Furniture and homewares retailer Cargo will this week launch its first concession in a garden centre as it seeks to widen its appeal.
Cargo will open a 4,000 sq ft concession in Wyevale-owned Blooms Garden Centre in Solihull. The retailer wants to build its brand and tap into the Easter footfall that garden centres draw.
Cargo managing director Clive Gilbert said there are “great synergies” between the customers of both Cargo and garden centres and that the retailer is in talks to open a second concession this summer.
He added: “If these two concessions work we’ll have a more aggressive opening programme for 2012 onwards. We’re expecting it to be a success and have been looking at doing this for the past two years. We hope that this is just the beginning of a strong partnership.”
Gilbert said the 45-store retailer is not halting its standalone store expansion plans and is on the verge of signing for two high street stores.
Gilbert said: “We’re still actively looking for sites in the South and Southeast. This concession is very much incremental and complementary to our existing store expansion plans, not instead of.”
He added he is “very pleased with trading” and said that while the run up to Christmas was “challenging” the retailer is now “ahead of forecasts” and has “put together a robust plan for the next financial year”.
Gilbert said concessions are ideal when “appropriate sites in towns where we want to be are harder to come by”. He added: “Even though there’s plenty of property becoming available, in some cases the stores are not appropriate. There’s some way to go before property prices correct themselves.”
Cargo has recruited seven staff to work in the concession, which will sell products for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room.