The Chobham Plant Centre ceased trading on 2 September and has now been wound up. Johnsons said the closure resulted from a significant reduction in cash and carry transactions and an increase in more traditional stock procurement and delivery methods. The nursery is now recruiting a dedicated southern account manager.
"We weren't getting the volume of sales we should have been," said joint managing director Andrew Richardson. "Now the new-build market has disappeared, there are fewer cash and carry transactions."
He added that the departure of depot manager Simon Lord played a part in the decision to close. "You need someone with a wide cross-section of experience," said Richardson. "Most people go down either the garden centre or the landscape route and not many have both. We couldn't find anyone to replace him so, when he left, it made it a more obvious decision to close."
Two staff were made redundant and have now found positions elsewhere, added Richardson.