Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive December 2010

Retailers fear sales decline in 2011 but will invest in new jobs 27 December 2010
Nearly two thirds of retail outlets expect retail sales to worsen next year compared with 2010 but still plan to invest in and create more jobs throughout the year.

Bradford Building Supplies completes £1m refurbishment 24 December 2010
Bradfords Building Supplies has marked the completion of its £1m building programme with an opening ceremony led by the Mayor of Taunton Deane at its new-look branch in Taunton, Somerset.

1,000 join in Covers' carol concert 23 December 2010
Timber and builders merchants Covers raised £2,750 for charity this week with its annual carol concert - attended by more than 1,000 people!

Online sales soar in November 22 December 2010
UK shoppers spent £6.4bn online during November according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Defra sets 2020 peat replacement target 22 December 2010
Defra has called for peat to be completely eliminated from the amateur gardener market by 2020.

Food prep market reports record-breaking sales 21 December 2010
Sales of food preparation equipment have surpassed £100m for the first time ever, with food processors and kitchen machines showing strong growth in 2010.

Fire at family-run garden centre 21 December 2010
Around 35 firefighters attended a stock room fire at Homeleigh Garden Centre in Cornwall last week.

Snow sees festive footfall plummet 21 December 2010
Heavy snow kept shoppers indoors on Saturday, the last before Christmas, with footfall dropping by nearly a quarter year-on-year.

Boxing Day tube strike a blow for London retailers 20 December 2010
As Underground staff threaten to strike on Boxing Day, fears grow that it will damage a crucial part of the capital's economy at its most important time of year.

Crown Paints up for sale 20 December 2010
Crown Paints has been put up for sale as part of an exploration of "strategic options' for the company.

Rolawn acquires Hallstone Developments 20 December 2010
Hallstone to operate as a separate company, while also supplying Rolawn with composts for use in its various topsoil mixes.

Pace of recovery to remain slow, says CBI 20 December 2010
2% growth in UK economy forecast for 2011 after a sluggish start to the year, with inflation set to rise higher than previously thought.

Hawkesmill Nurseries gains permission for new developments 17 December 2010
Nursery business secures planning permission for expansion plans at its sites in West Midlands Green Belt with the help of Malcolm Scott Consultants.

Homebase suicide 16 December 2010
A woman was found dead at the Maidstone branch of Homebase on Friday morning last week, after apparently hanging herself in the store.

Land of Leather customers win payout for 'toxic sofa' claims 16 December 2010
Settlement of £734,400 awarded to more than 400 customers who suffered injuries and burns from sofas they purchased from collapsed furniture retailer.

Garden industry sector reports slowdown in salaries 15 December 2010
HTA Salary Survey 2010 reveals 2.12% wage increase was up on 2009 but still below the UK average, while directors in the nursery and garden centre sector took a cut in remuneration.

Business rates vote introduced as retailers face hike in April 15 December 2010
A new legal requirement that businesses must vote in favour before any Business Rates Supplement (BRS) is introduced has been hailed as a "major victory" by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Three openings in a week for Clas Ohlson 15 December 2010
Swedish retailers ends 2010 on a high with stores in Cardiff, Norwich and Doncaster but scales down expansion plans for next year due to economic climate.

Carpetright sees figures decline 14 December 2010
Interim results for the 26 weeks to October 30 2010 show the floorcoverings retailer's sales slipped 4%, while underlying pre-tax profit tumbled 28.1%.

Totally new initiative 14 December 2010
The Totally shows have announced the introduction of a 'Retail Tool Box' for next February's exhibition at the NEC, with live demos, presentations and latest launches.

Wickes' sales boosted, as shoppers rush to beat VAT hike 14 December 2010
Despite drop in sales of core products, Travis Perkins-owned DIY chain sees turnover jump 4.2% in last eight weeks of trading period, as consumers bring purchases forward.

Ikea named Retailer of the Year Europe 14 December 2010
Swedish retailer bags the top position, beating more than 1,100 retail chains, in the largest consumer survey in Europe.

Retailers to 'use the VAT hike to mask price increases' 14 December 2010
60% of retailers and manufacturers intend to raise prices above the 2.5% VAT rate increase due on January 4 but KPMG warns of the danger of large-scale increases.

Crown doubles profit 13 December 2010
Crown Paints has announced it's on course to announce a profit jump of close to 200% for the full year to December 31 2010.

Christmas season to be as good as last year's, say retailers 13 December 2010
BRC's Christmas Trading Snapshot Survey reveals that almost two thirds of retail businesses expect sales over the Christmas period to be the same or better than last year.

Snow thaws to give John Lewis record sales week 13 December 2010
Department store posts sales of £121m last week - the most it has ever taken in a seven-day period - as shoppers flood the high street following the snow.

B&Q brings January sales forward to this Friday 13 December 2010
DIY chain to offer discounts of up to 75% from Friday, December 17 as it kicks off its January sale earlier than ever.

Homebase launches app as mobile sales rise 600% 10 December 2010
Homebase has revealed a 600% increase in online sales from mobiles in the past year as it launches its Reserve & Collect mobile app.

EU rule is crackers, says BRC 8 December 2010
Retailers are being forced to demand ID from customers wanting to buy Christmas crackers due to new EU legislation adapted in summer.

Comet moves towards small domestic appliances as profits drop 8 December 2010
Electricals chain Comet has suffered a retail loss of €6.4m for the first half, due to a combination of store refits, a brand relaunch and tough trading conditions.

DIY sectors struggle in 2010 8 December 2010
Despite widespread promotions, paint sales saw a decline in October, according to recent figures from GfK, while hand tools reported a 14% drop in sales volumes for the year.

November was 'tough month' for retailers, says BRC 7 December 2010
UK retail sales increased by 0.7% on a like-for-like basis compared with November 2009, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Over-50s shame younger Brits over winter DIY jobs 7 December 2010
The over-50s are putting younger Brits to shame when it comes to preparing their homes for winter weather, says a new survey from Saga Home Insurance.

Taps expands into Yorkshire 6 December 2010
Taps plumbers merchants has expanded out of the North East for the first time after opening a new branch in Yorkshire.

Orders up but profits down for SMEs, says survey 6 December 2010
Small businesses have experienced a rise in orders and turnover in recent months, but profitability has dropped, says the Forum of Private Business.

Lords of Notting Hill wins online accolade 6 December 2010
Lords of Notting Hill won Online Business of the Year 2010 at the HSBC/Archant London Business Awards last week for their new website.

EXCLUSIVE: Blaze at hardware independent 6 December 2010
A small electrical fire broke out at the Marylebone branch of The Tool Shop last Wednesday night, causing damage to the main sales area.

Tileflair acquires KDP Tiles 2 December 2010
Bristol-based tile supplier Tileflair Group has acquired KDP Tiles Ltd based in Chandlers Ford for an undisclosed sum.

Kingfisher Q3 trading update 2 December 2010
B&Q parent company issues its third quarter trading update this morning, relating to the 13 weeks to October 13.

Retailers enjoy strong demand in November despite big freeze 2 December 2010
Last month delivered a good performance in autumn and winter products, as the cold snap kept consumers focused on Christmas shopping but snowfall could continue to disrupt high street traffic.

Independents report roaring trade in snowy conditions 2 December 2010
Hardware stores sell out stocks of snow shovels, sledges and rock salt, as snowed-in consumers choose, and need, to shop locally.

Argos ad deemed misleading 1 December 2010
The Advertising Standards Agency has today ruled that a delivery promise made by Argos in a recent TV advert was misleading.

B&Q to form Junior Board 1 December 2010
B&Q has announced it will set up a 'Junior Board' made up of 17-19 year olds, to advise the retailer on 'next generation sustainability'.

Challs International raises £22,000 for Oxfam 1 December 2010
The manufacturer of plughole care brand Buster raised the money during National Plughole Week on July 10 to 17, more than doubling last year's fundraising efforts.


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