Selfridges opens garden centres in three stores as it looks to tap into green-fingered boom… and it includes a themed Prada clothing collection
- Its garden centres launched today sell garden tools, seeds and plants
- On sale also its own label compost and an exclusive collection from Prada
- An estimated 3m new gardeners tried their hand at gardening last year
Selfridges opened garden centres at its Birmingham, London and Manchester stores today as it looks to cash in on the green-fingered boom spurred by the pandemic.
As an estimated 3million new gardeners tried their hand at the hobby for the first time during lockdown and the upmarket department store has become the latest retailer rushing to tap into the growing trend.
Fashion chain Next recently struck a deal with Homebase to open mini-garden centres in six of its stores, where it sells plants, pots and tools and customers can ask for advice to 300 ‘trained garden specialists’.
Gardening boom: Botanical artist Carly Rogers at Selfridges’ store in London today
Meanwhile, Dobbies Garden Centres has been expanding its small-format store, announcing it would open two in London last month, following the launch of new stores in Edinburgh and Bristol.
Selfridges has transformed its London store’s accessories hall and the store exterior into a garden centre selling garden tools, seeds, plants as well as its own label compost and an exclusive themed clothing collection from Prada.
Among other items on sale is bespoke merchandise featuring puns such as ‘Herb Your Enthusiasm’ or ‘Horti-Couture’, which are aimed at ‘gardening and fashion enthusiasts alike’, the company said.
Selfridges’ garden centres also include ‘potting sheds’, where customers can go to ask for advice to the resident gardener and take part in workshops and experiences that will run between 25 June and 11 July.
These will include a virtual ‘dial-a-gardener’ consultation service, when resident gardener, Angela Maynard, will host virtual 1-2-1 sessions from her garden.
Meanwhile, the Birmingham and Manchester stores will host a ‘Green House’ pop up during the period, with the Manchester store set to host supplementary community garden projects.
Prada: In the collection is this £315 visor
Gary the gnome at the launch of the Selfridges garden centre in London today
Selfridges said it will also ‘green up’ London Oxford Street, with a grow bag installation in front of the store’s historic entrance.
Sarah Riding, retail partner at law firm, Gowling WLG, said Selfrdiges’ move made sense from both a financial and reputational point of view.
‘This is an innovative approach to capitalising on interests enhanced by the pandemic – and also aligns well with the need for retailers to evolve and widen their offerings more sustainably,’ she said.
‘Embedding robust supply chain strategies into every aspect of the new offering is vital though, not only to properly service nationwide demand but to drive reputational value to the wider brand.’
Fashion: There is an exclusive range of garden-inspired fashion on sale from Prada
Horticultural consultant and resident gardener Angela Maynard at Selfridges’ London store
Selfridges said the launch of its garden centres was part of its creative theme for 2021, which is ‘Good Nature’.
The department store’s creative director, Hannah Emslie, said: ‘A garden centre is evocative but familiar, and has provided rich inspiration for our teams, literally and creatively.
‘We know our customers are more interested in gardening and greening than they have ever been – and so we are playing with the idea by bringing the essentials of a typical garden centre to our stores.
‘We will be retailing plants, compost and garden gnomes alongside special and unexpected Selfridges products with a sense fun and imagination, as we continue to explore pleasure in nature this year.’
Herb Your Enthusiasm: This t-shirt is £40 at Selfridges