Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive February 2013

Multiple retailers shut 20 shops a day last year 28 February 2013
During 2012 an average of 20 multiple retailers closed down everyday on the high street, according to new research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Local Data Company.

Retail growth slowed in February, says CBI 27 February 2013
The first two weeks of February saw sales volumes continue to strengthen, but the pace of growth slowed for the third consecutive month, according to the latest CBI distributive trades survey.

Kitchenware supplier Uutensil joins BHETA 27 February 2013
The latest company to sign up with the British Home Enhancement Trades Association is kitchen tools and gadgets supplier Uutensil.

New Baileys DIY store born from ashes of old 27 February 2013
An overnight transformation saw the Rockfield DIY store in Abergavenny close its doors for the last time one night in December 2012 - only to open as the brand new Baileys DIY the very next day.

New plant centre to open in Shrewsbury 27 February 2013
A new specialist plant centre will be launched next month in Shrewsbury.

£32m spend will 'reinforce John Lewis' commitment to high street' 27 February 2013
John Lewis has today announced an investment of £32m to fund an extensive refurbishment programme in four of its stores this year.

Countdown to second annual Garden Re-Leaf Day 27 February 2013
Around 500 garden centres and industry suppliers across the UK are putting the final plans in place for the second annual Garden Re-Leaf Day, which takes place on Friday, March 8, marking the launch of gardening season.

Friends of the Earth up the pressure on businesses to ban neonicotinoids 26 February 2013
As the European Commission pushed back its decision on enforcing restrictions on neonicotinoids, which have been linked to bee decline, environmentalist network Friends of the Earth has circulated a letter urging garden centre managers to ban the controversial pesticides.

Tool wholesaler's relocation will underpin growth 26 February 2013
Yorkshire tool wholesaler KDA Wholesale is looking to expand its business after moving into new premises.

Struggling Axminster Carpets sheds tannery business 26 February 2013
Axminster Carpets, which is urgently trying to find a way out of its financial difficulties, has sold off its tannery business.

Norfolk chain Roys buys Norwich garden centre 25 February 2013
Norfolk chain Roys of Wroxham is adding another garden centre to its portfolio in an acquisition deal expected to go through today.

Snow stalled plant sales, but sledges flew off the shelves 22 February 2013
Garden centres saw a slower month in January due to snowfall, with indoor departments such as pet care and clothing showing the best performance.

UPDATE: Bayer Garden hits back at 'bee-killing' insecticide claims 22 February 2013
Horticultural supplier Bayer Garden, which was named as one of the manufacturers of neonicotinoid insecticides by campaigners earlier this week, has hit back at claims that its products are harmful to bees.

New HQ for BMF 22 February 2013
March 1st will see the Builders Merchants Federation re-locate to its new home in Coventry.

Town & Country supports Garden Re-Leaf Day 22 February 2013
Town & Country has risen to the Garden Re-Leaf challenge to help raise vital funds for the Greenfingers charity by donating money from the sale of its Weedmaster glove range.

Bents donates £10k to children's hospice 22 February 2013
Bents Garden & Home was pleased to present £10,144 to the Clare House Children's Hospice, its charity of the year 2012.

B&Q adds feminine touch with 'fashion-forward' Banbury store 22 February 2013
A 'fashion-forward' feel, inspirational, affordable and helpful shopping experience was how B&Q described its re-vamped store which opened in Banbury today.

Sales fall 6.4% LfL during B&Q's final quarter 21 February 2013
Kingfisher announced its financial results for the 14 weeks to February 2, 2013, today, with the "generally weak consumer backdrop" blamed for B&Q's 6.4% sales drop compared with the same 13 weeks last year.

Ironmongery Direct posts record sales for 2012 year 21 February 2013
December 30, 2012 rounded off another successful year for online and mail order ironmongery supplier Ironmongery Direct, as it posted 22% growth.

Garden centres join DIY giants in banning 'bee-killing' pesticides 21 February 2013
Blue Diamond, Notcutts, Hillier, SCATS, Scotsdales and Squires have joined a campaign to eradicate pesticides containing chemicals linked to bee decline, bringing several high-profile garden manufacturers into the firing line.

Burgon & Ball settles with Gardman following infringement lawsuit 21 February 2013
Following a long-running legal dispute between Burgon & Ball and Gardman concerning infringements on Burgon & Ball's products, a settlement has been reached.

Locksmith ad gave fake address 20 February 2013
An ad showing a locksmith's address to be in Salisbury when it wasn't was likely to mislead consumers into thinking they were dealing with a local trader.

Like-for-likes slip 7.6% at Wickes during Q1 20 February 2013
The first seven weeks of 2013 saw a LfL revenue drop of 7.6% at Wickes, a 2% reduction on last year's drop.

Home Hardware members get record payback 20 February 2013
Home Hardware Southwest paid an unprecedented £139,000 back to members last year in the form of rebates, dividends and investment interest.

Axminster Carpets poised to go into administration 20 February 2013
The Devon manufacturer of high-quality carpets, Axminster Carpets, is on the brink of calling in the administrators.

2012 vacancies report names and shames 19 February 2013
A report on shop vacancies in 2012 published today reveals a widening gap in the performance of town centres, shopping centres and retail parks across Great Britain.

Frogtape firm steps up TV advertising 19 February 2013
Shurtape has announced its biggest ever investment into national and regional TV advertising this year to capitalise on Easter break.

Shock-risk Philips spotlight recalled 18 February 2013
Philips has recalled an LED spotlight because of the danger it poses to end users.

Snowfall crippled January footfall, reveals BRC 18 February 2013
January's footfall fell by 4.6% year-on-year, the British Retail Consortium has revealed, despite reporting sales were up earlier this month.

ONS reports January sales drop at odds with BRC 15 February 2013
Retail sales fell by 0.6% year-on-year in January, according to the Office for National Statistics, which reported it as the first time year-on-year growth had halted in the sector since August 2011 - in total contrast to a sunnier picture painted by the BRC.

Vacant ex-Woolworths stores down by 40% since 2009 14 February 2013
There are now just 63 vacant ex-Woolworths stores in the UK compared with 385 in December 2009, a reduction of more than 40%.

Shock redundancy sweep at John Lewis 14 February 2013
Despite consistent sales growth and its reputation as a beacon of hope for the beleaguered British high street, the John Lewis Partnership is to cut 325 managerial jobs.

Greenfingers receives £1000 following bank ad campaign 14 February 2013
Haskins Garden Centres' chief executive Julian Winfield recently featured in a Santander national advertising campaign as one of four business owners, and to thanks him the bank paid £1,000 to his charity of choice, Greenfingers.

Yale launches burglary-revealing app 14 February 2013
Security supplier Yale has launched the Crime Watcher app which shows the user how many burglaries have taken place within a mile of their home in the last month.

DIY and gardening records "healthy performance" in 2012, says GfK 13 February 2013
The DIY and gardening retail sector, the largest tracked by GfK, remained stable throughout 2012 despite bad weather and total consumer durable spending dropping by 2.8%.

Wright's Home Hardware opens in Forres 13 February 2013
Scottish hardware chain Wright's Home Hardware has opened its eighth store.

'No-location' kitchen supplier rapped by ad watchdog 13 February 2013
A kitchen supplier has been taken to task by the ad watchdog for failing to say on its website where the company is located.

Millbrook GC names charity partner for 2013 13 February 2013
The Children and Young Peoples' Service (chYps) has been named as Millbrook Garden Centre's charity of the year.

Mica Exchange 2013 a sell-out 13 February 2013
The Mica DIY Exchange is back for a third year this spring, and the meeting of the Mica clan has once more proved a sell-out.

Kitchen retailers warned of 'deaf customer' scam 13 February 2013
Retailers of kitchens and bathrooms are being warned about an internet scam that involves a bogus customer ordering goods with stolen credit cards.

14.6% half-year profit lift for Dunelm 12 February 2013
Dunelm said today that it grew pre-tax profit by 14.6% to £59.8m, as it released its interim results for the 26 weeks to December 29 2012.

New B&Q campaign pushes everyday low prices 12 February 2013
B&Q has launched a new drive, backed by television advertising, that aims to underline its positioning as a retailer that offers permanently low prices.

Argos and Homebase leave £4.3m legacy for cancer charity 11 February 2013
Argos and Homebase will leave a multi-million pound legacy for young people with cancer when it wraps up its partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust this month.

Innovation rewarded at Totally shows 11 February 2013
Winners of the New Product Awards were unveiled last night, with top new product launches, including LadderLimb, bagging prizes.

UPDATE: Final closure for Rapid Hardware 11 February 2013
Iconic Liverpool store Rapid Hardware has reached the end of the road - less than a week after administrators were appointed to the business.

Totally shows get off to a flying start 11 February 2013
The 19th annual Totally DIY and Totally Tools show opened its doors, swapping those of the NEC for the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, yesterday, drawing exhibitors old and new, hundreds of visitors and a wealth of industry support.

East meets west at Asia-Pacific Sourcing 11 February 2013
The fifth edition of next month's Asia-Pacific Sourcing is set to host over 600 suppliers of a wide range of products for the home and garden from the Far East.

Bosch Lawn & Garden takes the market lead 8 February 2013
After just a decade and a half in the UK market, Bosch Lawn & Garden has seized leadership within the garden power categories, according to new industry analysis.

St Albans garden centre scoops GIMA award 8 February 2013
Burston Rose & Garden Centre has been presented with a top award for excellence from the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association.

Multi-tools shine within lacklustre power tools market 8 February 2013
Consumers bought fewer power tools last year - but when they did, they spent more.

UPDATE: Liquidators comment on sale of Godfrey stores 8 February 2013
Insolvency specialists McTear Williams & Wood confirm there were dozens of parties interested in buying the DIY businesses but that the deal with director Barry Godfrey preserved the value in the stores and has meant former staff have received payment more quickly.

Ban for fire-risk battery charger 8 February 2013
The authorities have issued a warning about a battery charger that poses a risk of fire.

Reshuffle for Kingfisher's management team 8 February 2013
Following news that Kingfisher group chief operating officer Euan Sutherland is to leave the business, Kingfisher has announced that Mr Sutherland's main responsibilities will be assumed by two members of the senior management team.

GIMA negotiation skills course open to all 8 February 2013
The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association is inviting members and non-members to attend a course this month to learn how to negotiate effectively within their professional role.

Countdown begins, as Totally gets set to open doors at new venue 8 February 2013
Dedicated DIY trade shows Totally DIY and Totally Tools will mark a new stage in their history as they prepare to open at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry for the first time this Sunday.

UPDATE: Administrators suspend trading at Rapid Hardware 8 February 2013
Stricken Liverpool department store Rapid Hardware has been delivered another blow, with its administrators unexpectedly closing the store.

Godfrey DIY owner revives stores in liquidation buyout 7 February 2013
Md Barry Godfrey buys DIY businesses in Diss and Stowmarket from liquidators under his new company Harvey House Retail.

Pocket lamp can deliver an electric shock 7 February 2013
A dangerous battery-powered pocket lamp has been withdrawn from the market and recalled.

New Year brings a boost for retail sales 6 February 2013
January delivered a much-needed fillip for retailers, with the biggest like-for-like growth in retail sales for over a year.

14.6% increase for Home Hardware spring promotion 6 February 2013
Home Hardware says it has achieved another record-breaking print run as it launches its latest spring promotional brochure.

Administrators go in at Rapid Hardware as the bank calls time 6 February 2013
Rapid Hardware, the huge DIY and homewares department store in Liverpool, is appealing for a "white knight" investor after it collapsed into administration yesterday.

Hall's Rainsaver a finalist in local business awards 1 February 2013
Silver winner in the DIY Week awards garden accessories category Hall's Rainsaver had been selected as a finalist in a Local Business Accelerators programme.

Alan Titchmarsh no longer the face of B&Q 1 February 2013
Gardening celebrity Alan Titchmarsh is no longer working for B&Q following the end of his three year multi-million pound contract at the beginning of this year.

GCG launches cookery apprenticeships 1 February 2013
The Garden Centre Group has teamed up with Westminster Kingsway College to develop a new apprenticeship programme focussing on professional cookery in garden centre restarants.

GCA conference a "resounding success" 1 February 2013
More than 300 delegates attended the three-day Garden Centre Association annual conference, which took place at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, this week.

Hardware independents fared better than most in Q4 1 February 2013
DIY and hardware independents' sales slipped in the last quarter of 2012 when compared to 2011 - but they were among the better performers in a generally gloomy picture.


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