Garden centres are enjoying a busy time in the warm sunny weather. Until 1960’s plants could only be bought from nurseries and often only by mail order. In 1967 the Williamson family opened one of the first garden centres on their Wyevale nursery site in Hereford.
Growing into the country’s largest garden centre chain, Wyevale is now called the Garden Centre Group and includes Blooms, amongst many others. After a tricky financial period 18 months ago the chain bounced back by focusing on sales of plants and flowers.
In general, garden centres now allocate 40% of floor space to plants and gardening products with 60% being taken up with gifts, deli’s cafes.
Despite those figures, it is reassuring to know that the top three garden centre organisations (in second and third place are Notcutts and Dobbies, owned by Tesco) still have less than 6% of the market.
Thankfully it seems the personal service of smaller garden centres and nurseries is still valued and certainly gets my vote.