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Dobbies secures deal with Ocado to expand online

Hobbies Garden Centre 2

Dobbies, the UK's second largest garden centre chain, has signed a 5 year deal with the online grocer Ocado, to rapidly expand it's online business.

Nicolas Marshall, CEO of Dobbies described the deal as a 'huge opportunity' for the 34 strong chain of garden centres. He said their garden centres currently do a "pathetically small" amount of online business compared to other retailers 'About 40% of UK retail sales are online, but for gardening it is only a few percent' he said.

Marshall, who used to be in charge of the UK's largest garden centre chain Wyevale, estimated that garden centre annual sales add up to £4bn. 'If we can get to 40% of £4bn, that's £1.6bn online, ten times our turnover - huge', he told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme.

Read - Nicolas Marshall takes over at Dobbies

Last year Tesco sold Dobbies to a group of private investors, including retail specialists Midlothian Capital Partners for £217m.

Andrew Bracey, Dobbies' new chairman and a co-founder of Midlothian Capital, was chief financial officer at Ocado for three years until 2012.

Dobbies, with it's Head Office near Edinburgh, operates 34 garden centres in the UK, with almost 50% of them in Scotland.

Source: Insight Team

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02 May 2017

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