Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive May 2007

B&Q sales up in first quarter 31 May 2007
B&Q owner, Kingfisher plc, has posted better than expected first quarter profits thanks to a warm spring which boosted the sales of gardening and outdoor products.

Dobbies confirms bid talks; speculation links it with venture capital group 30 May 2007
Dobbies has become the centre of fevered speculation after its board confirmed a bid approach for the acquisition of the entire company.

Cheers go up as Typhoon is back in business 29 May 2007
After a turbulent month, Typhoon moves out of administration this week with founder Peter Battersby buying back the assets of the Typhoon International Group.

Scotts to extend garden care season with extra money for tv advertising 29 May 2007
Thanks to a booming start to the gardening season, Scotts Miracle-Gro has allocated extra money for more tv adverts for the new Liquafeed system.

Britons want to convert dead space in their homes 29 May 2007
With ever-increasing house prices, stamp duty and an easing in planning laws, British homeowners are keen to convert 'dead space' in their properties.

B&Q China chief sees room for 130-plus stores 29 May 2007
B&Q China plans to open more than 130-plus stores in the coming years, and double its current number of outlets, the biggest home improvement retailer in the country said on Tuesday. millionaires poised to enter diy market 29 May 2007
The enduring power of home improvements has led the millionaires and founders of to launch a new website targeting the diy market.

B&Q joins forces with Sector Skills Council 25 May 2007
B&Q, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols have joined forces with Skillsmart Retail to promote skills development in the retail industry.

More trouble ahead for Beale? 25 May 2007
After producing another set of 'disappointing' results, brokerage firm Seymour Pierce forecasts a £1m loss rather than a £0.25m profit for the embattled retailer.

HTA catering conference to provide best-in-class advice 25 May 2007
The HTA's summer catering conference is providing 'useful and inspiring' advice for delegates to run more profitable catering operations.

Glee introduces a green trail 25 May 2007
Glee is introducing the industry’s first Going Green trail to make it easier for buyers to pinpoint environmentally friendly products and suppliers.

Karting challenge raises £5,000 for Rainy Day Trust 24 May 2007
A new three level racing track, new karts and new teams combined to raise a record £5,000 for the Rainy Day Trust at the 14th Annual Hardware Trades Karting challenge.

Notcutts wins Gold at Chelsea 24 May 2007
Notcutts Garden Centre and Notcutts Landscapes has won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for its colourful exhibition of water features, climbers and flowering plants.

Topps Tiles continues steady performance 23 May 2007
Topps Tiles reported a 4.4% jump in like-for-like sales and a slight drop in half year pre-tax profit.

Home delights for Marks & Spencer 23 May 2007
Preliminary results for 2006-07 show a 26% rise in net profit on strong sales up 10%.

Garsons wins food retail award 23 May 2007
Family-run garden centre business Garsons has scooped top prize at the Re:fresh Awards 2007 as the Foods from Spain Independent Retailer of the Year.

B&Q's website revamp is proving a 'big hit' with customers 23 May 2007
B&Q’s recent style refresh of its website – making the site easier to use, search for products and check stock levels – is proving a 'big hit' with customers.

EDRA appoints Kingfisher European development md as president 23 May 2007
At the European Home Centre Retail Association (EDRA) annual General meeting today, George Adams, managing director, European development of Kingfisher, was appointed president of EDRA.

Asda to open 300 homeware stores 21 May 2007
Asda chief executive Andy Bond has been given the go-ahead to open 300 Living stores from parent Wal-Mart.

Malobel failure interrupts Asher launch 21 May 2007
Supply of the new Jane Asher non-stick bakeware and cookware has been interrupted following supplier Malobel’s collapse into voluntary liquidation.

Above-average temperatures lead to the death of traditional British plants 18 May 2007
According to research from Halifax Home Insurance, British garden centres have witnessed a dramatic increase in customers reporting the death of well-established traditional British plants.

Business round-up 18 May 2007
Homewares generates strong sales at John Lewis, ScS Upholstery stuggles with interest rates

Catalogue and online sales boost April retail figures 18 May 2007
Non-store retailers who include internet retailers, and other non-food stores saw a rise of 3.3% - the highest growth since march 2004, official figures show.

Steyport restructures paint department 16 May 2007
Steyport has announced a restructure of its paint department to refocus its sales on own-brand production and labelling for high street retailers.

Bissell's London launch provides springboard for international roll-out 16 May 2007
Around ninety trade partners and journalists joined senior Bissell executives to witness the launch event for the international roll-out of the company's Proheat All-rounder.

Wickes is trading in line with expectations 16 May 2007
Chairman of Travis Perkins Tim Stevenson told his latest agm that the diy business continues to trade in line with its expectations.

Gardening Express pursues delivery company for loss of earnings 16 May 2007
Chris Bonnett, chief executive of online garden centre Gardening Express has asked his insurers to pursue home delivery specialists Amtrak for loss of earnings.

Profits slide at Home Depot 16 May 2007
Home Depot has announced a 30% profits drop in its first quarter and a lower forecast for yearly earnings as the US housing market continues to slow.

Home is still where the heart is 15 May 2007
British homeowner's spending on property accounts for almost four pounds in every £10

Garden centres set to loose brown tourism signs 15 May 2007
Garden centres in Lincolnshire who currently use brown tourism signs to attract customers to their coffee shops may have to remove them, says the county council.

Obituary – Thomas James Harwood 15 May 2007
Former Darwen businessman Thomas James Harwood, died peacefully on 15 May 2007 at the age of 95, writes his son, Tom Harwood.

Crown Paint back on tv with £5m advertising campaign 15 May 2007
Crown Paint is launching a new television advertising campaign on May 16, which marks its return to the small screen.

Industry Awards winners announced 14 May 2007
The prestigious Industry Awards celebrated its 20th anniversary year at the plush Royal Lancaster Hotel in London where more than 40 companies were honoured with top awards.

Industry Awards charity appeal hits new record 14 May 2007
Guests at the Industry Awards lunch in London on May 11 raised a total of £2,050.50 for the Rainy Day Trust – nearly 10% up on the £1,868 raised the previous year, which was itself a record.

Latest rate rise is 'is seriously unhelpful,' says GIMA director 13 May 2007
Neil Gow has told DIY Week, the further rise in interest rates announced by the Bank of England is another considerable blow to the economy.

Humax Horticulture supports Gardening with Schools 10 May 2007
Humax Horticulture has announced its support for the Gardening with Schools initiative developed by the National Federation of Women's Institutes in Wales.

Wyevale sells Grass Snakes 10 May 2007
Wyevale Garden Centres has now started selling Grass Snake Cable Grips – the new garden power and diy accessory that helps users avoid severed cables, trips and falls.

Police endorse No More Nails Strips for deterring number plate thieves 10 May 2007
Henkel has found an unexpected market for its UniBond No More Nails Strips – as a preventative measure against car number plate theft.

Premature rate rise bad for consumers, says BRC 10 May 2007
With inflation expected to fall anyway, the British Retail Consortium has said today’s interest rate rise is premature and may turn out to be unnecessary.

Lister Locks sponsors the Best Security Product at the Industry Awards 2007 4 May 2007
Lister Locks has announced it is the proud sponsor of the Best Security Product.

Sam's Trade Centre adds name to sponsors' list for Industry Awards 2007 4 May 2007
DIY Week is pleased to announce that Sam's Trade Centre is to sponsor the Packaging Award.

B&Q pledges action on climate change at the Prince of Wales's May Day summit 3 May 2007
B&Q has joined forces with major UK businesses to pledge its commitment to tackling climate change.

Typhoon goes into administration 3 May 2007

The housewares industry has reacted with shock to the news that housewares distributor Typhoon International went into administration on Friday April 27.

Ken Daly promoted to managing director of JML 3 May 2007
JML has promoted Ken Daly, the current deputy md to the position of managing director.

Homebase sales drop as parent posts profits rise 2 May 2007
The Home Retail Group, has revealed a jump in profits despite a 1.4% like-for-like (lfl) drop in sales at its Homebase stores.

Carpetright buys floor covering specialist 2 May 2007
Acquisition of north of England company provides additional UK expansion opportunities

Stricken Focus DIY deal 'by end of week' 2 May 2007
The sale of stricken Focus DIY continues to make the news with reports that it is in advanced talks with a US buy-out group that specialises in distressed debt investments.

Business round-up 2 May 2007
Lambet Howarth struggles, Lakeland sees pre-tax profit rise

JML adds two shopping channels to its portfolio 1 May 2007
JML has purchased two Sky channels to boost its direct to consumer offering


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