Award-winning Longacres Garden Centre has announced its acquisition of Bybrook Barn Garden Centre in Ashford, Kent in a growth strategy that sees it offer new life to ailing businesses. This new garden centre will start trading under the name – Longacres Bybrook Barn – on Saturday 30th July 2016.
The original Longacres Garden Centre is its flagship store in Bagshot, Surrey which has been the highest turnover garden centre in the UK for 7 years*1. Three years ago the independent garden centre took over Thompson’s Garden Centre in Shepperton which last year won ‘Best Garden Centre Development’*2 and the success of this venture has encouraged managing director Nigel Long to continue the quest for expansion.
Says Nigel Long: “Our Bagshot operation has enjoyed great success and we have been delighted with the speed with which we have been able to replicate our winning formula at Shepperton. Like Shepperton, at Bybrook Barn we have acquired a much-loved but underperforming centre that has great potential to be turned around and we are ready to embrace this challenge which will also give us a foot-hold in another county.”
He adds: “The focus will continue to be on plants and core gardening, but we will be looking to add several departments – cut flowers and floristry services being one of first we will address – along with improving the giftware and toy departments in good time for Christmas”.
From as early as August, the company will start work to improve the layout and fixtures and fittings, and will then continue to increase the range of products available while putting in place staff training to ensure the exceptional service for which Longacres is renowned is present at this new store.
The company has recently launched an upgraded retail website and will be extending its Click & Collect service to Ashford imminently. Next year will see introduction of a drive through area similar to the one at the Bagshot store.
Concludes Long: “We are very excited about Longacres Bybrook Barn and are eager to get to work to make it the biggest and the best garden centre in Kent. We are also on the lookout for further businesses that offer potential and enable Longacres to continue its ambitious expansion plans”.