Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive January 2009

Beales sees gross margins improve but revenue falls 30 January 2009
The department store chain has reported a group loss before tax of £1.52m rising from last year's £1.39m.

RTA and George Wilkinson International consolidate to fight downturn 30 January 2009
The logistics and administration of the sister firms will come together, allowing both companies to focus on new developments and improving efficiencies.

MBO saves BDC brand 30 January 2009
A management buy-out (MBO) by three of BDC's senior management team, has meant the north-London based distribution brand will continue.

Asda announces expansion on non-food and thousands of new jobs 29 January 2009
Supermarket Asda has said it will create more than 7,000 new jobs in 2009 as it expands the non-food format.

Kingfisher's Polish arm continuing to expand 29 January 2009
Kingfisher, owner of B&Q, are planning to double its business in Poland over the next five years as waves of Poles head back to the country.

Garden and housewares showcased at London museum 28 January 2009
An east-London museum is showcasing innovative and ethically designed products for the home and garden.

Nail in the coffin of Woolworths 28 January 2009
Woolworths Group plc was last night granted an application for an order of administration.

Pre-pack administrations to be watched 28 January 2009
The spotlight was turned on pre-pack administrations as an influential panel of MPs looked into whether companies were abusing the system.

ProCook boss attacks 'extortionate' business rates as he closes stores 28 January 2009
Kitchenware company ProCook has been forced to close 18 stores across the country.

Marks & Spencer stores to find buyers? 27 January 2009
Marks and Spencer outlets earmarked for closure are possible targets for the supermarket chains, according to the high street retailer.

Tchibo looking to leave UK market 27 January 2009
German coffee and homeware chain Tchibo looks like exiting the UK market following the closure of concessions up-and-down the country.

British Hardware Federation award winners 27 January 2009
The British Hardware Federation's award winners for 2009 were announced at the Totally shows in London.

Home Depot axes Expo and cuts 7,000 jobs 27 January 2009
The North American DIY market has taken a blow with the news Home Depot plans to cut 7,000 jobs.

Homebase set to axe hundreds of jobs 26 January 2009
Senior staff across 300 of DIY chain’s stores are at risk of redundancy following a 10% decline in sales over the Christmas period.

Focus DIY’s Grimsey slams insurers 26 January 2009
DIY chain calls for government investigation after credit insurers withdraw almost all cover for Focus’ suppliers.

Beers buys rival Bromborough Paints' merchant business 23 January 2009
Bromborough Paint & Building Supplies has sold its builders merchant business at Eastham to Beers Timber & Building Supplies.

Flying brands warns of profit fall 23 January 2009
Flying Brands - the Jersey and Essex based home and gardening products group - has issued a profits warning in its latest trading update.

Morrisons wins Christmas sales battle 22 January 2009
Wm Morrison has won the battle of the supermarkets this Christmas after reporting like-for-like sales of 8.2%.

Speedy shares plunge 21 January 2009
Shares in Speedy Hire plunged by almost 50% as news of a profit fall emerged yesterday.

Travis Perkins issues profits warning amid reports of falling sales 21 January 2009
Travis Perkins - owners of DIY store Wickes as well more than 600 builders merchants outlets nationwide - has blamed the downturn in the housing market for a slump in profits.

Totally shows to move alongside Spring Fair 21 January 2009
Brintex, organisers of Totally DIY, Totally Tools and Totally Secure, has announced a major change for the 2010 show - a move from Earls Court, London to the NEC in Birmingham to co-locate with Spring Fair.

Grosvenor raises charity cash 20 January 2009
Grosvenor Garden Centre has raised more than £3,000 for a Chester-based charity.

Poundstretcher blames Woolies as sales fall 20 January 2009
Poundstretcher has blamed poor festive sales on heavy discounting at Woolworths and the economic climate.

DIY Dinner raises £13k-plus 20 January 2009
Industry charity the Rainy Day Trust is more than £13k better off this morning as a result of spirited fund-raising at the annual DIY Dinner in London.

Wolf-Garten GmbH announces insolvency 20 January 2009
German gardening tool manufacturer experiencing ‘severe cash flow problems’ as it calls in administrators – but UK division remains unaffected.

Top awards for show stars 19 January 2009
Artex, Blue Spot, Davenport-Burgess, Gator Finishing Products, Sika and STV International topped the winners list in the annual Best New Product awards at the Totally DIY, Totally Tools and Totally Secure show in London on January 18.

Fads finds a buyer 19 January 2009
Crewe-based decor retailer snapped up by Strategic Retail director Roy Gabbie for bargain price of just over £1.5m.

(UPDATED) Visitor numbers up at Totally shows 19 January 2009
Visitors numbers to Totally Tools, DIY and Secure this year were slightly up on 2008.

Speedy to supply Severn Trent Water 16 January 2009
Speedy Tools has signed a one-year agreement - with an option to extend for a further four years - to supply Severn Trent Water with generators.

Non-food tops customer satisfaction survey 16 January 2009
Non-food retailers have stormed the top ten of stores for customer satisfaction.

Akzo Nobel to sell non-stick coatings business 16 January 2009
Dutch chemicals company has agreed deal with US firm Whitford Worldwide for an undisclosed sum.

Results not Ideal for TV shopping channel 15 January 2009
Ideal Shopping Direct - the TV and internet shopping company - has revealed a pre close update for the 52 weeks ending 28 December 2008.

Home Retail Group reveals sales drop 15 January 2009
Home Retail Group - owner of Argos and Homebase - has announced falling profits at its two flagship chains.

Denby Pottery in job cuts plan 15 January 2009
The pottery trade has taken another knock as Denby has entered talks with unions over jobs cuts.

John Lewis UK’s favourite store 15 January 2009
Department store chain voted UK’s favourite retailer for second year in a row, with Swedish store Ikea in second place.

Tesco undercuts retailers with deal on energy saving light bulbs 15 January 2009
Supermarket chain announces sale of five energy saving light bulb sticks for just 40 pence.

Aldi reveals 22.2% profit increase 14 January 2009
Aldi has posted a 22.2% sales increase over Christmas compared with the same period in 2007.

Government to guarantee bank loans to retailers 14 January 2009
The Government has today unveiled measures designed to help small and medium sized business beat the credit crunch.

Marshalls sales down 6% 14 January 2009
Landscaping products firm plans further closures as part of cost saving initiative.

Topps Tiles profits drop 14 January 2009
Topps Tiles has announced a profits slump of 18.1% on like-for-like (lfl) sales for the the first 13 weeks of their trading year.

Poundland Christmas sales up 24.3% 14 January 2009
Discount store flourishes as price savvy customers seek out bargains in the Christmas period.

Aga cuts 400 jobs 14 January 2009
Oven range and kitchenware manufacturer Aga sheds 400 jobs after announcing a downturn in sales.

Tesco like-for-like sales up but not as much as rivals 13 January 2009
Tesco has results for the Christmas period show the supermarket chain is making profits - but not as much as its rivals.

Morrisons plans to create 5,000 jobs this year 13 January 2009
Supermarket chain Morrisons has revealed plans to create more than 5,000 jobs this year as part of its store space expansion programme. 

B&Q cuts link with Olympic team 13 January 2009
DIY giant ends sponsorship with British Olympic Association due to ‘tough retail market’.

Leekes expands on back of 'improve not move' 13 January 2009
In a refreshing change from all the doom and gloom that currently dominates the news, independent retailer Leekes has announced expansion plans for 2009.

Worst December sales since records began 13 January 2009
Christmas sales have been the worst in 14 years, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Spring Fair does about face on parking charges 13 January 2009
Emap has announced that it will not introduce a visitor car parking charge at Spring Fair this year despite announcing it would before Christmas.

Waterford Wedgwood confirm 367 job losses 13 January 2009
Crystal and china firm’s administrators announce job cuts at high–noon meeting yesterday.

More consumers turn to DIY ... or at least pay someone else to do it 12 January 2009
Consumers who are putting off buying big tickets items are increasingly turning to DIY or firms that can do the work for them.

Government set to investigate rules on administration 12 January 2009
The rules covering how a firm can be placed into administration are to be reviewed by a panel of MPs later this month.

Retailers call for tax relief as business rates soar to £7bn by 2010 12 January 2009
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) concerned that empty property tax could add to woes of struggling retailers.

Stax sponsors RDT Annual Review 12 January 2009
Industry charity the Rainy Day Trust has announced Stax Trade Centres as the new publishing sponsor of its Annual Review.

Zircon sues Stanley Works 12 January 2009
US corporation Zircon has filed a lawsuit against The Stanley Works for patent infringement.

Land of Leather calls in administrators 12 January 2009
Land of Leather is the latest retailer forced to call in the administrators.

DIY and furniture sales down but outperforming other sectors 9 January 2009
In a year of tough trading DIY products may have faired poorly but still better than many other sectors, according to the British Retail Consortium.

B&Q trials energy efficiency advice centre in-store 9 January 2009
Home improvement giant B&Q is trialling an energy efficiency centre in its Manchester store.

John Lewis sales up 27.4% 9 January 2009
Department store’s pricing policy to match competitors helps its sales surge into the New Year.

B&Q reviews £40m advertising contract 9 January 2009
DIY chain reassesses its advertising requirements hot on the heels of the departure of marketing director Jo Kenrick.

US firm to buy Waterford Wedgwood 9 January 2009
Tabletop manufacturer in talks with little-known American private equity company KPS Capital over a potential sale of the business.

Sainsbury's Q3 results reveal 'best ever' Christmas 8 January 2009
Sainsbury's has had its 'best ever' Christmas sales according to figures released this morning.

Ban on 100watt lightbulbs begins September 8 January 2009
Lighting Association and government hit back at reports that energy efficient lights are inferior or pose health risks as customers panic buy last supplies of incandescent bulbs.

Dunelm like-for-like sales fall as the firm expands 8 January 2009
Dunelm Mill the specialist out-of-town homewares retailer has this week published results for the 26 weeks up to the end of last year.

Hiatt Hardware enters administration 8 January 2009
After more than 20 years of trading, Birmingham-based hardware fittings distributor is latest casualty on the high street.

Craft Central directors file for administration 8 January 2009
The directors of Craft Central have placed the business in administration.

M&S plans job cuts and store closures following Q3 results 7 January 2009
Marks and Spencer could cut more than 1000 jobs and close 27 stores after revealing terrible trading conditions in the run up to Christmas.

Retail rent drop offers high street a lifeline 7 January 2009
Rents fall for first time in 15 years in 2008 with predictions that they will not return to growth for several years.

Best December ever for Home Hardware (Scotland) 6 January 2009
Home Hardware (Scotland) has reported a sales increase of 9.7% for the month of December 2008 - the best December trading since Home Hardware began trading in 1983.

Next sees sales slip 6 January 2009
High street retailer Next has reported a 7% decline in like-for-like sales for the half year to December 24 2008 - at the bottom end of its guidance range of between -4% and -7% given back in September.

Steady performance for Debenhams despite ‘difficult’ conditions 6 January 2009
Department store reports a 1% increase in gross transaction value on last year with online sales up 37.4%

Waterford Wedgwood starts the New Year in administration 5 January 2009
Waterford Wedgwood has called in the administrators this morning after failing to prove it has enough cash to secure further loans.

Redundancies should be ‘last resort’ in downturn 5 January 2009
As UK unemployment looks set to peak at 3.1m in 2009, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warns companies of the hidden cost of redundancies.

A service that delivers 5 January 2009
A new delivery system, from kitchen and bathroom distributors Mark Two, allows consumers to arrange their own delivery and check or change their order themselves, despite having bought through national retailers such as Wickes, Next and Tesco.

Big names for Business Meeting 5 January 2009
The speaker line up for the GIMA Business Meeting at the end of this month has been finalised and includes names from some of the UK's most respected and largest retailers and suppliers.

Kenrick steps down as B&Q restructures board 2 January 2009
Marketing director Jo Kenrick parts ways with company as it sets out new commercial agenda.

Whittard of Chelsea saved 2 January 2009
Specialist tea, coffee and tabletop retailer Whittard of Chelsea was rescued just before Christmas in a 'pre-pack' buyout agreement.

Unstaffed DIY store makes almost £200 2 January 2009
A DIY store owner left his shop open and attended only by an honesty box on Boxing day and made almost £200.

The Pier - Everything must go 2 January 2009
The Pier has been unable to find a buyer over the Christmas period and looks likely to close with the loss of 350 jobs.

Retail traffic up 3.2% for Christmas 2 January 2009
Sales encourage non-food shopping trips during Christmas week, resulting in the first increase on 2007 in nine weeks.


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