Wyevale chief Marshall visits all centres to ensure Bank Holiday sales maximised

Wyevale Garden Centres chief executive Nicholas Marshall toured all 123 garden centres in his group in the 20 days before Easter Sunday.

He said he wanted to check on the centres ahead of the Easter weekend and two Bank Holiday weekends in May.

He added that like-for-like sales in March were up by 30% on last year and sales last week were up 34% on the same week last year. Since 1 January, sales are up 10% year-on-year.

Sales of grow your own plants are up by 50%.

Nicholas Marshall said: "The experiment of making Wyevale more like a DIY store has seriously failed. I am taking it back to a garden centre with plants first."

Wyevale now has 190,000 loyalty scheme members after a month of the scheme. Its target is 500,000 members this year.

Figures from Verdict Research estimate that sales in the sector this year will be 8.5% lower than last year at £3.3bn. Next year they are expected to fall by a further 3.3% to £3.19bn.

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