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HTA welcomes Tesco's proposed acquisition

Published: 8 June 2007
In the short term, the gardening industry should be cheered by Tesco’s proposed acquisition of Dobbies, the HTA said.
In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, the association said Tesco's bid recognises three key points about the garden industry:

  • The increasing popularity of gardening and the prospects for longer-term growth.

  • Key demographic and social attitude changes, in particular a population growing older but enjoying good health and wealth.

  • The importance of the industry's potential contribution to improving the environment - gardening is the way many people express their desire to be 'green'.

    "We also note Tesco's intention to expand Dobbies' coverage, with more retail outlets and by developing their online business," it added.

    "The high cash price being offered also probably increases the value of many independent garden centres in the UK."

    However, the HTA said it will be watchful of other high street multiples seeking to enter the garden retail market in order to maintain their competitive position, and put 'even greater pressure on suppliers of plants, manufactured products and those who wholesale them'.

    David Gwyther, director general of the HTA, concluded the move presents 'both good news, but also points of concern'.

    He said: "We may well be witnessing the beginnings of a substantial step-change in the structure of the UK garden retail industry."

    "If so, this will have a substantial effect on the supply side as well."
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