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Hillier to sell Redditch garden centre to Hillview Group

From early September Hillier Garden Centre, Redditch will be under new ownership. Hillier will sell the Warwickshire centre to a new operator, believed to be Boyd Douglas-Davies' Hillview Group (HVG), which is likely to rename Redditch as Studley Garden Centre.

Hillier MD Andy McIndoe said: "We developed Redditch Garden Centre from a small retail nursery into a popular local garden centre, but probably one which lacks enough local focus. The centre is not entirely compatible with the present Hillier business model, and will benefit from a more independent management approach.

"Hillier have 13 other garden centres; Redditch being the most northerly. Its location has also proved to be a challenge in terms of day-to-day central management. Hillier’s commitment to investment in, and development of its retail outlets is demonstrated in a number of its centres, none more so than at Eastbourne which reopened as a new destination centre in March 2011. The success of Eastbourne has underlined the potential for redevelopment of other sites within the group, and this is where the Hillier Group resources will be focussed.

"Personally I have been involved with Redditch since the previous owner first made contact with us, hoping that Hillier would take on Yarningdale Nurseries (its previous name). As a Warwickshire man I have known the site for over 40 years and I wanted it to remain a good horticultural establishment. I believe that its new owners, with their local knowledge and experience in the garden centre industry, will grow and develop the site to its full potential."

The merchant banking firm HVG has been looking to build a portfolio of garden centres since appointing former Webbs chief executive Boyd Douglas-Davies in April. Douglas-Davies was unavailable for comment.

Source : Matthew Appleby – Horticulture Week

30 August 2011
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