Small garden centre groups on the rise again

Small garden centre groups are on the rise again after several years of being bought up by large chains. Chelsea Gardener has taken over Fulham Palace Garden Centre and now has two centres.

Smaller garden centres are on the rise again after several years of being bought up by large chains
Smaller garden centres are on the rise again after several years of being bought up by large chains

Scotsdales now has four centres, while Longacres has three with the acquisition of Bybrook Barn this summer, plus a flower shop. Other groups with between two and five centres, such as Haskins and Stewarts, are also looking to expand. Rosebourne plans a four-centre chain.

In recent years many small chains have been swallowed up including, for instance, Wyevale taking over Golden Acres, Garden & Leisure and Armitages and Squire's taking over Shoots. But that trend now looks to have been reversed.

Retail consultant Neville Stein said he believes there has been a revival of the small garden centre group following sell-offs in recent years. "The key is being able to finance acquisitions. So as long as capital is available I think there will be some interesting opportunities for smaller companies to expand by purchasing centres where owners want to retire. But I guess it's going to be competitive. Will centres be affordable for the smaller group when larger groups who are well financed might be able to pay a premium?"

- See Garden Retail Power 100

Consolidation: garden centre groups with two-to-nine centres


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