Longacres acquires Kent-based garden centre

Longacres Garden Centre has announced its acquisition of Bybrook Barn Garden Centre in Ashford, Kent. The new garden centre will start trading under the name Longacres Bybrook Barn on Saturday July 30 2016.

The original Longacres Garden Centre is its flagship store in Bagshot, Surrey. Three years ago, Longacres took over Thompson’s Garden Centre in Shepperton and the success of this venture has encouraged managing director Nigel Long to continue the quest for expansion.

Nigel Long MD of Longacres Garden Centre and Terry Burch of Bybrook Barn shake hands on the completion of the acquisitionHe commented: “Our Bagshot operation has enjoyed great success and we have been delighted with the speed with which we have been able to replicate our winning formula at Shepperton. Like Longacres Shepperton, at Bybrook Barn we have acquired a much-loved but underperforming centre that has great potential to be turned around and we are ready to embrace this challenge which will also give us a foot-hold in another county.”

Nigel continued: “The focus will continue to be on plants and core gardening, but we will be looking to add several departments – cut flowers and floristry services being one of the first we will address – along with improving the giftware and toy departments in good time for Christmas.”

From as early as August, Longacres will start work to improve the layout and fixtures and fittings, the retailer explains, and will then continue to increase the range of products available while putting in place staff training to ensure service levels match the other Longacres stores.

The company has recently launched an upgraded retail website and will be extending its Click & Collect service to Ashford imminently. Next year will see the introduction of a drive through area similar to the one at the Bagshot store, the retailer notes.

Nigel added: “We are very excited about Longacres Bybrook Barn and are eager to get to work to make it the biggest and the best garden centre in Kent. We are also on the lookout for further businesses that offer potential and enable Longacres to continue its ambitious expansion plans.”