Spread set to close

Garden centre wholesaler Spread is to close on 31 August. All staff are to be made redundant.

Three weeks ago (HW, 17 July), we reported on retailers' and wholesalers' concerns that there would be just two wholesalers, Solus and Decco, in the market. This could lead to fewer products available and higher prices.

Synchemicals-owned Spread, based in Macclesfield and with a Gloucestershire depot, proposed closure earlier this year after Bayer stopped using it to supply centres in favour of Solus and Decco.

Bayer marketing head Jane Lawler said that, personally, she felt sad the company was closing, but leaving Spread was "purely a business decision".

Epsom-based Old Moat Garden Centre lead instructor Jonathan Glinos said: "We used to use Spread as a one-stop shop because it was convenient but I found out by chance after ringing the St Helen's office they were closing for good. We don't know what we're going to do now."

A Spread representative confirmed the company is to close.Managing director Ken Brisland was unavailable for comment.

HTA director of commercial services Andrew Maxted said he sympathised with those hit by the closure and added that it would have a wide impact: "I think the Spread closure will impact a number of businesses, and a number of smaller retailers will find it more difficult to get supply, but an element of change in business is inevitable."

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