Longacres acquires Bybrook Barn garden centre

Longacres Garden Centre has announced its acquisition of Bybrook Barn Garden Centre in Ashford, Kent.

Longacres MD Nigel Long, left, with Bybrook owner Terry Burch. Image: Supplied
Longacres MD Nigel Long, left, with Bybrook owner Terry Burch. Image: Supplied

This new garden centre will start trading under the name - Longacres Bybrook Barn – on 30 July.

The focus will continue to be on plants and "core gardening" but Longacres plans to add several departments, starting with a new cut flowers and floristry service. Giftware and toy departments will also be improved before Christmas, Long said.

Starting in August Longacres will begin work to improve the layout and fixtures and fittings, and will then continue to increase the range of products available as well as putting in place staff training.

The original Longacres Garden Centre is its flagship store in Bagshot, Surrey which has been the highest turnover garden centre in the UK for seven years, according to the Horticulture Week Garden Retail Top 100 list.

The business describes its growth strategy as "[offering] new life to ailing businesses". Three years ago Longacres took over Thompson's Garden Centre in Shepperton which last year won 'Best Garden Centre Development' in HW's Garden Retail Awards. The success of this venture has encouraged managing director Nigel Long to continue the quest for expansion. 

Long said: "Our Bagshot operation has enjoyed great success and we have been delighted with the speed with which we have been able to replicate our winning formula at Shepperton.

"Like Longacres Shepperton, at Bybrook Barn we have acquired a much-loved but underperforming centre that has great potential to be turned around and we are ready to embrace this challenge which will also give us a foot-hold in another county."

Longacres has recently launched an upgraded retail website and will be extending its Click & Collect service to Ashford imminently.  Next year will see a drive-through area introduced, similar to the one at the Bagshot store.

"We are very excited about Longacres Bybrook Barn and are eager to get to work to make it the biggest and the best garden centre in Kent," Long said. "We are also on the lookout for further businesses that offer potential and enable Longacres to continue its ambitious expansion plans".

Quinton Edwards acted for Terry Burch in the sale.

Lonagcres' Rick de Kerckhove said: "Simon and his team at Quinton Edwards have introduced us to a very exciting opportunity and we at Longacres are looking forward to expanding our operations into Kent and growing the business there over the years ahead." 


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