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Gardening Express 2009 Trading Update “Green Shoots are our Business”


Gardening Express, one of the UK’s leading online garden centres had broken cover to discuss how the economic downturn and continuing wider recession is impacting business.

“The first, second, and third quarters of 2009 have proven to be what anyone could call challenging,” comments Gardening Express CEO, Chris Bonnett, who has worked to contain costs and keep strong margins, despite wider economic turmoil and currency fluctuations. Other companies out there have been singing about the trend for grow your own, and veg seed products, but they’ve been very quiet when it comes to speaking of the decline in sales they have experienced in their ornamental products. Mail order veg products are not just selling better passé – in many cases they are selling at the expense of ornamentals. Online retailer is pleased to announce, however, that their sales are weathering the economic storm with resilience, across the board.

In 2007 record growth was experienced at the company, followed by robust trading in 2008 as turbulence started to hit the wider economy, but it appears that 2009 has marked a new chapter in the development of the business.

The company is pleased to announce that its sales volumes in 2009 to date have remained stable, it has not only retained its existing customer base successfully, but has grown this by around 12% already.

The introduction of a value range of product, combined with some aggressive price cuts on selected lines tempted shoppers to buy, and addressed the inevitable trading-down that has occurred across this market. This in turn has resulted in strong sales volumes, and healthy margins through the business as a whole, despite an expected reduction in average transaction values. “I do not think we have seen the end of consumerism, but the customer today is more savvy than the customer of 2007, and I see this continuing for sometime into the future,” commented Bonnett.

For the fourth quarter of 2009, Gardening Express is rolling out over 150 new lines, focused on the value range, identified as popular ongoingly. The appetite for the new, unusual and exclusive product remains, despite the more expensive nature of such products, and Gardening Express has a number of these that will be unveiled over the coming weeks, including a world’s first.

With stable sales, and good customer retention and acquisition, Gardening Express is in a strong position to prosper where weaker, often loss making firms are more likely to stumble. ”We are investigating a number of future growth opportunities,” Bonnett commented. “I’m upbeat for our future prospects, after all, green shoots are our business.”

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Further Information – Gardening Express – Chris Bonnett, 08000 33 61 61

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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 one of the UK’s largest online garden centres in just a few short years.


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