and multiples The Handyman Centre in Brinsworth, Rotherham, shut up shop last weekend after 14 years, with boss Keith Foster blaming the closure on the rise of internet shopping and multiple DIY chains. A DIY shop has run from

the premises since 1961 when it opened as Lawrence Bros. But, in recent years, footfall has decreased and, with added pressure from multiples as well as day-to-day running costs, the business is no longer viable. Speaking to local press, Mr Foster explained: “It’s the internet, with people preferring to buy [their DIY goods] online and the likes of Screwfix and Toolstation that have made [trading] impossible. The rents, overheads and council tax are phenomenal and people’s shopping habits have changed.

“People have said they will be sorry to see us go and it was a hard decision but we’ve just not been making enough money.”

Hardware shop closes due to increasing competition from internet

DIY shop owner takes down hammer-wielding bank robber

The 61-year-old owner of Walsall DIY has been heralded a hero after tackling a bank robber wielding a hammer at Lloyds Bank in Wednesbury. Omi Bhatia, who has studied martial arts for 40 years, was being served in the bank at around 9am on April 27 when he noticed the hooded robber approaching staff with a hammer. The father of four was able to grab the weapon and overpower the robber with the help of other customers. Speaking to local press, Mr Bhatia said: “I had my back to him, I was talking to the cashier and I noticed him – I thought he might need a pen or something. He had a hammer in the air, close to my head. He said ‘I need the money, give me the money.’

“[The cashier] did give him

the money, probably more than £300. I grabbed the hammer. I had to do it quickly and safely.” Mr Bhatia added that he said to the robber: “Sorry, wrong time, wrong day.”

After Mr Bhatia grabbed the weapon, another customer tripped the offender and Mr Bhatia instructed two people to sit on him as staff called police. When he returned to the bank the next day, Mr Bhatia was given a hero’s welcome by staff, who said they were “very glad” he had been there during the attack. Wednesbury councillor Pete Hughes has called for Mr Bhatia and the other customers who played a part in subduing the offender to receive awards for their actions. West Midlands Police spokesman Brigg Ford said: “We received a 999

Bunnings reports 2.2% LFL rise in Q3

Despite declines in kitchen and bathroom, Australian retail giant Wesfarmers posted positive sales for its operations in the UK and Ireland, which includes the Homebase chain and its first UK Bunnings store. Wesfarmers Q3 results

The Handyman Centre, Brinsworth, is the latest independent DIY store to shut up shop

recorded total sales in the UK of £245 million ($400 million). The group, which acquired Homebase from Home Retail Group last year, also reported that, on a like- for-like trading basis, customer participation, as measured by transactions, increased by 2.2%.

For the financial year to date, total sales were £851 million ($1,429 million). Customer participation for the financial year to date increased by 6.9%.

Bunnings managing director of UK and Ireland PJ Davis said trading during the quarter was negatively affected by the continued repositioning of the kitchen and bathroom offer, while the performance across other core home improvement and garden products was pleasing. “Our first Bunnings Warehouse pilot stores have been well

received by customers, team members, and the community. The team continues to progress the strategic plan and is focused on building strong foundations.” During the quarter, the

group opened its first Bunnings Warehouse pilot store was opened in St Albans. A second pilot site has since opened on April 12 at Hatfield Road, St Albans. The Homebase store estate stood at 254 by the end of March 2017.

Dobbies to team up with Ocado to boost online sales

Dobbies is reportedly looking to boost its online sales by offering UK-wide delivery supported by Ocado’s technology, software and logistics, as well as using the grocer’s general merchandise warehouse. The garden centre chain has signed a five-year agreement with Ocado Groups’


merchandise subsidiary Speciality Stores. According to Dobbies, it will enable the garden retailer to launch a new online store early next year. The agreement with Ocado aims to “enable Dobbies to offer an outstanding online experience, delivering direct to existing as well as new customers across the UK.” Chief executive Nicholas

Marshall said: “Online, excluding food, is now approaching 40% of UK retail sales and rapidly growing. Yet, online garden retailing is just a few percent. The garden centre industry is at least ten years behind the rest of the retail world. The gardening market in the UK is worth £4 billion. The potential is therefore enormous. For us to partner with Ocado, the best online retailer in the UK, is a brilliant opportunity for Dobbies, and its customers.”

Dobbies chairman Andrew Bracey added: “In our first year of ownership of Dobbies, we are delighted to announce our partnership with Ocado and its general merchandise subsidiary, Speciality Stores to take Dobbies online across the UK.


has an outstanding reputation for service and quality. I am confident that together we can grow a very successful online business for Dobbies across the whole of the UK.”

Ocado general

merchandise managing director James Matthews added: “We are pleased to announce this agreement which will enable Dobbies to launch a new online service for their customers, powered by our technological and logistical know-how. “The expertise we have gained through operating our current Speciality Stores businesses and our

Fabled joint venture with Marie Claire has allowed us to provide a compelling service proposition to Dobbies and we are excited to be working with them to help grow their online presence.”

Police were able to arrest the man after he was subdued by customers including Walsall DIY owner Omi Bhatia

call reporting a robbery in progress. A man carrying a hammer has gone in and made some threats. “He was overpowered by customers who pinned him

to the floor. Police arrived a couple of minutes later. Nobody was hurt.”

Brian Moughan, 26, of no fixed abode, has been charged with robbery.

Screwfix recalls products due to potentially dangerous heat build up

Kingfisher retailer Screwfix has issued an urgent recall on two of its heating products due to an issue involving heat build-up in the plug. The products are the D030Y

Freestanding Space Heater 3000W and the Convector 3000W Turbo + Thermostat + Timer sold between September 5, 2016 and March 29, 2017. The build-up of heat in the plug can lead to scorching or deformation of the plug itself, according to the company. In a Trading Standards statement, Screwfix said: “Despite rigorous quality control procedures, Screwfix has identified a potential safety issue with these electric heaters.

Dobbies is looking to boost its e-tailing service with a new partnership with Ocado

“Due to the potentially serious nature of the risk and our commitment to safety, we have taken a precautionary decision to recall these products and have already removed them from sale.”

12 MAY 2017 DIY WEEK 3

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