Wyevale likely to look to independents for growth

Wyevale Garden Centres is upping its pursuit of independent centres after Tesco said it was not going to sell its 35-strong Dobbies chain.

Tesco managing director Dave Lewis said that Tesco's portfolio review has been concluded, indicating any sale of its 35-garden centre Dobbies business will not happen. Wyevale Garden Centres have said they want to buy Dobbies but that plan now seems to be dead.

Wyevale told HW in 2012 it wants to become a 200 centre chain, spending £100m on acquisition and development before selling in five-seven years (in 2017-19). With new build garden centres rare, that means acquisitions.

Wyevale's 150th centre will be the multiple Garden Retail awards-winning £2.5m turnover Sidmouth Garden Centre, in Devon, due to be announced as HW went to press. Four more acquisitions are to be announced and Wyevale is extending its procurement teams from four to five.

Meanwhile, Dobbies and the rest of Tesco has had a moratorium on capital spending, which could now end.

Tesco has announced a standardised payments system that from June 2016 will see suppliers delivering up to £100,000 of products each year are paid within 14 days, and medium-sized suppliers are paid five days quicker than the largest companies. Dobbies will share the approach.

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