Strategy for Blooms acquisition unveiled
Garden centre specialist Wyevale has unveiled a twin-track trading strategy and will trade from two brand names.

Wyevale, which acquired 10-store Blooms of Bressingham in February, will convert seven Blooms of Bressingham units to the Wyevale fascia. The remaining three Blooms of Bressingham stores and up to 30 smaller Wyevale shops will be rebranded as Blooms.

The three Blooms of Bressingham stores to be converted to Blooms will become flagships in a chain, complementary to Wyevale, of local traditional garden centres, which will focus on horticulture, plants, gardening equipment and accessories.

Former Blooms of Bressingham chairman Charles Good will join the Wyevale advisory board. Former chief executive Jon Kitching will also become a director and will be responsible for the rebranded Blooms horticulture division.

Wyevale chairman Jim Hodkinson said: 'The seven larger stores acquired with Blooms of Bressingham are a perfect fit with Wyevale's existing business and will significantly extend our coverage and customer base. A successful Easter weekend has strengthened our confidence in the many changes introduced to Wyevale over the past year and we will shortly be commencing a programme to roll out our store format across the chain.'

Wyevale chief executive Barry Stevenson said: 'Wyevale is the clear market leader in the gardening sector and our major garden-centred department stores will set a new standard for the industry as destination garden centre outlets, catering for everybody from the amateur gardener to the enthusiast.'

Wyevale operates 118 outlets.

Teather & Greenwood analyst Rhys Williams said: 'The level of change is higher than what we were expecting, with the group looking to trade from two brand names.

'This will take up a fair amount of management time, as well as cash resources and so we believe it will further delay any possible bid for Dobbies by West Coast Capital, the owners of Wyevale.'