Sainsbury’s has built on its wholesale ambitions with a deal to sell its own-label range at Dobbies Garden Centres.
The exclusive partnership is set to launch at the garden centre chain’s Edinburgh store later this month.
The range will include more than 3,000 products, including fresh and frozen produce, ambient and chilled, as well as other grocery, household and toiletry lines.
The move looks set to signal the end of an agreement Dobbies has with buying group Nisa, which struck a deal to supply a range of everyday groceries as part of a new foodhall strategy at the garden retailer in March 2019.
However a Dobbies spokeswoman explained: “Our relationship with Nisa will continue for the time being in the stores that aren’t trialling Sainsbury’s. We are in further discussions with our relevant suppliers and will update in due course.”
Sainsbury’s now has a number of wholesale partnerships in place in Asia, Europe and the UK, including partnerships with WH Smith, SimplyFresh, Australian supermarket group Coles and Isle of Man-based supermarket chain ShopRite.
“We’re always looking for new ways to bring our distinctive, high-quality products to more customers,” said Mike Luck, Sainsbury’s director of business development.
“This opportunity with Dobbies will bring a fantastic choice of food and grocery products to convenient locations for lots of shoppers, helping them shop for what they need quickly and conveniently.”
Dobbies is one of the largest garden centre operators in the UK, with 68 stores nationwide. Currently owned by private equity firms Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital, the business was sold by Tesco for £217m in 2016.
CEO Graeme Jenkins said: “The partnership between Dobbies and Sainsbury’s is an excellent fit, with a shared goal of offering the best to our customers.
“By complementing our existing garden centre ranges with a comprehensive food and grocery offer, we will offer our customers a convenient solution for their grocery needs. We look forward to launching our first new-look food hall at Edinburgh in late July.”
Chairman Andrew Bracey added: “This is an exciting step forward for Dobbies as we continue to grow the business and lead the future of garden centre retailing.
“Garden centres are increasingly popular, as people embrace the enjoyment of gardening. Our partnership with Sainsbury’s perfectly complements our strategy of offering the best possible ranges and convenience to customers.”