Swindon’s Wyevale garden centres go on sale to local entrepreneurs

Two Wyevale Garden Centres in Swindon are on sale after the owners announced a nationwide sell-off.

The stores in Stratton St Margaret on Hyde Road and Hay Lane, near Wroughton, will be sold off by Terra Firma, one of the largest private equity firms in Europe which took over the portfolio of 145 stores in 2012.

Christie & Co, the firm overseeing the sale, are keen to encourage existing garden centre owners and local businesses to consider taking on the centres.

Steve Rodell, managing director of retail at Christie & Co said: “There’s something for everybody. If you’re interested in getting into the market there are sites which have got a very affordable price point, all the way through to stuff which is going to be of interest to some major buyers.

“A lot of these centres were brought up by private operators. There’s always room for individuals to introduce other ideas that maybe a larger corporate wouldn’t do.

“We’re looking for entrepreneurs, maybe someone that sold their businesses locally that fancies a lifestyle change that wants to get into a pleasant industry.”

The Blooms Swindon garden centre is going for £250,000 as a leasehold, and the Wyevale Garden Centre in Stratton St Margaret is being sold as a freehold for £5.75m.The stores can be purchased individually or part of a group.

“Both of these businesses are profitable centres. In particular the Swindon garden centre north of the town centre. Anyone would be happy to have that in their portfolio,” added Steve.

“I’ve been looking at the two stores and we’ve got interest on both of them so I’m pretty confident we’ll have offers on all of them.

“If there’s anyone out there who’s a local  that’s thinking about putting in a offer they need to get in touch and ask about the process.

“You look at some of the doom and gloom on the high street garden centres are exciting. The products you get at a garden centre you can’t really buy anywhere else on the internet, this is the head wind which is affecting most of retail market in the high street at the moment. You go to a garden centre, it’s a bit of an experience, and you can’t get that on the internet.”

The company is looking for offers before June 26, followed by a second selection process to find the most appropriate buyers.

Roger Mclaughlan, CEO of Wyevale Garden Centres added: “This investment provides a fantastic opportunity for new long-term owners looking to enter the market and existing operators seeking to expand their current operations.

“Wyevale Garden Centres has been transformed beyond recognition over the last few years thanks to the hard work of all of our colleagues.”

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