The UK’s garden centre sector has undergone an intensely difficult experience because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether a large chain or an independent, these businesses were forced to close during the first lockdown, resulting in severe financial pressures. Recovery for some now appears uncertain. As can be seen, a number of garden centres and affiliated plant growers are close to becoming insolvent, and there are rising numbers of administrations and liquidations.

If you require advice,  the specialists at Company Debt have insight into the garden centre sector and can provide you with tailored guidance on your options. This will include rescue and business restructuring measures, if these are appropriate, as well as liquidation.

Garden Centers Pressure Points

Garden Centers

How did the Pandemic Impact the Garden Centre Sector?

The first lockdown between March and June last year could not have come at a worse time for garden centres. They took a huge hit and there were knock-on effects with growers having to dispose of millions of plants, at a time which normally sees around 70% of sales. Although some garden centres may have an online presence, the vast majority are heavily reliant on footfall.

There are around 2,000 garden centre businesses across the UK and many have reported that Covid-19 dealt a devastating blow. Directors were frustrated by a lack of government support and some garden centres said they had found it impossible to obtain loans, while there was also no direct financial aid. Yet in the Netherlands, for example, the sector received support to the tune of some €600 million.

UK garden centres also felt unfairly treated in that supermarkets could remain open, as could DIY stores, which were able to continue selling plants and gardening equipment. While garden centres could reopen for the second and third lockdowns, they needed to spend more on safer shopping measures and facilities such as cafes and restaurants, that often contributed considerably to profits, needed to stay closed.

Garden centres that did manage to borrow to remain afloat during the pandemic will now be carrying more debt. They may also have commercial rent arrears and be struggling to pay creditors. Other issues could be reduced income because franchise outlets within garden centres may have stopped trading, as part of the general demise of traditional retail, and so this has resulted in a loss of rent. A likely interest rate rise may also have a negative impact on all retail, including garden centres.

Beyond this, these businesses often occupy large sites and have high staffing and maintenance costs. Garden centres may now be reopened but many will still be experiencing financial difficulties well in 2022 and beyond.

Finding a way Forward

If you have concerns about your garden centre business believe the company could be close to

insolvency, then don’t delay in seeking advice. The experts at Company Debt will act swiftly to provide confidential support, guidance and clarity at a time when it is most needed.

Garden Centers

Knowledge – Insight – Solutions

We are fully licensed and accredited insolvency practitioners based in north London, and with decades of combined partner experience in helping directors find positive solutions to business challenges.

Our goal is first to understand your situation as fully as we can, and then to explain the range of options available to you.

We focus on practical advice, without jargon. We practice total transparency around costs and fee structures. Our wish is to support you as fully as possible so that you can emerge from this situation in the best possible situation.

As a first step, simply book in a call with one of our team to learn more about our approach, and to take advantage of a fee consultation that carries no obligation.

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If you need an experienced insolvency practitioner or business rescue specialist, seek advice now.

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