Tesco confirms its intentions to enter garden retail sector

Garden centres are wary about Tesco's plans to sell gardening products alongside its food ranges.

Tesco looks set to move into the garden retail market in a bid to increase its non-food ranges. The supermarket giant confirmed that garden retail, fashion, toys and electrical goods are among the ranges it is looking to move into. A Tesco representative said: “Non-food is a big growth area for us. We have always said we want to be as successful in non-food as we are in food.” Tesco holds seasonal plant sales in marquees in its car parks (HW, 23 February). Garden Centre Association (GCA) representative Gillie Westwood is not surprised by the multiple’s potential move into horticulture. She said: “There have been rumours flying around for so long now — what they actually do will be interesting to see.” The chain cannot yet confirm its exact plans for the non-food ranges. A representative added: “Tesco is always looking into new markets. We don’t know as yet what the plans will be.” Westwood believes the potential increased competition will not be welcomed by the industry. “It depends on how they do things but added competition in this negative market is not going to be hugely appreciated by garden retailers.” But Bents Garden Centre retail director Matthew Bent believes Tesco’s entering the garden sector is a good thing. He said: “Supermarkets can introduce people to new garden products that, with the right marketing can be channelled back to garden centres.” Tesco saw group sales of £37,070m in 2005. Sales were up by 10.5 per cent.

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