Homebase trading director forecasts take-off for sales of plants online

Online plant sales will take off in 2014, when it stops raining, Homebase garden trading director Matthew Compton has predicted.

"Peak is around the corner and it's very important to Homebase," he said. "The challenge is with growers at the moment and we're working with them to see what the weather does."

Compton said the grow your own season will be first to be hit if it does not stop raining soon. He added that "planting" and "enjoy" seasons follow but Homebase sees gardening as year-round.

Multichannel is "massive" for 2014, said Compton. "We've taken a big step forward this year and put more than 1,000 transactional items on the website for the first time, including 500 plants." There are also 50 videos featured online.

Click-and-collect is "an increasing part of the business" at Home Retail Group. On pricing, Compton said: "Our ambition is to be a third less than the independents."

A big aim in 2014 is to make specimen "stately home" plants "more attainable" with, for instance, 25-year-old olives at £99. There are also fruit trees from £10 and 38 2cm plug combinations. Delivery is £3.95.

Homebase asked for two per cent supplier rebates last month (p12), but Compton would only say: "Supplier relationships are important to us. Payments are made on pre-arranged agreements."

He will give a presentation about how the Nectar loyalty card has changed the chain's approach at the next Garden Industry Manufacturers Association AGM and meeting on 13 March.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business planning - Managing price volatility

Business planning - Managing price volatility

There are options to help you manage the impact of exchange rate fluctuations when buying from abroad, Neville Stein advises.

What have growers and retailers learnt from snowy March?

What have growers and retailers learnt from snowy March?

Growers and retailers have come up with strategies to combat unexpected bad weather after "Beast from the East" snow hit the UK three times in March.



The range of colours and flowering times makes for cheerful and economic displays, Miranda Kimberley reports.

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

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy