Bents aims for Trafford Centre-style store

Bents Home & Garden managing director Matthew Bent said the destination garden centre has a big future as he develops plans to "create a Trafford Centre for a particular type of customer".

Bent told a Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association business meeting: "We want to be the ultimate garden and home centre in the North West", shrugging off upcoming competition from the planned Next Home & Garden near Warrington.

Bent said: "If they bring more people into gardening, then fantastic. "The £13.5m turnover Bents, which forecast a five per cent increase in the year to 31 January, has a 10-year £9m long-term development programme.

Warrington Borough Council will discuss Bents plans later this month. Developments include a farm shop, concessions, a second retail storey and "more kerb appeal" due to start in the next two years.

Bents statistics

- Plants: 60 per cent of hardy plants grown on site.

- Food: 95 per cent produced fresh in house.

- People: 350 staff - Loyalty clubs with discounts.

- Six mystery shopper and four audits a year.

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