The cafe, nestled in railway arches, opened in November 2014 and has seen a 67% increase in year one trading. As with plants, West Six sources cafe produce locally where possible and staff put a great deal of effort into developing supplier relationships. The cafe has attracted increased footfall into the centre and had a significant impact on sales.
The garden maintenance service was introduced in 2014 in response to many requests to help customers in their own gardens. With a full-time manager and dedicated administrative support, feedback for the service is outstanding.
The centre's vision is to provide visitors and customers with a truly life-enhancing experience. The core garden centre business has had another record year in terms of turnover, customer numbers and profit margins. Strong demand remains for outdoor plants but houseplants have become the fastest-growing category.
Reaching out to a new generation of gardeners is a huge driver for the business. Community links with local schools and children's charities are important and West Six provides fun activities for young people, including a pumpkin-carving workshop and Santa's Grotto, with proceeds going to local charity Action for Kids.
The West Six team is led by indefatigable manager Louise Alhadeff and every staff member is responsible for the growing success of the centre. Staff turnover is low and customer standards are high. Team members go on a customer service apprenticeship scheme.
Heavy investment in marketing has resulted in an unprecedented amount of exposure for what is still a relative newcomer to the industry. This included exhibiting at contemporary garden fair GROW London.
The centre's new website includes a blog featuring seasonal advice, while a monthly newsletter and local postcard drops help to draw in even more customers.