The company will combat seasonal sales dips with "shoulder" season-extender charity promotions for the Royal British Legion and Marie Curie; exploit an untapped market with children's products; cut barriers to feeding by making feed and feeders easier to use; and make feeders more attractive to fit garden decor trends.
Gardman has a 25 per cent share of the wild bird care market, according to analyst GfK. Utting said he would like to take Gardman turnover from mid £60m to £100m with bolt-on business buys. The company now has 97 per cent average stock availability thanks to more working capital from new owner Rutland Partners, up from mid 80s at times in 2015. Utting said he wants garden centres to stock more of Gardman's "hot 100 products", rather than just seek new lines.
Solar lights have growth left in them through new technology to make them work year-round, he added, while Gardman's business will "probably grow" thanks to new Homebase owner Bunnings' commitment to brands. But Bunnings' preference for a store-delivered rather than remote distribution centre model is a concern, he said.
Utting also said he will price Gardman's new catalogue ahead of Glee in September at the post-Brexit currency rate. He suggested that currency changes could lead to garden goods prices rising 15 per cent and pointed out concerns about employing staff from the EU.