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No More Wyevale Acquisitions for Dobbies

Dobbies Garden Centre - Exterior 725 x 500.jpg

Speaking at the Dobbies Christmas launch, CEO Graeme Jenkins, said that Dobbies would not be buying any more Wyevale garden centres. 

The group will focus on integrating the 31 already bought this year and those bought last year.  However, this does not preclude further purchases and they have already looked at buying independent garden centres.

Assimilating the 31

CEO Graham Jenkins explained that assimilating the 31 garden centres recently acquired from Wyevale was going well as they had prepared for it.  Trading has been above the market average.

The first step had been to check that each of the centres met the Dobbies H&S standards.  At the same time the centres were migrated onto the Dobbies EPOS system, a process that is nearly complete.

The 69 garden centres in the group have now been divided into 5 regions each with a regional manager and a regional restaurant manager.  The centres have also been space planned and graded for product range. 

The Dobbies stock ranges will start appearing in the centres from September, but the re-ranging will not be complete till early next year.

Over the next few weeks Jenkins will visit each site to decide the capital expenditure plans, looking particularly at floors and fixtures.

New Store formats

A new store format is being trialled at three stores: Edinburgh; Peterborough, as it represents a Tesco era store; and Dunfermline, as it is one of the stores built in the pre-Tesco era.

A new restaurant style is being tested at Cirencester and Edinburgh, with the aim of creating a more modern, welcoming, friendly and comfortable environment.

Dobbies is setting itself to be mid market, offering something for everyone.

Dobbies Christmas plans

The Christmas team started its ranging by analysing Google statistics which show what the public searches for most.  From this it has developed 6 themes that will appear in each store.  These include Santa’s workshop, Dreaming of Christmas, Glamour and Into the Night.

Each centre will have work benches where customers can make wreaths and decorations and a wish tree, raising money for The Teenage Cancer Trust.  The group has already raised £300,000 for this year’s charity.

Source : Reproduced with permission from George Bullivant at GardenForum

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18 July 2019

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