Dobbies has signed a deal with Ocado to upgrade its online offer and launch a delivery service around the UK.
The new five-year tie-up will see the garden centre retailer launch a new online store and online delivery early next year.
This means online orders for the retailer will be fulfilled from Ocado subsidiary Speciality Store’s general merchandise warehouse.
Dobbies chief executive Nicholas Marshall said the deal with the online grocer was a “brilliant opportunity”, highlighting the gap in the market for garden centres when it comes to online retail.
“The garden centre industry is at least 10 years behind the rest of the retail world,” he said.
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“The gardening market in the UK is worth £4 billion. The potential is therefore enormous.
“For us to partner with Ocado, the best online retailer in the UK, is a brilliant opportunity for Dobbies, and its customers.”
Ocado’s general merchandise managing director James Matthews also confirmed the deal.
“We are pleased to announce this agreement, which will enable Dobbies to launch a new online service for their customers, powered by our technological and logistical know-how,” he said.
Dobbie’s chairman Andrew Bracey was chief financial officer at Ocado until 2012.
The news comes as reports emerge Marks & Spencer could begin talks with Ocado to help it branch out to online delivery.