Wyevale Garden Centre CEO Roger Mclaughlan has revealed to GTN Xtra that it’s “business as usual” while the company considers offers on its 145 centres.
Owner Terra Firma announced last month that the garden centre group was officially up for sale either as a whole, as sub groups or as individual garden centres. Christie & Co, the agents handling the sale, have placed a June 26 deadline for first round bids.
Wyevale Garden Centres achieved record-breaking sales figures during May, and Roger Mclaughlan was quick to point out the centres were performing well in the current climate.
How pleased are you with the way the group is performing at the moment?
We are very pleased with our performance. Customers are reacting well to the changes we have made, and we are delighted to have delivered a record breaking May performance.
Is there a danger that this level of performance could drop during 'for sale' process?
Our focus is 'business as usual'. We are well set up for peak trading, and all colleagues are focused on ensuring we continue to deliver best-in-class retail experiences for our customers.
How are you keeping staff morale high during a period of uncertainty?
Great people are at the heart of our business. As part of our turnaround strategy, we've invested in our colleagues and our customers are already seeing the difference. We believe that any future owner would see the value in our colleagues. We have held conversations with our colleagues across the business since the sale was announced and very much believe in the importance of maintaining an open dialogue with them to ensure any concerns they may have are addressed directly.
Do you have a current winning formula throughout your portfolio of garden centres?
Our current strategy is focused on building and strengthening the fundamentals of our business and delivering a more compelling customer proposition and experience. We have improved ranges, increased stock availability, and delivered exceptional garden centres standards. This has been delivered through the focus on our strategic goals of investing in people, upgrading systems and controls as well as improving the supply chain process.
How important will it be for any prospective buyer(s) of your garden centres to take this formula on board in future?
We believe that any prospective buyer will see the value in the strategy we've set out and implemented over the last two years, including investment in our people, the core infrastructure, systems and processes of the business.
Is your main focus still on driving the business forward until any sale is agreed?
Yes, we are very much committed to continuing the implementation of our turnaround strategy and running our business for the benefit of our colleagues and customers. Our focus is 'business as usual' and customer experience sits at the heart of our strategy and that has not changed.
Do you hope to remain with the business in future?
Together with Anthony Jones, Chief Financial Officer, I will continue to lead the business.
Full details of all Wyevale centres can be accessed via a website: www.wyevalegardencentres.christie.com. By registering on the site and completing a Non Disclosure Agreement, interested parties will have all the relevant information about the sites so that offers can be placed by the end of the first round process on June 26th.