Notcutts, the UK’s largest family owned garden centre group, today announces a trading update for the Christmas period.
For the 5 weeks ending 3 January, the performance from Notcutts was an impressive 11.8% up on the previous year.
31,000 children visited Father Christmas at Notcutts, an increase of 6,000 visits on the previous year, and artificial Christmas trees saw a 20% increase in sales, with the Norway Spruce – priced at £170 – the bestseller. More than 2,800 Hellebores were sold and customers augmented their faux trees with a ‘Scentical’, a new product that creates the smell of a real Christmas tree. Sales on the web continued to shine, growing 81%, continuing the trend of 83% growth year-to-date.
In addition to the impressive festive figures, the Company has announced the appointment of Nicky Dulieu as Chairman, as Caroline Notcutt takes up the role of Vice Chairman.
Nicky is currently a Non-Executive Director at Adnams plc and Huntsworth plc and has held a number of senior positions at leading UK retailers, most recently as CEO of Hobbs and before that at Marks & Spencer where her last role was as Finance Director of the Food Division.
One of Nicky’s first roles as Chair will be to appoint a new CEO who can lead the Board to deliver its ambitious investment program.
Caroline Notcutt, the daughter of Company President, Charles Notcutt, joined the business in 2008 as a Non-Executive Director. She is a qualified Landscape Architect and continues the family name and heritage at the country’s largest family-owned garden centre group.
Over the past year, as part of its five year strategy to invest in its core estate, Notcutts has made significant investments, rebuilding its centre at Tunbridge Wells and refurbishing Wheatcroft in Nottingham, setting in place the blueprint for future developments across the portfolio.
Nicky Dulieu, Chairman, Notcutts commented:
“I am extremely excited to be taking the role of Chairman at Notcutts at this exciting point in the Company’s development. As a longstanding customer of the business, it is a delight to be able to combine my passion for gardening with my retail experience.
There is a rich heritage to the business which has grown steadily over the past 100+ years and I look forward to working with Caroline and the team as we continue to develop the business, and support this country’s nation of gardening enthusiasts.”
Caroline Notcutt, Vice Chairman Notcutts added:
“Trading over the Christmas period builds on a strong year for the business, demonstrating that customers have responded well to improvements in both our offer and our store environment.
I am excited at the prospect of working with Nicky to further enhance the Notcutts brand and retail proposition.”