Sidmouth also targeted brand leaders such as Miracle-Gro moisture control compost, buying up 124 pallets at £2 a bag and retailing at £6.99 all season. Such deals gave the centre good advertising and promotional offers and enabled it to beat the opposition and maintain margin.
The garden centre is working with the local council to set up a park and ride for the off season, hoping that the scheme might bring tourist trade to its door. A trial ran this summer. It is also hoping to build a vet centre if planning permission is granted.
The planteria generated 10.5 per cent extra sales this year. Staff put this down to displays, which have increased sales of raised beds and stoneware, and by committing to growers that brings better deals.
The Temptation lifestyle shop hit targets at £700,000 in its first year's trading and the restaurant took £698,000, up by 5.3 per cent. Turnover is up by 9.52 per cent and margins by 53 per cent.
Lowden Garden Centre