2017: A year of transition for the garden centre trade
It’s been a strange year, yet for all that an oddly exciting one when you begin to peer into the detail – a year of transition in which the garden industry has continued to adapt, albeit cautiously, to a rapidly changing retail world. In this special edition of GTN Xtra, associate editor Mike Wyatt looks back at 2017...
When will the For Sale sign go up at Wyevale GCs?
No 1 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 12 November, 2017
So what went on behind closed doors at the Wyevale suppliers meeting.?
Woof! Newshound here…back and straining at the leash. So what’s cooking? The boss says people who’ve have had their ears to the walls at Wyevale GCs HQ reckon there’s something interesting about to break...
No 2 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 19 November, 2017
Rising Stars 2017 - The final 12
There was chat, there was cheer...and there was even a chance to whip things up with a bit of chanting...
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. Read on...
No 3 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Tuesday 1 August, 2017
Owners of garden centre face £21,000 bill after selling 'dangerous' items
The final 12 candidates in the Rising Stars class of 2017 have been announced...
No 4 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 17 September, 2017
Wyevale Garden Centres announces shift away from acquisitions
The owners of a Hornsea Garden Centre have been fined for selling items which "posed a serious fire risk" to customers...
No 5 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 24 September, 2017
Wyevale Garden Centres named on 'worst to work for' list
Wyevale Garden Centres has 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. Roger Mclaughlan, CEO of WGC said: “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..."
No 6 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 9 July, 2017
Sad news - Alistair Lorimer dies
Wyevale Garden Centres appeared on a list published by the Daily Telegraph of what it says are some of the worst companies to work for in the UK, based on ratings on the job site Glassdoor...
No 7 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 25 June, 2017
Durston Garden Products HOLD prices for 2018
Sad news has reached the GTN Xtra office of the death of Alistair Lorimer last week after a long battle with cancer...
No 8 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Saturday 14 October, 2017
New display ideas, new products, new suppliers at Bunnings first UK garden centre - GTN Xtra picture exclusive
Durston Garden Products have been Flying the Flag for a BUY BRITISH campaign and all for a very good reason. The company generally believes that as BREXIT negotiations continue to take shape; that now is the time to start shopping closer to home. Not only will you save yourself all the stress, and often logistical nightmare that goes with the lengthy process of shopping overseas but that you will also find it can be much cheaper too.
No 9 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 12 February, 2017
See GTN Xtra's exclusive picture gallery
Retail ops restructured as going gets tough for Wyevale GCs
The Bunnings Warehouse garden centre area at their pilot St Albans store provided plenty of new ways of displaying plants and products as well as some surprising new product lines and new suppliers to the UK market, when GTN Xtra made a visit yesterday...
No 10 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 6 August, 2017
All eyes will be on how Wyevale GCs plans to replace 'unsustainable' growth strategy with core business focus
Reports circulating online this week suggest that life is not getting any easier for Terra Firma’s Wyevale Garden Centres operation, which is facing re-structuring and re-financing after disappointing earnings. Pictured: WGC retail operations director David Anderson, who announced last week's changes.
No 11 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 1 October, 2017
Sir Terry and Mr M...unfinished business at Dobbies?
Wyevale Garden Centres’ results published last week suggest that the problems facing parent Terra Firma as it strives to turn the 149-centre business around ahead of a planned sale are even greater that most people feared – but CEO Roger Mclaughlan says performance is improving...
No 12 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 12 March, 2017
Mothers Day bonanza as garden centre records are broken across the country
What's going on in the world of Dobbies? GTN Newshound has been sniffing out a couple of juicy theories...
No 13 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 26 March, 2017
We cleared out Homebase management too quickly, confesses parent company's new CEO
It was a record breaking Mothers Day weekend - official! Over the course of yesterday and this morning GTN Xtra has been speaking to garden centres across the country and here is the feedback from: Green Pastures, Scotsdales, Caulders, Alton's, Millbrook, Haskins, Stewarts, Fron Goch, Raemoir, Bents, Hillview, Baytree, Cowells, Fresh @ Burcot, Perrywood and Creative Gardens...
No 14 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 26 November, 2017
Carol Paris is leaving the HTA
The new CEO of Bunnings and Homebase parent company Wesfarmers has confessed to shareholders that the company had made a mistake by changing the Homebase management team and product ranges too quickly when it took over the UK chain last year...
No 15 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Thursday 16 March, 2017
Dobbies "gets together with Ocado to be the best on-line"
The Horticultural Trades Association has just announced that Carol Paris, CEO, will be leaving the organisation at the end of April...
No 16 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 30 April, 2017
Read what Nicholas Marshall and Guy Topping said on the BBC yesterday, 1st May 2017
Nicholas Marshall is back in the gardening industry as CEO of Dobbies
Nicholas Marshall announces new partnership live on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme
"In the whole of the UK the retail industry 40% of all sales are online and growing. Growing all the time. And yet in gardening it is tiny, almost irrelevant and therefore there is going to be a step change and I'm delighted to say that I can announce today that Ocado has very kindly agreed to link up with us (Dobbies) and to go on-line with us which is really exciting because they are one of the best British online companies..."
No 17 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Monday 6 March, 2017
Newshound finds Mr M has been busy recruiting 'experience'...
Dobbies Garden Centres Limited has announced that Nicholas Marshall is joining as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. He replaces John Cleland, who has left the business for family and personal reasons...
Pictured from left to right: Andrew Bracey, Chairman; Nicholas Marshall, CEO; and Graeme Jenkins, CFO.
No 18 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 26 March, 2017
Terra Firma props up Wyevale Garden Centres
Woof woof! No time to ‘paws’ for thought this week, my friends, as the pace quickens at Dobbies now that Mr Marshall is getting into his stride...
No 19 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 21 May, 2017
Read more and link to full story in The Sunday Telegraph
So this is what a Bunnings Warehouse looks like...
The Sunday Telegraph has revealed today that Terra Firma had to dip into its warchest to buy out £25m of bank debt related to the purchase of Wyevale Garden Centres in 2012...
No 20 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 5 February, 2017
A bittersweet moment says Scott CEO as he announces UK, Europe and Aussie sell-off
The first Homebase store to undergo a Bunnings makeover opened for business in St Albans last week, welcoming customers with an Aussie-style 'sausage sizzle'...
Click the link for full story and more pictures.
No 21 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 7 May, 2017
Gardman reports £1.5m loss - but earnings soar by 50%
You almost detect a tear in his eye as Scotts Miracle-Gro’s CEO Jim Hagedorn, admitting that the garden industry in the UK was more competititve than the US, told investors after last week's sell-off announcement: “This is a bit of a bittersweet moment for us...”
No 22 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Saturday 14 October, 2017
Blue Diamond buys Bridgford Garden Centre
Gardman has reported a pre-tax loss of £1.5m for the year ending December 2016, mainly down to the exceptional costs of almost £2.3m associated with re-structuring following the previous year’s management buy-out, but earnings are up 50%...
No 23 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Monday 15 May, 2017
Exponent Private Equity to buy Scotts business in UK, Europe and Australia
The Blue Diamond Group has officially announced today the acquisition of its 20th garden centre at East Bridgford, near Nottingham...
No 24 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Tuesday 2 May, 2017
Brothers sell £15m Yarnton Nurseries business
ScottsMiracle-Gro announces binding offer from Exponent Private Equity LLP to acquire its International Consumer Business
Exponent Private Equity LLP today (Tuesday 2nd May 2017) made a binding and irrevocable offer to The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company to purchase SMG’s European and Australian operations. The deal is being reported in the US as being worth $250m...
No 25 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Friday 14 April, 2017
The sale of Yarnton Nurseries near Oxford to investors Newcore Capital Management, announced last Thursday, comes just a year before its owners, twin brothers Richard and Nigel Wallbridge (left), were due to celebrate the family business’s 50th anniversary. The business, with its plethora of its concessions generates turnover of £15m...
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Westland win Sword of Excellence with SafeLawn
No 26 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 16 July, 2017
Westland Horticulture is the proud winner of the GIMA Sword of Excellence at the GIMA Awards, whilst Smart Garden Products has scooped the GCA Supplier of the Year, and Briers take home the Gardenex Export Achievement Award. Elho, Burgon & Ball, Hutton Garden and Landscaping Products, Hawkesmill Nurseries, Forest Garden, Horticulture Trade Association, Fallen Fruits, and Gardman complete the winners roster in 2017...
See full results and pictures from the night
Is this the smallest garden centre in the UK?
No 27 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 5 March, 2017
Is the new "Boutique" Squires Garden Centre at Chertsey the smallest garden centre in the UK? GTN Xtra visited the centre after the official opening last week to meet 2015 Westland GCA Rising Star finalist Matt Tanner and his team and discover how Squires have maximised every inch of space in this small but perfectly formed development...
See full GTN Xtra picture gallery
Glee to hold two shows per year from 2018 onwards
No 28 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Monday 6 February, 2017
Glee is to become a biannual event with the opening of a 'Glee concession show' at Spring Fair 2018 (February, NEC Birmingham). This show will complement Glee’s main exhibition at the NEC each September.
Garden retailers sign up to industry Xylella statement
No 29 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Monday 31 July, 2017
Following an emergency Xylella meeting held last week at the HTA, garden retailers have signed up to support a joint industry plant sourcing statement about Xylella fastidiosa, the introduction of which has the potential for catastrophic impacts to the UK environment...
See list of retailers and the Xylella Five Point Plan
Marshall's strategy for Dobbies to put focus back on plants
No 30 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Monday 21 August, 2017
Dobbies CEO Nicholas Marshall has outlined a three-year plan designed to take the chain more upmarket and restore its focus as a quality retailer of plants...
Woodlodge win GCA Associate of the year Award
No 31 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Wednesday 25 January, 2017
Woodlodge won the Haskins Stewart Cup as GCA Supplier of the Year...
See our gallery of pictures from the GCA Associates Exhibition
"The Best Glee for Years" - Retailers verdict on this years show
No 32 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 17 September, 2017
Another Glee is over. While at the NEC there was such a positive vibe around the show this year. But in the cold light of day what did the retailer visitors reflect on Glee 2017?
"Xylella is the most serious situation I have come across in 32 years in the industry"
No 33 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 8 October, 2017
The potentially catastrophic consequences for the UK’s horticultural industry of an outbreak of the bacterial plant disease Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) were spelled out in a stark warning to growers and retailers at last week’s HTA Futures Conference...
MEP's vote to ban glyphosate completely by 2022
No 34 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Tuesday 24 October, 2017
The European Commission has dropped its proposal for a 10 year license extension for glyphosate after the European Parliament called today for the weedkiller to be phased out in the next five years...
Blisters, tomatoes, over 100 walkers and runners raise over £22k on Garden Re-Leaf Day
No 35 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Monday 20 March, 2017
A fantastic day of fundraising and walking across the fens and through the iconic city of Cambridge saw 105 walkers and runners, some in fancy dress, raise a record breaking £22.5k on Garden Re-Leaf Day 2017...
Coolings buys Potted Garden Nursery at Maidstone
No 36 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 8 October, 2017
Coolings Nurseries of Sevenoaks, have agreed to purchase the well-respected retail business known as The Potted Garden Nursery, near Leeds Castle in Kent...
Exclusive pictures from Bunnings' biggest store yet
No 37 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 2 July, 2017
GTN Xtra's Trevor Pfeiffer attended the opening of the fourth, and largest, Bunnings Warehouse in the UK and Ireland at Milton Keynes on Thursday to bring you exclusive picture coverage...
Click for exclusive picture gallery
New men at the top at Hillier
No 38 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 30 April, 2017
Hilliers has announced a number of new senior appointments to its garden centre head office team, including new heads of purchasing, property and horticultural buying...
Xylella fastidiosa: how Italy has tackled the problem
No 39 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Saturday 14 October, 2017
Dr Stefano Sogni, from Zelari Nurseries in Italy, has spoken exclusively with GTN Xtra to reveal how his country is successfully tackling Xylella fastidiosa. He says: "You need to get to know your enemy to fight the enemy."
Read more and see photos from the nursery taken this morning
Town & Country is sold to EP Barrus
No 40 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Tuesday 1 August, 2017
After months of speculation, Town & Country has been sold to EP Barrus. As a result Jamieson and Barry Page (pictured above at Chelsea 2016) will be leaving the business...
Supplier rebates to exceed £1.5m for Choice members
No 41 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Tuesday 10 October, 2017
Choice Marketing has announced that supplier rebates to members for the 2016/17 are forecast to exceed £1.5 million. The announcement was made by Choice CEO Michelle de Lavis-Trafford at the buying group’s Annual Conference and Trade Show...
"Garden Centre of the Future" planned for new outlet retail centre at Downtown Grantham
No 42 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 5 November, 2017
Oldrids & Downtown have submitted plans that include the development of a 107 unit Designer Outlet Centre; a purpose-built Downtown@Home store; a reconfigured "Garden Centre of the Future"; an indoor leisure complex; a high-tech hub / managed office space for start-up businesses; a tourist information & visitor centre and a new training academy alongside the existing Downtown and Boundary Mill stores at Gonerby Moor on the A1...
Bunnings UK No. 3 - Hemel Hempstead in pictures
No 43 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 25 June, 2017
Hot on the heels of the HTA National Plant Show, GTNXtra called into the third Bunnings UK store at Hemel Hempstead which opened two weeks ago. Steve Pitcher, ex Wyevale Garden Centres and B&Q, was also at the plant show with the Bunnings Homebase team...
See GTN Xtra's exclusive photo tour of the new store
Shoplifting costs retailers £800m a year says research
No 44 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 14 October, 2017
Shoplifting costs Britain's retailers £800m a year, according to a newe survey, with the London area, West Midlands and Manchester recording the most reported thefts...
Scotts: We want out of Europe...but we won't give the business away
No 45 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 5 February, 2017
Scotts Miracle-Gro’s finance chief in the US has re-iterated the company’s plans to sell its European business – but told investors: “We’re not looking to give it away.”
New trade show will demonstrate how to cater for vegans
No 46 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 24 September, 2017
A host of catering experts will be showcasing the delights of plant-based cooking as well as offering their insights into how best to integrate vegan meals into the major catering and hospitality trades, at the UK’s first dedicated vegan Trade show next month.. Pictured: author, chef and restaurateur Aldo Zilli.
Historic exhibition and new branding for Dobbies
No 47 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 1 October, 2017
Former directors James Barnes (right), Sharon Brown and Johnny Trotter joined current CEO Nicholas Marshall (left) at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh on wednesday last week at the launch of an Exhibition of the history of Dobbies and the unveiling of new branding for 2018...
Exciting new-build garden centre underway
No 48 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 14 May, 2017
This time last year planning was approved to turn Bridgford Garden Centre into one of the largest destination garden centres in the UK. Fast forward a year and spades are in the ground and steel is in the workshop gearing up to deliver this exciting new-build garden centre near Nottingham...
Bunnings - Homebase - sales drop by £44m
No 49 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 29 October, 2017
The early trading performance of the first eight Bunnings Warehouse pilots is encouraging, with solid sales uplifts achieved across the pilot group, reports owners Wesfarmers but First Quarter trading in the UK is down by £44m...
Glyphosate licence approved for 5 years
No 50 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 26 November, 2017
Germany swung the vote in Brussels today so that a new five year licence could be granted for glyphosate just 19 days before the existing one was due to expire...