Gardening Express Reports Robust Trading for 2008, Expects Challenging 2009
For Immediate Release
Gardening Express, the UK’s leading online Garden Centre which reported a surge in sales of over 90% in 2007, says sales have remained static in 2008 due to the wider implications of the credit crunch and bleak economic outlook, which have held back consumer spending.
The flat performance has been blamed on the stalled wider economy, rather than any thing the company is doing wrong. Chief Executive Chris Bonnett explained that sales had been “surprisingly resilient for much of the year” but suffered in a few weeks of the last quarter and the important Christmas trading period. “I think we’ve done remarkably well given the circumstances, I’ve heard on the grapevine that a rival firms sales shrunk by as much as 20% over the whole of 2008, so I’m pretty chuffed to be outperforming the rest of the sector by maintaining trading broadly inline with 2007”.
As interest rates began to tumble, it became clear we were heading for a tough time, with a deep cutting recession on the cards. It would appear that this is finally starting to bite even the keen gardeners, those consumers that will buy a new plant when times are bad to make themselves feel better seem to be thinning out, and with the property market in tatters, no one is doing up the garden with a few stylish shrubs at premium prices to help sell the house.
The robust performance is inline with what the company had been expecting given the conditions and financial issues unfolding in the wider economy. “You can’t grow at 90% a year for ever, but I think we’ll have another try to get back the double-digit growth after this recession, and period of consolidation in our business is over”. This gives us an opportunity to take a breather and work on other projects in readiness for conditions improving.
Commenting on plans for Gardening Express in 2009, Bonnett said “we’ve a lot of exciting developments going on in the background, I think 2009 will be a difficult year in many respects, but I know I have a team that will rise to the challenge.” Part of these plans involves the production of a Value range of discounted product lines, that should have the cash-strapped customer, finding it hard to resist filling up their virtual garden centre trolley.
Although we had a robust year, in part due to a new marketing strategy, I feel that not even the gardening sector can get through the current mire in the economy scott free, and our biggest fear for 2009 is that our sales will start to mirror that of the competitors we have managed to outperform in 2008.
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Gardening Express - Chris Bonnett, 08000 33 61 61, firstname.lastname@example.org
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About Gardening Express
Gardening Express, based in Chelmsford, Essex, is a leading online Garden Centre in the UK. The business was created by founder CEO Chris Bonnett, and has grown to be a thorn in the side of traditional rivals with it’s dynamic approach and new thinking. The concept is simple; a dedication to quality, service and value for money, has resulted in this entrepreneur taking Gardening Express to be the one of the UK’s largest online garden centres in just a few short years.
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