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NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF


n A successful draw held at Home Hardware Southwest’s Spring Trade Show on Tuesday, March 5 at Westpoint Arena, Exeter raised £400 to be split equally between Cancer Research and The Rainy Day Trust. Home Hardware Southwest would like to thank all members, suppliers and staff who generously contributed towards these charities. n Civils and drainage supplies specialist Scott Parnell has announced it will be expanding its Milton Keynes branch. As a result of significant growth at the business, the company has acquired additional space at its current location on Colts Holm Road in order to double its existing footprint. The work will include renovation of its trade counter and improving its parking facilities, as well as new signage which will also be installed. n One in three Brits say they’ve been inspired by TV documentary series, leading to an uplift in sales of wildlife cameras, with one retailer Laptops Direct recording a 160% jump. Inspired by TV series, such as Dynasties, Blue Planet and Springwatch, more Brits than ever are buying gadgets such as wildlife cameras to keep tabs on the wildlife in their gardens. Since the programmes aired, LaptopsDirect.co.uk has seen an increase in demand for its outdoor wildlife cameras range, with sales increasing by a staggering 160%, compared to the same time last year. n Sodastream, Abus, Jafco Tools, and Smartwares are the latest companies to join the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA), as the organisation receives overwhelmingly positive feedback about its latest event. The Future for International Trade conference, which was organised jointly by BHETA, n Debenhams confirmed receipt of Sports Direct’s proposal to provide a 12-month unsecured loan of £150million, under the condition that Mike Ashley is named CEO and director of the business.


4 DIY WEEK 22 MARCH 2019 Kingfisher CEO to step down as profits dive


B&Q, and Screwfix parent, Kingfisher plc reported further hits to its profit line, as an announcement from the group confirms CEO Véronique Laury will step down from her position and the board will ensure a “orderly transition”. A departure date has not yet been decided, but the succession process has commenced immediately, the group has said.


Ms Laury oversaw the One Kingfisher transformation plan over the past three years, to which she said has “achieved radical organisational and behavioural change across Kingfisher”. However, this strategy added challenges in the French market and saw Kingfisher


axe 400


jobs at its Castorama and Brico Depot units. Full year results for 2018/19 show like-for-like


52.8% lower for the year to the end of January. Screwfix continued to perform well, with the group reporting that its leading omni-channel proposition


has consistently


sales down 1.6%, with growth in Screwfix (UK), Brico Dépôt France and Poland offset by a “disappointing” performance from B&Q and Castorama France. The group has said it expects


future performances to be flat, with end-of-year results showing underlying profit


fell by 13% to


£693million. Kingfisher also announced it would close all 19 Screwfix outlets in Germany, and said it was considering the closure of 15 further stores across the group. With costs including £111million for store closures included, profits were


Better Bathrooms bought out of administration


It has been confirmed by Phil Pierce and Gary Blackburn from specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP that the assets of Better Bathrooms (UK) Limited have been sold to Buy it Direct Ltd. Better Bathrooms is said


to be the largest independent bathroom retailer and has 13 showrooms and two trade counters. The business employed


362 people across its network, which


includes its Leigh HQ,


Didcot warehouse and customer service centre in Glazebury. Better Bathrooms (UK) went


into administration on March 1, making 325 staff redundant. Philip Edward Pierce and Gary Edgar Blackburn were appointed as joint administrators on that date following a period of


unsustainable


delivered strong growth in recent years and it has identified additional expansion opportunities


in both the UK


and in new markets, by the end of 18/19 full year Screwfix UK had 627 outlets, nearly double the number five years ago, after celebrating the opening of its 600th store in September. B&Q total sales declined by 2.8% to £3,390million. Like-for- like (LFL) sales declined by 3%. LFL


sales of


categories increased by 1.8%, while sales of non-weather- related categories, including showroom, were down 4.4%. On the other hand, B&Q’s


cash flow difficulties by the company,


to which Better


Bathrooms immediately ceased trading. Buy it Direct is one of the


UK’s largest online retailers and operates the Appliances Direct and Furniture 123 brands from three sites in Huddersfield, Barnsley and the East Midlands. Phil Pierce, joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory, said: “By securing a sale of the as sets of the business, we have been able to maximise returns to creditors. Buy it Direct’s proven online retail expertise and infrastructure will ensure that


Building Supplies Online launches garden and outdoor categories


aggregates available in bulk bags. These


are broad range of


complemented fencing,


by a tools and


maintenance materials to complete the landscaping offer. Its offer also includes easy care items, such as composite decking and artificial grass.


collaborated


Building Supplies Online has with


Forest Garden


to supply an extensive range of decorative fencing, garden structures, furniture and summerhouses. For committed gardeners, the collection includes greenhouses, raised beds and cold frames.


Aiming to capitalise on the busy spring market and with plans to double its turnover this year, Building Supplies Online has launched two new categories covering paving, garden and outdoor products. The offer is aimed at a broad range of customers, from professional landscapers and commercial gardening contractors, to end users. The online trader has partnered with Marshalls and Tarmac Building Products to supply a comprehensive range of paving and decorative


Building Supplies Online head of


buying Mark Wolfe said: “Our appeal is that online purchases with direct delivery to site provide major time savings, certainty and convenience for our busy customers. So the lack of these outdoor categories was a major gap in our offering and one that we have worked hard to remedy. Working with our suppliers, we have tried to anticipate our customers’ priorities, to provide a truly comprehensive range that is of the highest quality but at a fair price.”


they are well placed to take the business forward and we wish them well for the future.” Nick Glynne, managing


director of Buy it Direct said: “The Better Bathrooms business will complement our other successful ‘home’


brands, Appliances


Direct and Furniture123 and I am particularly pleased to be working with some of the existing talented team. We hope to start trading again later this month.”


Bord na Móna boosts its credentials with triple award win


Bord na Móna has added three new ‘Best Buys’ to its credentials, across both branded and own-label products, following a triple award win in the latest Which? compost trials. Since 2010, the company has won significantly more awards than any other growing media supplier and continues to set the industry benchmark as the premium brand of choice for the garden centre channel and professional markets. The annual Which? compost trials rigorously test and


review over 25 composts and growbags across seed- sowing, young plant and container compost categories, with each formulation assessed based on its quality and performance.


The commended trio of Bord na Móna ‘Best Buys’ for 2019 includes the company’s own-brand Pro 5 All-Purpose Compost, which experienced unprecedented sales growth of +262% last year as a result of the industry’s shift towards premium ranges. Two further recognitions were awarded for Bord na


Móna’s own-label products in partnership with Wyevale Garden Centres, with the retailer’s Multipurpose Compost and Multipurpose with Added John Innes also receiving ‘Best Buys’. Bord na Móna has worked in partnership with the garden centre group supplying its own-label compost since 2016, with a total of six joint awards achieved during this period. The retailer also stocks Pro 5 All-Purpose Compost in all centres nationwide.


www.diyweek.net


total online sales continued to make good progress, with sales growing by 9% (including click & collect up 42% and mobile up 44%) and now represent 5% of total sales.


Speaking of stepping down midway through the transformation


plan, CEO


Véronique Laury commented: “I have enjoyed leading the One Kingfisher team through the transformation to become the leading


home improvement weather-related


company. I have always been passionate about this and still am. Leading the transformation has been so exciting but also very challenging. As the transformation approaches its final year, I believe it is right for someone else to lead the next phase of the One Kingfisher journey. I will continue to give 100% until the day I depart.”


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