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
Area Representative/Product Merchandiser
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
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
Situations Vacant
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Sad news - Alistair Lorimer dies
No 7 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 25 June, 2017

Sad news has reached the GTN Xtra office of the death of Alistair Lorimer last week after a long battle with cancer.

Alistair was involved in the UK garden centre and plants industry for over 30 years, learning his core retail skills within the innovative Jardinerie group.

He gained a certificate in Strategic Management whilst at Malcolm Scott Consultants and worked closely with garden retail clients throughout the
UK, Ireland, USA, Middle East and northern Europe.

He became the Buying and Marketing Director for the Blooms of Bressingham Group where he was closely involved in the development 
of Bicester Avenue, the first UK garden centre ever to achieve the Retail Week Retail Design of the Year Award and Retail Destination of the Year Award.

Blooms was sold to the Wyevale group in March 2007 after being built up to 10 centres with annual sales of £30m and a staff of over 400.

Most recently Alistair had been providing consultancy services for both retail and plant breeder clients worldwide.

No news is available about funeral arrangments at present.  We will publish those when they become available.

Our thoughts on behalf of the industry go to his family and friends.

If you'd like to add a personal comment about Alistair, please use the comments link below or send to

From Boyd Douglas-Davies, CEO Hillview Garden Centres:  "Really sad to learn of Alistairs passing. I've known him for many years and have great respect for everything he achieved in the industry. He's wisdom and encouragement will be sorely missed. I owe him a lunch and now I'll forever be in his debt, for many reasons."

From Carol Marks, Development / Marketing Specialist, Horticulture, Bord Bia, Dublin:  "I am so very sad to hear of Alistair's passing. I had the pleasure of working closely with him over more than ten years, as he carried out the assessments for the Bord Bia Garden Centre Quality Awards, and through the many workshops and seminars he presented to the Irish horticulture industry for me."

"His philosophy of always providing commercial, profit focussed and practical support to garden retailers was always delivered with enthusiasm, humour, honesty and integrity, and he was highly respected and liked by all those whose path he crossed. While he was unable to travel over the last two years, I had kept in touch by phone and email to check in. He was always so pragmatic and so positive."

"A true gentleman, a huge loss, He will be greatly missed.  Our thoughts, on behalf of the gardening industry in Ireland, go to his family and friends."

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Mike Hills Hills
I was so sad and sorry to hear about the passing of Alistair. He always had time to talk to everyone and was always so positive and a real gentleman. He will be greatly missed.
My thoughts go out to his family at this sad time. Mike Hills