Wyevale asks for money back

Garden centre chain seeks rebate to fund store redevelopment.

Wyevale Garden Centres has demanded 1.5 per cent of its money back from its 250 plant suppliers to pay for redevelopments. The company is believed to want its share of record April plant sales. The move comes in the context of Tesco having an offer accepted for Dobbies Garden Centres, as Tesco has harsher buying terms and greater buying power than Wyevale. The move has caused outrage among growers, though all contacted by HW were afraid to speak out. Farplants, RA Meredith & Son and Hillier are major suppliers. Another grower said all big nurseries had discussed the issue and “were not happy about it”. He added: “We’re not giving it. It’s up to each nursery to negotiate. But we’re not shocked. It’s surprising it didn’t come sooner.” Smaller growers will be easier to push around, said another source. In a letter to buyers, horticulture category manager Neil Fishlock said Wyevale had improved merchandising of plants. He added that Wyevale plans to redevelop 22 more stores on top of 18 recently revamped, to make more than half its 108 stores upgraded by the end of 2007.

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