Suttons Seeds wins its first order from Waitrose

Suttons Seeds has told of its first win from the supermarket giant Waitrose as online sales show a good increase on last year.

David Robinson
David Robinson

Commercial director David Robinson told the Torquay Herald Express: "We've recently won our very first order from Waitrose which we're all excited about and our catalogue and online business is currently 10 per cent up on last year, with online sales being particularly strong.

"Having exited some loss making areas, brought costs under control and started reinvesting in systems, the next key challenge is to re-grow the sales."

Robinson, who with Rufus Roberts led a management buy out of Suttons in December 2014, reported by Horticulture Week, said he has cut costs and taken a loan and grant from Torbay Development Agency, with security provided by previous French owners Limagrain to protect local council taxpayers.

Robinson says the seed company-retailer relationship needs addressing: "We need to make sure we’re operating sensibly in retailers. We've perhaps in past been a bit defensive in talks with retailers and we need to find new ways of working and ways of saving costs for both parties.

"We’re having the conversations that the industry has steered away from. All companies in this sector have been saying the same thing for years. When I talk to retailers I find it's an open door."

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