Klondyke "less susceptible" to economic downturn says chairman

Klondyke Strikes chairman Bob Gault says the downturn will not hit garden centres as badly as other retailers.

The 23-store group turned over £31.8 million in its latest returns in 2006/07, with gross profits and turnover up around 25%.

Gault said:

"We've had a good year in 2008 - our best year yet in terms of turnover and profit. We started the new financial year in October and so far it's been a little disappointing. Like-for-like we're down two or three percentage points. But we know some people are having it worse. The last week in November was bad. We don't know why.

"I've been looking at the annual reports of William Strikes since 1908 recently and during times of depression they always did very well. During wartime they made huge amounts of money because of Dig-for-Victory campaigns. I was involved during the last recession and we came through that with a degree of comfort and grew the business."

Gault added:

"We're not going to get depressed. We're less susceptible to economic downturn than most. But I wouldn't like to be selling furniture or other high-ticket items, neither would I like to be in cars or housebuilding."

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