Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive April 2015

DIY retailers report brisk growth 30 April 2015
Hardware and DIY retailers reported the strongest sales growth since November 2013, up 61% in the year to April, according to the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) latest Distributive Trades Survey.

O'Keeffe's lands listing in major high street chain 29 April 2015
After a successful month-long trial in around 100 Boots stores, O'Keeffe's Working Hands has now secured a permanent presence in the hand care section of the high street giant.

Cost management continues at Homebase 29 April 2015
With store closures ahead of schedule, as Homebase's Productivity Plan progresses, parent firm Home Retail Group looks to streamline head office, with a view to investing back into the business in the future.

DIY and gardening takes a dive in March 28 April 2015
According to GfK's latest report on the UK retail durable sectors, the DIY/gardening sector suffered particularly in March, compared with the same month last year, as less favourable weather caused declines in many of the gardening product categories.

Scholarship opportunity offered by the BCF 28 April 2015
The British Coatings Federation (BCF) is offering a unique scholarship for chemistry graduates interested in pursuing a career in the coatings industry.

Bond It invests half a million in additional production capabilities 28 April 2015
To help facilitate its ongoing expansion, the building chemicals manufacturer Bond It has made two six-figure investments, totally almost £500,000 into its production capabilities.

What More and Abus support Rainy Day Trust 27 April 2015
Plasticware manufacturer What More and security products specialist Abus are among the latest companies to declare their support for industry charity the Rainy Day Trust by signing up as partners.

Darlac secures new stockist 27 April 2015
The Royal National Rose Society (RNRS) has chosen Darlac as its garden tools supplier for a new shop at its rose gardens in Chiswell Green.

CBI praises Labour's stamp duty proposal 27 April 2015
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) today responded to the Labour Party's proposal to scrap stamp duty for first time buyers on properties worth less than £300,000.

Travis Perkins records 7.2% increase in Q1 23 April 2015
Wickes parent continues momentum of 2014 sales increases, with a good performance across almost all areas of the group, including consumer and merchanting.

HTA lines up top speakers for Catering Conference 23 April 2015
Charles Campion, food critic and MasterChef judge, and Sarah Dunning, chief executive of the Westmorland Family, have been announced as the keynote speakers at the June conference.

Younger generation turn to Youtube for DIY help 22 April 2015
A quarter of young adults rely on YouTube for DIY advice, according to a new survey, but one in five have to call in experts to fix DIY disasters, costing them £5,000.

Charles Bentley steps up investment in UK manufacturing 22 April 2015
Loughborough-based brushware business Charles Bentley & Son Ltd is strengthening its East Midlands manufacturing base by investing almost £400,000 in state-of-the-art manufacturing processes.

Varta celebrates spring listings success with B&Q 22 April 2015
Varta has created 40 packs of AA and AAA batteries, which are being stocked exclusively by B&Q.

Tile Choice bags another industry award 22 April 2015
DIY Week's Retail Communicator of the Year, Tile Choice is celebrating after being named The Tile Association (TTA) Multiple Retailer of the Year.

Bord na Móna UK opens new head office 21 April 2015
Following another year of record sales, Bord na Móna UK has opened a new UK head office.

Topps opens boutique in St John's Wood 21 April 2015
Topps Tiles is growing its chain of small-format boutique stores with a new opening in St John's Wood High Street in north London.

Prime Minister visits Birmingham garden centre 20 April 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to Wyevale Garden Centres' Melbicks centre in Birmingham at the weekend, talking policies and plant pots with customers and staff.

Sunflex partners Rainy Day Trust 20 April 2015
Window decoration specialist Sunflex, is the latest company to show its support for industry charity, the Rainy Day Trust, by signing up as a partner of the Trust.

Screwfix in line for Which? award 20 April 2015
Screwfix is one of five retailers shortlisted to receive a 2015 Which? Award.

Taskers lays foundations of third full-range store 20 April 2015
Work is now underway on Liverpool retailer Taskers' newest store, which is due to open in the last quarter of this year.

42% of renters think home ownership is unachievable 20 April 2015
Home ownership now "seems like an impossible dream" for many, says Mintel, whose research has found that 42% of UK renters believe they will never be able to afford their own home.

Bord na Móna UK posts 28% year-on-year increase 17 April 2015
Bord na Móna UK has published its end-year sales results, with figures 27.7% ahead of 2014 year on year.

New security requirement in revised Building Regulations gains support from DHF 17 April 2015
The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has welcomed the publication of the long-awaited new Building Regulations, which - for the first time in England - require new homes to incorporate provisions to resist unauthorised access.

Plant sales fluctuate, while clothing and catering soar in March 17 April 2015
Garden centres across the country saw sales of clothing and catering soar while fluctuating weather saw plant sales rise and fall last month, according to the Garden Centre Association's Barometer of Trade (BoT) results.

Deco-Pak investment ups production capacity 15 April 2015
Aggregates supplier Deco-Pak is increasing its production capacity by 30% following an investment in its on-site manufacturing and packaging machinery.

'Biggest opportunity for retailers is on social media' 14 April 2015
Over a quarter of shoppers now follow retailers on social media, according to the 2015 Shopper Barometer, a study of current trends and future consumer habits of UK shoppers.

Last chance to register for Toolbank spring shows 14 April 2015
DIY retailers, garden centre buyers and builders merchants have just a couple of weeks left to sign up to visit the final Toolbank spring trade shows of 2015.

Fiskars opens new office and names UK as key market 14 April 2015
Finnish tool giant Fiskars welcomes the Ambassador of Finland, Pekka Huhtaniemi, to officially open its new UK showroom and offices in Birmingham last month.

Spring sunshine boosts outdoor living sales at Argos 14 April 2015
The early spring sunshine saw Brits flocking outdoors over the Easter break to make the most of the good weather, with sales of barbecues and outdoor games soaring.

Garden centres under attack for selling 'bee-killing' Provado 13 April 2015
Leading garden centres are once again being put under pressure to stop selling a Bayer Provado product over concerns that it is harmful to bees.

J Rotherham unveils competition-winning fireplace 13 April 2015
Stone fireplace supplier J Rotherham has announced the winner of a competition to design a unique, contemporary fireplace.

Police warn of cheap Yankee candles after huge theft 13 April 2015
Any retailers that are offered discounted Yankee candles are being asked to contact police after a Monmouthshire garden centre lost £23,000-worth of the products in a raid.

Tin of paint explodes over Homebase customer 13 April 2015
Homebase has paid compensation to a customer after a tin of paint she was buying exploded at the checkout.

Hillier hands the Chelsea reins over to younger generation 10 April 2015
Long-established garden centre and Chelsea Flower Show veteran Hillier announces plans for Young Hillier Day, where trainees, apprentices and students will run its exhibit at the famous gardening show.

Grange invests in consumer media campaign 8 April 2015
Garden structures and fencing supplier Grange has invested in a consumer media campaign highlighting its decorative structures offer.

Searchlight Electric marks 70 years in business 8 April 2015
Searchlight Electric is this year celebrating its 70th anniversary as a supplier of decorative lighting to specialist lighting retailers, multi-national chains and distributor partners across the world.

Walsall Wheelbarrow Company invests in manufacturing facilities 8 April 2015
UK manufacturer of wheelbarrows, The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company Ltd, has invested more than £1.2 million in manufacturing facilities at its site in the midlands.

Recovery at last for the shopfitting market 8 April 2015
The last couple of years have brought a welcome boost for the UK shopfitting market, according to a new report.

Gorilla Glue secures listing in B&Q 8 April 2015
Gorilla Glue's range of adhesives will now be stocked in B&Q stores across the UK.

March shop vacancies best for five years 8 April 2015
The Local Data Company (LDC) says March's shop vacancy figures are a "cause for celebration", as they fell back to 2010 levels.

Home Retail Group announces new partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support 7 April 2015
The retail giant, which owns Argos, Habitat and Homebase, aims to raise £3m for people affected by cancer over the next two years.

Glee boosts weather-resistant categories with new names 7 April 2015
Glee's organiser says it has attracted a number of new home interior and gift companies as exhibitors at this year's show, boosting the presence of non-weather-dependent products.

Easter DIY expected to be a pain for millions 7 April 2015
Accident and emergency units were expected to be busy over the Easter holiday as new research showed that millions would be injuring themselves getting down to DIY jobs.

Van Hage plan to bring in Waitrose now gets green light 7 April 2015
The decision to block Van Hage garden centre in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire from having a Waitrose supermarket on site has been overruled.

Planning permission for click-and-collect lockers scrapped 7 April 2015
From April 15 shops and other retailers will be able to install click-and-collect lockers without the bureaucracy of getting planning permission.

Furniture helps drive Q3 sales up 10.7% at Dunelm 7 April 2015
Ongoing success in furniture and a strong winter sale performance helped Dunelm grow sales by 10.7% in its third quarter.

Trend experts to pinpoint new styles at Exclusively shows 7 April 2015
Trend forecasting agency Scarlet Opus will be helping visitors to this year's Exclusively Housewares and new Exclusively Electrical show by identifying products they feel are good examples of forthcoming trends.

Dulux ad introduces first-ever puppy 7 April 2015
Over 50 years since the launch of its iconic Old English Sheepdog brand mascot, Dulux has launched its first TV ad featuring a puppy.

Toolbank enters the garden market 1 April 2015
Toolbank is launching into the garden market with what one supplier says promises to be "a formidable business".

Valspar world-first delivers tartan paint 1 April 2015

Designers at Valspar are set to make tartan paint possible as it prepares to launch the world's first ever Tartan Roller and paint collection.


Dobbies has best-performing garden centre website 1 April 2015
Dobbies topped the table of the best-performing websites in the garden centre category in the first quarter, ahead of the Easter peak.

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