Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market
Well it looks like Waitrose is going into gardening in a big way. Not content with poaching gardening guru and national treasure Alan Titchmarsh from B&Q, or with launching a new garden centre in Newbury, the JLP-owned grocery chain is now introducing 6,000 garden products across its network of stores and online, and has even launched a dedicated garden website. But is this yet another general merchandise retailer having a stab at the garden sector and potentially seeing no real results, or is Waitrose just the type of brand to actually make a success of its foray into horticultural territory?

Several people have already commented on the fact that Titchmarsh is a 'better fit' with Waitrose than B&Q and, along with JLP stablemate John Lewis, the chain is one of the most trusted and revered retail brands in the UK. Of course that doesn't necessarily determine whether or not they will be a success selling plants and garden tools but it does mean they are potentially already better placed than the likes of fellow grocer Tesco, who tried and, many people feel, failed to crack the garden sector.

Tesco certainly has scale and is tightly focused on its keen price points but is this 'budget approach' where it fell down? Is the concept of quality and luxury that surrounds the Waitrose brand more in keeping with the type of audience that a spot of gardening appeals to? I'd hazard a guess that Waitrose shares a similar customer demographic with many garden centres, allowing for a much more profitable crossover.

It is difficult to determine just what impact Waitrose's latest venture will have on the dynamics of the sector at this early stage and if it will make a significant dent in the business of garden centre operators across the country, but superficially, the formula seems to be right.

What does seem ironic, however, is that, as the supermarkets strive to widen their appeal and push into every sector going, a host of garden centres are doing just the same in a bid to create a destination centre, with cookshop, foodhalls, clothing and gift departments often eclipsing their garden offer. Who knows, with garden centres outlets and supermarkets both sticking their fingers in a lot of pies, maybe they'll meet somewhere in the middle.
View User Profile for Fiona Garcia Blog entries from Fiona Garcia, DIY Week editor





Posted by Fiona Garcia | 26 March 2013 | 14:41 | More from: Editor's Blog

Comments

Comments are closed on this post.
*

Latest reader comments

re: Carl Kammerling Fusion 2021 Trade Promotion – Filled with exciting new deals!

MIKE
GOOD AFTERNOON,WE USED TO DEAL WITH YOUR COMPANY MANY YEARS AGO, BUYING LARGE STOCKS OF DELETED AND RETURNS ITEMS.IF YOU HAVE ANY CLEARANCE ...

re: Toolbank

Bilal Ali
Hi Trust you are doing great. My name is Bilal Ali. I am the owner of Azaan International Ltd, a company specialized in products. We are ...

re: Woolworths staff reunited by new website

John Zullo
Hi I'm trying to find Lisa assistant manager of woolworths in the metro centre 1999 I only now her by her 1st and middle name Lisa Marie ...

re: Planning application submitted for new Homebase store in Abingdon

Gel
They closed their store last year!http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/17570442.homebase-abingdon-starts-closing-sale/...

re: Latest update on Green Homes Grant and implications for homeowners and landlords

John Hart
After applying for a green homes how long will it take for a decision? thanks...

Most read stories