The blooming of British Garden Centres

In the last twelve months British Garden Centres has achieved huge growth through the development of their existing eight sites and takeover of seventeen further sites from Wyevale Garden Centre – with more in the pipeline.

Their business is family run and had been growing organically. They adopted a more aggressive growth strategy when Wyevale announced the sale of all their sites.

In this period of huge growth, it has been critical to gain immediate and total control across their sites to enable them to fully realise their ambitions.

This is where Fidelity have been able to step in and support them.

Ian Hutchinson, Marketing Manager at British Garden Centres, tells his story of the expansion:

With a business of this scale and with the growth plans we had in place, we had systems and technology at the top of our priority list. We need to get this piece of the jigsaw right to support our journey and enable us to make a success of our business.

We had quite a long list of requirements. We needed the benefits of a scalable system that could enable and support our speed of growth. Plus, it needed to be delivered in the shortest timeframe possible.

I also wanted to be able to see marketing data and introduce a loyalty scheme and gift card service.

Having a head office view of sales, stock and service levels was going to be paramount for us. We needed to have that level of control across our sites to see where and what was performing well and where we could make improvements. Having multiple and disjointed systems wasn’t going to cut it, and this was before adding to them.

Our technology solution requirements:

  • Ability to standardise our operation
  • Flexible system that could handle our multiple sites
  • Single system across our retail and hospitality operations
  • Something scalable for our future
  • A robust, reliable and secure platform
  • The ability to adapt and embrace the latest technology
  • A trusted technology partner we could work with for the expansion and beyond
  • Speed of deployment
  • Quality on-going support

After going through a tender process we found Fidelity Systems. What we liked about them was the flexibility of their solution. That it could work across our retail and hospitality operation. Also, that there was so much functionality. It looked to be a system that could grow with us as were ready to introduce new elements and new sites.

As new sites have come on board, the doors needed to reopen as quickly as possible. And with us acquiring multiple sites at the same time, this could have been a massive headache and a slow process.

We have been hugely impressed with the team at Fidelity. The speed to deliver systems at new sites, their partnership approach and the collaborative way of working we have with them has been critical to our expansion.

In our monthly meetings with Fidelity we go over what’s working, what’s coming up and anything new that we want to do. They are happy to bring in their support and development team members where needed. If we want something to work in a different way, they help us achieve it or show us how we achieve it.

Throughout our dealings with Fidelity we have found them to be a reliable and trustworthy partner. We see it as a long-term relationship and look forward to what’s next.

Sam Sharpless of Fidelity Systems tells the story from a deployment angle:

We were absolutely delighted to have been selected as the preferred partner for British Garden Centres back in June 2017. Our EPoS solutions are exactly right for them as a business now and into the future with their growth plans.

Knowing new sites were on the horizon, we needed to work quickly to get the base set up just right at the existing BGC sites. Our team at Fidelity are able to do a lot of the legwork for our clients to get this initial set up done without loads of emphasis and pressure being placed on the client.

Getting the first few sites live and seeing how pleased BGC were with the new level of transparency and control it gave them from head office was great. This was a strong foundation to rollout across their existing sites.

Then the growth came. Speed was the keyword here.

Everyday a retail outlet has its doors closed is a huge loss in revenue. We take this very seriously. As soon as each acquisition has been completed, we have been ready with new kit to scan and log stock. Then to deploy the new retail terminals and kitchen order management systems. And train the new teams on using everything.

It has been a seamless process. Something we are very proud of. The relationship we have built with BGC has been key to getting this delivery right. We have realism, trust and integrity on both sides, this has made this project a pleasure.

We look forward to many happy years working alongside British Garden Centres and to welcoming their new sites onboard.

To find out how we can support your garden centre, contact us here.

Posted in Garden Centres on Sep 17, 2019

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