Grafton steps up with acquisition of StairBox

Grafton Group plc, the building materials distributor and DIY retailer with operations in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, has announced the acquisition of AVC (StairBox) Ltd, an industry leading UK manufacturer and distributor of bespoke wooden staircases trading as ‘StairBox’.

The consideration payable is £44 million on a cash and debt free basis, including £4 million

that is deferred until November 2022.

Founded in 1994, StairBox has a focus on the use of technology, operational expertise and a

Brits plan to show appreciation for local shopkeepers with £6.2 billion December spend

Recognising the essential role small businesses continue to play in our local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, Brits plan to spend £6.2 billion shopping small this December, according to a new survey. Seven in ten Brits say they will visit local shops and businesses this month, from butchers and greengrocers to hairdressers, florists and cafes, with an average spend of £169. This research, commissioned by American Express, principal supporter of Small Business Saturday UK, found nearly half of those shopping with


businesses will do so because they want to support local jobs. A further three in ten say it’s because these businesses have worked really hard this year and they want to see them succeed. Navigating lockdowns and social distancing measures, among other challenges, small businesses have had to dig deep

on their resilience and agility this year. Just over three quarters of UK adults say they admire how local businesses have navigated Covid-19 and want to continue supporting local businesses for the long term. Over four in five consider local shop workers to be frontline; an essential part of the community (83%) and seven in ten say they appreciate local businesses more now than ever before (71%).

Non-essential businesses have been sorely missed during lockdown.

People are most

excited to see hairdressers (34%), restaurants (34%) and cafés (31%) reopen their doors as lockdown restrictions lift. Across the UK, people are backing small businesses by spending more with them. Four in ten say the amount of their budget spent at local businesses has increased since March 2020. Of these, almost four in five intend to either maintain this spend or increase it in 2021 (78%).

Toolstation on track to reach store expansion target of 60 new stores this year

Toolstation, is set to open 13 more stores in the next month and is on track to meet its robust expansion plan of 60 new stores in 2020. The new stores which will be opening in Launceston, Llandrindod Wells, Walthamstow, York, Dumbarton,


Fraserburgh, Colne, Speke, Wednesbury, Malvern, Shepton Mallet and Bideford, will create over 100 new permanent job roles across stores and supporting supply chain. This year, Toolstation, one of the fastest growing and largest suppliers of tools and more for trade, home improvers and self-


builders has opened 47 stores across the UK, creating over 500 jobs to date. As

an essential retailer,

Toolstation has been there every step of the way to support the hardworking tradespeople and keen DIYers of Britain. Its stores have remained open throughout the pandemic providing essential tools and building supplies its

to customers. The retailer

offers a multi-channel service so customers can conveniently purchase the essentials they need from stores, online through a five-minute click-and-collect service or next day delivery to both the workplace and home.

culture dedicated to continuous improvement that enables it to cost effectively manufacture an extensive range of high quality customised staircases. It has developed a software application that enables customers to accurately design, visualise and price staircases on the StairBox website. This is the initial step in an efficient manufacturing process undertaken

at its delivers

facility in Stoke-on-Trent. StairBox

production staircase

Thompson & Parkes Confirmed Best Builders Merchant and DIY Supplier in the Midlands

solutions directly to primarily

trade customers operating in the residential repair, maintenance and improvement market across the UK and has a strong market position and brand


synonymous with quality, value and customer service, supported by a team of technical advisors. Commenting on the acquisition, Gavin Slark, CEO of


Grafton said: “StairBox is a dynamic manufacturing business with a best in class on-line solution at its core. It has an efficient

process, nationwide distribution and strong growth potential. The acquisition of StairBox is in line with our strategy of acquiring specialist high quality businesses with attractive returns.”

employee satisfaction, offering next-level customer service, or through an enduring dedication to delivering innovative products. Company

Director Jean

Morris commented: “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to be named Best Builders Merchant & DIY Supplier in the Midlands. This year has been challenging for everyone, and it is thanks to our amazing staff and their commitment in rising to this new challenge that we have been able to continue to trade and support so many other local businesses, and local people throughout.

Thompson & Parkes, one of the best known and longest established builders’ merchants in Worcestershire and Shropshire, has won the title of Best Builders Merchant & DIY Supplier in the Midlands in this year’s SME News Magazine’s 2020 UK Enterprise Awards. The SME UK Enterprise

Awards recognise SMEs of all sizes across the UK who are committed to bettering business in their industries through a range of initiatives, from nourishing internal cultures to promoting

Hillier to Open New Garden Centre at Syon Park Estate

Hillier Garden Centres and the Syon Park Estate have announced the Spring 2021 opening of Hillier Syon Park. Hillier will work with the Estate to transform the garden centre with both businesses investing significantly


improve the site. Through this new centre, Hillier looks forward to being part of the local community, sharing the company’s passion for plants, offering gardening expertise and becoming a friendly destination for people to meet, eat and be inspired. This

acquisition will also create a number of jobs locally. Hillier is a horticulture business

with more than 155 years of expertise, founded by Edwin Hillier in Hampshire in 1864. Today, the company owns 17 garden centres across the South of England – including

five centres acquired

from Wyevale in 2019 – grows around one million plants a year across its Hampshire nurseries and is the largest grower of semi- mature trees in Europe.

“Their dedication is the reason why we have won this award, and I thank each and every one of them for everything that they have and continue to do!” Thompson

& over 80-years Parkes

employs over 20 local people and has been trading within Worcestershire and Shropshire for


to the building trade and DIY market. In addition, the business invests in the community through partnerships with local schools and nurseries and supports local charities and community initiatives by raising funds for deserving local causes.

n Wickes, has officially launched its first Installation apprenticeship scheme following a successful pilot, supporting trade and investing in the local job market. The Installation apprenticeship taps into life and trade skills, together with mentoring support. n Wyevale Nurseries has donated a collection of new Mangave succulents to the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Garden Wisley in partnership with Plantipp B.V. The ‘Mad About Mangave’ range has been assessed by Wyevale Nurseries, managed by Plantipp B.V, for the past few years and the donation will help extend plant research. n With the help of supplier, Westland Horticulture, Tong Garden Centre has donated over £500 worth of bulbs and seeds to The Cellar Trust that it will use to add value to planters made by clients. The Cellar Trust is a registered charity that provides support to people recovering

from health problems.


@HenkelUK It’s

5 aiming years to to since the

Paris Agreement on climate change. Henkel is committed it,

supporting become


climate positive company by 2040 and with emission- reduction targets approved by @sciencetargets to meet the Paris Agreement goals #HenkelUK

@HafeleUK We know that going into 2021, you may still require some added support from your suppliers. In July, we halved our FREE Next Day Delivery threshold from £100 to £50 for the rest of 2020. We

are pleased to now

extend this further until the end of March 2021 http://

@biradirect Voting for the Bira Direct Christmas display competition is now open! You can see the shortlist and vote by clicking on the link below. By voting you’ll be entered into a raffle to win great prizes Rightwards arrowhttp:// ow.l y/ l8L K5 0C M5r l #supplier #competition #windowdisplay #shoplocal mental

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