New distribution centre for B&Q in Swindon to create 100 new

March footfall is the steepest year on year fall since 2010, says BRC

Year-on-year, footfall in March decreased by 6%, a substantial decline compared to the positive rate of 1.3% seen for March 2017 and the steepest year on year fall since the end of 2010. The 12-month average is -1.4%. There was no growth in Footfall for any UK regions, most notable declines (year-on-year) were seen in

Greater London, -7.5%, South East, -6.5%, and in the East Midlands, -5.6%. Growth fell in all shopping destinations: high Streets saw a decline of 8.6%, retail parks of 1.8% and shopping centres of 4.8%.

Chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson OBE said: “Whilst the prolonged period of bad weather has had an impact on shoppers visiting the high street, we are seeing a longer term trend of reduced footfall which highlights that shoppers face more choice in terms of how, where and when they shop. The retail environment is changing and retailers are investing in innovation and technology adaptations in response to this. Policy-makers must also play their part with a vision for a modern business taxation system which reflects this new environment.” Springboard marketing and insights director, Diane Wehrle said: “A proportion of this was made up over Easter, with footfall in shopping centres and retail parks rising from last Easter but this was more than offset by the impact of the heavy rain on high streets. Indeed, throughout the month we were able to track the impact on footfall each day as adverse weather moved across the UK.”

Kingfisher plc, the international home improvement company, has signed contracts on a new B&Q distribution centre (DC) in Swindon. The new site will improve efficiencies within the B&Q supply chain, enabling it to maximise product availability for customers whether they have bought an item in store or via digital channels, as well as supporting Kingfisher’s UK supply chain.

Construction on the new 375,000 square feet site started in March 2018. When complete, it is estimated around 100 new jobs will be created, benefiting the local area. The site is expected to be operational by February 2019. The new site will be developed next door to B&Q’s existing Swindon DC, and connected to the biomass plant that heats

it. As well as benefiting from 100% renewable heat, the new building will incorporate roof- top solar panels and beehives in the surrounding grounds. Its proximity to the existing site also means that road mileage can be kept to a minimum. The Group logistics property manager at Kingfisher plc, Tim Crighton, said: “This is an important milestone for Kingfisher and B&Q in implementing our supply chain strategy as part of the One Kingfisher transformation plan. The new site will allow us to improve efficiencies within the supply chain for B&Q, meaning we’ll be able to get product out to stores more quickly, and help us to help more customers improve their homes.”

The site will be developed by Gazeley, a leading developer,

Heatwave sends outdoor living sales soaring

the benefits, with uplifts in sales of outdoor lines and cooling products.

Despite a 1.8% dip in home sales for John Lewis. The department store chain posted a record week for outdoor living, with sales up 94% on last year. Particular standouts were garden furniture and barbecues. Beds also had a good week of trade and low tog duvets saw an uplift of 7% as customers made the switch to their summer bedding.

Sales within small electricals,

As temperatures leaped into the high 20s last week and Thursday, April 19 marking the hottest April day for nearly 70 years, retailers were reaping

were also particularly strong, driven by a 278% uplift in sales of fans and cooling products. Garden centres –many of whom have complained of a slow start to the year, also

investor, owner and manager of prime logistics real estate in Western Europe.

Senior development director of Gazeley, Bruce Topley, said: “We are delighted to be working with B&Q for a second time and look forward to delivering this exciting project. Gazeley has

recorded huge increases in plant and outdoor living sales. Dobbies announced a record 45% uplift for the weekend (April 20-22), driven by plants, gardening and outdoor living categories. Compared with the same Friday-to-Saturday period last year, sales of barbecues were up 70%, whilst outdoor furniture jumped 50%.

Dobbies CEO Graeme Jenkins said: “Everyone’s been waiting for that first properly sunny day and this weekend absolutely delivered.”

Wyevale saw a similar trading jump over the weekend, with sales up 42% year on year, driven mainly by plants. Meanwhile, Argos revealed it sold twice as many barbecues last week than during and reported a 150% year-on-year rise in sales of garden seating. The general merchandise retailer geared up for the warm weather by slashing the prices on its garden furniture just in time for the heatwave, offering discounts of up to 35%.

The boost to the high street follows a dismal March in which retail sales fell 1.2%.

Akzo Nobel completes separation of specialty chemicals

Akzo Nobel N.V. has publushed its results for the first quarter 2018, having successfully completed the dual-track process for the separation of Specialty Chemicals; AkzoNobel to sell Specialty Chemicals to The Carlyle Group and GIC for €10.1 billion.

In the paints and coatings

sector, the company has reported robust pricing initiatives ramping up: price increase was successful in Q1 2018; second wave of price increases to come in 2018.

Selling prices are up 3% overall and for all businesses. Revenue for Akzo is down 8%, mainly due to adverse foreign currencies (1% lower

excluding currency impact) at €2,176 million). Volumes 3% lower, mainly due to continued adverse market conditions in the marine, and oil and gas industries. Savings from continuous

improvement were €30 million and creating a fit-for-purpose organization delivered €10 million.

Akzo Nobel has reinforced its commitment to customers in India, following the inauguration of a new €9 million facility in Mumbai for the production of Powder Coatings.

Consumers in Pakistan now have access to Dulux Promise. AkzoNobel has launched a decorative paints product for the mass market segment.

27 APRIL 2018 DIY WEEK 5

built a reputation for exceptional customer service and delivery of high quality buildings that give its customers the flexibility to adapt to the changing and fast evolving ecommerce landscape.” Once operational, the site will be run by Kingfisher’s logistics partners Wincanton and XPO.

Gardman announces move back to old

warehouse after fire at Daventry

Garden products supplier, Gardman, has released a service update reporting it has fully operationalisted its previous site in Kings Lynn following a fire that destroyed the company’s new warehouse in Daventry where more than 50 firefighters were called to the building late on Sunday (March 11 2018). Gardman said: “Following the

fire at our Daventry warehouse on12th March, we’re pleased to communicate that within the space of a month we have fully operationalised our Kings Lynn warehouse. We have now over 50 staff with years of experience working full time at the site. “In the last week we have

increased our stock holding to over 1,200 SKUs. The team are now working on exciting plans for the second half of the year and will be updating our customers in the coming weeks.”

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