Bulrush backs independence

The independent garden centre is still more attractive, says Bulrush retail sales manager

Compost: ‘Profit is sanity - image: HW
Compost: ‘Profit is sanity - image: HW

Bulrush retail sales manager Alex Julien has highlighted how much more attractive the independent garden centre is to suppliers than multiples, who he says are forcing wholesalers and manufacturers to walk away from business.

Julien said the focus for Bulrush, who return to Four Oaks trade show this month after several years away, is on the independent garden centre trade as opposed to building further volume with the multiple sector: "The aim is to align Bulrush retail quality alongside Bulrush grower quality and improve the offering for the independent retail trade.

"We're not one of the big brands and don't really want to be. Our focus is on people who want quality, and the place where you can get that is the independent garden centre. They tend to be customer focused and advice is given by the owner saying what they recommend."

Julien said Bulrush were asked to tender for Wyevale Garden Centres contract but margins were "very low" and Bulrush did not take up the option.

He added: "This is something that is definitely happening in the multiple sector. Certain people just want to drive volume for no margin and that's not what we're about. That's how you get yourself in trouble."

Sinclair, which went into administration in August before being bought by rival Westland, have several multiple contracts, though Westland has turned down tendering for multiple contracts in recent times because of margin issues.

Growing Media Association chairman Steve Harper, who used to work for Sinclair and Bord na Mona and now works for Gardman, said: "Margins at multiples for growing media - this is nothing new. In previous roles we walked away from quoting for business because the retailer was demanding too low a price. It happens all of the time. I'm sure most business measures the potential profitability of these large deals before entering into a contract.

"Recent history shows us that taking the price too low ultimately brings only one result. What's the old saying... turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, cash is a reality."

He said pricing and margin issues are not discussed at GMA meetings.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Pots and containers

Pots and containers

Superior propagation products can justify extra expenditure by providing precise cell fill, optimum root development and healthy plugs, writes Sally Drury.

Business Planning - Inflationary pressures

Business Planning - Inflationary pressures

How can horticulture businesses respond to Brexit-fuelled inflation? Neville Stein outlines the options.

Garden centre profile: Mappleborough Green Garden Centre

Garden centre profile: Mappleborough Green Garden Centre

Phase two of the redevelopment of the former Badger Nurseries has delivered rapid and impressive results, Matthew Appleby discovers.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Garden retail Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. NEW: 2016 listing just published

Garden Centre Prices

GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 21 September 2016
GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 24 August 2016

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here