Plant pot supplier introduces value range

Deroma UK, which supplies plant pots to the Garden Centre Group (formerly known as Wyevale Garden Centres) and B&Q, has held its first open days to launch Simply Pots, a value range aimed at the volume trade.

Managing director Frederic Arbaud said from his new Gloucestershire showroom that the Simply Pots name said it all and had been developed as an answer to customer research that showed a bulk range was in demand.

He said: "It's very simple. This was developed through studies at garden centres and retailers for volume sales business."

He added: "This year has been good, but not fantastic. We've seen 11 to 12 per cent growth on 2008, which is good for us but it could have gone better. The weather has helped us more than anything else."

Sales fell to £7.6m, with a £2m loss in 2007/08. Arbaud, who was appointed last year, explained: "We had to restructure dramatically to be able to protect our name and business."

He added: "We got rid of a lot of inventory built up over the years and had an internal restructure, so 2008 was a write-off in terms of growth."

Deroma bought locally based Mondian in 2008. Arbaud said: "It fitted very well and gave us a lot of new space at B&Q and Wyevale. At B&Q we now have 60 per cent more display and shelves plus the B&Q outdoor planter range. We have also gained space indoor at B&Q and Wyevale. We bought Mondian to reinforce our position with them."

He said dealing with Wyevale and B&Q was "completely different", with Wyevale taking more branded product and B&Q taking volume products.

"Wyevale is important for positioning, branding and developing our name. B&Q is for volume. Our hopes are to carry on developing our new collection to make a statement to the garden trade.

"We want to reinforce our position with current centres and plan to build relationships with other garden centre customers."

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