A GARDEN centre is set to be expanded after news that its declining sister business will be axed.
Planters, owners of Garden King, in Park Road, Newhall, are set to now concentrate their efforts on the popular garden centre after the closure announcement of their premises in Bradley, near Stafford.
Garden King’s declining trade in Bradley has been blamed on a combination of bad weather, competition from supermarkets and the fact that the business is so far off the beaten track.
Meanwhile, Darren Sanders, who manages both Garden King Bradley and Newhall, said: “Garden King are still looking for other sites.”
He said that business at the two Planters centres, including Planters at Bretby, and Garden King Newhall had picked up, adding: “We’re concentrating on Newhall, having an extension and a restaurant put on it. We’re just investing the money more sensibly in the other sites that are doing well.”
Garden King took over Bradley two years ago but franchises, including a mower repair business and an aquatic centre, had gradually quit over time, with the restaurant now the only one left.
Mr Sanders added of Bradley: “It’s an old garden centre and the buildings are very old, so they needed a lot of money invested in them to bring them up to modern standards, and it wasn’t worth the risk at the end of the day.”
It means the loss of ten jobs in the garden centre and eight in the restaurant.
A closure announcement on the Garden King website said: “Unfortunately Garden King Bradley is closing down, it was a very hard decision to make. We are the third owners in a row to fail to make a success of the site. After falling sales for many years it was too big a hill to climb to get sales back to where they need to be to make the site profitable.
“We have a successful record of running Garden Centres but Bradley needed too much investment to make it pay and given its location the risks were too great. Bradley had been on the market for three years before we bought it so a buyer was unlikely to be found. We will now be looking for alternative uses for the site.”
The company added that Garden King Newhall, Planters Garden Centre and Planters at Bretby are unaffected by this closure.
Garden King Bradley is now running a closing-down sale until March 30 and is also looking to sell off all its fixtures and fittings to other businesses.