Making sense of the past seven days
Retail's constant capacity to surprise is evident in spades in this morning's news that supermarket giant Tesco is to buy AIM-listed garden centre tiddler Dobbies.

For Tesco, the price being paid is birdseed - it values Dobbies at£156 million, or less than two days' takings for the grocer, as broker Panmure Gordon tellingly points out - but this is a fascinating deal.

Firstly, it confirms that nothing is out of bounds for Tesco. The retail powerhouse has amazed over the years with its push into new fields such as general merchandise and convenience. Today's acquisition will create shock waves at rival retailers ranging from DIY giant B&Q to Wyevale, the leading garden centre specialist.

Secondly, the takeover illustrates the opportunity that garden centres represent. The battle for control of Wyevale a couple of years back, culminating in its sale to tycoon Sir Tom Hunter, centred on the fact that garden centres represented one of the last unprofessionalised retail sectors of scale. Hunter has subsequently led consolidation and the Wyevale team, led by Jim Hodkinson and Barry Stevenson, have modernised retail practices. Now they will pit themselves against Britain's most successful retailer. It will be a fantastic story to follow.

In this morning's announcement, Tesco flagged up that the deal would enable it to meet customers' green aspirations more successfully. Hodkinson has made that a central plank of Wyevale's proposition and it provides yet more evidence that engaging with rising environmental awareness and concern represents one of the biggest retail opportunities of this era.

Finally, it's nice to see a quoted retailer such as Tesco acting as swiftly and imaginatively as the private equity boys, who have up until now probably been the most astute opportunity-spotters in the business.

What Tesco does with Dobbies and how the gardens market develops has the potential to rival one of the great retail innovations of the 1980s and 1990s - the growth of the DIY market. It's going to be an exciting time.

'Bold and brave', was how one industry insider described yesterday's decision by DSGi to appoint Tesco director John Browett as chief executive, replacing the veteran John Clare.

Browett is highly respected and has piloted innovations at Tesco such as the online arm, as well as strategic and operational improvements. His background in e-tail, international retailing and strategy exactly fit the bill for the DSGi role.

But Browett will face some big challenges. Although he is a Tesco director, he is not on the main board, so it will be a big ask for him to move straight into the top job at a FTSE 100 company. His first priority will be to engage the senior management at DSGi, get them onside and bring out the best in them. If he can do that quickly, he will be a long way down the road to being a successful leader of DSGi.