Dobbies goes for a natural Christmas look

Dobbies Garden Centres has completely re-bought its Christmas range following Nicholas Marshall taking over in March, moving towards bespoke, UK-sourced product with a natural feel.

Launching at the Good Housing Institute in London, Dobbies Christmas showcase ranges were changed in a "whirlwind move" after Marshall took over from John Cleland, with influence from chief operating officer Lorrie Robertson.

Dobbies visual merchandising head Craig Roman said Dobbies wanted to get away from all garden centres looking the same with unique products: "You go from one to the next and they have the same product. Enough is enough."

A bespoke Dobbies collection of Carol Forbes-Boulter illustrated soft furnishings and decorations is new, as is a bespoke Carola Van Dyke range of cushions and espresso cups.

Themes are gold, silver, traditional red and woodland.

Products are from Voluspa, Beefayre, Geodesis, Stoneglow, True Grace, Tregnothnan, Hawkshead Relishes, Borsari, Kaemingk and Gisella Graham.

Roman said garden centre customers were demanding higher quality. The ranges are designed to reflect the UK landscape and many products can be kept throughout the year.

There is a boot room/pets range of baskets and wellingtons from Aigle and Hunter for a country house look.

Traditional toys such as pedal cars and spinning tops are part of the Christmas offer.

Food features several types of panettone, Joe & Steph's Biscotti and Scarlett & Mustard jams.

Trees are from several growers in the Scottish Highlands. Pot grown sales have doubled year-on-year and are expected to double again this year. Nordmans are from £29.99 and pot grown from £12.99. Artificial trees are all in natural colours and are from Kaemingk.

Craig Roman---

An newly opened Ocado warehouse in Dartford, Kent will distribute Dobbies' online product from the spring.

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