Dobbies garden centre predicts bank holiday will account for 5% of annual sales

Dobbies chief executive James Barnes says the garden centre chain is expecting more than 5% of its annual sales to be taken over the 11-day bank holiday period.

The £100m turnover group has introduced more value lines into the business this year with its quality/value-driven "Essentials" brand bringing together a variety of tools, plants and gardening products at competitive prices". This has gone down well with customers at its 29 centres, says Barnes.

He said the ‘Mega Fortnight’ "is a welcome logistical challenge for the garden centre industry.

Barnes added that the existing spring bank holidays continue to be the busiest days of the year for Dobbies "so we will without doubt benefit from an extra bank holiday".

He said spring colour, hanging baskets, containers, grow your own and project work such as planning outdoor entertaining areas, landscaping and refreshing garden furniture would be strong areas of growth, as would catering.

Barnes said staff who work on the royal wedding bank holiday would get a day off in lieu: "We will be gearing up for the possibility of a slightly busier afternoon on the day of the Royal Wedding once the ceremonial procession comes to an end – with the exception of the people who will be out enjoying street parties up and down the country!  However, we are expecting more people to take time off across that entire week allowing them to be out and about in the garden so we’re expecting to welcome more customers in the run-up to the big day."

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