After trading through the first week of the emergency lockdown Cherry Lane Garden Centres have now closed. Plants Galore in Exeter, after being served with a prohibition notice, have been allowed to carry on selling hardware and pet products but not plants.
The East Devon News reported last week: "Plants Galore, in Topsham Road, near Countess Wear, Exeter, became one of the first business in the UK to be served notice of an offence under new Health Protection regulations that came into law this week to protect the public from coronavirus – including shutting non-essential shops and retail outlets.
"The notice said the branch had continued to open to the public as a garden centre and must stop immediately.
"The notice was served after Exeter City Council received complaints from members of the public.
"The council said the store can continue to operate ‘via electronic means’ and function as a store for other permitted items."
Read the full report at https://eastdevonnews.co.uk/2020/03/28/exeter-plants-galore-garden-centre-is-one-of-first-businesses-in-uk-served-with-prohibition-notice-for-staying-open-during-coronavirus-lockdown/
Plants Galore owner Tony Joyner told GTN Xtra "I've had to cordon off all my plants. Why then are Aldi, just 500m up the road still allowed to sell plants?"
The 14 strong Cherry Lane Garden Centres, part of the QD Stores Group, closed all of their centres at the end of the day on Monday. GTN Xtra understands that police were asking customers in some centre car parks why they were out shopping for non essential items.
At The Barn Garden Centre in Peterborough on Sunday they were only allowing 15 people into the centre at any one time and customers were shopping for gardening supplies, pet supplies and food items. All other product lines normally stocked by the garden centre were also available for sale.