Senior staff shake-up at The Garden Centre Group nears completion

Further senior staff departures announced as The Garden Centre Group continues its clear-out of higher-level personnel.

The Garden Centre Group: latest departures announced internally
The Garden Centre Group: latest departures announced internally

A complete shake-up of senior staff is almost complete at The Garden Centre Group (TGCG) after it announced internally that senior buyer Tristan Sissons, pet buyer Melanie Malin and training head Tom Martell will leave.

Buying director Steve Pitcher, plant buyer Adam Dunnett and at least seven regional managers have left or will leave the company, which was taken over by Terra Firma in late 2011.

Chief executive Nicholas Marshall, chief financial officer Antonia Jenkinson and marketing director Lorrie Robertson left in October 2012. Dan Zinner is now trading director. Colin Hughes is retail operations director. Commercial director Frank Hayes is working to secure concessions. Sarah Biggers is human resources director and Sarah Fuller is marketing director. Jason Danciger is new food and beverage director. Paul Roebuck is believed to be a plant-buying consultant.

The sole remaining senior figure is head of horticulture Tim Clapp. Sissons is joining Briers in January and Malin is moving to Countrywide Farmers. TGCG has confirmed the departures.

Regional managers Paul Wright, Peter Burks, James Cockerell, Chris Francis, Paul Dye, Simon Baker and Martin Andrews are believed to be leaving. Melanie Evans is now overseeing Garden & Leisure, bought this summer.

TGCG is replacing its regional managers with five regional directors including Evans, Chris Brannigan and David Longmore. Regional managers have final redundancy meetings this month.

Report Sales down

A Garden Centre Group report for 2012 found sales down 1.7 per cent from 2011 (minus six per cent like-for-like) at £259.2m (£178.1m for the eight months since the company's acquisition).

Revenue by category was 15 per cent for the restaurant, homeware 23 per cent, bird and pet care five per cent, plants 32 per cent and garden 25 per cent.


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