Record shopper numbers expected at Wyevale Garden Centres this Christmas

UK?s largest garden centre chain launches Christmas?this week, doubling its Christmas assortment year on year.?

With Christmas only 10 weeks away, 141 Wyevale Garden Centres are this week launching their Christmas ranges, with 2.5 million gifts, home and outdoor decorations hitting the shelves in anticipation of the 12 million customers nationwide expected between now and the big day.

The largest garden centre group in the UK, Wyevale Garden Centres (previously The Garden Centre Group, having announced its return to its heritage brand this summer), has doubled its Christmas assortment this year to make the most of festive footfall and sales.

Reflecting its intention to cater for different tastes and shoppers across the UK market, category price points range from: 49p for novelty children?s stocking fillers to ?99.99 for a dramatic silver antler candelabra in gifting; ?1.99 for an eye-catching Christmas tree bauble to ?399 for a magical 6?6?? Normandy fir featuring 600 sparkling LED lights in indoor decorations; and ?29.99 for a snow-dusted pine cone wreath adorned with a silvery deer?s head to ?3,699 for the limited edition Crystal tree in outdoor decorations. Approximately 10% of the Christmas Shop ranges are exclusive and 50% are brand new to Wyevale Garden Centres this year.

Along with the rest of the nation, Wyevale Garden Centres has seen a growing trend in recent years for extravagant outdoor Christmas lighting ? previously an American tradition ? which has now become a phenomenon in our own neighbourhoods. This has prompted the retailer to strengthen its outdoor lighting and garden decorations offer more than ever this year. Brits have always had their own quirky take on the outdoor lightshow, but Wyevale Garden Centres has observed a demand for more natural-looking installations over all-singing, all-dancing novelty pyrotechnics. In particular, penguins and polar bears are out of favour this year as native wicker and acrylic animals ? foxes, rabbits, deer ? reclaim their place in British gardens.

The retailer is also staging hundreds of events nationwide to further position its Centres as a must-visit shopping destination for this Christmas and ensure family shoppers are catered for with an unrivalled programme of festive fun. Thousands of tickets will this month go on sale nationwide for Ice Skating, Winter Wonderlands, Magical Santa?s Grottos and Breakfast or Tea with Father Christmas. For adults who crave a crafty hit, floristry and wreath-making classes are on the menu and the recently revamped restaurants will be serving warming winter recipes to keep shoppers fighting fit and well-fuelled throughout the frosty Christmas shopping season.

Sarah Fuller, Marketing Director, Wyevale Garden Centres comments: ?We think shopping for Christmas should always be enjoyable. At Wyevale Garden Centres, we want to give our customers a little extra bit of Christmas wonder when they visit us ? not least through our magical transformation of the centres into winter wonderlands. This year we have scheduled our most exciting festive events programme to date and offer a relaxed shopping environment ? away from the queues of the high street and expensive parking. Our overall shopper experience is better than ever before with nearly 8,000 Christmas ranges set to be showcased through spectacular displays across all our centres.

?Gifting and outdoor decoration are big growth areas for us this year with real and replica trees a major footfall driver. The trend for outdoor decorations is set to hit an all-time high this year, so we have bought in 28 different types of door wreath, 300 different types of outdoor lights and our range for the first time extends to our stunning ?3,699 Crystal outdoor tree for customers who want to make a more dramatic statement in their garden!?

Centre manager Keith Taylor at Bridgemere, the largest Wyevale Garden Centre and Nursery, says: ?We are noticing more than ever that our customers are coming to Wyevale Garden Centres for the all-round experience. They don?t just want to nip in and nip out with a new bedding plant, they want to meet friends in the restaurant or join in one of our in-centre activities. This is even more prevalent at Christmas when we transform our centres with magical displays and special VIP customer events.?

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