Starting a Garden Centre

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: July 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Independent garden centres supply a range of gardening products including seeds, plants, composts, fertilisers, pesticides and gardening tools. Some also stock lawnmowers, strimmers and wheelbarrows, garden furniture, greenhouse accessories and fittings, wild bird supplies and seasonal products such as children's paddling pools and barbecues.

Most garden centres source plants from specialist nurseries in the UK and Europe for retail sale, but generally do not propagate their own plants. However, many garden centres do supply ready planted hanging baskets and tubs that they make up themselves.

The market is extremely competitive and is dominated by large garden centre chains, along with DIY stores that have a garden supplies department and major supermarkets, which increasingly supply garden plants, tools and accessories. Mail order and online suppliers also provide considerable competition for garden centres, particularly in relation to the sale of seeds, herbaceous and bedding plants, trees and shrubs. In order to compete, smaller independent retailers sometimes specialise in supplying particular types of plants such as herbs, alpines and bonsai or offer locally sourced handmade garden furniture and specialist gardening advice.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a garden centre. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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