In This Issue
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OBE's for Colin Squire and John Athwal
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New Year Greetings to all our readers
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So what went on behind closed doors at the Wyevale suppliers meeting.?
Rising Stars 2017 - The final 12
Owners of garden centre face £21,000 bill after selling 'dangerous' items
Wyevale Garden Centres announces shift away from acquisitions
Wyevale Garden Centres named on 'worst to work for' list
Sad news - Alistair Lorimer dies
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New display ideas, new products, new suppliers at Bunnings first UK garden centre - GTN Xtra picture exclusive
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All eyes will be on how Wyevale GCs plans to replace 'unsustainable' growth strategy with core business focus
Sir Terry and Mr M...unfinished business at Dobbies?
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Carol Paris is leaving the HTA
Dobbies "gets together with Ocado to be the best on-line"
Nicholas Marshall is back in the gardening industry as CEO of Dobbies
Newshound finds Mr M has been busy recruiting 'experience'...
Terra Firma props up Wyevale Garden Centres
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A bittersweet moment says Scott CEO as he announces UK, Europe and Aussie sell-off
Gardman reports £1.5m loss - but earnings soar by 50%
Blue Diamond buys Bridgford Garden Centre
Exponent Private Equity to buy Scotts business in UK, Europe and Australia
Brothers sell £15m Yarnton Nurseries business
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Westland win Sword of Excellence with SafeLawn
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Glee to hold two shows per year from 2018 onwards
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Town & Country is sold to EP Barrus
Supplier rebates to exceed £1.5m for Choice members
"Garden Centre of the Future" planned for new outlet retail centre at Downtown Grantham
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Shoplifting costs retailers £800m a year says research
Scotts: We want out of Europe...but we won't give the business away
New trade show will demonstrate how to cater for vegans
Historic exhibition and new branding for Dobbies
Exciting new-build garden centre underway
Bunnings - Homebase - sales drop by £44m
Glyphosate licence approved for 5 years
2017: A year of transition for the garden centre trade
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Wyevale Garden Centres announces shift away from acquisitions
No 5 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 24 September, 2017

Wyevale Garden Centres has issued its 2016 Annual Report and Accounts to include a detailed update on the new business strategy. It has also announced the successful refinancing of external bank debt facilities, which stabilises the capital structure enabling the leadership team to focus on delivering the new strategy, centred on building a better business for customers.

2016 financial and operational highlights

  • Overall footfall has increased year on year with 46.5m visitors coming to our GCs
  • Revenue is up 5.5% year on year at £328.3m
  • Horticulture accounts for 30% of revenue
  • Gardening accounts for 34% of revenue
  • Home & Leisure accounts for 17% of revenue
  • Food & Beverage accounts for 19% of revenue
  • Like for like sales decreased by 2% in 2016 but grew in the second half of 2016
  • Gross margin reduced by 1.8 percentage points due to higher clearance activity as legacy inventory issues addressed
  • Operating costs increased due to acquisitions, additional rental expense from sale and leaseback transactions and investment in people, including impact of National Living Wage
  • EBITDA down 31% year on year at £29.1m

New strategy update

WGC’s strategic priorities are focused on building a strong foundation at the core of the business.  As well as delivering a more compelling customer proposition and experience, WGC aims to achieve its strategic goals by investing in people, upgrading systems and controls and improving the supply chain process.

The management team aims to a deliver best-in-class retailing experience that offers greater choice, value and quality to customers. Having been in place for a year, CEO, Roger Mclaughlan, and CFO, Anthony Jones, have already introduced a number of new initiatives to improve customers’ experience and the Group recently achieved its highest net promoter score to date, a critical measure of customer satisfaction.

So far in 2017, WGC has seen early signs of progress following the implementation of the first phase of its strategy as the business has returned to like-for-like growth.

Justin King, Chairman of WGC, said: “2016 was a transitional year.  In order for the business to achieve sustainable growth a change of strategy, and a change in the leadership team to implement it, was needed as a critical first step. During 2016 the team made significant progress in setting out this new strategy and in dealing with legacy issues, particularly stock. I am pleased to note that this progress has continued throughout the year and with the successful completion of the debt refinancing, we now have a more stable capital structure to support the business’ needs.”

Roger Mclaughlan, CEO of WGC said: “We have spent a lot of time over the past year in gathering in-depth customer insight and feedback from colleagues across the business. At the heart of our new strategy is enhancing our customer experience by focusing on building and strengthening the fundamentals of our business. There’s been a significant shift in our financial priorities away from acquisitions and other capital intensive growth initiatives to investment in the core infrastructure, systems and processes required to develop a scalable and sustainable platform to underpin the Group’s future growth plans.”

 WGC’s Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 25 December 2016 can be found at

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