Perrywood Garden Centre suffers loss because of ‘The Beast From The East’

Perrywood Garden Centre, an award-winning garden centre, will lose out on more than £50,000 takings because of the snow blasts last week. The garden centre in Tiptree, shut on the second day of bad weather when many roads across the region became impassable.

From Monday to Wednesday the store were £37,000 down, compared to the same three days the week before.

Taking into account last Thursday and Friday, manager of the family-run business Simon Bourne, says this will increase to in excess of £50,000.

He said: “We would normally take £15,000 per day in that week. On Wednesday we didn’t take a single penny but every day this week has been very short.

“There were barely any customers in, but I doubt we would have made more than a few hundred pounds anyway.

“We have the misfortune of being on a hill which causes problems for our car park if there is lots of snow.

“The roads were pretty bad that morning, lorries were struggling to get uphill and quite a lot of our staff live a few miles away so it was definitely the right decision to close.”

A kind builder got the garden centre up and running again by clearing the car park ready for the next day.

But because of how the gardening season works, the best is yet to come.

Mother’s Day usually kicks off the demand for flowers and bank holidays during Easter and May, accompanied by the warmer weather, will entice people into their gardens and into nurseries.

Therefore this short-term loss is not the “be all and end all”.

He said: “If you go back historically, it’s rare you get a perfect season, there will always be ups and down.

“Our seasonality is more than other retail shops because weather is the most important factor.

“If you have a really good March that may be cancelled out by a bad April, but March to May are our three most important months.”

Trading at garden centres also fluctuate according to trends which is working in favour of the industry right now.

He added: “There’s a large trend towards having gardening items in your home so people are becoming interested in plants who have never owned one before.

“Lots more youngsters, who five years ago would never step foot into a garden centre, are now shopping with us so we’re trying to follow these trends and in some cases influence them.”

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