Dobbies answers Sunday trading accusation

Dobbies Garden Centres has denied illegal Easter Sunday trading at its Chesterfield store.

Dobbies plantaria - image: Dobbies
Dobbies plantaria - image: Dobbies

A shopper, who did not want to be named said:

"The main garden centre had the customer service desk and one till open, which were both taking sales. Is that not trading?

Customers were greeted with a barrier just beyond the tills  to stop them entering the main store but staff were fetching any products that the customer wanted to the front of the store so they could purchase them at the desk."

But Dobbies Garden Centres regional manager Mark Duffy said:

"Our centre at Balborough has a unique format for a Dobbies store, comprising a number of separate units as well as the main garden centre – including the Dobbies Pet Shop and a separate café.

"Having consulted in advance with Consumer Direct and with Bolsover District Council, we opened the Pet Shop and café on Easter Sunday, both of which are less than the 280sq m Sunday Trading Act restriction.

"Dobbies Garden Centre in Balborough remained closed to customers on Easter Sunday – there were barriers up at all access points to ensure customers could not access the main garden centre.

"Our local team at Balborough did open its garden centre doors to allow café and Pet Shop customers to use the restrooms.

 

"As a business, we are very clear on our responsibilities in relation to trading laws and at no point did customers gain access to the main shop floor. However, in their desire to provide great customer service, our local team may have been swayed by pressure from a small number of customers who requested items from the shop floor. We have taken the opportunity to re-educate all our store management teams with regards to the detailed aspects of the Sunday Trading Act.

 

"Whilst our Scottish stores were free to trade on Easter Sunday, none of our 13 English garden centres opened for trade on Easter Sunday."


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