Garden retail 2016 - a year of change and development

Garden centres saw an influx of new management during 2016 with plans for investment and growth.

In 2016, garden retail enjoyed a steady year of growth with centres seeing on average single figure increases in overall sales according to the GCA and HTA.  

The equilibrium was only knocked by Brexit on 23 June, which threatens future price rises and possible worker shortages.

Among the main players, Wesfarmers/Bunnings bought Homebase from Home Retail Group for £340m in February and will open a pilot UK Homebase in February 2017.

Investors bought Dobbies from Tesco for £217m in June.

Wyevale changed management, while the other member of UK garden retail's 'big four', B&Q moved into pan-Europe buying.

Among the larger chains, Squire's and Klondyke changed management, while Blue Diamond grew to 20 centres. Hillier completed its revamps, while Hillview moved to 10 centres and could grow in 2017.

Notcutts announced a £45m plan to reposition its centres.

New openings included Mappleborough Green and Rosebourne.

Stewarts bought a third centre and Longacres bought a fourth centre. Longacres again topped the highest turnover garden centre list.

Catering revamps were popular in 2016 as that sector moved on steadily, with Garsons a good example.



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