Online sales expansion seen by several garden retailers

Crocus, Primrose, MBL and Kybotech are among companies seeing growth in non-bricks-and-mortar gardening sales, according to latest analysis by Horticulture Week.

Image: HW
Image: HW

Sutton-on-Trent-based manufacturer and retailer of garden, home and leisure products Kybotech turned over £46m in the 18 months to 30 June 2015, thanks to its websites including Garden Buildings Direct, Redshed, Simply Garden Furniture, Flaming Barbecues, Outdoor Toys Direct, Garden Centre Direct, Kyatu and Simply Greenhouses. Sales were £28.68m in the previous reporting period to 31 December 2013. Kybotech was founded by Charles Walton in 2000.

Crocus.co.uk turned over £12.498m, up from £10.676m in the year to 31 October 2015, with profits at £318,000 against £407,000. Primrose (Meika) recently issued results for the year to 31 October 2015, with sales up 20 per cent to £40.43m from £33.54m.

J Parker Dutch Bulbs (Wholesale) saw turnover of £19.82m in the year to 30 June 2015, down from £20.06m, with operating profit at £625,000, up from £547,000. MBL Group turned over £4.25m in its garden and home division in 2015, with an operating loss of £304,000. Sales rose 103 per cent from £2.1m. Underlying sales rose 88 per cent. The division specialises in mail-order of garden bird food and associated wildlife products and added Warehouse Aquatics, which turned over £303,000, during the year.

It dropped the Garden Centre Online brand "due to the level of additional investment considered necessary to improve trading performance within a very competitive market". The company added: "The UK market for bird food remains highly competitive and the success of our value proposition has impacted on gross margins leading to the gross margin mix reducing by 8.5 per cent."




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