Newent garden centre bought by Blue Diamond Group

Proximity to Malvern and Cheltenham, as well as expansion plans, attracted group to centre

By Mark Hotton Guernsey-based Blue Diamond Group has bought Hazelfield Garden Centre in Newent, Gloucestershire, for an undisclosed sum. Former owners Steve and Sally Browning bought the centre 10 years ago, but have cited increases in bureaucracy and legislation changes as reasons to sell. Blue Diamond now operates nine stores — six on the UK mainland and three on the Channel Islands — but HW understands negotiations are under way over further acquisitions. The Hazelfield site has planning permission to double the existing 3,000sq m of covered retail space. Managing director Alan Roper said Hazelfield’s 2.8ha offered a prime location because it was close to Malvern, Monmouth, Ledbury and Cheltenham, which provided the right demographic catchment area for the company’s target audience. He said: “Our customers are constantly looking for the difference factor — we must create an inspirational environment that our customers aspire to. We can achieve this with the products we sell and the environment and ambience we create to sell them in. Hazelfield offers us such an opportunity for several reasons.” Roper said the company’s aim was to strengthen the Blue Diamond brand and create a niche in today’s homogenised market. He plans to focus on Hazelfield’s price trading and develop the company’s style of retailing in the new store.

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