Our new partnership with Blue Diamond!

Blue Diamond Team at Weybridge Garden Centre

Following the announcement in August that Blue Diamond have acquired nine of Wyevale’s most prestigious sites; First Franchise are pleased to announced that we will be assisting Blue Diamond with the integration of the concession partners into the Blue Diamond business and with any new enquiries for the Blue Diamond Group.

The former Wyevale sites have over 100 concession partners, and there will be opportunities for new retailers who have the style and retail format to work alongside Blue Diamond on their sites.

Blue Diamond now operate 30 garden centres across England and the Channel Islands, which is where their Head Office is based. They are one of the largest garden centre groups and they operate some of the best known garden centres in the country.

The former Wyevale sites involved in the sale are:

Bicester, Oxfordshire
Endsleigh, Devon
Sanders Garden World, Burnham-on-sea
Cadbury, Bristol
Cardiff Blooms, Wales
Percy Thrower, Shrewsbury
Melbicks, Birmingham
Weybridge, Surrey
Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Many of these sites have concession villages, such as Bicester and Cardiff, which will offer new concession opportunities.

If you would like to know more, please keep an eye on our website for available space opportunities. Alternatively, please use our contact page to send us an email.

Wyevale Garden Centres put up for sale

Wyevale Logo

Britan’s largest retail group has been put up for sale.

Wyevale Garden Centre Group, which has over 145 centres across the country, can be sold as a whole entity or split up with individual centres being sold off to other groups, or local entrepreneurs who wish to run the centres themselves or change their purpose for other means.

Wyevale’s owners, Terra Firma, (a private equity firm), said the sale was “a unique investment opportunity” and that it was expecting to be “attractive to a wide range of buyers”.

Terra Firma has owned Wyevale since 2012, but in recent years the group has struggled in an increasingly competitive market.

The 145 centres range from local horticultural centres to major leisure destination venues. The garden centres include 144 restaurants and cafes, and 700 concessions with 240 partners.

If you are interested in buying any of these centres and would like us to help you with researching into the potential income from concession rental revenue, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Ball® Fresh Preserving Products – Completing the grow-your-own cycle


For over 130 years, iconic Ball® brand fresh preserving products have helped preservers make jams, pickles, sauces and more at home, safely and easily.

First Franchise is delighted to announce it is working exclusively with Jarden Home Brands, the makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products, to launch to the UK Garden Centre Market. In recent years, there has been significant movement towards healthy eating and grow your own food. Garden centres have been at the forefront of this rapidly growing trend, and these products are the natural partner to all garden centres and nurseries.

However, the growing cycle is missing the final stage because when crops are harvested, there can be a glut, with food going to waste as it perishes too quickly to be eaten. Ball® fresh preserving products can help solve this problem by reducing waste and enabling growers to consume their produce at a later time by using their tried and trusted preserving process.

The stages of grow your own:
1 – Buy seeds
2 – Grow seeds to germination
3 – Plant out the germinated plants
4 – Pick the produce
5 – Preserve the produce using Ball® Fresh Preserving Products

This is an exciting development for UK gardeners as the iconic Ball® Fresh Preserving Products will enable them to keep their fresh produce for a shelf-life of up to 1 year.
Having the Ball® Fresh Preserving Products range in your garden centre is a fantastic opportunity. The product range will open up a new category of horticultural products within the garden centre market. Consumers will have access to the range of preserving products as well as support through comprehensive online resources which include new recipes, how-to videos, step-by-step guides and demonstrators, teaching customers how to use their products.

Jarden Home Brands, maker of the Ball® preserving range, provides innovative, trusted solutions and easy to follow steps that give homemade foods a shelf-life of up to one year, with safer and more consistent results and no more guesswork.  The Ball® range of preserving products includes all you need to capture the freshness of your home-grown produce to enjoy year-round:

• Ball® Home Preserving Starter Kit
• Ball® Blue Book® Guide to Preserving
• 4 x 135 mL Ball® Quilted Crystal™ Jelly Jars
• 6 x 240 mL Ball® Quilted Crystal™ Jelly Jars
• 6 x 490 mL Ball® Preserving Jars
• 4 x 945 mL Ball® Preserving Jars
• Ball® Regular Mouth Lids (12 pack)
• Ball® Dissolvable Labels
• Ball® Jam Setting Mix with Pectin
• Ball® Low or No-Sugar Jam Setting Mix with Pectin
If you would like to know anything more about Ball® Fresh Preserving Products, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!  

Farm Shop Opens at Hillier in Horsham


Hillier Garden Centre in Horsham has recently opened a new Farm Shop, with the help of Appetite Me, the farm shop specialist. The new farm shop is 2000 sq. ft. located in the carpark of opposite the entrance. The shop is stocked with locally produced products ranging from apple juice, to meat, to olive oil, to freshly cooked bread and baked goods and much more…

Appetite Me have managed the project from start to finish, helping with the interior planning, sourcing, ranging, merchandising and also helping to find the perfect staff.

As a strategic partner working with the Hillier Garden centre group managing all retail food and drink on their behalf, our team are very honoured to have worked on the Horsham farm shop project. Sales have started strong across all categories and the customers are liking the shop.Robert Tate, Managing Director, Appetite Me

With the current increase in public awareness for where food is sourced and grown, there is a growing demand for more locally focused stores and so it’s the perfect time for garden centre’s to stock more locally sourced products. Appetite Me work throughout the UK and their extensive database of local producers mean they can source the best local products for every venue. Their consultants provide free initial consultations for any garden centre owner considering developing a bespoke local/regional food & drink offer.

Appetite Me also helped Hillier develop an online presence for its new farm shop in conjunction with specialist social media agency Marketing Space. The new Hillier blog can be viewed at www.hillierfarmshop.com and using Marketing Space online specialisation certainly made a difference to the launch of the new facility.

If you would like more information on potentially opening a farm shop in your garden centre, please get in contact with us.

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White Stores Open Garden Furniture Showroom In Yarnton Nurseries Garden Centre, Oxfordshire

Whitestores - the outdoor living store

This week, White Stores, a bespoke outdoor department store, open their first concession, a 4,500 sq. ft. installation, in Yarnton Nurseries Garden Centre, Oxfordshire.

Celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2015, White Stores are specialists in the promotion and sale of garden furniture, BBQs and accessories. One of the UK’s largest independent online retailers of garden furniture, the White Stores website receives around 250K hits per month. Their products also regularly feature in all of the foremost home & garden magazines, newspaper articles and TV shows.
Read More »

Concession demand still strong

Garden Centre Planteria

By Matthew Appleby | Horticulture Week | 14th Nov 2014

“We’re in our 10th year and demand for concessions is stronger than ever.”

First Franchise says its 10th year in business has been its busiest year yet. The company develops partnerships for retailers that want to have concessions in garden centres and has introduced thousands over the past decade.

Read the full article in Horticulture Week »

‘RECTELLA’ – A Soft Furnishings Concession for Garden Centres

Rectella Shop Interior

In this week’s edition of Concession News, we introduce soft furnishings retailer ‘Rectella’ who are the latest name to expand their stand alone store format within garden centres.

Traditionally, the key to the success of garden centres has always been the high level of expertise they provide through the selection of specialist ranges and the knowledge of the staff on site.  The expertly picked variety that the ranges enjoy, in addition to the well maintained displays, has meant that customers visit garden centres to have access to the best items and advice, as they look to find the right solution for their individual home and gardening needs.

Concession Agreements

Moretan Park Cotton Traders Shop


In this week’s edition of Concession News, we learn more about the importance of Concession agreements and the unique ways that they can help landlord and tenant create a long term on site partnership.

A number of national, high street and out of town retailers are diversifying their businesses as they are looking to introduce new ranges in the most cost effective way possible. As a result, Concessions have increased in popularity as the introduction of new brands and ranges, in this way, provides an excellent way for landlords, or host retailers to improve their offer to their customers.

Read More »

High Street Fashion Brand Peacocks looks to open 20 new concessions in garden centres!

Peacocks Store

Cardiff based Peacocks is celebrating its 130th year and the company has just opened its first concessions within two leading garden centres, Highfield Garden Centre, Gloucester and Woodlands Garden Centre in Leicester.

Read More »

PETS CORNER – a tail of success


In this week’s edition of Concession News, we look at how Pets Corner, the UK’s largest independent Pets retailer, have developed their presence in garden centres and explain how their unique way of retailing is capturing the customers who are looking for a better standard of customer service.

Read More »