n A new initiative launched by Covers Timber & Builders Merchants brings together staff from the company who volunteer their time to help local organisations and groups to complete maintenance tasks. A team of 12 staff from the company spent the day assisting Aldingbourne Country Centre with various jobs including painting, weeding, strim- ming, erecting fencing and planting hedges. The generous company also donated materials to help complete the work being undertaken. n The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has strengthened its horticultural team with the appointment of Sally Cullimore as policy executive and Alistair Yeomans as horticulture manager. Ms Cullimore brings years of experience from the grower sector after completing her studies at Pershore College. She has also spent time at Ball Colegrave and the Newey Group in sales and marketing roles. Mr Yeomans has a BSc in Horticulture, a qualification in Arboriculture from Harvard University, and an MSc in Forestry. n Akzo Nobel has announced that downloads of its Visualizer decorating app has surpassed the 20 million mark. The success of the app has, so far, seen it generate more than 400 million visualisations for consumers all over the world. South America and Turkey lead the way in terms of markets where the tools has been used the most, while it has just become available in the Middle East. A launch in Greece is expected soon. n BHETA is a finalist in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) 2018 Awards. The association has been shortlisted in the Marketing Campaign of the Year category for its inaugural National Home Improvement Week (2017) consumer engagement campaign. The TAF Awards recognise, reward and promote best practice amongst trade associations in the UK and are a chance for members to showcase their achievements during the previous 12 months.

4 DIY WEEK 29 JUNE 2018

Wickes targets 900 B&Q colleagues, as it ramps up kitchen and bathroom

Wickes is investing significantly in its professional Kitchen & Bathroom offer by acquiring design consultants and installers from B&Q, as its rival pulls plug on installation services in the category. Wickes says it is bucking the

retail slowdown to meet demand for fully-designed and installed kitchens and plans to “rescue hundreds of jobs” following B&Q’s decision to streamline its bathroom and kitchens offer. The retailer has seen a continued growth in demand for fully-designed and installed kitchens, and is investing significantly in its professional kitchen and bathroom offer by attempting to entice design consultants and installers over from B&Q.

bathroom offering, which also includes new showroom layouts and store refits in over 100 stores to date, as part of a long term roll-out initiative. Wickes HR and operations

Wickes said: “As rival DIY

retailers reduce or cease their

professional design and installation services, Wickes’ recruitment drive is targeting 900 B&Q colleagues.” Wickes already boasts more consultants

than 600 design

across 230 showrooms nationally, and plans to bolster

this with an additional 150 design consultants. In addition, its installer network, with over 1,900 teams, is looking to take on 750 skilled fitters, responding to the increased demand for kitchen and bathroom installation. The recruitment drive forms of

part Wickes’ ongoing investment into its kitchen and House of Fraser to close 31 stores

House of Fraser announced that the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposals launched at the start of the month have been approved. The creditors’ meetings for House of Fraser (Stores) Limited and House of Fraser Limited were held the morning of June 22 and the company said it was pleased to announce that both CVA proposals were approved. House of Fraser asserts that

the restructuring these CVAs enable is essential to securing the company’s future and to accessing new capital from international retailer C.banner. Following the restructuring House of Fraser believes it will have a more sustainable cost base and a platform for future growth to deliver an improved customer proposition.

House of Fraser will now begin the process of working with

are: Altrincham, Aylesbury,

Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Camberley, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chichester, Cirencester, Cwmbran, Darlington, Doncaster, Edinburgh Frasers, Epsom, Grimsby, High Wycombe, Hull,


House of Fraser will close 31 stores, including its flagship Oxford Street branch

landlords and other stakeholders to implement the proposals, including the 31 stores identified for closure. All stores identified for closure are anticipated to trade until early 2019. The directors are absolutely committed to supporting all colleagues affected by the store closures. The list of stores due to close

Tile Mountain opens second bricks-and-mortar showroom

of its first-ever bricks-and- mortar location in Tunstall. Spanning

over 10,000 sq

ft across two levels the new showroom is designed to showcase over one thousand products that are available from the retailer. Tile

Mountain Online tile retailer, Tile

Mountain opened its second showroom at the weekend – a 10,000sq ft unit in Stockport – with more outlets in the pipeline following the success


is the second addition to the company’s growing retail estate and is designed to display over 1,000 products that are available from the retailer. As with Tile Mountain’s flagship showroom at its headquarters in Tunstall, Stoke on Trent, the new site is

Spa, Lincoln, London Oxford Street, London King William Street, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Skipton, Swindon, Telford, Wolverhampton, Worcester. House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin said: “The approval of

the CVAs is a seminal

moment in House of Fraser’s history. We must now continue with the implementation of our restructuring plan. This is also an important milestone in the transaction with C.banner and moves us toward the completion of the capital injection first announced in May.”

boasts a convenient location, will be open seven days a week, and offers customers free parking. Managing director Jeremy Harris said of the new opening: “Our showrooms aim to create a tile shopping experience like no other and, when visiting them, it’s clear to see the level of planning and attention to detail that has gone into each - they’re fantastic retail spaces that provide an unrivalled customer experience.” The business, which was established five years ago by former Tile Giant owner Mo Iqbal and ex Topps Tiles commercial director Jeremy Harris, secured its move to the five acre site in Tunstall, Stoke on Trent with a seven-figure funding package in 2017.

Habitat will open two new stand-alone stores this autumn – one in Westfield London in September, followed by another in Brighton’s busy town centre in October. Sainsbury’s, which acquired Habitat in September 2016, is investing £1.5 million in the two new stores, marking the first major investment in Habitat’s store portfolio for a decade. This strategic move comes as customers increasingly want the choice of shopping in stores or online in a way that suits them. The new stand-alone store locations have been carefully chosen to meet different customer shopping missions. The 4,700sq ft Habitat store opening in Westfield London, the largest shopping centre in Europe, will be part of the high- footfall mall’s exciting expansion, bringing a number of furniture and home brands together to create a destination ‘Home’ hub for the convenience of customers. The new Habitat store in Brighton will form part of the Hanningtons Estate redevelopment in the popular Brighton Lanes shopping area. Ranged over two floors, the 6,500sq ft store will showcase around 3,000 Habitat products, with inspirational room settings and an innovative workshop and events space.

director Fraser Longden said: “We believe that the demand and growth in this area represents a multi-million pound opportunity, and a bolstered team will help us tap into this, becoming the go-to- brand when it comes to choosing a new kitchen or bathroom.” Responding to the announcement, B&Q said: “the installation offering is changing at B&Q but the design service stays very much in place.” The DIY giant was also “keen to clarify that installers aren’t being acquired from B&Q because they are self-employed.”

Habitat to open two new stores

Photo: James Petts

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