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2014.No.2 of IHA Global Report



IHA to Meet at the Cologne International Hardware Fair

Dear Industry Colleagues:

The Cologne Hardware Fair, to be held March 9-12, 2014, will again be the place where representatives of various IHA member associations meet to hold their annual Council meeting and host several networking events in cooperation with other organizations from around the world.

During their annual Council meeting, members of the Council will review IHA’s current financial health, share association best practices and plan for their 2015 meeting in Paris, during Batimat.

IHA has also joined with other associations to host two networking events, designed to bring industry executives together from around the world.

On Monday, March 10, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., an International Networking Reception will be hosted jointly by IHA, EDRA and NRHA. This event will allow members of these associations to network and share what they have seen at the show with each other. The event will be held at Koelnmesse, North Foyer, Congress-Centre East, 4th Level.

On Tuesday, March 11, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m., the IHA, EDRA and NRHA will host a Networking Luncheon. During this Luncheon, Mr. John Herbert, Managing Director of EDRA, will give us his views on the State of the Worldwide Home Improvement Market. This event will also be held at the Congress-Centre. Room TBD.

If you are interested in attending either of these events, please contact Bill Lee, IHA Secretary-General, at blee@nrha.org.

For more information about the Cologne International Hardware Fair, go to www.eisenwarenmesse.com.



Submitted by the British Independent Retailers Association (bira)

Motts Family to Give Annual Retailer Address

The Motts family from Thorns of Norwich is going to present the annual retailer address at bira’s High Street Conference. The conference is to be held at Four Pillars Hotel, Cotswold Water Park, on May 15.

As the theme of the 2014 High Street Conference is ‘Rich Heritage, Bright Future’, the Motts and Thorns DIY are a great choice. They are expected to give a fascinating insight into the history, present operation and future plans of this successful, family-run retailer.

The business was established in 1835 by a London merchant named Robert Elliot Thorns who came to own many properties within Norwich and noticed there was an opening in the market for an ironmonger. As his sons were not interested in joining the business and chose to answer the call of God as missionaries in Africa instead, Robert was joined by Charles Fisher Ishbill and Thomas Paston Sr. The business has remained with the Paston family right up to the present day and, in 1973, Thomas Paston Jr., was joined by his son-in-law Peter Motts and in 1995 by Peter's daughter Miriam. In 2011 they were joined by Peter's second daughter Emily, the current holder of the British Hardware Federation Young Retailer of the Year award. All three members of the Motts family will be on stage to give the address.

Peter Motts, Thorns’ owner says, “We’re delighted to be making the annual retailer address at this year’s High Street Conference. Thorns is a unique independent DIY store on so many levels and to be given an opportunity to present our shop to other bira members is a huge honor and achievement for us; not only to be recognized by our customers but within the retail industry.”

For more details about other speakers, to keep up to date and book your place at the event visit: www.thehighstreetconference.co.uk.

Martha Closes Award-Winning Cookshop

Multi-award-winning cookshop owner Martha Ferguson has closed her store.

As the end of the rental period approached, Martha decided to shut the doors of Papylon in Winchmore Hill, North London, to pursue a career as a buyer.

Martha, who opened the shop three years ago when she was 26, told Cookshop magazine: “I do believe it is a positive decision in terms of my own career and future. I feel I still have a lot to learn and I miss buying and product development terribly so I want to return to this role and hopefully climb the career ladder a little higher. As of yet I have not secured a job but I am in discussions with a couple of companies. I am focusing on closing the shop for the next two weeks and then will get my head down in terms of job hunting at the beginning of February.”

During the three years in the industry, Martha has won a string of awards, including CHA and bira Young Retailer of the Year in 2013 and Housewares Magazine's Rising Star 2012.

Record Christmas for ProCook

Cookware company, ProCook, has reported record sales over the Christmas period. Over the four weeks to January 5, ProCook saw a 22% lift in total sales and a 17% lift in like-for-like sales.

Its shops and its website both performed well. Retail like-for-like grew 6%, with only three of its 22 stores not achieving positive sales increase. These results come after two store openings and four re-fits in 2013.

Web sales saw a 67% like-for-like increase during the period. This was before the redesigned website went live.

Commenting on the results, managing director Daniel O’Neill says, “We were a little nervous in the lead-up to Christmas, seeing low footfall in stores, but we were confident that things would improve in the post-Christmas period.”

Forest Garden Buys M&M Timber

Forest Garden Group purchased M&M Timber. Both businesses are based in Worcestershire.

Guy Grainger, group chief executive of Forest Garden, says, “The opportunities this brings, not just to M&M but to us collectively, are significant. All of our customer channels will feel the benefit of this acquisition, from a wider product and service offer to new innovations from the timber technology now available to the group.”

Screwfix Expands Beyond the United Kingdom

Screwfix is a Kingfisher division that originally generated all its business in the United Kingdom, but which now is capturing business from nearly two dozen European countries.

The company, despite the limiting name, is far more than a fastener outlet. It sells a wide range of tools and other hardlines products, concentrating on industrial and commercial accounts rather than concentrating on consumers.

The company offers customers visiting its website a range of 16,000 products and power and hand tools are particularly popular. Orders are delivered within five to seven days and free delivery is provided for orders over £100. High volumes of orders are being received from France, Spain and Ireland and from as far away as Finland and Latvia.

Members with sizeable volume going to industrial and commercial accounts will want to check out Screwfix's website for products and pricing.



Submitted by the Swedish Building Material and Hardware Association

Resumed Growth in the Industry

Sales increased by 6.3 percent (total) and 5.8 percent (comparable units) in the 4th quarter of 2013. For the full year, 2013 landing sales growth was 1 percent (total) and 0.9 percent (comparable units).

Nordic Construction Market on the Rise

A report from the Swedish Construction Federation shows that the overall Nordic construction market is improving gradually. The picture is fragmented between countries where Norway and Iceland are doing well while Finland has struggled. Numbers from Sweden and Denmark are somewhere in between. The sluggish growth in the world economy has made its mark in the Nordic countries. Thanks to the oil industry, Norway’s GDP fared the best in 2012 (up 2.9%), while Finland was the worst hit, down 0.8%.

New Information Supports the Industry

Boverket (The Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning) now offers an information packet about the Construction Products Regulation. Boverket has developed various types of information about the Construction Products Regulation, which is available internally for staff, for external customers and for personal development. The board offers a brochure, a film and a PowerPoint presentation for use in places such as staff meetings and client meetings.

Nordbygg Sustainable Days 2014 Welcomes German Architect Elite

Nordbygg Sustainable Days 2014 is a top-level knowledge sharing arena. Swedish urban developers will come face to face with some of the big names in German architecture and structural engineering.

Sustainable Days is a new feature at Nordbygg 2014, which takes place at Stockholmsmässan on April 1-4, 2014. It’s a conference with an international flavor and a specific theme held during the fair. The 2014 conference will focus on Germany and is being organized in association with the German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce. www.nordbygg.se


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