Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive January 2016

GCA winners announced 28 January 2016
The winners of the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) annual awards were announced at its conference in Brighton this week.

Tesco apologises over abuse of suppliers 27 January 2016
Tesco has conceded that some of its past practices have been "both unsustainable and harmful to our suppliers".

Crowders Garden Centre becomes Wyevale GC's 153rd 27 January 2016
Wyevale Garden Centres (WGC) announced today that it has acquired Crowders Garden Centre of Horncastle, Lincolnshire, bringing its estate to 153 centres across England and Wales.

Usdaw union seeks talks with new Homebase owner 26 January 2016
Shopworkers trade union Usdaw is looking to have urgent talks with Wesfarmers, the new owner of Homebase.

2016 lawn care challenges 'can be overcome' 26 January 2016
After exceptionally difficult weather conditions in December which are likely to challenge the success of this year's lawn care category, retailers are being urged to provide additional support and reassurance to customers.

Delivery firm DX boosts click-and-collect convenience 26 January 2016
Logistics and parcel distribution company DX has announced the launch of DX Parcel Exchange, which allows consumers to collect their internet deliveries from over 1,000 convenient locations nationwide.

New blogging platform launched to boost gardening 26 January 2016
A host of high-profile personalities is getting behind a new initiative to promote gardening.

Kingfisher outlines plans for £500m profit boost 25 January 2016
Kingfisher said this morning that it aims to deliver a £500m annual uplift in profit after five years, over and above its 'business as usual' profit.

Garden centre concession Brantano in administration 25 January 2016
Value shoe retailer Brantano UK, which had been expanding its presence in garden centres, has gone into administration.

Axe swings at Asda head office 21 January 2016
Hundreds of jobs could be at risk at the supermarket chain's head office in Leeds on the back of poor performance over the Christmas period.

Bunnings clinches Homebase deal 18 January 2016
Home Retail Group (HRG) confirmed today that it has signed an agreement to sell its Homebase business to leading Australian home improvement and outdoor living chain Bunnings.

Australian Woolworths calls time on Bunnings rival Masters 18 January 2016
With ironic timing, as Australian chain Bunnings today announced that it had struck a deal to buy Homebase, Woolworths in Australia said it was exiting the home improvement business.

Lincs town loses hardware and tabletop shops 18 January 2016
Two long-standing retail businesses in Stamford, Lincolnshire - a hardware store and its partner tabletop shop - are closing down.

Luxury looks and practical needs boost bathrooms 18 January 2016
As more people invest in better quality products, the bathroom market is estimated to have grown by around 5% last year.

Wyevale acquires Woodcote Green Garden Centre 15 January 2016
Wyevale Garden Centres (WGC) announced today it has acquired Woodcote Green Garden Centre, based in Wallington, Surrey.

Bunnings parent makes £340m bid for Homebase 14 January 2016
Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers Limited (Wesfarmers), which owns the Bunnings chain, confirms it has made a conditional offer to acquire Homebase from Home Retail Group plc for £340m (around AUS $699m).

Book your place at the DIY Week Awards 14 January 2016
With the industry awards event just over a month away, don't miss out on your chance to celebrate the successes of top retailers and innovative suppliers, as well as networking with peers from across the DIY, home and market.

Impetus swings away from DIY, back to merchants 13 January 2016
Builders' and plumbers' merchants saw a strong recovery in 2013 and 2014, reversing the trend for householders to turn away from larger projects and towards DIY.

End of the road for Lincoln's Biggers of Bailgate 13 January 2016
Prominent Lincoln cookshop Biggers of Bailgate is to shut up shop for good - only one year after celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Garden centre fraudster told to pay money back 12 January 2016
A court has ordered a former garden centre director who robbed her business to repay it £125,000.

Sainsbury's 'preparing formal bid for HRG' 11 January 2016
Undeterred by its rejection at the end of last year, Sainsbury's is reportedly now poised to make a formal offer for Argos, Homebase and Habitat parent Home Retail Group (HRG).

GIMA introduces HR and employment mentoring services 11 January 2016
The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) has expanded its member benefits with the introduction of the new HR and employment mentoring services.

December boost tops off strong 2015 for consumer spend 11 January 2016
Consumer spending increased solidly in December, with e-commerce the clear winner over Christmas.

John Lewis Christmas sales rise 6.9% 6 January 2016
John Lewis Partnership (JLP) said today that it had enjoyed a strong Christmas, underpinned by significant investment in its distribution and IT capability.

Which? slams composition of leading-brand composts 6 January 2016
Consumer organisation Which? has described some top-name composts as "shocking" after asking a specialist lab to analyse the composition of some of the worst-performing products in its latest seed sowing and young plants trials.

BHETA backs Totally Innovation Zone again 6 January 2016
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) is to repeat its support for the Innovation Zone at the Totally DIY Exhibition next month.

Showa gardening gloves are Which? Best Buys 6 January 2016
Globus' Showa gardening gloves have achieved two of the three Which? Gardening Best Buys awarded to lightweight garden gloves.

Tildenet acquires Bosmere 6 January 2016
Tildenet Ltd, a long-established supplier of products to the gardening industry, professional markets and industrial users, has announced the acquisition of Bosmere Products Ltd.

Topps Tiles up 4.4% in Q1 6 January 2016
Topps Tiles said today that it had made "an encouraging start to the financial year", with like-for-like revenues up 4.4% in the 13 weeks to January 2 2016.

Grafton Group acquires timber merchant T Brewer 5 January 2016
Builder's merchanting and DIY operation Grafton Group has acquired timber merchant T Brewer & Co.

LED promises bright future for lighting market 5 January 2016
A new report on the UK lighting market forecasts healthy growth in 2016 as LED lighting continues to invigorate sales.

Christmas home makeover products score high in searches 5 January 2016
Sales in the two weeks before Christmas centred not so much around gifts as on items for the home including drills, curtain poles and door bells, according to Homebase.

Sainsbury's in bid for Home Retail Group 5 January 2016
Supermarket giant Sainsbury's said today that it approached Home Retail Group (HRG) in November regarding a possible offer for the Argos and Homebase parent in the form of Sainsbury's shares and cash.

Gardeners improved outdoor spaces in November 4 January 2016
Gardeners made use of the milder weather in November and made enhancements to their outdoor spaces, according to the latest results from the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) Barometer of Trade.

New Year's car crashes through hardware shop window 4 January 2016
Staff and customers of a Surrey hardware shop had a lucky escape over the holidays when a car veered off the road and ploughed through the front window.

Century-old Devon independent to close down 4 January 2016
A Dartmoor hardware independent with over a century of trading under its belt is set to close its doors for the last time this year.

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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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