The Scotts Company (UK) general manager Sheila Hill says buying the Solus business and own brands was not the wisest investment but that the addition of birdcare brand Chapelwood will make Scotts a stronger business.
Scotts Miracle-Gro today confirmed that it plans to sell all bar one of the Solus own brands it purchased when the garden wholesaler went into administration last year. While Yeoman, Joseph Bentley, Botanico, Garden Nation and Bermuda are now up for sale, with several unnamed parties already expressing an interest, birdcare brand Chapelwood will remain in Scotts' portfolio, with the company planning a relaunch this summer.
Talking to DIY Week today, Ms Hill said of Scotts' decision to purchase the brands: "In hindsight it probably not the best thing we've ever put our money behind."
However, she added that Scotts there are no hard feelings and Scotts is now looking to invest in and develop the Chapelwood brand in order to strengthen its existing offer to garden retailers.
"Our original vision when we bought the brands was to keep all categories and create a one-stop shop to meet retailers' gardening requirements but the market is pretty crowded now and very aggressive on pricing. We need to look at keeping brands that we can invest in long term.
"I was personally not involved in the decision to buy the brands but our attitude is very much 'that's business'. We did our very best but you can't win them all and sometimes it doesn't work out. We've had to re-adjust our original vision....We will come out as a stronger business at the end of this."
Scotts believes Chapelwood is a good fit for the business and is investing in new packagaing, merchandising units and advertising to support a relaunch this summer.
Ms Hill said: "The brand has a lot of resonance with the industry... We are going to take Chapelwood out to our customers and do what we do best and add some value to help drive category growth."
Scotts is now entering into talks to sell the other brands, which could potentially result in job losses. She told DIY Week: "All of our efforts and concentration have been on the consultation process on the other brands until now but we are ready to see what we can sell. There are a few interested parties and we can start negotiations with them."
She added: "I can't comment further on job losses at this stage, as we are still in the consultation process but we will provide an update when we know more."
Read more in the June 12 issue of DIY Week