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All-in-One buys Hills Garden Centre

Published: 13 April 2011
Manchester gardening business expands with new acquisition and hints at future growth plans.
All-in-One buys Hills Garden Centre
All-in-One took over the Hills site in Knutsford, Cheshire on Saturday April 9 and is re-branding the centre as All-in-One Knutsford. The move means All-in-One now operates two centres in and around Greater Manchester.

All-in-One financial director Jason Stafford said: "It's been quite a long-standing ambition to purchase and operate from an additional site. We were keen to find something approximately an hour away from our existing Middleton centre and we found it in the Hills site, which we think has a lot of potential."

Mr Stafford described the opportunity as "too good to miss", with the acquisition enabling All-in-One to extend its offer to the south Manchester area.

While the development of the new centre will keep the firm busy for the time being, Mr Stafford told DIY Week, further acquisitions could be on the cards in the not too distant future. "I need to breathe first but don't be surprised if we're talking again about our next one. It won't be next week but we won't pass up on a good opportunity if it comes our way."

Meanwhile, All-in-One has invested £15,000 in a new EPOS system at the Hills centre, which went live at the weekend and customer facilities are already being updated. However, any major plans for the Knutsford site, which benefits from a garden shop, restaurant, pet shop and miniature railway, are on hold until after the busy spring trading period.

"Going forward we're hoping for a busy spring," explained Mr Staffford. "We want to get through that peak trading period, absorb a little of the differences at the centre and put a plan in place to develop the site... The general retail facilities are pretty good. We need to improve customer information and point of sale. We also want the look and feel of the centre to be an amalgamation of our style."

Over the next few months All-in-One will also switch it plant production from its existing site in Middleton to the new Knutsford centre, which benefits from better growing facilities.

All members of staff at Hills Garden Centre have been retained and All-in-One has already embarked on a recruitment drive to further populate the business.

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