Twenty-three years after buying Johnsons of Boston, David Isaac, a self-described "engineer from a family of retailers", has retired and the business sold to Dobbies.
GTN Xtra had the privilege of visiting David and his team on their last day of independent trading, Sunday 18th April 2021, before the centre closes for a two week re-fit.
While David proudly showed us around his centre a steady flow of customers and staff came up and wished him well. David and his garden centre are clearly well loved in the area. “Everything I’ve done at the centre has been geared to making as many reasons as possible for customers to keep coming back,” David explained. That’s why Johnsons of Boston were one of the first garden centres to add a convenience food hall over twenty years ago. “I remember Tesco’s tried to stop us selling food,” recalled David. That’s rather ironic now as the Fine Foods Hall, which had been emptied by shoppers before Sunday, will now become a Sainsburys food hall within the Dobbies Garden Centre.
As we left the centre, the queue to use the cash machine, which has also been a longstanding reason for people to visit, got even longer.
The garden centre re-opens as a Dobbies Garden Centre on Friday 30th April with all the current staff retained, but GTN Xtra understands, without any of the previous concessions that have been a feature of the centre.