 Robinson Young and Milliamp are the latest companies to join BHETA. Robinson Young is a UK-dedicated large scale specialist distributor of non-food FMCG products, while Milliamp Technologies is an independent electronics design and manufacturing specialist based in Lancashire, serving both domestic and global customers.  Dedicated staff from the Farnham branch of civil engineering materials supplier Rudridge have been recognised for their service. Senior sales executive Lauren Summerfield celebrates 10 years’ service while sales administrator Amanda Till has been with the firm for five years. The employees were presented with the company’s long service pin and certificate.  Oak Furniture Land will open an 18,122 sq ft showroom at the Mostyn Champneys Retail Park in Llandudno where Staples used to be, creating seven jobs. The retailer features more than 23 furniture ranges including Shay, Canterbury and St Ives. It is the seventh store to open in Wales and the first in North Wales.  Family-run garden retailer Squire’s Garden Centres has revamped the café at its centre in Shepperton, Middlesex to create a striking new café bar, complete with afternoon tea area and piano. With stylish new décor, there are now distinct seating areas including coffee lounge with sofas plus a special family-friendly space.  Watson Home Hardware (Sutton-on-Sea) has won Home Hardware’s Cookshop Window Dressing Competition introduced this year. Abbotts DIY (Ottery St Mary) and Danum Home Hardware (Doncaster) received joint runners up prizes. All Home Hardware retailers were invited to participate and the overall standard of entry was said to be “exceptionally high”.  The Alresford branch of Covers Timber and Builders Merchants has agreed a sponsorship deal with Alresford Town FC U13s for the 2017/2018 season. The club provides a structured, safe and fun environment for local boys and girls to play football.


Carpetright reports 0.8% like-for-like sales growth

Carpetright has announced a 1.8% increase in total group sales in its trading update for the 25 weeks ended October 21, 2017.

Its UK operations saw like-

for-like growth of 0.8%, with an increase of 2.1% within the flooring category, offset in part by reduced bed sales. A further 21 stores converted to the new brand identity with more than half the estate now refurbished. Two stores were opened and nine closed in the year to date, leaving a total of 419 UK stores as well as trading from 136 stores overseas. All stores collectively made 14.4 million pounds in 2016-17, causing a 21% decline. Chief executive Wilf Walsh said: “While trading conditions in the UK remained volatile over the first half, the 2.1% increase in like-for-like sales in our core flooring category is pleasing

given the increased level of competition. Total UK like-for- like sales in the period were impacted in the short term by our decision to accelerate the re-ranging activity in our beds business.” Like-for-like sales in the Rest

of Europe division - made up of the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland - rose 6.3%. Mr. Walsh continued: “Sales in our Rest of Europe business have been equally volatile but we have been encouraged by more recent like- for-like sales growth, in part reflecting the strong post- refurbishment performance of the 25 rebranded stores we have now completed. “While we expect the Group first half profit to be below that of the prior year, we are pleased with the improvement in sales in the Rest of Europe and beds in the UK over the past few weeks. Combined with

continued progress in our core flooring category we expect a significantly stronger second half with full year profit within the current range of market expectations. “We look forward to updating our shareholders on

The Range announces new stores

The Range has announced a new concept of stores in Cornwall. The Range on the Beach, which will have more seasonal opening hours than the larger outlets in the UK, will be tested out for the first time in Cornwall next year in time for the new tourist season.

In addition, three new full- sized stores will be opened in Cornwall over the next two years and 300 new jobs created – in Bude, Newquay and either Bodmin or Camborne. The Range already has stores in Penzance, Truro and St Austell. Local news reported, when

asked why it had taken so long for The Range to expand south of the Tamar into Cornwall before the three current Cornish sites were built, Mr Dawson, whose fortune is estimated at £1.65 billion, said he had saved the best for last.

Mr Dawson told Cornwall Live: “I always think I owe the people of Cornwall more than in other parts of the country. This is the spot where I used to have my lorry. Plymouth may be where I started out of a suitcase, but the people down here have always made me feel great and more welcome than in other parts of the country.

“There were traders down

from Manchester and London back then. And they wondered why I was doing great business. I always twisted my accent to put on a Helston twang. “These guys kept asking me for the secret of my success. I told them it was simple. Local people could relate to me and my accent and made me feel welcome when they just didn’t like them. These guys just approached the Cornish people the wrong way.” “We’ve opened 20 stores to date this year with three more to come before the end of the year,” said founder Chris Dawson.

John Lewis to offer customers ‘concierge style’ shopping experience

John Lewis has revealed details of a new ‘concierge style’ shopping experience which the retailer will trial at its new service-led shop in Oxford which opens its doors next Tuesday. The initiative forms part of the company’s plans to reinvent the department store. With one fifth of its floor space dedicated to services and experiences, the Oxford store will offer 21 services including free technology training workshops to help customers get the most out of their purchases and learn about the latest technology; carpet and

flooring estimates and fitting; home design; home appliance installation and disposal; light installation; made to measure curtains and blinds plus fitting; and Smarthome product advice. At the heart of the three-

floor, 120,000 sq ft shop will be an Experience Desk where customers will be offered a ‘concierge style’ service to help them plan their day. Service partners will be able to tell them everything the store offers, book them into one of the exclusive events happening that day, help them choose the best partner

for their styling or home design appointment or book them a table at the Scandinavian rooftop restaurant KuPP. Customers will be able to buy one of five newly created Gift Experience packages including the creation of a bespoke one with assistance from a partner.

John Lewis managing director Paula Nickolds said: “Our Oxford shop is a place that aims to inspire and delight our customers and is entirely focused on customer experience with partners and finishing details at the heart of that.”

the progress in our plan and momentum in the business at our first half results presentation in December.” Shares in Carpetright, up 19% so far this year, closed Monday at 180 pence, valuing the business at £122 million.

Indie hardware shop pays homage to Two Ronnies sketch

Following regular requests for ‘four candles’, a hardware shop owner in Croxley Green has made a unique set of candles from fork handles, much to the delight of his customers. Inspired by the famous Two Ronnies comedy sketch, Tony Walker, the owner of Croxley Hardware near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, dutifully crafted his interpretation of the four candles from four wooden fork handles to put on display in the shop. The creation has been such a hit with his customers that some have even asked to have their photographs taken with them. Mr Walker said: “It is such an iconic sketch, there is little wonder it is quoted so regularly. Now when someone asks for four candles (or fork handles) I can just point to the display.”

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