Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

News Archive July 2013

Flooding causes garden centre fire 31 July 2013
Customers and staff at Fryers Garden Centre in Knutsford had to be evacuated this week after a fire started in an electrical cupboard.

Operating profit up 353% at Robert Dyas 31 July 2013
Business has boomed at Robert Dyas following its July 2012 takeover by former Dragon's Den star Theo Paphitis, with operating profits up to £4.89m for the year to March 30, 2013 - an uptake of 353% since last year's £1.08m.

Builders merchant is bowled over by the Home of Cricket 31 July 2013
West London builders merchant Lords took up a unique opportunity to impress its name on millions of potential customers when it was invited to take a prime banner site on the Lord's cricket ground for the second Ashes test match in June.

Homebase worker charged with £132,000 voucher theft 31 July 2013
A south London woman who works for Homebase goes to court today accused of stealing over £100,000-worth of gift vouchers from the retailer.

Drinkware specialist Bubba joins BHETA 31 July 2013
Bubba Brands, whose products include the Hero bottle, has joined the British Home Enhancement Trade Association.

GCA releases 'seaside' clue for conference venue 30 July 2013
"Oh I do like to be beside the seaside" is the second clue released by the GCA in its competition to guess the 2014 venue of its annual conference.

Staff-radio hardware store wins music royalties case 30 July 2013
An Irish hardware store/builders merchant has successfully defended itself against a demand to pay music royalties because its employees listened to a radio.

MotoGP prize offered for Stanley's Big Hit Challenge 30 July 2013
Following the success of last year's event, Stanley is once again hosting its Big Hit Challenge at the upcoming British MotoGP at Silverstone.

Now Max Bahr goes down after insurers pull the plug 29 July 2013
Germany's Max Bahr DIY chain has filed for insolvency, dashing hopes that it might be able to survive the collapse two weeks ago of parent Praktiker, the country's third-largest home improvement retailer.

B&Q to sue Visa over card fees 29 July 2013
B&Q has come together with some of the UK's other leading retail names to sue Visa over excessive debit and credit card processing costs.

Channel 5 show seeks walking DIY disasters 29 July 2013
Do you or any of your customers have a great DIY disaster story?

Out-of-town DIY store makes triumphant return to high st 26 July 2013
Turnover has shot up 43% at family-run North Wales retailer Ruthin Décor ever since it turned its back on its former out-of-town location and returned to the high street.

Indie shops see a 1.9% decline from April to June 26 July 2013
Despite the ONS signalling a 0.6% rise in GDP, new research from the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) shows that independent traders logged a year-on-year quarterly decline of 1.9% in the three months to June.

Beware: garden supplier reports order scam 26 July 2013
Con artist posing as a garden retailer targets supplier, placing bogus orders worth thousands of pounds.

Warm weather sees last minute sales surge of 8.6% at Wickes 25 July 2013
Sales were largely flat during Wickes' first half, with like-for-likes dropping 1.1%, levelling sales at £586.6m for the six months to June 30.

Travis Perkins CEO to retire 25 July 2013
Geoff Cooper, the chief executive officer of Wickes' parent company Travis Perkins Plc, will retire as a director and full time employee on his 60th birthday next March, and step down as ceo in January, after nine years at the helm of the business.

Hot weather sweeps Carpetright's sales under the rug 25 July 2013
Sales decreased by 3.3% during the 12 weeks to July 20 at Carpetright, with like-for-likes dropping 1.9% due to warm weather impacting footfall.

GIMA celebrates the best of the industry 24 July 2013
An enjoyable evening was had by all at last week's annual GIMA awards.

Garden Re-Leaf Day raises £61k 24 July 2013
Friday, March 14, 2014 is the date for the next official Garden Re-Leaf Day, after a wildly successful 2013 event which saw £61,379 raised for Greenfingers.

Kingfisher sales soar with the mercury during Q2 24 July 2013
Total sales were up 5.2% across the Kingfisher group during the 10 weeks to July 13, up 2.5% like-for-like, with both B&Q and Screwfix seeing positive gains.

BHETA signs Gardman as member 22 July 2013
Gardman is the latest garden sector company to join the British Home Enhancement Trade Association.

DIY and gardening searches soar in the sunshine 22 July 2013
New figures on retail search volumes for the second quarter of 2013 reveal that DIY and gardening were the star performers.

John Lewis wilts in heatwave as DIY indies ride high 19 July 2013
Sales dipped well below last year for the week to July 13 at John Lewis, a deficit blamed on the Ashes, Wimbledon and the heatwave - yet DIY and garden retailers up and down the country are rejoicing in a spate of much-needed sales brought on by the soaring mercury.

Notcutts boss to replace James Barnes at helm of Dobbies 18 July 2013
Andy King, the former chief executive of Notcutts Garden Centres, is to take on the role of managing director at Dobbies following the shock departure of James Barnes last week.

Dulux gives the capital and its runners a makeover 17 July 2013
Last Sunday saw 15,000 keen runners - and several brightly coloured footguards - brave blistering temperatures to take part in the UK's first ever Color Run, presented by Dulux.

Decco announces new and improved trade show 17 July 2013
September 4, 2013, will mark the start of a new era for Decco Manchester as its annual trade show moves to the city's Etihad Stadium.

Homebase thefts gang put behind bars 16 July 2013
A gang will serve a total of over 12 years in jail after committing a series of thefts from branches of Homebase and John Lewis.

Dunelm ends the year on 12.2% sales increase 16 July 2013
Dunelm Mill, recently revealed as the country's leading homewares retailer, saw sales increase 12.2% to £677.2m for the 52 weeks ending June 29, 2013.

Struggling Homebase Ireland enters examinership 16 July 2013
Loss-making Homebase Ireland - part of Homebase UK and Argos owner Home Retail Group - has entered examinership, it was announced today.

Bord na Móna sponsors Shrewsbury show garden 16 July 2013
Bord na Móna UK is sponsoring Moreton Park Garden Centre's Good Enough to Eat show garden at the 126th Shrewsbury Flower Show next month.

Graham & Brown drives online growth with £3m fulfilment centre 16 July 2013
Wallpaper manufacturer Graham & Brown has completed a £3m investment in a new logistics and distribution centre at its Blackburn headquarters to support its online growth.

German DIY giant Praktiker files for insolvency 15 July 2013
Praktiker, Germany's third-largest DIY chain, has filed for insolvency, a victim of mounting losses and the withdrawal of short-term credit guarantees by its banks.

GCA e-learning continues to GROW 15 July 2013
Three new modules have been added to the GCA's e-learning initiative Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW).

Ironmongery Direct bought by Manutan Group 15 July 2013
French mail order supplier Manutan Group has acquired Ironmongery Direct, the UK's largest specialist distributor of ironmongery for the trade.

CEO James Barnes and FD Sharon Brown leave Dobbies 15 July 2013
Dobbies chief executive James Barnes has left the Tesco-owned chain after 23 years, joined by finance director Sharon Brown.

Outdoor living drives sales at John Lewis 12 July 2013
Home furniture saw a boost at John Lewis last week, with the outdoor living category seeing a 66% increase thanks to the hot weather.

GCG in rumoured bid for Garden & Leisure group 11 July 2013
Rumours are abound that the Garden & Leisure chain is up for sale - and the Garden Centre Group is frontrunner to buy the seven centre business.

Flower seed sales bloom as weather improves 11 July 2013
The seeds market has seen a welcome boost thanks to a much-needed respite from the chilly start to the growing season, according to the latest from GfK.

BREAKING NEWS: Glee to move halls 11 July 2013
Major changes are taking place ahead of the 2014 Glee exhibition, including a migration to halls 17 - 20 at the NEC.

Summer brings welcome spending flurry to the high street 10 July 2013
Retail sales values were up 1.4% like-for-like in June this year compared with the same month last year, a total year-on-year increase of 2.9%.

Kingfisher wins £145m French tax case 10 July 2013
B&Q owner Kingfisher has finally triumphed in a French court over a decade-old tax quarrel worth £145m to the company.

Better Bathrooms' expansion plans get £10m backing 10 July 2013
The northern-based Better Bathrooms chain is planning UK-wide expansion after securing a £10m injection of capital from Business Growth Fund.

Bents asks whether loving thoughts can make a plant grow 9 July 2013
Bents Home & Garden has launched an initiative called The Great Plant Experiment to find out whether plants respond to voices and emotions.

Retailers get into the spirit of 2nd Independents' Day 8 July 2013
Thousands of small retailers from more than 120 towns and cities up and down the UK got into the spirit of Independents' Day on July 4.

Diss hardware shop changes hands 8 July 2013
The owners of a Norfolk hardware shop have successfully sold it on as a going concern.

Owner calls time on London garden centre 8 July 2013
The owner of Highgate Garden Centre in north London has announced that the business will close its doors for the last time this month.

Online shoppers shun homewares in favour of feel-good 8 July 2013
Online sales in the home and garden categories took a big hit this spring, with the bad weather seeing consumers focus instead on products delivering a personal feel-good factor.

Consumers up spending on garden buildings 8 July 2013
Garden storage products have proved to be star performers this year within the overall garden structures category - which is itself delivering respectable sales.

GIMA award entries up on last year 5 July 2013
The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association revealed it has seen a 9% uplift in entries to its annual awards this year, with particular increases in plant categories and pet and aquatics.

DIY and gardening 'key to retail growth' in May 4 July 2013
DIY and gardening retail saw growth of 12% in May 2013 versus May 2012, according to the latest research by GfK, making the sector the 'key to growth' for retail durables.

Home Hardware's Spring promotions hit sales records 3 July 2013
Sales increased by an impressive 19% at Home Hardware, after retailers collectively distributed over one million Spring DIY and housewares brochures and leaflets.

Sales continue to slide at Topps Tiles 2 July 2013
Revenues dropped 1.5% like-for-like during the 13 weeks to June 29, 2013 at Topps Tiles, following on from a 0.2% fall in the company's first half.

Garden centre bolsters weather-proof business with function room 2 July 2013
The increasing unpredictability of the weather has persuaded a Cumbrian garden centre to add a completely different dimension to its business - a function room.

Dyas owner Theo Paphitis backs Independents' Day 2 July 2013
As the countdown continues to the main event this Thursday, former Dragons' Den star and current Robert Dyas owner Theo Paphitis has voiced his support of the 2013 Independents' Day campaign.

Rainy Day Trust signs up BMF 2 July 2013
The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) is the latest company to sign up to the Rainy Day Trust's partnership scheme and has added a donation of £4,000 following its recent conference in Portugal.

Owners call time on Chippenham ironmonger's 1 July 2013
A Wiltshire ironmonger's has closed its doors for the last time, a victim of rising overheads, the loss of local parking facilities and falling sales.

Former Grosvenor md loses unfair dismissal case 1 July 2013
Former managing director of Grosvenor Garden Centre Iain Wylie has lost a case against Blue Diamond in which he claimed the group had failed to follow a fair process of dismissal.

B&Q shakes with Morrisons again over store share 1 July 2013
B&Q has struck another deal with Morrisons that will see the DIY retailer shed more selling space.

Uttoxeter garden centre welcomes craft concession 1 July 2013
Strawberry Garden Centre will be hosting a brand new patchwork, fabric and crafts shop at its Uttoxeter base from Friday, July 5.


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