Bents celebrates 85th anniversary with arrival of Lakeland

In its 85th anniversary year, Bents Garden & Home in Glazebury is welcoming kitchenware and home brand Lakeland to the store later this year.

It is 85 years since Alfred and Margaret Bent started to sell roses from the front garden of their small terrace house. Over the past 85 years, Bents has worked hard to create somewhere that is focused on the garden but also encompasses home, lifestyle and leisure. Bents says the arrival of fellow family business Lakeland further enhances its appeal as a complete day out destination centre.

Matthew Bent, managing director, says: “As a family business we’ve never been ones to rest on our laurels. We’ve always followed our passions and taken chances, and we are committed to quality, outstanding customer service and innovation, all of which are in line with Lakeland’s own philosophies and approach to their own family business. 

“With their unrivalled collection of creative kitchenware and practical, time and effort saving ideas for the home we believe that they are going to fit perfectly into our family business, and we are all looking forward to welcoming them in store.”

Emma Kay, head of property at Lakeland adds: “We are delighted to be opening a new Lakeland store at Bents Garden & Home. It is a fantastic centre for our customers to visit, and is run on the same strong family values that are so important to us. Lakeland customers enjoy exploring our innovative, high quality kitchen and homeware products, which we believe will complement the existing offering at Bents really well. We know that we have many loyal customers in this area who will welcome the opening of our new store and we are looking forward to announcing our opening date and welcoming into store later this year.”

Over the past 85 years Bents has undergone a number of key milestones many of which were introduced by Matthew’s parents, Ron and Wendy Bent and went on to establish a number of key trends within the garden centre industry. 

For instance, 2017 saw the launch of the UK’s first Open Skies Glass House, an all-weather destination where customers can shop for plants come rain or shine. More recent years have seen the opening of a £10m extension, housing a number of new home and leisure departments, including an extensive Food Hall and Pet Place with its own Pet Cafe. 

Established in 1937 Bents is now in its third generation, with four of Alfred and Margaret’s grandchildren involved in the business: Matthew Bent, managing director; Rachel Bent, head of visual merchandising; Helen Bent, head of marketing; and Katherine Bent, head of HR. Under the guidance of three generations of the Bent family it is now a £25m turnover operation, employing more than400 colleagues. 

Now, with a number of different dining destinations, outdoor play area, landscaped lake, Jurassic Cove Adventure Golf Course and on site nursery, where it grows and nurtures over 60% of its plants, Bents is a very different entity to when it began life 85 years ago, but Matthew says: “Despite growing in size we’ve worked hard to keep the great family feeling and ambiance we have established a reputation for; something I think my grandparents would be very proud of if they could see us now.”

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