Virgin leads franchise openings in garden centres nationwide

Concessions in garden centres are continuing to see strong growth according to First Franchise which has seen Virgin Experience Days install its unmanned display units into more than 120 garden centres nationwide.

Meanwhile Shuropody (Footcare) has opened in the Garden Centre Group’s sites at Bridgemere Garden World, Heighley Gate, Gosforth, Stockton, Osterley, Thatcham, Royston, Ramsgate and Thornbury in addition to installations at Dobbies and Notcutts.

Fashion retailer Roman Originals has new new stores with at Harlestone Heath Garden Centre and Blooms Garden Centre Gloucester and Cotton Traders has opened new locations at Sanders Garden World, Stratford-upon-Avon Garden Centre and Holland Arms Garden Centre.

Klass clothing, new to the garden centre market, has new openings at Thornbury Garden Centre and Poppleton York Garden Centre.

Camping and outdoor clothing specialists Mountain Warehouse has opened within standalone units at Woodbridge Garden Centre and Blooms Garden Centre Rugby.

Cotswold Outdoor, the premium camping range retailer started its fit-out of Hayes Garden World in December.

The majority of retailers that have opened this year have access to local loyalty schemes and customer data bases which mean customers are alerted to new openings.

First Franchise MD Keith McIntyre said: "We are pleased that retailers are still looking to continue to invest into the sector.  It has been a difficult year for garden centre sales but we have maintained a good level of openings throughout the year.  Many of these openings have taken place in the last quarter which will help garden centres attract customers before Christmas and into the New Year."

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