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