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Doveleys GC closing down, with almost £1m stock to shed

Published: 26 October 2016 - Jenny Wonnacott

The managing director of Doveleys Garden Centre near Uttoxeter has confirmed that the branch will be closing down before the end of the year, and is now looking to sell off £985,000 worth of stock.

Doveleys Garden Centre is closing down, with almost £1m worth of stock to shift
Doveleys Garden Centre is closing down, with almost £1m worth of stock to shift

Doveleys has been trading from Denstone for almost 17 years and employs 17 members of staff. The premises were leased to Home and Garden in 2013, but after failing to make profit, the decision was made earlier this year to close doors for good.

MD David White told local press he had "thrown everything, including the kitchen sink" at the business in an attempt to compete with rival retailers such as budget supermarkets, but had ultimately been unable to keep the business afloat.

"We've decided the site will be closed by the end of the year. There are 17 full-time and part-time jobs that are at risk. We're consulting with staff and hope some will take up other opportunities in the group.

"In the last three years, we've tried everything to make the site work, but we've not been able to. We've thrown everything at it, including the kitchen sink, in terms of marketing and investment and redeveloped the cafe. It just seems that actually getting people out to that location is really tough."

One of the site's downfalls, it seems, is a large slope which customers must negotiate when leaving the centre. With a target market aged between 50 and 70, said Mr White, "many of the customers struggle when they come out with products to get back to their cars."

He added: "We're a good value retailer, but have found it really tough to compete [with discount supermarkets.]"

With many of the staff long-timers, Mr White described them as "absolutely brillliant," and said he was very sad, but "we lost money in 2016 and I can't see a way of turning it around."

Doveleys opened its clearance sale at the site last Friday, with almost £1m of stock to clear.

Said MJ Barrett owner Malcolm Barrett: "I'm really disappointed by this and feel incredibly sorry for the staff, who are brilliant."Many of them have worked there for years and worked under us when we ran it.

"Now we've just got to sit back and have a look to see where we go with it."It's very much a case of going back to the drawing board as far as we're concerned. We've got to get our heads round this as it has happened a bit unexpectedly."

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