First Franchise drives rise in garden centre concessions

Concessions at garden centres in 2009 have gone from strength to strength, with First Franchise adding up to 50 at the Garden Centre Group's 121 sites as well as working with Notcutts as a major client this year.

Director Ian Silverton said: "There is still huge appetite for concessions to open in garden centres. The number of garden centres asking for advice is increasing and we're happy to give it. First Franchise Promotions [short-term concessions] is also growing."

Silverton added that working with the former Wyevale was no different to working with any garden centre, only on a bigger scale.

"Opportunities for space are coming in all the time. It's no different to the other clients we deal with only there's more within the group. We're working very closely with them."

Names going into Garden Centre Group include the Works, Antler, Maidenhead Aquatics, Pets Corner, Dash, Alexon and Cotton Traders.

All sites have one or more new concession planned or in place. Forty or 50 have gone in this year.

Notcutts has a "more structured" roll-out of concessions after buying NWF's six centres in November 2008 for £14.5m.

Silverton explained that concessions are not going into every site because many are small.

First Franchise is now representing more than 30 brands that have concessions in garden centres. Van Hage's new Peterborough centre is opening in January and has 17 retail units.


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