Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive April 2011

Sunshine and Royal Wedding boost sales at John Lewis 28 April 2011
John Lewis has reported a 7.6% sales uplift for the week to April 23, 2011, as customers enjoyed the sunny weather.

Job creation struggles in retail sector 28 April 2011
While the number of full-time jobs in UK retail picked up in the first quarter of 2011, March figures saw a decline on last year, with a sharp increase in the number of redundancies.

Fermoy's celebrates cupcake win 27 April 2011
Fermoy's Garden Centre Café is celebrating this week after its cupcakes were judged best in the UK at the Bakers' Fair in Newberry on April 10.

B&Q recreates famous horror scenes to 'take fear out of DIY' 27 April 2011
DIY giant films its own versions of classics, including Psycho, The Shining and Poltergeist, with a DIY twist as part of new viral campaign.

Carpetright issues third profit warning 27 April 2011
Carpetright has issued its second profit warning in a month after sales declined further in the 11 weeks to April 16, 2011.

UK economy grows by 0.5% 27 April 2011
The UK economy has grown by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2011, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, allaying fears of a 'double dip recession'.

Mobile is online retail star performer 26 April 2011
Mobile retail searches surged 181% year-on-year for the three months to March 2011, according to the new BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor launched today.

Homebase launches low-energy light bulb recycling scheme 26 April 2011
Homebase has rolled out collection facilities for low-energy light bulb recycling across its 320 stores.

British businesses end fiscal year stronger than they started it 22 April 2011
Latest Business Insolvency Index from Experian reveals increase in average financial strength score from April 2010 to March this year.

Scottish sales see worst decline since 2000 21 April 2011
The latest SRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor has revealed Scotland's first fall in total sales for more than a decade.

Reopened Bennetts stores trading "above expectations" 21 April 2011
The six Bennetts stores recently acquired by Hughes Electrical are all trading above expectations, according to a statement from Hughes released this week.

Alan Titchmarsh gives garden manufacturers TV opportunity 21 April 2011
GIMA is urging all garden manufacturers to put their products forward for inclusion in the new Alan Titchmarsh TV series Love Your Garden, to be aired from June 10.

Akzo Nobel reports strong first quarter 21 April 2011
Dutch firm sees 13% uplift in decorative paints, with promotional activity helping to grow market share in the UK.

Homebase sales stronger than stablemate 20 April 2011
Home Retail Group (HRG) full-year results, issued this morning, show Homebase has outperformed both its sister chain Argos and the group results for the 52 weeks to February 26.

Argos md steps down 20 April 2011
Argos md Sara Weller is stepping down from her position "for personal reasons", parent company Home Retail Group (HRG) announced this morning.

Obituary: Alan Silverwood 20 April 2011
Alan Silverwood, founder and chairman of bakeware specialist Alan Silverwood, died peacefully on April 17, his 85th birthday.

Changes at the top at B&Q 20 April 2011
B&Q operations director Martyn Phillips has been promoted to the new role of ceo for B&Q UK and Ireland with immediate effect.

Online sales see strongest Q1 growth in 3 years 20 April 2011
Online spending increased by 18% during Q1 2011 compared with the same period last year, the strongest first quarter growth since 2008, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index report.

Hozelock denies sale rumours 19 April 2011
Garden watering firm "surprised" by story published in The Telegraph claiming it is up for sale for £200m.

Tesco increases UK profits, but says "we can do better" 19 April 2011
Tesco has reported group sales up 8.1% to £67.6bn for the 52 weeks to February 26, 2011.

Asda Income Tracker reveals improvement 19 April 2011
The Asda Income Tracker has revealed the first month of improvement in spending power in more than a year.

London Gift Fair postponed 15 April 2011
Organisers take the decision to put off the September show until market conditions improve.

John Lewis’s sales boosted as customers get back into their gardens 15 April 2011
Department store chain reported 8% sales up lift last week as home and outdoor living ranges flew out the door.

B&Q launches project demos 15 April 2011
April 16 will see B&Q launch a series of project demos focusing on DIY jobs that can be completed in one weekend.

Fashion chain Next trials garden centre format 15 April 2011
Fashion retailer Next is set to open a new store this August featuring a garden centre-style offer alongside its existing home and clothing ranges.

Tradesmen predict business uplift in 2011 15 April 2011
More than 60% of people say they'll be making changes to their home this year, according to the latest Wickes Home Improvement Report.

Spending confidence picks up in March 14 April 2011
Nationwide Spending Index reports an increase for the first time since the VAT increase, with overall consumer confidence also up five points, but figures still lag behind pre-recession levels.

New stores boost sales at Dunelm, but like-for-likes dip 1.3% 14 April 2011
Homewares retailer Dunelm Mill has reported a 1.3% decline in like-for-like sales for its third financial quarter.

The Garden Store expands with new acquisition 14 April 2011
Garden centre chain takes over the Walled Garden Centre at Elton Hall, marking the opening of its seventh outlet in the UK.

Flying Brands warns on profits 14 April 2011
Multichannel retailer Flying Brands Limited has suffered a difficult first quarter with its bird food and flowers businesses continuing to underperform.

Sarum holds online stock sale 13 April 2011
Sarum Wholesale is holding an online auction of its stock after entering administration at the beginning of March.

Notcutts achieves 'Full Member' status 13 April 2011
Notcutts Garden Centres has become the first garden centre group to receive 'full member' status of the Growing Media Initiative (GMI).

All-in-One buys Hills Garden Centre 13 April 2011
Manchester gardening business expands with new acquisition and hints at future growth plans.

Use of temporary workers rising, but full-time jobs boost employment rate 13 April 2011
The use of temporary workers in the UK rose by more than 10% in March, according to new data from temporary agency labour procurer de Poel.

Exclusively takes firm stance on product copying 13 April 2011
The Anti Copying in Design (ACID) organisation is first-time exhibitor at this year's Exclusively Hosewares and will be on hand to offer advice on how to protect designs and products from copying.

Sales suffer worst decline since 1995, says BRC 12 April 2011
UK retail sales have suffered the worst decline for 16 years, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Garden Centre Group launches pet shops in its centres 12 April 2011
Gardening chain will open pet shops at 30 of its garden centres across the UK this month, offering pet food, kennels, bedding, pet accessories and a range of chicken products.

Forgefix Q1 sales increase 38% 12 April 2011
Fastenings and fixings supplier Forgefix has reported a massive 38% sales increase for Jan-April this year compared with Q1 2010.

Rise in minimum wage "out of step with reality", says BRC 11 April 2011
The 2.5% increase in National Minimum Wage announced last week will add to the pressure on retailers trying to grow their businesses and create jobs, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned.

John Lewis continues 'at home' roll out with store in Newbury 11 April 2011
New 40,000sq ft standalone home shop is set to open in Newbury town centre in 2012, taking the total number of John Lewis at home stores to eight by 2012.

B&Q launches DIY wedding list 11 April 2011
Home improvement chain allows couples to create their own page, inviting guests to pledge money towards DIY projects, rather than buy gifts.

Business insolvencies fall in February 8 April 2011
The total number of insolvencies in the UK fell by 12.5% in February compared with the same month last year, bringing the rate of insolvencies down from 0.10% to 0.08%.

HRG buyout rumours come to nothing 7 April 2011
City speculation about a possible buyout of Homebase parent Home Retail Group has been rife this week.

Carpetright issues second profit warning 7 April 2011
Retailer reports tough trading conditions and a 'weak floorcoverings market' in the UK and ROI, resulting in a second profit warning for the year.

Government urges retailers to speak out on red tape 7 April 2011
Retail is the first industry to come under scrutiny as part of the Government's campaign to tackle unnecessary regulation, which kicked off today.

Small businesses to benefit from new housing repairs scheme 7 April 2011
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today offered council tenants a cashback deal worth billions to carry out their own home repairs.

Police investigate fraud allegations at Glen Dimplex 6 April 2011
Merseyside cooker manufacturer Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, which supplies cookers under the Stoves brand and is a sister company to Morphy Richards, is being investigated by police as a result of allegations of major fraud at the factory.

Hughes reopens six Bennetts stores 5 April 2011
Hughes Electrical has reopened the six Bennetts stores it acquired after the company entered administration last month.

Returns charges could cost online retailers €10bn a year 4 April 2011
Amendments to the Consumer Rights Directive will see e-tailers foot the bill for the return of goods valued at less than €40, further ramping up delivery costs, says IMRG.

Tile depot opens 16th store 4 April 2011
Tile Depot's newest store officially opened in Tonbridge, Kent on Saturday (April 2), creating three jobs.

John Lewis pushes energy efficient electricals range 1 April 2011
Department store chain launches new advertorial campaign highlighting its position as first European retailer to offer an own-brand range of large electrical appliances that is A-rated or above.

Focus to close Ipswich store 1 April 2011
DIY chain chooses not to renew lease on "unprofitable" store, with outlet to close its doors later this month.

New pre-pack rules don't go far enough, says British Property Federation 1 April 2011
The Government has announced proposals to improve the transparency of pre-pack administrations, but the British Property Federation says the new rules don't do enough to stop the system being exploited.

Alworths calls in administrators 1 April 2011
Woolies-style retailer appoints insolvency and restructuring specialist Leonard Curtis.


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