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Sales roar ahead as balmy weather drives DIY fans barmy

Britain's leading DIY retailers have reported buoyant trading over the Easter weekend boosted by the good weather. B&Q, Sainsbury's Homebase and Do-It-All said sales had been better than expected with sales of lawn mowers, garden furniture and painting and decorating equipment all strong. Easter is always a key time for the DIY superstores though retailers had been cautious ahead of this weekend as Easter fell early. "All the signs are that we've had a very good Easter," said Ross McLaren, managing director of Sainsbury's Homebase. "It has not been a record weekend but sales are up on last year. The good weather has certainly helped."

B&Q said sales were up on last year with stores "fantastically busy". Do-It-All in Borehamwood said gardening sales were up 150 per cent on last year. B&Q opened 10 garden centres on Easter Sunday, exploiting a loophole in the Sunday trading legislation. It got round the laws by moving tills and products outside the doors and said sales had gone "quite well".

Photograph: Jason Bye