Is preseason bulk buying back on the cards for retailers?

Scotts' Solus brands will "inevitably" be affected by administrator PWC's decision to close four former Solus warehouses and this "may affect lead times", Scotts general manager Martin Breddy has said.

The loss of main dedicated wholesaler Solus has led to speculation that garden retailers will move from a "little and often" system of buying favoured in recent years back to preseason bulk buying in case the market cannot cope as well with peak-season top-up orders.

Other companies are seeking to fill the gap left by Solus, with Smart Solar broadening its range to become Smart Garden Products, launching 350 new garden products at Glee in Birmingham next month. Scotts will exhibit the Scotts Solus and Scotts Miracle-Gro brands at Glee.

Marketing manager Jo Sensecall said Glee will be "very different" as customers seek to secure product from new general garden product suppliers, also including former Solus managing director Nick Davies' new company Crest Garden.

Many companies have gone direct to the retailer, while Decco has become the choice of many garden centres that formerly used Solus.

Meanwhile Scotts, which bought Solus's brands in July, has told customers that payments due before Solus went into administration in July should go to Solus Garden & Leisure's Lloyds Bank account. Payments post-July should be made to Scotts Solus Brands at NatWest. The control team at Hunnington is handling payments - call 0121 504 2700.

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