Competitive pricing forecast at Wyevale

Wyevale Garden Centres is believed to be looking at a more competitive pricing policy for 2017.

Wyevale: website preview for garden club members
Wyevale: website preview for garden club members

Britain's biggest chain has traditionally not sold on price, though garden club members have received better deals.

But following the appointment of Roger Mclaughlan as chief executive and Justin King as chairman earlier this year, the group will look to compete more with the likes of Bunnings/Homebase and B&Q in 2017, it is believed.

New Wyevale trading and marketing director Paul Emslie moved to the garden centre chain from Homebase in June 2016. Homebase, which is changing its name to Bunnings following its sale by Home Retail Group this January to the Australian group, sells on an "every day low prices" platform, having ditched special offers this year.

On an easily price-comparable gardening product such as Tomorite, one litre at Wyevale is £3.99 while Homebase/Bunnings has the same product at £2.92, undercutting B&Q by 1p. Horticulture Week's regular garden centre prices analysis shows most independents charge £3.99 a litre, though Ayletts has a two-for-£6 offer.

Bunnings UK and Ireland managing director PJ Davis said last month: "Inflation is going to be driven by exchange rates, not wages, which makes it very difficult to put prices up. If we put prices up, less will be sold. If wages were going up and there was more disposable income it would be a good reason for prices to move. We'll buy where we can get best value and the best innovative product. It's not just value, it's easy to use."

Mdj2 consultant Andy Newman said: "Wyevale has clearly bought in some top retail talent recently so whilst I don't really expect to see much short-term pricing activity I'm sure they will be pulling together plans to strengthen their competitiveness heading into the 2017 season." Wyevale declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Wyevale has offered garden club members a look at its long-delayed new transactional website, which is set to launch in "early 2017". Members can "shop online for thousands of our most popular items and have them delivered straight to your door - with free delivery on your first order" (until 30 November).

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Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

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