Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive April 2016

Independents return to growth but confidence is knocked 29 April 2016
New figures released by the British Independent Retail Association (bira) shows trading growth returned to just the right side of zero in the January to March period compared to the same months in 2015.

Former BHS boss in talks to buy back retailer 28 April 2016
Dominic Chappell, the former owner of BHS, is reportedly in talks with administrators Duff & Phelps to buy back the beleaguered retailer.

Bents smashes fundraising target with £25k total 28 April 2016
Bents Garden and Home has smashed its own fundraising target by more than £10,000 for its 2015 charity of the year, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which recently received a £25,907 cheque from the retailer.

HRG suffers £852m charge following Argos sale 28 April 2016
Home Retail Group has reported full year pre-tax losses of £804m following a £852m exceptional goodwill impairment charge in connection with Sainsbury's purchase of Argos.

Indies undecided on Brexit/Bremain vote 28 April 2016
More than a quarter of independent retailers haven't yet made up their minds whether to vote to Brexit or to Bremain, according to a new survey among the 6,000 members of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira).

Keynote speakers from Kingfisher, Google and eBay at Summit 27 April 2016
The fourth Global DIY Summit, to be held in Stockholm on June 8 - 9, will feature keynote speakers from Kingfisher, Google and eBay.

Lucrative month ahead for home and garden brands 27 April 2016
According to research released by eBay Advertising, this weekend marks the start of a potentially lucrative month for home and garden brands as consumers take advantage of May's warmer weather and double Bank Holidays to move and improve their homes.

Food hall and farm shop sales dominate for GCA centres 27 April 2016
Sales in food halls and farm shops out performed traditional and non-traditional categories at Garden Centre Association (GCA) member garden centres during March.

A marathon success for Tembe DIY and Children with Cancer 27 April 2016
Tembe DIY and Building Products managing director Guy Malam completed the Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time alongside fiancee Victoria Nicholson, raising £4000 for Children with Cancer.

DIY disasters will hit two million families this weekend 27 April 2016
Two million households will experience a DIY disaster this Bank Holiday weekend, as people dust off their to-do lists and get set to spend an average of five and a half hours each on DIY, according to new research from Privilege Insurance.

UPDATE: BHS goes into administration 25 April 2016
British Home Stores (BHS) has called in administrators Duff & Phelps after plans for a last minute deal to keep the business running fell through.

Squire's plant seeds from outer space 25 April 2016
Staff from Squire's garden centre in Crawley have been helping local schoolchildren grow plants from seeds that have been in outer space.

Poor performance for retail in March 22 April 2016
Bad weather and an early Easter has seen sales dip below average when compared to previous years, according to the March 2016 Retail Sales statistics, released yesterday.

New premises for bira 22 April 2016
The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) has announced that it has purchased 225a Bristol Road, a 4,000 sq. ft. building at the rear of its present premises in Birmingham, enabling the association to expand its operations on that site.

Exclusively shows team up with the HTA 20 April 2016
Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical are working with the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) to encourage more of its members to attend this year’s shows.

Wyevale owner in a bid to buy Dobbies 20 April 2016
According to reports, Terra Firma founder and chairman Guy Hands has hired Goldman Sachs to draft a bid for Dobbies Garden Centres.

Andy McIndoe to open his garden for Greenfingers 19 April 2016
Industry stalwart Andy McIndoe is to open his two acre naturalistic garden in aid of industry charity Greenfingers this June.

Shoppers shun high street in March 18 April 2016
An early Easter and chilly weather were blamed for a 3.9% decline in high street footfall in a recent report released by the British Retail Consortium.

GIMA announces new council 18 April 2016
The Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association (GIMA) AGM took place on April 14 at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre, with over 80 members in attendance.

B&Q closing Craigavon store early 15 April 2016
B&Q has confirmed that its store in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, will close this weekend - more than six months ahead of schedule and resulting in around 50 job losses.

HIPPO supporting childhood cancer charity 15 April 2016
Adhesives, sealants and decorating brand HIPPO has announced it is supporting Children with Cancer UK as its chosen charity this year.

HTA declares neutrality on Brexit referendum 15 April 2016
Following a full consultation with all members in March the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has declared a neutral position on the EU Referendum.

Number of 'short term' vacant shops rises by 85% 14 April 2016
A new report from the Local Data Company has shown that the number of short-term vacant units across towns in the UK has increased by 85% during the first quarter of 2016.

UPDATE: B&Q makes U-turn on staff pay controversy 13 April 2016
Following the uproar on B&Q's changes to staff wages - in which the retailer pledged to raise basic pay while cutting wages elsewhere - bosses have made the decision to extend compensations which they say will mean most staff are "better off or unaffected".

BHETA sponsors new consumer trends at Exclusively 13 April 2016
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) will be sponsoring an exciting programme of content at this year's Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical Shows, all dedicated to unveiling the latest consumer trends information to retailers, suppliers and the media.

Record number of retailers to attend DIY Summit 12 April 2016
The fourth Global DIY Summit will welcome a record number of retailer this year, with 260 from 45 countries having signed up to attend the Stockholm event this June.

New look for Squire's following £700,000 investment 12 April 2016
Squire's Garden Centre in Long Ditton has a stylish new look, following a £700,000 refurbishment.

Silverline Tools returns to BTCC racing 12 April 2016
Silverline is once again sponsoring a top British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) team, having won the championship with Jason Plato as team Silverline Chevrolet back in 2010.

Topps Tiles joins The Furniture Ombudsman 12 April 2016
Topps Tiles has joined The Furniture Ombudsman (TFO) which means it has pledged to abide by a Code of Practice to give customers more rights.

The Range to expand into Germany 11 April 2016
The Range's founder and owner Chris Dawson has reportedly revealed plans to expand the store into Germany.

Tesco rumoured to be selling "loss-making" Dobbies 11 April 2016
Tesco boss Dave Lewis has started the process of selling Dobbies Garden Centres as part of a clear out of "loss-making businesses", according to a Sky News report.

Dulux donates paint to NHS project 8 April 2016
Dulux Trade has donated a range of paints to be used to inject colour into the Phoenix Unit at London's Springfield University Hospital.

Rocky road ahead for renewable energy products 8 April 2016
The market for small and medium renewable energy products is "likely to face significant challenges" in the near future according to research company AMA.

PetQuip Awards launch receives enthusiastic welcome 8 April 2016
The 2016 PetQuip Awards - recognising outstanding retailers and suppliers in the pet industry - received an enthusiastic response when it officially launched at the PATS Sandown show in March.

BREAKING: 149 Homebase jobs to be axed 8 April 2016
Following an anonymous tip received by, Homebase's new owner Wesfarmers has confirmed that 149 support role jobs will be axed over the next few weeks.

£10.4m fund underpins UK launch of online DIY marketplace 7 April 2016
A major European online marketplace for DIY and gardening products is now looking to challenge B&Q and Homebase head-on following a cash injection of £10.4m.

B&Q: 'We are paying more than living wage to all' 7 April 2016
B&Q has asked to clarify its position on payment of the new National Living Wage (NLW).

Open pit BBQ restaurant to open third site 7 April 2016
A successful chain of open pit BBQ restaurants - the first of its kind in the UK - is to open a site in Glasgow after proving popular in Sheffield and Leeds.

Clas Ohlson to close half its UK stores 7 April 2016
Swedish hardware retailer Clas Ohlson has confirmed it will be closing seven of its 13 UK stores.

Dunelm reveals revenue growth of 5.9% for Q3 7 April 2016
Dunelm Mill revealed sales grew by nearly 6% for the 13 weeks to April 2, standing at a total of £229m, up 1.1% like-for-like.

Topps Tiles announces Q2 sales up 4.9% LfL 6 April 2016
Total revenues for the 26 weeks ending April 2 at Topps Tiles stood at £108m, the retailer announced today, up £4m on last year, equating to a 4.7% like-for-like rise.

BHETA forging ties with supermarket watchdog 6 April 2016
The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has developed an association with the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), which oversees the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers.

Tembé DIY staff to run London Marathon 6 April 2016
More than 1,000 superheroes - including Tembé DIY & Building Supplies' Guy Malam and Kevin Heath - will be donning capes, headbands and trainers to take part in the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon on April 24.

GMB union brands B&Q living wage deal as 'scandalous' 6 April 2016
The GMB union is describing as "scandalous" the way in which B&Q is cutting workers' weekend and overtime pay to offset the higher costs of the new National Living Wage.

Survey shows 36% of Brits can't do DIY 6 April 2016
A recent nationwide survey from JJ Roofing Supplies concluded that a high number of British people don't feel confident tackling basic DIY tasks on their own.

TV star to speak at HTA catering conference 5 April 2016
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has announced the dates and speakers for its seventh annual catering conference, including the Maitre D from Channel 4 show 'First Dates.'

C.K meets the brief with new underwear range 1 April 2016
Professional hand tool supplier C.K tools has launched a new range of underwear to offer comfort and support to professional tradesmen. C.K briefs are available in the brand's signature colours - black and yellow.

HRG gives Sainsbury's the green light for Argos 1 April 2016
Home Retail Group has confirmed it is backing Sainsbury's £1.4bn proposal to take over Argos.


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