West Six seeking to diversify to avoid reliance on plants

A vintage shop is being launched by West Six Garden Centre in London as part of its bid to diversify.

Creative director Paul Holt has transformed a former storage area and office at the centre in Hammersmith into a sales area with themed displays featuring unusual houseplants alongside reclaimed, reproduced and new furniture and objects.

Owner Beryl Henderson said: "We want to stay true to our gardening ideal but lifestyle is our brand."

Sister store North One Garden Centre won the Garden Retail Award for best retail outlet (turnover under £1m) last week. But Henderson said she cannot roll out N1 in Hammersmith, which she took over in 2011, due to different demographics.

She closed the cafe because gardening and catering bring in two distinct types of people, she explained. But Henderson is now looking to avoid being reliant on plants, which make up 55 per cent of the business.

"We want to diversify but stick to our core business in plants," she said. "Because we're a smaller centre we're adaptable." Other ideas for the centre to diversify include a dogs' tea party and children's gardening club.

The vintage shop will launch at the end of this month, when West Six has its Christmas shopping weekend. Styles will include:

- Manhattan apartment.

- Rustic.

- Industrial.

- Florist shop workbench.

- Conservatory.

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