GTN November/December 2021 - Garden Trade News, UK

Page 10

Interview

Blue Diamond aiming for £300m turnover by 2023

As Blue Diamond acquired it’s 38th garden centre, Mere Park in Shropshire, GTN asked Alan Roper for his views on next year and about the growth seen following the pre-pandemic Wyevale acquisitions.

A

fter a year of remarkable sales growth driven by the nation’s newlydiscovered passion for gardening during the pandemic, many garden centre budgets have been adjusted upwards for 2022 in anticipation of an extended boom. The HTA’s declaration that three million new spenders became gardening consumers in 2020 is the received wisdom fuelling the industry’s focus on how to nurture them long-term. But not everybody agrees that the so-called

‘covid bounce’ will keep the tills ringing through next year and beyond. Alan Roper, CEO of the expansionist Guernsey-based Blue Diamond Group, which now operates 38 centres on the UK mainland as well as the Channel Islands, advises caution as the nation returns to a semblance of normality. Like most garden centre businesses, Blue Diamond has seen extraordinary turnover growth over the past 18 months. However, there are signs that trading is slowing: for

Melbicks

Cadbury

10 November / December 2021

Bicester Avenue

Endsleigh

Percy Thomas

Cardiff

Nailsworth

102%

118%

123%

125%

126%

134%

136%

139%

Wyevale to Blue Diamond - Total growt wth t since acquisiton

Bridgemere

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