The Scottish garden centre chain, which is about to be bought by either Wyevale-owner Sir Tom Hunter or Tesco, is leaning on suppliers for one per cent of cash paid for stock to be returned at the end of the season.
A grower, who did not want to be named, said: “When you shake on a deal that should be it. Suppliers shouldn’t be lent on to cover problems within their business. It leaves growers in a difficult position. We have to decide ethically whether we want to do it or not.”
Dobbies head of buying Susan Moore said: “We regularly review our margin requirements and this is not something new.”
The Midlothian-based 20-plus centre chain had profits of £2.5m on turnover of £40m in the six months to 30 April.
Wyevale Garden Centres demanded 1.5 per cent of sales cash back from suppliers two months ago (HW, 15 June).
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