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Mano Mano - who are they and what are their UK plans? - Nov 2017   

Mano Mano Team Image

Having just received €60m further investment to grow their business in the UK, Steve goes in search of Mano Mano to find out more about them and what their intentions are for the UK market.

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Is this the best looking DIY store in the country? - Sept 2017   

Bunnings Weston super mare

In this opinion piece, Steve debates whether the new Bunnings Warehouse in Worle (near Weston-super-mare) really is the best looking DIY store in the country. He also calls Wickes boring and asks why Kingfisher haven't dumped TradePoint long ago and replaced them with a Screwfix in every B&Q Warehouse. 

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Bunnings unleash the 'B&Q basher' in Milton Keynes - June 2017   

Bunnings MK2

Over the last six weeks, like a phoenix, the Bunnings Warehouse in Milton Keynes has gradually emerged from the flames and ashes that once was a Homebase store on Snowdon Drive. The transformation is so complete, that it's hard to believe this ever was a Homebase in the first place and the green and orange branding, matching cushions and 15% off weekends are already a distant memory.

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Retail Armageddon - coming to a store near you - May 2017   

Closing down image

The year 2017 set the record for the most retail store closures in the US, at over 9,000 shops. In this article Steve looks into the performance of Home Depot, whose digital transformation appears to have insulated them from the impact of online shopping. With UK online penetration of home improvement purchases standing at a very low 5.5%and with the UK Home Improvement retailers doing little to follow the Home Depot example, is our own retail armageddon just around the corner.

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B&Q and Wickes, you better watch your backs - March 2017   

Bunnings St.Albans No.2

Using the robust retail pricing data that we obtain and crunch from home improvement stores every day, Insight DIY completed the first price basket containing identical and directly comparable branded and own brand products across B&Q, Homebase, Wickes, Wilko and now Bunnings. In this article Steve highlights how Bunnings have blown away the competition, undercutting competitors on price on many of the key branded decorative lines.

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B&Q's City Store - Holloway Road, London - Our first impressions - March 2017   

B&Q Holloway Rd 1

Steve visits B&Q's first 'City' store, located in an old Post Office building on Holloway Road in London and provides his unique perspective on the range, prices and services  they've chosen for the smallest store in their estate. 

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B&Q's first high-street store opens this Friday, but is it? - March 2017   

DIY Express store

Steve asks the question whether Holloway Road really is the first smaller format B&Q store to open. Those of us with good memories, may just remember the DIY Express format that Kingfisher launched with fanfares in 2012 as an off-shoot of Screwfix.

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Bunnings could miss key digital opportunities in the UK - Feb' 2017 - Feb 17 - THE doors are open and the sausages are sizzling, but Australian juggernaut Bunnings has a major “blind spot” in its UK plan that could cost the company dearly. 

That’s according to Insight DIY's Steve Collinge who has covered hardware industry trends for two decades. He said despite the Aussie company launching to much fanfare in the UK with novelty sausages and low prices, it has missed a trick by failing to engage in the lucrative UK “click and collect” market that is forecast to double to $487 billion by 2025

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Bunnings UK - Our first impressions - Feb' 2017   

Bunnings St.Albans 2

They've only gone and done it - 12 months since Wesfarmers acquisition of the Homebase business, the Bunnings UK team have delivered a stunning version of Bunnings on UK soil. Here Steve shares his impressions of the first Bunnings Warehouse to ever open on UK soil.

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Masters Home Improvement - an obituary - Dec 2016   

DIY Graveyard

The Australian DIY Chain Masters, has closed its doors for the last time and joins a number of well known, national Home Improvement brands in the DIY retailer graveyard. Steve looks back on their efforts to break into the Australian Home Improvement market and what went wrong.

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Make it simple, make it easy - Dec' 2016   

Bunnings external store image

As Bunnings start work on the first Homebase conversion in the UK, Steve shares his views on how they could win the hearts and minds of the UK home improvement consumer by focusing on making DIY simpler and easier to shop.

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Homebase St.Albans closes - let the metamorphosis begin - Nov' 2016   

Homebase St.Albans conversion

With the Homebase in St.Albans now closed and with the conversion to the UK's first Bunnings Warehouse well underway, Steve looks at recent overseas retail investments including Target in Canada and Tesco Fresh'n'Easy and asks the key question whether copying and pasting an Australian retail model into the UK, is really going to work.

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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