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NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF


 Benjamin Moore has announced the appointment of DIY Rainbows in Marlborough, Wiltshire as the newest Authorised Stockist of its paint range. Owned by Jignesh Patel, DIY Rainbows is a family-run independent paint retailer with a glowing reputation in the Marlborough community. Known for its extensive paint knowledge and friendly, personal service, DIY Rainbows will stock a broad variety of Benjamin Moore’s paints, including the Aura, Regal Select and Advance ranges.  Cooler weather last week, compared with the same period the previous year, impacted sales of warm weather products, such as refrigeration and fans, contributing to a 2.3% decline in sales of electrical and home technology across the department store business. However, Android and smart home had a strong week, with sales up 19%, explained John Lewis director of shop trade, Maggie Porteous.  The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has announced it has won the Website of the Year award at the Trade Association Forum’s TA Best Practice Awards 2019. The annual event, now in its seventeenth year is formally supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at took place a County Hall in London on 9 July. The BHETA website www.bheta.co.uk was launched in February 2018 and reflects the association’s growing status as the industry conduit between suppliers and retailers.  The CMA has blocked the ASDA Sainsbury’s merger for the next decade as the CMA has now issued a final order to its report, stating that neither of the grocers may acquire an interest in the other Asda for 10 years. The ruling also applies to each of the entities within the Sainsbury’s, Asda or Walmart corporate group.  Mica has unveiled plans several months in the making for its first ever eco advertising campaign, which will run during August and September this year.


4 DIY WEEK 19 JULY 2019


Debenhams calls on Mike Ashley to drop legal action


As landlords M&G withdraw its challenge to Debenhams’ Company


However, a challenge to the Voluntary


Arrangements (CVAs), the ailing department store business has called on Sports Direct and House of Fraser boss Mike Ashley to do the same. A statement issued by Debenhams confirmed that, “following positive, constructive discussions,”, both M&G Real Estate and Debenhams Group have resolved their concerns and agreed to withdraw the Court action related to Debenhams’ CVAs.


CVAs from Sports Direct and Combined Property Control remains outstanding. Mr Ashley launched his legal challenge last month after Debenhams creditors approved a CVA to restructure the business. It is part of an ongoing wrangle


with the department store group, which was taken over by its lenders in a pre-packed administration in April, effectively wiping out Mr Ashley’s stake of around 30% in the company. When the administration was announced, Mr Ashley said of the deal: “This is nothing short


Dunelm sees double digit growth in Q4


Homewares retailer, Dunelm Group plc, has reported the following trading update for the 13-week period ended 29 June 2019 and reports total like-for-like (LFL) revenue for the fourth quarter as seeing an increase of 15.4%, reflecting strong underlying growth in stores and online, the benefit of a weak comparator period last year and favourable weather this year. In Q4 LFL store revenue


increased by 12.1% and LFL online revenue on Dunelm.com has continued to grow strongly in the quarter, up by 37.0%. In terms of business development the group said it is continuing to progress the phased roll-out of our new digital platform. The business will fully transfer onto the new platform during FY20, proceeding carefully through


the beta phases in order not to disrupt the strong growth on the existing website. Dunelm’s chief executive


officer, Nick Wilkinson commented: “In the year that Dunelm turned 40, we are delighted that both new and existing customers continue to respond positively to our evolving offer. “The strong growth in the final


quarter, and the year as a whole, demonstrates that in a rapidly changing marketplace, the broad


Squires snaps up Heathlands Garden Centre from Wyevale


Wyevale Garden Centres has announced it has sold Heathlands Garden Centre to Squires. The sale is expected to complete by early August, with WGC continuing to operate the centre until this date. Anthony Jones,


chief operating officer at WGC, said: We are delighted to have sold Heathlands Centre to a highly respected operator, and that it will continue to be run as a garden centre. I would like to take the opportunity to thank


our colleagues at Heathlands who have been so instrumental in making it the brilliant operation it is today and wish them all the best under new ownership.” Sarah Squire,


Squires chairman, said “We are delighted to welcome Heathlands to Squire’s Garden Centres. As a family business, firmly rooted in south-


west London and nearby home counties, Heathlands is an excellent addition to our group. The centre brings us to 16 sites in all. We look forward to working


of a national scandal – and one that could so easily have been avoided.” Debenham’s new owners’


say the legal challenges are “spurious”, “completely without merit and should be dismissed”. Debenhams chairman Terry Duddy said: “I am pleased


appeal of Dunelm’s purpose ‘to help everyone create a home they love’ is resonating well. “We continue to invest


in the business, particularly in strengthening our digital capabilities and reaching more customers through our brand marketing initiatives.” Dunelm has said it expects


full year profit before tax to be towards the upper end of the range of £124m - £126m, announced in the trading update on June 20 2019. At June 29 2019, net debt was £25.3m (FY18: £124.0m) and weekly average net debt during the second half of the year was £20.6m. Net debt was lower than expected due to higher operating profits, positive working capital management and the timing of capital investment at year end. There were two new store openings towards the end of the quarter (including one relocation), increasing the store footprint to 170 superstores. Dunelm said it expects to open two new stores (including one relocation) in the first half of FY20.


with the team at the centre and really getting to know and understand the local community.” The most recent sale was


of Podington Garden Centre, which was sold to Cherry Lane Garden Centre. Earlier this month Wyevale Garden Centres announced the sale of a further 11 garden centres in four separate transactions to British Garden Centres, The Plant Area Limited (t/a Clandon Park Garden Centre), Coolings Garden Centres and Maidenhead Aquatics. Christie & Co, who is managing


the sale process on behalf of WGC. The company has said there still remains the opportunity to acquire a small group or a portfolio of well performing garden centres located in attractive locations.


that M&G has recognised the necessity for the CVAs and that as a result of the discussions we have had, it has withdrawn its challenge. I call on Sports Direct and CPC to do the same. If they do not, we will seek to have it thrown out. “ The company also claims the


CVAs will benefit all Debenhams’ stakeholders, including landlords, which it states is key “in preserving as many as possible of the jobs of the 25,000 people who work for Debenhams.” Under the restructure, Debenhams plans to close at least 22 of its stores in 2020 and force through rent cuts and changes to lease terms on many others. This follows the closure of 50 stores, as previously announced by management in October 2018; reducing the retailer’s portfolio from 166 to 94 by the end of next year.


John Lewis expands Home Solutions to the


South East John Lewis & Partners home improvement service, Home Solutions, has expanded across the South East. Home Solutions allows customers to source and book trusted tradespeople both online and via an app for a range of home improvement services. It has been steadily rolling out across the country since 2017 and has now expanded its coverage to Hampshire, Surrey, East and West Sussex and Kent. All of the local trade


professionals that are recruited go through a five stage vetting process which includes checks of their previous work by specialist John Lewis Partners. Earlier this year, John Lewis & Partners announced its plan to bring its two home improvement services businesses, Home Solutions and Opun, together as it progresses with its ambition to create a truly differentiated home improvement offer. Opun was acquired by the


John Lewis Partnership in June 2018 and has been operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Since the acquisition, Opun has been focusing on refining its business model, strengthening its team and developing its service technology, while continuing to deliver high quality home improvement projects. John Cotter, chief product


and marketing officer at Home Solutions from John Lewis said: “Home Solutions from John Lewis has had a fantastic start since its initiation, with its popularity and growth allowing us to provide even greater convenience to our customers.”


www.diyweek.net


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