Easigrass reports rise in sales and prepares for Chelsea

Artificial turf firm Easigrass has reported a sales increase of 30 per cent over the past financial year as it prepares for its third RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden.

The franchise operation achieved turnover "in excess of £5m" to the end of March, according to managing director Anthony Gallagher.

It is now constructing a trade stand garden designed by Tony Smith of Hortus Infinitus at its depot in Southall, London, at Chelsea in a venture with John Lewis.

It is the first time the retailer has had a presence at the show. It will supply staff, imagery and garden furniture. John Lewis offers an Easigrass supply and fitting service from its stores.

"I think it's going to forge a closer relationship with us and John Lewis," said Gallagher. "We're going to demonstrate just what you can do with Easigrass and to create a trade stand that looks like a cool garden. It's a huge expense for us but we're really excited about it."

John Lewis outdoor living buyer Nicola Gidlow said: "After so many years of celebrating the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in our Peter Jones store, it's wonderful that John Lewis is finally represented at the show itself."

Gallagher said demand and acceptability for the product is growing, with projects getting bigger. The company now fits up to 112 gardens a week.

It was born out of sports turf business Open Leisure, which was founded by Gallagher's brother 30 years ago. In 2007 Gallagher launched a landscaping and consumer side of the business using the same products and called it Easigrass.

There are now 31 franchisees in the UK, with just four more spots to fill. There are also Easigrass franchises in Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand and Spain's Balearic Islands.

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