Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

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Ornamental fish theft on the rise

With reports of theft of high-value fish, such as koi carp and ghost carp, on the rise from ponds across the UK, garden centres and homeowners are being advised to be vigilant and even consider microchipping the animals.According to the Metropolitan ... 
23 August 2018

Woodie's parent company reports 9% increase in revenue

Grafton Group plc, parent company to DIY chain Woodies, has released its half year report for the six months ended 30 June 2018, reporting an "excellent performance by Woodie's retailing".Revenue was reported with an increase of 9% to £1.45 billion, ... 
22 August 2018

Theo Paphitis to speak at Autumn Fair

The retail magnate will head up the speaking slots on the main stage at the home and gift trade show, along with Not on the High Street co-founder Holly Tucker MBE.Autumn Fair has promised a line-up of industry heavyweights at this year’s show, as ... 
22 August 2018

New regulations announced to combat oak processionary moth

Defra has introduced legislation, which comes into force today, to protect oak trees against the imminent danger of introducing Thaumetopoea processionea (oak processionary moth-OPM) into the OPM Protected Zone through import and movement... 
21 August 2018

Heatwave delivers record online sales for garden sector

Despite UK online retail sales slipping to their lowest year-on-year (YOY) growth in 2018 this July, with most categories seeing declines, the hot summer boosted garden sales, delivering a record 22.4% YOY increase last month.The uplift in July ... 
21 August 2018

Flagship House of Fraser store on Oxford Street saved

Despite being earmarked for closure as part of a CVA this summer, House of Fraser’s outlet on Oxford Street will remain open, as new owner Sports Direct agrees its first deal since acquiring the department store chain.Sports Direct brought in ... 
21 August 2018

Jewson invests £800k in Bury St Edmunds refurb

The builders’ merchant is ploughing funds back into its portfolio, with the £800,000 refurbishment of its Cratfield Road site, changing the layout and enhancing the product offering, as well as creating new jobs.The branch – a 32,000sq m building on ... 
17 August 2018

Omni-channel retail experience is key to survival of high street brands

Over 52% of UK shoppers believe that retailers need to offer a more seamless experience between online and offline commerce to retain their custom.This was one of the key findings from a survey of 1,000 shoppers, conducted by e-commerce agency, ... 
17 August 2018

Outdoor dining sales continue to climb at John Lewis

Despite a 7% decline in home sales for the past week, the department store chain reported an ongoing interest in outdoor cooking and entertaining.John Lewis trading director Simon Coble said home sales were down for the week ended Saturday, August ... 
17 August 2018

Johnstone’s Trade reveals 2019 colour of the year

As part of its Voice of Colour Program, Johnstone’s has announced that Night Watch (PPG1145-7) – a rich, classic green – is positioned at the forefront of design trends for the year ahead.Every year, a Global Colour Team from Johnstone’s parent firm,... 
17 August 2018

Hot weather boosts Kingfisher's UK performance

Consistent hot weather this summer has helped B&Q and Screwfix deliver what Kingfisher described as “improved performances”, with like-for-like (LFL) sales up 4.2% in Q2 “within the context of a continuing weak UK consumer backdrop”.The ... 
16 August 2018

Sunshine sends garden centre sales soaring

Sales at garden centres across the country continued to soar in June (2018) thanks to the sunny weather according to the Garden Centre Association’s Barometer of Trade report.Outdoor plant sales were up 26.94% compared to the same month last year (... 
15 August 2018

Woodies DIY parent to raise €160million in private US placement

The Grafton Group plc, which has merchanting and DIY operations in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe, revealed to refinance its debt by raising funds using 10 and 12-year bonds with 2.5% yield.The group has agreed to raise €160 million (£144 ... 
14 August 2018

Homebase announces CVA proposal and will cut thousands of jobs

Homebase has today announced the next phase of its restructuring plan, the company is to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and is seeking approval from creditors on a proposed plan to reduce its cost base in the UK and the Republic of ... 
14 August 2018

Akzo Nobel acquires Trade Paints

Akzo Nobel has announced it has purchased the business and assets of Surrey-based Trade Paints. With three stores in Epsom, East Molesey and Sutton Akzo Nobel takes its total number of Dulux Decorator Centres in the UK to 209.“These stores will make ... 
14 August 2018

Heatwave stunts high street footfall growth in July

Town centres measured a 0.3% uplift in footfall in July; the third consecutive month of growth, although a decline across UK retail parks showed consumers lacked the energy for longer shopping trips in the hot weather.Growth on the high street this ... 
10 August 2018

House of Fraser saved by Sports Direct in £90m deal

The department store chain was acquired by Sports Direct after it appointed administrators this morning and faced ending 169 years of trading.Mere hours after House of Fraser revealed it had called in Ernst & Young when “discussions with ... 
10 August 2018

A third of renters won’t buy but still splash out on home improvement

A recent study reveals people are happy to rent long-term and have no plans to purchase a property in the future but still invest in revamping their home, with some spending over £30,000 in the past year.With more people renting in the UK than ever ... 
10 August 2018

Brits embrace smart home technology

Time-poor consumers, who crave convenience and speed, are opting for smart technology in their homes, with almost half of Brits now owning at least one smart home product, and video doorbells/security systems proving the most popular choices ... 
9 August 2018

Homebase to close 60 stores and axe over 1,000 jobs

Sky News has reported that the DIY chain Homebase, which was sold for £1 by previous Australian owners Wesfarmers, will close around a quarter of its 249 stores.The news comes just one month after the chain was bought by Hilco Capital, where under ... 
8 August 2018
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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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