Wyevale Garden Centres is a plant- and garden-focused retailer in the UK
Wyevale Garden Centres (WGC) became the largest plant- and garden-focused retailer in the UK with 148 sites. It offered its customers a high quality service derived from a horticultural history of more than 80 years, together with on-site food & beverage outlets, and access to concessions run by third-party retailers.
When Terra Firma acquired WGC (then known as The Garden Centre Group) in April 2012, the business was operating under a number of different brands. A business plan was developed to establish a national brand, consolidate the sector, weather-proof the business and realise economies of scale.
As part of its strategic review of the business post-acquisition, Terra Firma carried out a detailed site-by-site analysis which highlighted operational inefficiencies and the need for a more co-ordinated approach across the estate. WGC focused on strengthening its core proposition to improve its customer footfall, increase sales density, transform the supply chain to lift retail margin and acquire more garden centres.
In 2014, the business focused on building out retail, leisure and concession space and expanding its food and beverage offering. Under Terra Firma’s ownership WGC acquired 25 sites, bringing the group’s portfolio to 151. Between 2015 and early 2016, WGC successfully completed the sale-and-leaseback of 13 garden centres. The proceeds of these transactions were used to pay down debt and invest in acquisitions.
Terra Firma launched an asset-by-asset sales process for the business in 2018. The centres proved attractive to a wide range of buyers, from financial investors to existing garden centre operators and local entrepreneurs. The sale of the final tranche of sites was completed in 2019. The exit was ultimately delivered through 57 transactions of individual sites and portfolios.