Wyevale name confusion 'could cause nearby centre loss of sales'

The Garden Centre Group is under further attack from Canterbury Garden Centre after more confusion over the former Wyevale Garden Centre's name change to Canterbury Chartwell Garden Centre.

After most Wyevale garden centres changed their names to give themselves local branding this summer, two centres have asked for GCG to reconsider the move.

Stratford Garden Centre in Warwickshire had the problem first.

Now Canterbury Garden Centre owner Edward Boult says: "Our Friday delivery of plants from a leading national nursery has been delivered and received by the Wyevale Canterbury Chartham Garden Centre. I am waiting for confirmation as to when the stock will be uplifted and delivered to us. Being Friday evening I am going to be losing valuable weekend sales."

He added: "A certain leading wholesaler has been chasing us for payment for some stainless steel garden flares which we ordered in August and they say they delivered.  They have today forwarded to me a signed delivery document. The signature name matches that of a member of staff that we know works at Wyevale Chartham. Thus, this is yet another example of the problems their re-branding is causing. Hence confusion for suppliers."

GCG chief executive Nicholas Marshall said: "We changed the name of Canterbury Chartham Garden Centre in June as the centre is very much at the heart of the community and the staff there wanted to change the name to suit the location of the garden centre. It opened more than 12 years ago and was originally called Canterbury Garden Centre, and it has very much established itself as a local garden centre that is part of the community."

Boult said: "Like the rest of our industry, I thought name changes were a national corporate policy. Regarding the centre previously trading as Canterbury Garden Centre, before Wyevale took over the centre in 2001 the centre was labelled as a Country Gardens Garden Centre and known by the general public as such. Prior to this it was a car auction building."

He added: "I have highlighted to Wyevale/The Garden Centre Group that their name change at Charthem could cause us a loss of sales due to our stock being taken in by their staff and this is an example of this. What really worries me is what will happen in the busy spring period if key stock lines due to us gets delivered and taken in by Chartham. Will they be willing to compensate us for loss of sales?"

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