Centre benefits from rail link

Gravesend's Millbrook Garden Centre is anticipating strong growth in coming years thanks to thousands of new homes being built in the Ebbsfleet area, where a new Euro-star terminal has been built.

Finance director Ben Woodhouse said the company has begun preparing for the significant growth opportunities that should come with the new development.

The benefits of an EPoS system installed 10 months ago were becoming clearer, as a better understanding of the business emerged. New branding has been implemented across the store, creating a clear, consistent message, while a new marketing strategy had seen an improved customer newsletter and website, he said.

A specialised food area has been created in the store, although there were no plans for a farm shop because of potential planning issues and strong competition.

Woodhouse said Millbrook would like to extend its indoor sales area and covered planteria and there was pressure on office and goods-in areas, but its location in greenbelt land created planning issues.

He added that it was also looking at an eco-shop retail offer and was exploring whether that could be provided as a concession or done in-house.

It also planned to supply vegetables in larger pots for the patio, in response to customer demand.

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