n The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has launched a campaign to support supplier members on all issues arising from forthcoming legislation on packaging. Its opening move was to lobby Government on an extension to the consultation period on the proposed Plastic Packaging Tax in the light of the current pandemic, and this has been successful. The consultation had been due to end on 20 May, but this deadline has now been extended to 20 August. n Management at a Bradford garden centre have thanked members of the public who have made the reopening of the centre safe and successful. Like many garden centres nationwide, Tong Garden Centre opened its doors to the public on Wednesday 13 May after being closed to visitors for seven weeks. n Leading garden care brand Evergreen Garden Care has teamed up with Charted Horticulturalist and TV Gardener, David Domoney, to create the ‘Grow with David Domoney’ series. Aired on Facebook Live via Evergreen Garden Care’s ‘Love The Garden’ page, each event will be streamed from 1pm, weekly on Fridays. n The Scottish Government has announced that garden centres will be allowed to reopen on or after May 28, as part of Phase 1 of its strategy for exiting lockdown. Scotland is currently out of line with the rest of the UK, and one of the last countries in Europe to reopen its garden centres. Garden centres in Wales and England reopened on 13 May, while in Northern Ireland they were able to reopen a week later. n Global gardening brand Gardena has teamed up with sustainability influencer, Lynne Lambourne, to launch a social media sunflower growing competition for families to enter this spring. The competition has been launched with the intention to get families into their gardens so they can grow some ‘sunshine’ and boost community spirits, as well as a fun activity for kids.


Consumers respond positively to DIY retailers’ protective measures

British consumers have praised

social distancing

measures put in place by DIY retailers with over 80 per cent saying that it was easy to follow protective guidelines inside stores, according to a study by Kantar.

Kantar asked shoppers who visited reopened Homebase and B&Q stores during the

last weekend in April to give their views on their experience of social distancing. Over 80 per cent of customers said that queues were well managed, while 90 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that the safety of staff was being well maintained. The lockdown has seen heightened interest in DIY and gardening, including 43 per cent

of shoppers who have taken the opportunity of having more time on their hands to tackle domestic projects. UK retailers including B&Q, Wickes and Homebase began reopening from mid-April, with other stores and garden centres following on 13 May in light of the government’s easing of the lockdown.

Joanna Parman, strategic

GIMA welcomes government-backed trade credit insurance guarantee

The UK government has confirmed that it will step in to prop up the trade credit insurance market, bringing welcome relief to GIMA members and other suppliers within the garden retail sector. Trade credit insurance is a contract bought by suppliers to make sure they get paid even if their customers default and cannot pay the bills. British garden retail suppliers will now be able to access vital insurance more easily following this latest

Government intervention during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The latest announcement confirmed that by the end of May, the government will provide guarantees for all currently available trade credit insurance. The Treasury confirmed that whilst final details are still being worked out now, the final agreement will see risk shared “appropriately” between the government and insurers. This backing will provisionally run until

the end of this year. There had been fears


insurers could remove cover on companies as the COVID-19 crisis threatens business survival. The Treasury was also concerned that premiums for existing trade credit insurance could rise to unaffordable levels.

Toolstation launches ‘Head First’ campaign to support trade mental health

may be struggling, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. To start, it will offer practical guidance and signposted resources via a dedicated hub on

Toolstation has launched an initiative to help provide support to the mental health and wellbeing needs of those working in the trade. Working together with the

mental health anti-stigma campaign, Time to Change, ‘Head First’ will encourage the trade to be more open in talking about their own mental health and supportive of others who

Dulux Academy launches new live training sessions

Dulux Academy has launched Dulux Academy Live, a series of

free online workshops to

continue to support the painting and decorating trade despite the challenges of lockdown. Dulux Academy Live sees the Dulux Academy

team of industry experts share their knowledge in interactive, engaging sessions delivered via video conference, offering an invaluable opportunity for

professionals to upskill. Lasting 45 minutes to an hour, they will

consist of a combination of understanding theory, sharing practical solutions and general discussions. There are a range of sessions now available on subjects from using waterborne paints and tips for wallpapering, to essential maintenance for spray machines, colour selection and business skills. Sessions are free to take part in, but participants

are required to register in advance via the academy website at

The launch coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24 May) and comes after a survey of over 5,000 Toolstation customers found that one third are finding the current situation very challenging, with 45 per cent of all respondents saying that the mental wellbeing of family members and friends was their main challenge, concern or worry at

this time, and 25

per cent stating that they were most concerned about their own mental wellbeing.

According to The British Home

Enhancement growth in DIY Trade

Association (BHETA)’s latest weekly Covid-19 financial update for members, the forecast for

and garden expenditure for 2020 has shown a small improvement – thanks largely to the gradual reopening of B&Q, followed by Homebase. The predicted figure at the

end of April is now minus 10.5% - from £11.4 bn to £10.2 bn compared to 2019. This is a slight upturn on the mid-April figures which showed a minus 12.1% growth figure at £10 bn. The predictions also reveal that the percentage increase in online sales in the sector has now dropped back to £14% from 16.2% forecast on April 15, showing the impact of store re-openings.


31.1% of consumers expect to buy both food and non-food items more frequently online once the pandemic ends. BHETA’s marketing manager, Steve Richardson commented: “The commercial situation for DIY and garden in the Covid-19 pandemic is moving extremely quickly and BHETA is committed to providing updates as frequently as new data is available. Working with GlobalData, both financial updates and attitudinal consumer surveys are being made available to members. “As we have seen DIY and

garden retail is in a stronger position than some other areas of home enhancement as consumers focus on home and garden-based activities instead of holidays and trips out.”

insights director at Kantar, commented: “DIY and gardening have become really


pastimes during lockdown and both B&Q and Homebase have stepped up to the mark to meet this increased demand, operating safely and responsibly, and arguably setting a blueprint for the wider high street.

Slight improvement predicted in DIY and garden figures

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