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Garden Centre Group to redesign Bicester centre

The Garden Centre Group (GCG) is revamping its Bicester Avenue Garden Centre just six years after rebuilding the store.

Customer flow is being altered and new concessions are going in. Garden care displays are moving outside under the canopy to tie plants and sundries together, with the store having a "completely different" feel.

GCG regional manager Peter Burks said: "Customer flow has never been very clear. It's a busy store and a very busy restaurant, but it's always been hard to find your way outside and then hard to find your way back inside to the tills."

The store has stayed open throughout and Burks said it has traded "very well" in recent months. The centre had an Ikea-like skewed U-shape customer flow with concessions at the back.

Bicester Garden Centre began in 1976 as a nursery and turf field attached to a small landscaping business. In 2000, it was bought by Blooms of Bressingham, which expanded it. In April 2007, it reopened as part of Bicester Avenue, a concept "home and garden centre".

This is situated as the focal point to Bicester Avenue, a £13m, 10.5ha retail scheme close to out-of-town shopping outlet Bicester Village. The centre was the first be the anchor of a retail park.

The designer, HPW's Gary Wilburn, called the scheme "a genuine departure from others worldwide with a garden centre as anchor tenant" when it was built. It also features Cotton Traders and Pets Corner stores. GCG gives a £10.7m turnover figure including concessions.

Source : Horticulture Week

01 March 2013
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