John Cleland to reveal vision at February's Garden Retail Summit

Dobbies Garden Centres' new chief executive John Cleland will be headlining the Garden Retail Summit on 23 February where he will reveal his vision for the group, recently bought by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital from Tesco for £217m.

John Cleland
John Cleland

The retail industry leader is among a host of top names who will speak at the Garden Retail Summit which is hosted by Horticulture Week at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on 23 February

The Summit which has as it's theme 'Going for Growth' will examine fresh strategic approaches being implemented by a new cadre of corporate garden retail leaders - and a confident independent sector which has been investing in new builds and market-leading centre developments on the back of two years of growth.

Cleland, formerly of Maplin (where he led the four-year repositioning of the group), Esporta, Somerfield, B&Q and Asda, said in his last five businesses he surveyed customers to understand what they "think about your brand and your business" and he believes in making time to "understand what your colleagues think and see how close that is to how your customers are and to act on feedback".

This follows the Apple idea of "listen, act, then listen some more - a brilliant guiding principle in business growth strategy", he added.

Cleland has visited leading indpendents such as Scotsdales and Bents and plans to add shopping villages and return some buying control to centres at Dobbies.

Early Bird discounted tickets to the Garden Retail Summit are available until 12th January. To secure your discount, book your tickets here.

General Enquiries: Tamsin Ballantyne, Tel: 020 8267 4125, Email:
Sponsorship Opportunities:  Tim Lomas, Tel: 020 8267 4847, Email:

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