Mr Fothergill's buys garden tools business Darlac

Mr Fothergill's Seeds has bought Darlac, the garden tools brand, and says it aims to double turnover.

The company hopes that by adding the 50-year-old brand it will make its business less seasonal.

Mr Fothergill's intends to keep its main focus on seeds and will retain Darlac's own sales team, which will be expanded.

Joint Mr Fothergill's managing directors John Fothergill and David Carey took over the company shares held by their fathers in March. At that time Carey said: " John and I want to grow the business powerfully and profitably and have exciting plans for our future expansion."

Carey added on the purchase: "This is a significant step for our business. We remain committed to being one of Europe's largest seed houses and focussed on being the best. However, Darlac offers us wonderful opportunities to expand our portfolio in the UK and abroad."

Turnover is under £1m at present. The company will stay located at Slough as a stand-alone venture. The current staff will remain.

Former Darlac owner Peter Darban said Fothergills has a family ethos. He and his wife Maggie will offer consultancy services.

The take over of Darlac is part of a trend thats gathering pace for large garden centre and general retail garden suppliers to expand ranges, which makes the most of existing head offices, websites, catalogues, warehouses, merchandising, transport and trading relationships. This is shown by larger suppliers buying several niche companies recently.

Smart Garden took over Chapelwood last year and now have a broad range beyond its original solar products.

Woodlodge is expected to expand its offer from outdoor pots and its new outdoor leisure to including indoor ceramics.
Tom Chambers has expanded from wooden planters into plant supports, garden decorative and recently pot holders. Gardman has expanded from garden irrigation into garden lighting and decorative.
More recently, EP Barrus bought Town & Country giving them a total of 15 brands they sell into garden centres. Meanhile Griffon Corp has bought La Hacienda expanding their offering.
Mr Fothergill's revealed a Lady Salisbury sweetpea, its own Verbena Scentsation and RHS, David Domoney, Optigrow and Seasol seaweed ranges and promised promotions for 2018 Fleuroselect year of the chilli, concentrated on flavour rather than heat, and marigolds.
Mr Fothergill’s Seeds new and exclusive products to its 2017/2018 season:
Calendula Orange Flash
Cosmos Double Dutch White
Sweet Pea Lady Salisbury: This marks its close ties with Capel Manor College, as it is named
after college patron Lady Salisbury, the owner of Hatfield house.
Verbena Scentsation: This was developed by chance when trials manager Brian Talman
found it while reviewing summer bedding plants. Each year 2,000 varieties are grown to
assess its range for garden performance.
Carrot Speedo
Pepper (Hot) Curry Pepper
Lupin Abalune Bicolour Mixed
Marigold (French) Red Knight
Poppy American Legion
Poppy Maazad (Bread seed)
Sunflower Sun King
Sweet Pea Little Red Riding Hood
Sweet Pea Turquoise Lagoon
Pea (Mangetout) Sweet Sensation
Broccoli (Autumn) Covina
Carrot Purple Sun F1
Leek Navajo F1
Lettuce Thimble
Pepper (Hot) Havana Gold
Tomato Sweetbaby

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