RHS grows its retail operations

Trading at the RHS saw the biggest rise in income in 2015/16.

The RHS annual report for the year ending 31 January 2016 saw overall income up to £76.5m from £73.1m (up 4.7 per cent).

Expenditure was £71.1m, up 8.3 per cent or £5.5m.

Trading income was £23.3m (up 6.3 per cent), shows £18.2m (four per cent up), members £18.3m (up 11.1 per cent), gardens £6m (nine per cent up).

The RHS also reported a "significant increase" in its online plant sales, which Crocus fulfils.

Meanwhile, at the RHS AGM at Wisley on 27 June, former Squire's Garden Centres managing director Dennis Espley is set to be given another five years on RHS council, while Jekka McVicar is set to be named a new RHS vice president. Sarah Raven is also set to join the council.

James Alexander-Sinclair is to be re-elected.

George Anderson and David Morrison are not eligible to stand for re-election as they have each served 10 years. David Haselgrove has decided to stand down for personal reasons.

Dame Mary Keegan and Matthew Lindsey-Clark will also be declared elected unopposed as members of council.

Existing council members are:

Chris Blundell

Professor Mick Crawley

Mark Fane

Professor Peter Gregory

Neil Lucas

Lorna Parker

Mark Porter

Dr David Rae

Lady Tollemache

Jon Wheatley

In her bid to become a council member, Raven said: "We are now a digital business with close to 100,000  '0 to 12' month shoppers on our database. I also have long and wide experience – through this business and teaching about what, how and when UK shoppers like to buy, and of retail, from a shop at Perch Hill. I also have long experience of garden writing and illustrated books, many of which have sold large numbers of copies (Garden Cookbook – 75,000; The Cutting Garden – over 100,000)."

See more in HW next issue.

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