Garden centre chief criticises private equity owners

Haskins chief executive Julian Winfield has told the British Protected Ornamentals Association that garden centres are no get rich quick scheme.

Julian Winfield
Julian Winfield
Winfield said told the BPOA conference at Stoneleigh that garden centres are "long-term
businesses" and that private equity owners are looking to double their money in five or six
years.

Winfield added that "hates it" when people new to the industry say they need a "real retailer" to run garden centres.

Winfield added; "We are real retailers. I've seen lots of people come in with the sole objective of
making money - and they don't make money. I question whether private equity will be successful."

The future Garden Centre Association chairman added that the £32m turnover Haskins business
has long-term goals to build new centres on two brownfield sites and to redevelop its Snowhill site.

He said that Haskins is promoting autumn gardening this year but the season had declined for core gardening sales in recent years and "we are slightly to blame we've confused our customers with Christmas."

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