In This Issue
Much loved industry figure passes away after cancer battle
OBE's for Colin Squire and John Athwal
Rachel Doyle of Arboretum scoops Retail Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award
Bunnings UK boss to take a three month break
New Year Greetings to all our readers
When will the For Sale sign go up at Wyevale GCs?
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
Durston Garden Products HOLD prices for 2018
New display ideas, new products, new suppliers at Bunnings first UK garden centre - GTN Xtra picture exclusive
Retail ops restructured as going gets tough for Wyevale GCs
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?
Mothers Day bonanza as garden centre records are broken across the country
We cleared out Homebase management too quickly, confesses parent company's new CEO
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
So this is what a Bunnings Warehouse looks like...
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
Is this the smallest garden centre in the UK?
Glee to hold two shows per year from 2018 onwards
Garden retailers sign up to industry Xylella statement
Marshall's strategy for Dobbies to put focus back on plants
Woodlodge win GCA Associate of the year Award
"The Best Glee for Years" - Retailers verdict on this years show
"Xylella is the most serious situation I have come across in 32 years in the industry"
MEP's vote to ban glyphosate completely by 2022
Blisters, tomatoes, over 100 walkers and runners raise over £22k on Garden Re-Leaf Day
Coolings buys Potted Garden Nursery at Maidstone
Exclusive pictures from Bunnings' biggest store yet
New men at the top at Hillier
Xylella fastidiosa: how Italy has tackled the problem
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
Bunnings UK No. 3 - Hemel Hempstead in pictures
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
Top 50 most-read stories in GTN Xtra 2017
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So what went on behind closed doors at the Wyevale suppliers meeting.?
No 2 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 19 November, 2017

Wooff woof! Yes it’s me, your industrious (and occasionally industrial) Newshound reporting for duty.


You’ll be wondering if I found much to set the tail wagging at this week’s gathering of the supply chain at Fortress Wyevale. I’ll be honest…they wouldn’t let me in. Didn’t like my credentials. The cheek! I didn’t ask to see theirs.


So I’ve had to resort to sniffing the turn-ups and hemlines of the summoned horde of 100 or more after they streamed out of the Holiday Inn near Syon Park HQ from what was billed as a progress update. We can’t name names, because we promised, but we know them all and they’re not robots.


Nobody was crying, I can report, so for CEO Roger Mclaughlan and his team, it must have gone well.


“Excuse me,” I say to a man who looks to me like the chief executive of something important, “what did you think of what you heard in there?”


“Strong team,” he nods. “They’re all good individually.


“They still have a challenge in cascading direction to the rest of the business. It was well-presented plan – improvements in all areas of the business are planned.


“I still think their challenge is how do they drive footfall into the store. You need to be ‘known for something’ and I think they still aren’t quite sure what it is.


“That said, doing the basics better should give them a little bounce in 2018.”


Moving down the line, I home in on a smiling face that looks as though it liked what it heard. It was a useful meeting, he thought, clearly aimed at reassuring peoples, even though they have seriously reduced the number of suppliers they’re listing. “For those who are still trading with them, knowing they are working on things is good.”


They mentioned they were selling off  “a load of excess stock”, but politely refrained from blaming anyone…


And they mentioned how things like the new Epos system and streamlined IT and mobile phone purchases will all help the business to run more smoothly.


Your Hound liked the sound of that more than what he heard next. Apparently, at one point the suppliers were invited to join in a football crowd style chant which went something like: “We are Wyevale, Wonderful Wyevale, Wyevale of the Park…”


How did that register on the Cringe-ometer, I wonder?


Anyone hoping for spectacular revelations on the day would have been disappointed, it seems. “To be honest, there wasn’t anything especially controversial or secretive presented – essentially an honest and interesting summary of their ongoing plans and initiatives,” said another trouser-leg. “The main points were the new finance facilities already widely reported, wider adoption of the distribution centre along with some inevitable supplier consolidation, local empowerment, new recruitment, focus on serviced and so on…”


I’m getting the drift. All positive, then? “Extremely,” said another turn-up (although it could have been a hemline). “I was impressed by their optimism and enthusiasm for the business. It has given me as a supplier more confidence that they are on the right road and have the bank’s support to move forward.


“I am not prepared to divulge detail but in reality it’s not that important. It was: a) this is where we’ve got to so far and b) this is where we are going next. And the desire to form strong partnerships with suppliers.”


So there we have it, my little kennel keepers. I can’t say the tail is wagging wildly, but at least it’s still holding up.

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