Factors behind divestments

The number of leading garden centre operations that continue to grow their own plants (to a greater or lesser degree) has been in steady decline for many years thanks to a variety of factors - and the reasons behind the latest wave of divestments are no different.

For some, it's been entirely about wider economic factors with rising input costs and downward price pressure on plants. For others, a fundamental shift in core business activity away from growing to retail.

For others again, it's about the challenges of managing two utterly different businesses successfully and an understandable desire for greater strategic focus. For others still, it's been about the desire to diversify into new business areas, without constraints.

But for the still sizeable minority of leading garden centres that do continue to grow their own plants, the answer to the questions of whether or not to continue doing so must also hinge on two additional factors - firstly, where the core skill set of the contemporary operation lies, and secondly, what its customers truly value about the business.

As Barton Grange managing director Guy Topping notes, the operation's focus is already on areas of the business other than growing - and its plans to expand its offering into the wider leisure sector play to existing skill sets.

For Perrywood Nurseries, meanwhile, for whom home-grown plants remain at the core of the offer, to remove growing facilities would take away a crucial part of what their customers perceive as their value.

As owner Alan Bourne says: "It's our grass roots and where we started, and we're still increasing the turnover on plants. I hope that will always carry on."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

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

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

Why are small garden centre groups expanding?

Why are small garden centre groups expanding?

After Coolings bought a third site in Kent this October, what is driving garden centres to add extra locations to their offer?

Is targetting younger buyers a distraction for garden centres?

Is targetting younger buyers a distraction for garden centres?

Garden centres may be better off looking towards their traditional demographic than chasing young customers.

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

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles