Top 100 reveals important story

Each year, Horticulture Week's exclusive listing of the top 100 UK garden centres by turnover has an important story to tell - and this year is no exception. It is great news for the sector's leading independent garden centres, the top 10 of which have between them piled on an extra £13.5m in turnover in one year.

This equates to an average of 10 per cent in overall sales growth per centre for 2015 - the second year in a row that the top independent garden centres have seen sales growth at this level. Not bad for a good, but not outstanding, gardening season in 2015.

It's all a long way from 2013 when the march of the corporates saw Tesco-owned Dobbies jump from taking 12 to 19 places in the list - and Wyevale Garden Centres leap from 10 to 14.

The changing storyline began in 2014 when the independents proved fleeter of foot in response to better business conditions. In 2015's list the story was one of steady improvement and growing confidence for the majority of players following better weather and gradually improving economic conditions for the gardening sector.

This year, as HW's deputy editor and garden industry expert Matthew Appleby notes, the good results among the independents have come from "expanding and honing their offer to take advantage of footfall when it is there, and to more than tick over when gardening weather is poor".

As the glitter that Chelsea spreads on the garden industry begins to dissipate, and the year-round work of selling the sector's product to its customer base goes on, we can rest assured these key players are in good form.

See our exclusive report on the Top 100 garden centres 2016.

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