// Wyevale to close down Potters Bar and Syon Park garden centres this autumn, affecting 78 staff
// Sale of three other stores in Cheltenham and Bridgemere also confirmed
// Wyevale’s two Bridgemere stores – a garden centre & nursery – sold to Blue Diamond
// Cheltenham garden centre sold to Webbs Garden Centres
Wyevale has announced the closure of two of its garden centres and the successful sale of three other stores as it continues to slim down its portfolio.
The gardening retailer said the leaseholds of its garden centres at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, and London’s Syon Park will shut down in autumn.
On the other hand, Wyevale said the sale of three other stores – located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and Bridgemere, Cheshire – are expected to be complete by mid-September.
Webbs Garden Centres’ purchase of Wyevale’s Cheltenham garden centre increases their Midlands-based operation to three stores.
Wyevale’s Bridgemere stores – a garden centre and a nursery – were sold to Blue Diamond.
This increases the footprint for the latter to 37 centres and brings the total number of Wyevale sites bought by Blue Diamond in the past few months to 16.
While the three stores in Cheltanham and Bridgemere will continue to operate as per usual under their owners, Wyevale said staff affected by the closures at Potters Bar and Syon Park were undergoing consultation.
A spokesman told Retail Gazette that a total of 78 staff were affected – 16 at Potter Bar and 62 at Syon Gardens.
“I am disappointed to announce two centre closures,” Wyevale chief operating officer Anthony Jones said.
“Our ambition has always been to find a positive outcome for all centres but unfortunately Potters Bar Garden Centre and Syon Park Garden Centre will close in the autumn.
“I would like to thank all colleagues at these centres and wish them the very best for the future.”
The latest news means Wyevale has now dwindled its near-150 store estate down to 32 garden centres plus six centres trading under license.
It first announced plans to offload stores last year in May, after a huge investment scheme saw it return to profitability.
“Alan and the Blue Diamond team’s decision to acquire Bridgemere centre and nursery demonstrates the strength and potential of this historic garden centre,” Jones said.
“I am also delighted Cheltenham will be under new ownership with the respected garden centre operator Webbs.
“I would like to thank all of our colleagues at these centres for their skills and hard work and wish them the very best under the new ownership.”
Blue Diamond managing director Alan Roper said: “As a horticulturalist, I am personally so pleased to be acquiring Bridgemere centre and nursery, which I have known since the 1980s.
“I look forward to focusing on its original virtues and to working with our new colleagues at the centre.”
Webbs chairman Edward Webb said: “Cheltenham will be our third centre and is the perfect fit, giving us a very natural extension to our existing and long-established customer base.
“We look forward to welcoming the team on board and continuing to develop Cheltenham into a store that embraces the local community.”