Garden Centre Group to target plug business

Online ordering service aims to pick up bedding plant sales from Channel Island mail-order firms.

Garden Centre Group (GCG) has welcomed the closure of the Channel Islands VAT loophole as "good for gardeners" and has introduced a rival scheme to pick up orders that may be lost by Jersey bedding plant mail-order companies.

Companies are turning over £30m a year selling plug plants from the Channel Islands and will now have to pay VAT. GCG is promoting its plug plant range, with customers able to order online and collect from its centres or have home delivery in March and April.

A GCG representative said: "The anomaly was putting independent retailers out of business and costing £140m a year in lost tax receipts. But not only was it wrecking businesses and revenue, it was also eco-unfriendly.

"The extra transport of these plants inevitably has an effect on their health and longevity and adds hundreds of additional plant miles to their lives. Consumers have no idea how far their plants travel."

The practice began in horticulture, where many plants and bulbs grown in the UK were imported in bulk to Jersey and Guernsey for repackaging and then sold back onto the mainland via mail order.

The tax concession allowed mail-order retailers to post goods worth less than £18 from Jersey and Guernsey free of VAT, undercutting UK competitors.

Pre-order service

An online pre-ordering service is now available on Garden Centre Group's (GCG) plug plant range, with customers able to collect from one of GCG's 129 garden centres or have home delivery in March and April.

Click and collect from the local centre is free, while home delivery will incur a standard rate of £7.99. The online service is available until 28 February.


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

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Peach leaf curl

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Peach leaf curl

Growers of fruit and ornamental trees need to be aware of this disfiguring disease.

Business planning - Demand management

Business planning - Demand management

Seasonal demand may be inevitable but peaks and troughs can be managed to minimise business impact, Neville Stein explains.

Crocus

Crocus

These heralds of spring are highly suited to being planted in tree circles, grass and rock gardens, says Miranda Kimberley.


Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Blue Planet II eloquently showed the rich tapestry of life in the oceans. It also focused public awareness on plastic pollution damaging wildlife.

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking among our politicians

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking among our politicians


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

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive ranking of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover. 

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles