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Wyevale GC acquires East Sussex rose specialist

Published: 26 October 2015
Wyevale Garden Centres (WGC) is maintaining its acquisition momentum with the announcement today that it has added Wych Cross Nurseries in Forest Row, East Sussex to its estate.
Wyevale GC acquires East Sussex rose specialist
The news comes less than two weeks after the acquisition of Sidmouth Garden Centre in Devon. With Wych Cross, WGC now has 151 centres.

Wych Cross Nurseries had been privately owned by three families and has a core retail floor space of 12,700sq ft, including restaurant space of 2,200sq ft.

Established almost 30 years ago, the business has developed a reputation as a top-class plant centre with a focus on roses. By the early 2000s Wych Cross was offering one of the largest retail selections of roses in the UK, with over 1,400 varieties.

The nursery has now consolidated its collection to around 500 varieties which are available to customers both within the centre and online.

The centre has a strong Christian ethos and currently does not open on Sundays. Former joint owner Ray Kennedy told diyweek.net that he did not know whether that policy would now change.

"It will largely be in the hands of the Wyevale management team," he said. "Certainly, there are no immediate plans to change that and we'll be having an integration programme over the next few months.

"They're obviously fully aware of the foundations of the business and they're also a commercial organisation, so I guess they'll be balancing our thoughts against their commercial needs. Inevitably, we're entering uncharted water."

He described the acquisition as "an exciting new chapter for Wych Cross", but added: "Very much the message is that there is business as usual, and that WGC are very keen to retain the staff and the culture and the customer service levels that our clients have enjoyed over 30 years."

He said that both he and the rest of the senior management "will be with the company, certainly during this integration period".

WGC chief executive Kevin Bradshaw said: "Following the successful acquisition of Sidmouth Garden centre earlier this month, I am thrilled to welcome Wych Cross Nurseries to the Wyevale Garden Centres family. Of particular interest is their wonderful rose business which we look forward to preserving and nurturing.

"This acquisition is a great example of Wyevale Garden Centre's strategy in action. Following every acquisition, we work hard to retain the individual heritage of each garden centre. Wych Cross Nurseries is widely loved by its loyal customers. who visit for its breathtaking site in the heart of Ashdown Forest and for its remarkable plant offering.

"The centre is a welcome addition to our group as it supports our growth strategy and enables us to fulfil our goal of combining the very best of local and national offerings across our garden centres."

He added that WGC would enhance Wych Cross' existing offer and cater to its growing customer base.

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