 A man who was caught wheeling eight wheelbarrows across the road in the early hours of the morning said that he found them abandoned by a canal and that he intended to sell them at a car boot sale. Richard Knowles of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was recently fined by Huddersfield magistrates after pleading guilty to stealing the barrows from B&Q in Dewsbury, Kirklees.  Next has released results for the 13 weeks to April 29, with full price sales down 3% and total sales including markdowns down by 2.5%. Store sales fell by around 8%, though Directory sales rose 3.3%. The retailer has now adjusetd its profit forecast to between £680m - £740m. Its earlier forecast stood at £680m - £780m.  The Glee show has updated its branding and website as it begins to gear up for its September outing at the NEC. “Bolder, bright and brimming with freshness,” the branding has been rolled out across Glee’s marketing collateral, website and the show itself and is, according to the marketing team, “reflective of the changes taking place at the exhibition.” Glee says it is developing to meet the evolving needs of the market it represents.  Kelkay has announced the appointment of Sarah Downing to the senior management team in the newly created role of head of marketing. Ms Downing comes to Kelkay with many years of industry experience including several years at Gardman where she was latterly marketing director until 2015 when she relocated to the Yorkshire region to take up a similar role with Humber Bondholders.  Yale UK and Philips Hue have been announced as the latest supporters of Smart Home Week – a brand new initiative designed to help trade professionals get to grips with the smart home and showcase the very best in smart, connected and integrated home technology. To coincide with the campaign, which will take place the week commencing May 29, the security and lighting companies will be on-hand to offer expert advice on all things smart.

2 DIY WEEK 12 MAY 2017

Best of independent retail celebrated at BIRA awards

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) held its national conference and gala awards dinner at the Bristol Marriott Hotel on Monday, May 8.

The annual event brought together independent businesses and suppliers from across the world of retail to listen to a fantastic line-up of speakers discussing the changing retail landscape and ways that indies can enhance their service and offer.

In the evening, the BIRA

awards were presented at a black-tie gala dinner and was a great opportunity to showcase the very best of the independent retail industry, as well as the brands and suppliers that support them.

The 2017 winners are: BIRA Direct

- Best Marketing Award Connect

BIRA Direct -

Supplier of the year - Hardware, Garden, DIY & Pet Stax

BIRA Direct - Supplier of the year – Cookshop, Housewares, Tabletop & Gift Horwood

BIRA honorary award Chris Patterson, Pattersons

Independent team of the year Roobarb

Independent retail business of the year – Winner Winner:

Rachel Riley

Highly Commended: Aspire Style

Local Hero Winner: Lyn French, The Stitch Mouse Highly Commended: Holli Doherty, AkzoNobel

Charitable Champion Alistair McAuley, AkzoNobel

PE firm acquires Scotts Miracle-Gro

Scotts Miracle-Gro has announced a binding offer from Exponent Private Equity LLP to acquire its international consumer business. The lawn and garden products firm announced its receipt of the offer last week. The deal will see Exponent Private Equity LLP acquire its European and Australian consumer operations. The proposed transaction is expected to close before September 30, subject to regulatory approval and prior information and consultation with Works Councils and employee representative bodies. The proposed sale includes Scotts Miracle-Gro operations in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the UK. Under terms of the proposed deal, Scotts Miracle- Gro associates in these locations

would become employees of the Exponent-owned operations upon closing. Scotts Miracle- Gro brands and products would continue to be manufactured and marketed in Europe and Australia as a result of licensing and sub- licensing agreements. The firm’s brands in Europe include Roundup, Weedol, Pathclear, Evergreen, Levington, Miracle-Gro, KB, Fertiligène, Substral, Osmocote and Naturen, the availability of which is dependent upon the country. Among the brands in Australia are Scotts, Osmocote, Naturen, Roundup, Home Defense and Pure Organics. “Our international lawn and

garden business is the strongest in the marketplace with outstanding brand recognition and a talented and dedicated team of

associates,” said Phil Jones, SVP of Scotts Miracle-Gro international operations. “We’re delighted to have reached the proposed agreement with Exponent, as they would be an excellent steward of the brands and be well positioned to take the business to the next level. We expect the proposed transaction to be seamless to our retail partners, consumers and associates.” The proposed sale reflects Scotts’ commitment – announced as Project Focus in the company’s fiscal year 2016 – to concentrate more of its resources on its US business. Since then, the company has sought to find a partner or buyer of its international business who would steward the brands, give stability to associates and invest in growth opportunities.

Argos helps boost Sainsbury’s group sales by 12.7%

Sainsbury’s preliminary results for the 52 weeks to March 11, 2017 revealed group sales of £29,112m, up 12.7% “mainly as a result of the Argos contribution”, said the retail group. Underlying pre-tax profit was down 1% but total transactions increased by nearly 3% to £26 million per week. Sainsbury’s and Argos’ general merchandising and clothing “outperformed the market”, and the retailer is forecasting the delivery of its £160m EBITDA synergy target from the Argos acquisition six months early, which will accelerate the plan to open 250 Argos Digital stores in Sainsbury’s.

Argos grew sales by 4.1% during the year, and there are currently 59 Argos stores within Sainsbury’s supermarkets, with 207 digital collection points. The supermarket is continuing to benefit from Argos digital stores, with corresponding Sainsbury’s seeing a 1 – 2% uptake in sales. Like-for-like sales at Argos stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets that have been open for more than one year are up between 20 and 30%. Around 60 Argos high street

stores are expected to be transformed to the new digital format during the next financial year, with over one third of the Argos store estate becoming digital by this time next year.

There are now 59 Argos stores within Sainsbury’s supermarkets, which is helping to boost the retail group’s sales

Independent retail employee of the year Nathan Gale, Gardner and Scardifield

BIRA CEO Alan Hawkins commented: “Congratulations to all our winners who all truly deserve the recognition received. In previous years, the BIRA awards and winners have played a key role in raising the profile of independent retailers and reflecting and shaping the landscape in which independent retailers operate. The awards recognise and reward the achievements of not just the industry but the inspirational people who work effortlessly day to day ensuring the success of their businesses.”

Read a full report on the BIRA conference and the topics addressed at the event in the June 9 issue of DIY Week.

B&Q flowering plants to be grown free of bee-killing pesticides

B&Q this week announced its flowering plant range, available from February 2018, will be grown free from all neonicotinoid pesticides. According to the retailer, it is the first to commit to ensuring no neonicotinoid pesticides are used in the cultivation of flowering plants, particularly pollinators where they present the biggest risk of harm to bees. B&Q previously led the field by removing from sale, ahead of legislation, pesticide products containing the three neonics most associated with bee population decline: imidacloprid, thiacloprid and clothianidin. B&Q’s sustainability manager Rachel Bradley explained: “As part of our commitment to supporting Britain’s wildlife, in 2013 we reviewed the use of neonicotinoids in our garden chemical products. As a result of the findings, and ahead of EU restrictions, we withdrew all pest control products containing the three substances most linked to the decline in bee population.”

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