new hand tool range exclusively to Screwfix 10 July 2014
Tool manufacturer DeWalt has taken the decision to sell its new range of hand tools exclusively to Screwfix, risking alienating some of its other retailers in the process.

Hand it Over to Henkel: now open for entry 10 July 2014
A number of independent retailers have already expressed an interest in working with Henkel to manage their adhesives and sealants offer in store.

Tentative recovery in Irish DIY market helps Woodie's grow 10 July 2014
Like-for-like revenue growth for Irish DIY chain Woodie's is 3.2% up during the first six months of this year.

Dulux launches augmented reality app 10 July 2014
Akzo brand announces the launch of a new augmented reality app on smartphones and tablets to let consumers virtually paint their walls with hundreds of Dulux shades and see the results in real time.

Dunelm drives full-year sales up 7.8% 9 July 2014
Dunelm grew like-for-like sales 5.5% in the last quarter of its year, continuing an improving trend of previous quarters.

Internet is killing gardening for kids, says David Domoney 9 July 2014
Television gardening celebrity David Domoney says that as children spend more time on the internet and watching television they are becoming increasingly alienated from nature and gardening.

The Range Ipswich rallies in aid of Cancer Research 9 July 2014
With several members of staff at The Range in Ipswich having been affected by cancer over the past year, the store has decided to take a stand and fight back.

Bee supporters see off Syngenta pesticide bid 9 July 2014
Chemicals giant Syngenta has withdrawn a controversial application to allow its banned pesticide back on UK fields after an outcry from environmentalists concerned about declining bee populations.

Fire causes £30,000 of damage at Coolings garden centre 8 July 2014
The chairman of a Kent garden centre company says business is continuing as normal after a fire broke out at one of its two sites last week.

Prison for £110,000 DIY thefts gang 8 July 2014
Ten members of a Hampshire gang who colluded in the theft of around £110,000-worth of DIY goods have today been put behind bars.

Axe hangs over tool distributor's Coventry centre 7 July 2014
National tool distributor Buck & Hickman is facing the closure of its 90,000sq ft distribution centre in Coventry.

Hardware store welcomes dogs to prevent them dying in hot cars 7 July 2014
Harris Home Hardware in Canada has started the policy in a bid to prevent dog owners leaving their pets in hot cars while shopping.

Competition forces nursery to close after two decades of trading 4 July 2014
Constantine Garden Nursery in Falmouth is closing down after the centre can no longer compete with larger garden centres on pricing.

QVC launches third Freeview channel 4 July 2014
Channel 57 is the new home of QVC extra, where the best of QVC's product range will be showcased 24-hours a day.

Best June on record for Home Hardware (Scotland) 4 July 2014
Home Hardware (Scotland) is celebrating after experiencing its best ever June on record with an impressive leap in turnover.

New trade paint brand for AkzoNobel 3 July 2014
AkzoNobel has launched a new paint brand called Armstead Trade and revealed a new look for Dulux Trade as part of a £12m investment programme.

Argos/eBay ramp up click-and-collect service 3 July 2014
EBay and Argos are dramatically extending their offer of click-and-collect services through Argos stores, the companies said today.

Digital is a powerful selling tool, says Toolbank 3 July 2014
Tool specialist encourages retailers to use digital to support and enhance their instore offer.

Wyevale arrives in the 21st century by unveiling a new image 3 July 2014
Following the merger of Wyevale Containers, Wyevale Trees and Wyevale Transplants, Wyevale Nurseries has unveiled new branding, website and logo.

Independent Retailer Month kicks off for the fourth year 3 July 2014
July is Independent Retailer Month - an annual campaign which encourages consumers to shop locally with independent businesses.

Asda axes 1,360 management jobs in restructure plan 3 July 2014
Supermarket chain Asda is to lose 1,360 management jobs as part of restructuring plans, while creating 5,630 roles at the same time.

Topps Tiles remains optimistic after strong Q3 2 July 2014
During the 13 weeks to June 28 2014 Topps Tiles saw its like-for-like revenue increase by 6.3%.

Retailers: Your chance to Hand it Over to Henkel 2 July 2014
DIY Week is offering an independent DIY/hardware retailer the chance to have adhesives specialist Henkel develop and help manage its adhesives and sealants offer in store for a full year.

Revenue and margins rise at The Garden Centre Group 2 July 2014
The Garden Centre Group (TGCG) significantly improved on all key profit and margin metrics last year in the face of "challenging conditions".

Robomow cuts an excellent period of sales 2 July 2014
UK sales for robotic lawnmower manufacturer Robomow soared like-for-like by 136% between March and May 2014.

Discount store B&M fined thousands for selling faulty hammer 2 July 2014
The faulty claw hammer was found to be on sale at B&M Retail's Yiewsley store and after being told to remove it from sale the retailer was fined £2,500.

Screwfix sends no waste to landfill 2 July 2014
During the last 12 months Screwfix has sent no waste to landfill, instead recycling 100% of it.

Door security is biggest home maintenance problem 2 July 2014
Britain's homes have an accumulated 106.4m maintenance problems, ranging from leaky taps and radiators to broken locks and creaky floorboards.

Argos distribution workers threaten strike action 2 July 2014
Workers at the Argos distribution centre in Bridgwater, Somerset are threatening to go on strike on Friday.

£21m for William Sinclair peat bog withdrawal 1 July 2014
Losses at growing media supplier William Sinclair widened in the first half, but the company has at last seen a settlement of its compensation claim for ending operations at one of its sites.

Homebase to make way for a £38m student flats complex 1 July 2014
Plans for Edinburgh's Homebase to be demolished and replaced by new student accommodation by September 2016 have been revealed.

Otter takes over Styles Garden Centre and quits Torquay 1 July 2014
South-west garden centre chain Otter has taken over Styles Garden Centre in Devon, and at the same time is pulling out of its Torquay site.

BBC picks Roman as 'prime example of successful British manufacture' 1 July 2014
Shower supplier Roman was recently picked to feature both in television and radio news items about successful British manufacturing.

First TV advert campaign for Tile Mountain 1 July 2014
To celebrate a successful first year of trading Tile Mountain is launching its first TV advertising campaign.

Tesco/Dobbies Scottish joint venture gets the green light 1 July 2014
Plans by Dobbies and parent Tesco to create their first new-build supermarket-cum-garden centre in Scotland have been given the go-ahead.

Four in five MPs say business rates unfit for purpose 1 July 2014
Eighty per cent of MPs believe the current system of business rates is "not fit for purpose and in need of fundamental reform".

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