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."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Garden centre profile: Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester

Garden centre profile: Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester

High environmental standards, community work and support for local suppliers are all lessons for the wider garden retail industry, Matthew Appleby discovers.

How can garden centres reduce plastic use?

How can garden centres reduce plastic use?

Garden retailers are under pressure to use less plastic as the Government's new 25-year environment plan seeks to introduce a wave of measures to reduce pollution.

Will peat use be taxed or banned?

Will peat use be taxed or banned?

The Government has made strong statements on peat reduction in its new 25-year environment plan, published in January.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles