The Garden Centre Group is rebranding back to Wyevale Garden Centres in what?s thought to be the first instance of a retailer changing its name to reflect multichannel shopping habits.
Just five years ago the retailer rebranded from Wyevale Garden Centres to Garden Centre Group under then chief executive Nicholas Marshall as part of a localisation strategy that involved individual centres adopting local names.
However, Wyevale Garden Centres chief executive Kevin Bradshaw told Retail Week the retailer needs to operate under a single brand across all channels to avoid confusion among its shoppers and said it was ?strategically imperative? the company has a well-known national identity ahead of its ecommerce expansion.
Research by the retailer showed that despite dropping the Wyevale brand name, it is still the most frequently searched term in context of retailers in the gardening sector. Wyevale Garden Centres will be rolled out across all 140 centres.
The retailer hopes bringing back the well-known brand name will help it expand its multichannel offer beyond its current proposition, although Bradshaw declined to give specific details on the plans. At present it has a click and collect offer but does not deliver to homes.
Bradshaw said: ?Local expertise is of course very important but a national brand does not diminish from the expertise at the centre and many consumers are aware their local centre is part of a chain.?
The retailer picked the Wyevale brand over other sub-brands Country Gardens and Blooms because it had far higher levels of awareness, said Bradshaw.
Bradshaw said strong results under new owner Terra Firma meant there was a ?terrific opportunity to grow the business through acquisitions?.
Currently 53% of the public are within a 20 minute drive of the store, but Bradshaw added he would like a ?comprehensive offer up and down the country?.
Last week the retailer revealed EBITDA grew by 50% in its first full year under the management of Kevin Bradshaw and the ownership of Terra Firma, which acquired it in March 2012.
Annual revenues increased by ?17 million to ?276.2 million on a pro forma basis, and gross margins rose by 3.7%.