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Gardening Express grows customers and margins despite Recession


Gardening Express, the UK’s leading online Garden Centre reveals a steady 2009, despite recession. In previous years the online retailer that specialises in the supply of green plants and ancillary items to home gardeners had reported astounding growth in the boom years, but founder Chris Bonnett admits that the recession has “put the brakes” on the rapid pace of expansion.

2009 has been one of the most challenging years in the history of, but one that has been met head on, “you have to work extra smart under these circumstance, that is if you aren’t already” commented Bonnett.

The company is pleased to reveal that sales volumes in 2009 remained stable on 2008. The customer base over the course of the year has not only been retained, but expanded by 15%. Trading down was widely expected from customers in 2009, and true to predictions, this was the case, however margins were raised successfully with the addition of exclusive shrubs and value ranges, which also filled the product requirement for those customers trading down.

“We have noticed a step back in 2009 to those gardeners that are now prepared to grow plants on a little longer themselves, taking advantage of sharper pricing, instead of going for the more instant specimen and ready grown stock that is always more costly.” commented Bonnett.

Inventories at Gardening Express have been raised over the last six months to tackle expected shortages in the market place for plants this spring. The horticulture industry has experienced casualties through the recession that could compromise the supply chain, with Bonnett expecting to see more in 2010, along with another challenging year and tougher competition for all businesses. They are also ensuring a ready supply of product for consumers in 2010 as the economy hopefully turns around, and little extras start creeping back into shopping baskets.

Commenting on what can be expected from Gardening Express in 2010, Bonnett said “more exclusive products, aggressive pricing, and some major improvements to our website”. “I can promise you we are really going to be looking at standing head and shoulders above the competition with web site improvements and compelling offers”. 2009 saw a development of a new website at Gardening Express that courted controversy in the horticultural and gardening press over its old site, and if any features had actually been improved at all.

Concluding, Bonnett stated he maintained a modest outlook for 2010, with pressure remaining on consumer spending and price-cutting by rivals his biggest concerns. However, with continual customer growth and wider margins, it would appear that Gardening Express are in a strong position as and when the domestic economy really turns around.

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Further Information – Gardening Express – Chris Bonnett, 08000 33 61 61
Digital Images & Interviews Available on Request

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.


 Gardening Express
 Garden Centre
 Plants, Bulbs & Seeds

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