Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive December 2013

GCA reveals national award winners 31 December 2013
The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has revealed the names of the two winning garden centres for its Christmas display competition.

Homewares and fashion retailer announces plans for new garden centre 31 December 2013
Boundary Mill Stores has unveiled plans to expand its existing business at its site in Colne, near Burnley, to include a new garden centre and farm shop.

High street sales sparkle in December 30 December 2013
Retail sales have recovered strongly in the year to December, bouncing back after two disappointing months, the CBI has announced.

Leekes reports a year of strong profits 30 December 2013
The Leekes Retail & Leisure Group has reported strong profits for its recent financial year and it looks set for a successful consecutive year too.

Get-togethers could cause festive disasters 23 December 2013
As Brits prepare to spend Christmas day with family and friends, many fear they could experience a festive disaster at home.

Consumers set to go mobile to spend millions this Christmas 23 December 2013
Online shopping sales across the main Christmas period this year are expected to total £890m, with 45 million hours spent browsing sites over the main festive days.

Retailers can win a 'gardening date with David Domoney' 20 December 2013
As part of the Garden Re-Leaf Day campaign next year, participating garden centres could win a "money-can't buy, footfall-boosting" visit from ITV gardener David Domoney next March.

Kingfisher joins other big brands to build 'Net Positive' movement 20 December 2013
Kingfisher is among a group of leading UK PLCs and multinationals working with NGOs to encourage businesses to make commitments to become "Net Positive".

B&Q website slips down annual customer satisfaction listing 19 December 2013
The UK's best and worst online retailers have been named, and more retailers have fallen into the category of "underperforming", including B&Q.

LOFA puts numbers on the garden furniture market 19 December 2013
Forty per cent of households plan to buy some kind of garden furniture over the coming year, a comprehensive new report from the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) reveals.

New John Lewis at Home to join Waitrose in Horsham 19 December 2013
John Lewis today announced plans to open a new At Home outlet in Horsham as early as autumn 2015.

The Range to open two new stores 18 December 2013
Home superstore The Range has announced it is to open two new stores early next year, in Sheffield and Gloucester.

All still to play for as November footfall disappoints 17 December 2013
Retailers are now staking everything on December, as the latest footfall figures reveal another disappointing performance in November.

The true cost of waiting in for parcel deliveries 17 December 2013
Waiting in for online shopping to be delivered will cost the British economy £868m this Christmas, according to research by parcel delivery company CollectPlus.

Shortlist announced for the Let's Colour Awards 17 December 2013
Dulux has announced the shortlist for its Let's Colour Awards 2014, including a fireworks display, a fashion designer and a unique art collection in London.

American furniture retailer opens first store in London 16 December 2013
US retailer Williams-Sonoma has opened its first European store in London under the West Elm furniture and room decor brand.

Bents' £10m expansion: phase two 16 December 2013
Phase two of the £10m expansion at Bents Garden & Home is set to get underway in January, the company has announced.

Top tips for taking on seasonal workers 16 December 2013
As the annual rush to sign up thousands of seasonal retail workers gets under way, a leading legal firm has compiled a list of top tips for employers of temporary staff.

Furniture manufacturer plans a move into garden centres 16 December 2013
Sales director Mark Stewart at 'conservatory furniture' manufacturer Desser has told about the company's plans to expand its ranges and start selling in garden centres.

Luxury housing on former garden centre site is rejected 16 December 2013
Plans to build luxury houses on the site of a garden centre that closed earlier this year have been thrown out.

Benross expands its garden retail team 13 December 2013
Benross has formed a national garden retail team to focus specifically on the growing demand in the market.

Bents grants a special wish 13 December 2013
Father Christmas had a new elf recruit at Bents Garden & Home recently after a lady approached the company with a fairly unusual request.

Joseph Bentley provides tools for gardening competition 13 December 2013
Solus Garden & Leisure helped young gardeners compete in an exciting gardening challenge with a donation of Joseph Bentley digging spades.

B&Q and Morrisons announce Sunderland store deal 13 December 2013
B&Q and Morrisons have announced that they have made a deal to convert the B&Q Warehouse store in Deptford, Sunderland to include a new Fresh Format Morrisons supermarket.

Travis Perkins staff to share in £17m saving scheme pay-out 12 December 2013
Profits from a five-year ShareSave scheme at Travis Perkins plc will see more than 7,000 employees share in its £17m maturity.

Station retail sales continue to outshine high street 12 December 2013
Retail sales at Britain's biggest and busiest railway stations continue significantly to outperform the high street, latest figures from Network Rail show.

Multi-channel retailing expert at GCA conference 12 December 2013
An expert in multi-channel retailing will be speaking at the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) annual conference in January to help garden centre owners and managers get behind the digital age.

Major power tools theft at B&Q Dundee 12 December 2013
Thousands of pounds' worth of power tools have been stolen from B&Q in King's Road, Dundee.

Argos taps social media for new price-drop website 12 December 2013
Argos has announced a trial partnership with social-commerce technology company Buyapowa that will allow Argos' Facebook fans and Twitter followers to shop together and earn themselves special deals.

New mobile marketing campaign from IronmongeryDirect 12 December 2013
IronmongeryDirect has launched a new mobile marketing campaign to promote its latest app to tradesmen on the go.

Carpetright first-half profits down by a third 11 December 2013
UK profits at Carpetright improved in the half year to October 26 2013, but they slumped by a third at the company as a whole.

Record online sales at John Lewis 11 December 2013
Online sales at John Lewis were up 22% in the week to December 7 - the second week in a row where over a third of all trade went through its website.

Christmas comes early at Bents 11 December 2013
Staff at Bents Garden & Home are celebrating after being awarded the 'Best in the North West' for its Christmas display.

Ewbank looks to the future 11 December 2013
The owners of cleaning product manufacturer and supplier, Ewbank, are planning investment in the company for next year to help it grow.

Company's misleading 'it's British' cutlery ad 11 December 2013
A teleshopping presentation for Viners cutlery was misleading because the statement "it's British, it's Sheffield" implied that it was made in Sheffield, when it wasn't.

Millbrook raises more than £2,000 for charity 11 December 2013
Staff at The Millbrook Garden Company have presented a cheque for more than £2,000 to its Charity of the Year.

Fiskars sells Sankey to Strata Products 11 December 2013
Fiskars is selling off its UK garden container, propagation and water storage business, Sankey, along with its related manufacturing assets.

Cash-strapped consumers turn off the Christmas lights 9 December 2013
Two thirds of consumers are planning to cut back on Christmas spending this year, with decorations and lights amongst the areas that will be sacrificed.

Notcutts confirms purchase of Garden Pride Garden Centre 6 December 2013
Notcutts has confirmed that from today it now owns Garden Pride Garden Centre in West Sussex.

Solus appoints Mark Pearson as its new ceo 6 December 2013
Solus Garden & Leisure has announced the appointment of Mark Pearson as its new chief executive officer.

Knauf donates to DIY SOS project 6 December 2013
Knauf Insulation recently donated loft roll insulation to the BBC programme DIY SOS, to help provide new fit for purpose premises for the Little Miracles charity.

GIMA appoints new director 6 December 2013
Vicky Nuttall has been appointed to the position of GIMA director. She will take over the role from Neil Gow in the New Year.

Somerset hardware shop HT Perry & Son is a Christmas winner 5 December 2013
Staff at Somerset hardware store HT Perry & Son are celebrating after they emerged triumphant in this year's Home Hardware Christmas window dressing competition.

DIY Week Awards: Silver winners revealed! 5 December 2013
A host of suppliers and retailers of hardware and garden products have been revealed as Silver winners in the 2014 DIY Week Awards - but they will have to wait a little longer to find out if they have gone on to scoop Gold.

Breaking news: Chancellor to limit business rate hikes 5 December 2013
Chancellor George Osborne will announce that he is capping business rate rises when he delivers his Autumn Statement later this morning.

300 Christmas trees stolen from Cheshire garden centre 5 December 2013
300 Christmas trees were stolen from High Legh Garden Centre in Knutsford, Cheshire, during an overnight raid. Police have warned of other garden centres being targeted.

Chancellor announces series of business rates concessions 5 December 2013
Businesses have welcomed a series of moves announced by Chancellor George Osborne today in his Autumn Statement, which include a cap on business rate increases for next year of 2%.

Home Hardware raises over £3,000 for charities 4 December 2013
Members, suppliers and staff at Home Hardware's recent convention raised over £3,000 to be split between three charities.

Kingfisher employees to share in £9.7m pre-Christmas payout 4 December 2013
Over 1,400 Kingfisher employees are set to share in the maturity of two ShareSave schemes, representing a total collective gain of £9.7 million.

Garden furniture 'in stock' claim was misleading 4 December 2013
An online garden furniture retailer has been reprimanded by the ad watchdog for saying a product was in stock when it wasn't - even though that was beyond its control.

Top economist to speak at GCA conference 3 December 2013
HSBC's Mark Berrisford-Smith will be speaking at the next Garden Centre Association's annual conference in January about the outlook for garden centres and their suppliers.

Totally expands as exhibitor demand grows 3 December 2013
Next year's Totally DIY and Totally Tools shows will be bigger than 2013's, show organiser Brintex said today.

Retail sales in November up 2.3% 3 December 2013
Total retail sales were up 2.3% in November and like-for-like sales were up 0.6% on November last year thanks to a surge of online sales following a slow start to the month.

Liverpool hardware shop targeted by armed robbers 3 December 2013
The owner of a Liverpool hardware shop opened up as usual this morning - despite being held up at gunpoint yesterday afternoon.

Notcutts in discussions to buy a Sussex garden centre 2 December 2013
Notcutts Garden Centres have entered discussions to acquire Garden Pride Garden Centre in Sussex with a view to complete the sale before Christmas.

Home Hardware business wins top accolade 2 December 2013
A joint Somerset Home Hardware business has won the Home Hardware Retailer of the Year at the organisation's convention last weekend. Meanwhile, Manor Reproductions was named Supplier of the Year.

Dobbies' profits drain away after drenched summer 2 December 2013
Last year's sodden summer washed away over 30% of Dobbies' profits, the company said as it released its annual results.

Kelkay boosts range with Borderstone acquisition 2 December 2013
Borderstone has been acquired from Aggregate Industries by Kelkay, both being suppliers of garden landscaping materials and ornaments.

Solus md leaves the company to set up new venture 2 December 2013
The managing director of Solus Garden & Leisure, Nick Davies, has resigned and left the company.

Dragons' Den saw horse cuts swathe through Europe 2 December 2013
The inventors of an innovative saw horse say they have enjoyed "a phenomenal few months of trading", despite having their bid for investment by the Dragons' Den entrepreneurs rejected.

Blooms Garden Centre reopens to sell Christmas trees 2 December 2013
Following the huge fire that gutted the Blooms Garden Centre in Cardiff, the team there reopened to sell real Christmas trees and wreaths.


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