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Garden Centres - The Experts in Retail Experience?

With the rising temperatures of recent days Spring is definitely upon us. Attention turns to our gardens and trips to the local garden centre begin in earnest. Indeed Easter weekend, is probably the most critical time of year for garden centre operators around the country -whether that weekend is fine or miserable has a huge impact of footfall and resulting spend.

Garden centre retailing has evolved into a sophisticated business model. It is no longer just plants and seeds with the odd hosepipe. The top end operators are leagues ahead of the high street retailers in having achieved what I term destination retailing by creating an experience. It is usually an afternoon out, with the inevitable tea and cake and childen's play area. In some locations the restaurant offer is award winning! The general availability of space in traditional nursery locations and manipulation of planning has made this an easier concept to achieve than on the high street. With the sector looking set to thrive with the emerging trend of grow your own there are still many positives to exploit even though the economy and media might dictate otherwise.

The strength of the mixed retail offer in most garden centres is achieved by allowing concessions onto the trading floor. Operationally, what tends to be key to these arrangements is ensuring a concession/licence to occupy arrangement is created and not a lease, where you don't want a lease. The distinction between a lease, licence or concession arrangement tends to turn on the notion of exclusive possession. We are adept at reviewing existing arrangements, putting new arrangements in place and generally advising, resolving and finding a solution to issues that have arisen. Where premises are being redeveloped we can look at a retailer's aspirations and devise a solution which works for them based on the nature of the space and premises.


These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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