In This Issue
Dobbies Horticulture Director Marcus Eyles departs after seven years
St John’s Garden Centre under new ownership
Dobbies appoint new Chief Marketing Officer
Corby + Fellas announces another WinRetail implementation
Hozelock unveils groundbreaking automatic hose system
Award success for RocketGro at Klondyke Plant Show
Annual awards highlight team success at Notcutts
GCA announces Chairman Elect for 2024/2025
Fond farewell to Rod Austin after 24 years at British Garden Centres
Garden centre owner appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester
British Garden Centres raises over £15,000 for Garden Re-Leaf Day
Update on Kate Ebbens’ 366 daily run for Greenfingers
The Old Railway Line raises £1,470 for Greenfingers
New peat-free seed compost launched by Mr Fothergill's
GIMA Charity Golf Day – Now open for bookings
Wyevale Nurseries to exhibit at Four Oaks Trade Show
Popular TV gardener David Domoney partners with Irrigatia
Peckish encourages consumers to not just feed the birds, but to grow them a home too
AMES Tools: Exclusive deals for garden centres
elho’s essential ‘Grow Your Own’ innovation awarded coveted Which? Best Buy
Hex Living adds wheelie bin storage to range
Buy from the best at Autumn Fair 2024
Group Commitment, GTN Interview with Caroline Owen, Chair of the Tillington Group in GTN March 2024 Issue
Senior Sales Account Managers/New Business Generators 
Get your copy of GTN Xtra
Dutch Spring Trials take place in week 18
RHS and Wildlife and Birdcare Nature Recovery Project
spoga+gafa – garden creation & care
RHS awards the highest honours in horticulture
AIPH announces jury for World Green City Awards
The best of last week's
Dobbies appoints Jonathan Wass as Chief Financial Officer
Wet February sees modest market growth
Navigating the current challenges in garden retail - GIMA Conference report and pictures
GIMA Awards are back for 2024 – entries now open
94% of exhibition space at spoga+gafa already sold
SOLEX Exhibition to kick off festivities with Awards Ceremony and Afterparty
Whisk out your tongs: SOLEX's Fire Food & Outdoor Living Evening returns for its second sizzling year
Special hotel rates for SOLEX Visitors - limited availability - book now
Situations Vacant
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North and South Regions
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Dobbies appoint new Chief Marketing Officer

Phil Thomas has joined Dobbies, as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Phil joins from Costa Coffee, where he has been CMO for the last 3 years.


Phil brings to Dobbies over 30 years of wide-ranging marketing experience in both retail and consumer goods. Before serving as CMO of Costa he similarly was CMO at Greene King, and prior to that held numerous marketing roles in Reckitt Benckiser and Procter & Gamble, both in the UK and internationally.


As Chief Marketing Officer, Phil will be responsible for all of Dobbies’ customer and marketing activity. He will leverage the company’s renewed brand purpose and values to create engaging communication and customer experiences, and bring an increased focus on customer insight and data analytics.


Phil will lead the teams responsible for all marketing activity and brand innovation; for developing the instore and digital customer experience, as well as ongoing seasonal campaigns and events. He will also lead all communications including internal and external stakeholder engagement, corporate communications, ESG and consumer media relations.


In addition, Phil will have responsibility for super-charging the award-winning Dobbies Club, which has over 1.3 million members, increasing its appeal to both existing and new members.


David Robinson, CEO of Dobbies, said: “We are building an incredibly strong senior leadership team and recruiting Phil is another positive step in achieving our ambitions. Phil is a very experienced marketing operator who will drive our goal of communicating our focus on garden living through all of our marketing. Phil’s extensive knowledge of UK retail and product marketing will be invaluable to delivering on our strategy.”


Phil Thomas, CMO of Dobbies, added: “Dobbies is a wonderful brand with an amazing 159-year heritage of helping people enjoy their gardens, and an equally great future ahead.


“I’m excited to be joining, and look forward to working with David, the leadership team and all Dobbies’ colleagues to help grow the business by building the brand and further enhancing our customer experience - and so delight more and more customers every day.”


Phil’s appointment comes as Customer Director, Louise Niven steps down from her role to go on maternity leave.


David added: “I’d like to thank Louise for her ten years at Dobbies, including six years at the helm of the marketing team, building our brand; delivering award-winning campaigns, positive PR and community engagement; and outstanding growth of our loyalty scheme to more than 1.3 million members. Everyone at Dobbies wishes her all the very best for the future.”


Dobbies has 77 stores across the UK, employs 3,800 people and has welcomed over 30 million customers in the year-to-date.


GTN Xtra Comment:  After a visit to one Dobbies centre over the Easter weekend, expecting to see shelves full of stock (as per their comment earlier in March) GTN has asked Dobbies for an update on their stock supply situation.  In the store we visited there were still big and obvious gaps in certain product areas and while all other centres we visited over the weekend had their planetaria's brimming with plants, a large area of the Dobbies planteria was still empty. As soon as we get a response we will bring you an update.

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