During the spring and summer, online garden retailer primrose.co.uk stocked a dedicated area within Toad Hall Garden Centre with a selected range of garden furniture and accessories that could also be bought through its website - a move Primrose, which now has former Fulham Palace Garden Centre general manager Chris Webb as head of plants, is looking to develop with other garden cejrtes.
Primrose director Ian Charles said: "The purpose of the exercise was to give our customers the opportunity to see some of our products before they bought, and to prove that there are mutual benefits to be had from working with traditional garden retailers."
Products that were on display at Toad Hall were highlighted on product pages and also promoted to customers through the companies regular newsletters with the strapline 'Internet Prices in your Garden Centre.'
Toad Hall Garden Centre director Tristan Stubbs said: "We weren’t sure what to expect when we first had discussions with Primrose about providing space for them to display and sell their product at our garden centre. However it worked out really well, positioned as they were next to our furniture range, customers were able to compare a wider range of designs, quality and prices than we would have stocked ourselves. We definitely had new customers coming to see us and it certainly increased footfall. One customer came all the way from Kent because they wanted to see a particular Primrose furniture set."
Primrose has been trading online for more than 10 years, and says it is now "effectively the largest garden centre in the UK", with annual turnover in excess of £30 million.