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Wyevale sell 31 centres to Dobbies

Rivals set to complete third transaction as support centre job cuts discussed

THE sale of 31 Wyevale garden centres to rival Dobbies has been announced for an undisclosed sum, and they have confirmed a support centre consultation process that could lead to 20 redundancies.

Retail Gazette reported the transaction is the third between the two garden centre giants – and the biggest – since the announcement last May of Wyevale’s ongoing scheme to trim their store estate.
The 31 centres at Altrincham, Andover, Beaconsfield, Brighton, Bury St Edmunds, Cadnam, Findern, Galton, Gosforth, Hare Hatch, Harlestone Heath, Havant, Hungerford, Keston, Leicester Rowena, Lelant, Marple, Moreton Park, Northampton, Pennine, Poppleton, Royston, Rugby, Shenstone, Stratford upon Avon, Stockton, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Thornbury, and World’s End Wendover, will continue to trade as Wyevale over the coming weeks with completion of the sales and transfer of all 1,400 affected employees phased from late May through to the end of June.
Since the huge investment scheme that saw Wyevale return to profitability last year, they have now offloaded 85 stores, and said they remain one of the top three gardening retailers in the UK with 60 centres and a further four centres operating under licence.
Wvyevale chief operating officer Anthony Jones said: “We would like to thank all of our garden centre colleagues for their contribution to Wyevale Garden Centres and wish them well for the next stage of their growth and development with Dobbies.
“I’m delighted with our strong start to the year and am excited about trading for the rest of the main gardening season. Meanwhile, we also continue to evaluate a wide range of options as part of our ongoing sale process.”
Dobbies chief executive Graeme Jenkins said: “We are very pleased to have agreed this acquisition and look forward to welcoming our new customers along with 1,400 new members to our team.”
The news comes as Wyevale reports strong trading in the first quarter of 2019, with sales up 26 per cent year-on-year, profitability significantly improved and high levels of liquidity.
However, the gardening retailers said they have started a consultation process with staff as their Syon Park customer support centre, which is expected to lead to 20 job cuts.

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