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Jamie Oliver to sprinkle his magic on Homebase

Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef who helped revive Sainsbury's fortunes a decade ago, is to sprinkle some of his magic on Homebase next week.

He will launch a range of seeds, compost and pot plants at the DIY retailer, becoming the company's face of gardening. It will pit him against Alan Titchmarsh, who promotes all things horticultural at arch rival B&Q.

The range of grow-your-own equipment and seeds is the latest attempt by a retailer to use a celebrity chef to boost its sales. Argos sells sandwich griddles, toasters and smoothie makers with Gordon Ramsay's name on them, Heston Blumenthal has a collection of ready meals. There has even been a selection of crisps launched by the Two Hairy Bikers.

A spokesman for Homebase said: "Jamie and Homebase are working together to encourage the British public to eat well and understand where their food comes from. The new and exclusive range of grow your own fruit, vegetables, herbs, compost and a range of outdoor cooking equipment allows everyone to see their food go from seed to plate.

"Anything with celebrity branding is going to be very big at Homebase. Products will be across several different categories, including gardening."

Oliver's commercial track record is impressive. His cookbook, 30 minute meals, became a Christmas best seller and is soon expected to sell more than 1 million copies, despite critics sniping the meals take far more than half an hour to cook.

Source : Harry Wallop - The Telegraph

05 February 2011
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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