Strength in providing new and old varieties that perform reliably

Patrick Fairweather - photo: Fairweather’s Wholesale Nursery

Patrick Fairweather – photo: Fairweather’s Wholesale Nursery

“Where are nurseries going”, asks Patrick Fairweather of UK based Fairweather’s Wholesale Nursery rhetorically in a recent mailing. He notes that during the last 2 years significant changes in the supply of young plants to our customers have been seen. “Large growers are been squeezed on price by multiple retailers who in turn expect reduced prices of young plants. Price squeezes are often at the expense of range, so the customers of the likes of B&Q and Wyevale Garden Centres would seem likely to find reduced ranges in future. New and expanding players such as Waitrose and Next hopefully will bring new gardeners to the market, growing rather than taking existing business.”
Garden centres need increasingly cafés
Fairweather also memorizes that a number of their small to medium sized wholesale growers have seen key Garden Centre customers being bought by Wyevale or other groups, whose centralised buying leaves them without significant turnover – to the extent that some of them have stopped growing. “Grower retailers seem to go from strength to strength, providing they offer a wide or specialist range of plants that are no longer stocked by many Garden Centres. Increasingly they need to have a café to hold their customers to provide year round income, or visit retails shows for many weekends of the year. Mail order continues to flourish for both the specialist side of the business and through the large household names, but consumers want bigger plants sizes for quicker and easier results.”
‘Where does that leave Fairweather?’
“So where does that leave Fairweather’s? Our strength will be in continuing to provide our customers with new and old varieties that perform reliably, making us and our customers a profit at prices that provide good value to consumers”, Fairweather sunmmarizes.