‘We’ve managed to catch up on what we’re losing’ - garden centre boom continues post-lockdown

PUBLISHED: 13:27 28 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:27 28 July 2020

North Walsham Garden Centre director Ben Youngs. 


North Walsham Garden Centre director Ben Youngs. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

A boom in business at one garden centre has continued post-lockdown as families hold barbecues and plan garden projects.

North Walsham Garden Centre, Norwich Road, North Walsham. Photo: Colin FinchNorth Walsham Garden Centre, Norwich Road, North Walsham. Photo: Colin Finch

North Walsham Garden Centre saw a record week for business when it reopened on May 18 and owner Ben Youngs says the strong performance has continued as Norfolk emerges from lockdown.

Mr Youngs said the crowds of shoppers had helped to ease the losses suffered by the garden centre during lockdown closure.

He said: “Our strong business performance has continued, it’s been really good, we’ve managed to catch up on what we were losing, so it’s been quite a nice time for us really.”

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Mr Youngs said the most popular items among shoppers were outdoor leisure equipment such as barbecues, furniture, fire pits and water features, as well as plants and shrubs which have been flying off the shelves as gardeners plan landscape projects.

New businesses which have opened on the site have also helped attract shoppers according to Mr Youngs, although the garden centre’s restaurant has been performing slowly since it reopened two weeks ago, something he hopes the new government Eat Out to Help Out scheme will rectify.

Mr Youngs added: “The restaurant reopened in the last couple of weeks, but it hasn’t been too busy in there yet, but it’s steadily getting busier, but we’ve signed up for the government scheme so hopefully that will bring a few more in.

“With a few new businesses opening up in our units up here, it has been good to have a few more shops around us as well, which has been good at getting people out and about.”

In May, Mr Youngs said lockdown could not have come at a worse time as the spring and summer months were the garden centre’s yearly peak times, however he added that losses had been offset by a lockdown delivery service which had proved popular with customers.

He said staff had been pleased at how well and quickly customers had adapted to the new social distancing rules of limited numbers and a one-way system.

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