December sales boost to garden centre group

Turnover at the four south coast located centres owned by the Haskins Garden Centre group was boosted by good sales results in December. Combined December sales at the centres at Ferndown, Southampton, Worthing and Crawley increased by seven per cent. That ensured that the group’s annual turnover in just the 10 months of their current financial year has risen 11 per cent to £26.5 million.
Julian Winfield, Managing Director at Haskins, said that the trading conditions in the company’s 125th anniversary year were not just helped by more seasonal gardening weather but the strong increase in sales must be attributed to a team effort.
“There have been a range of improvements made by everyone involved. These include a greater emphasise on horticultural training and staff retention, enhancements to the catering facilities and an improved giftware range. New initiatives such as our fresh-from-the-garden sections at all the centres and the new farm shop at our Roundstone centre have also proved popular with customers.”
Central replenishment has been introduced through inventory planners allowing the centres to concentrate on processing stock and improving customer service.  Haskins also placed much more emphasis on marketing and promotions to improve communications with customers and increase market share.
Julian Winfield says that the group is in a strong position to consider further acquisitions and has redevelopment and refurbishment plans for their currently owned centres.
“We are delighted with the sales growth. This gives us greater motivation to strive for higher standards across the whole business and confidently meet the challenges that I am sure 2008 will bring!”