Garden centre boost for Nisa as Dobbies rolls out Foodhall strategy

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 25 Mar 2019

Scunthorpe delivered wholesaler Nisa is digging into the garden centre market.

The company has signed a deal with popular chain Dobbies to support a new Foodhall strategy across 35 of its stores.

Customers will enjoy a balance of unique, premium quality ‘foodie’ items and a wide range of groceries supplied by Nisa. 

It is a move to provide an extended range that will provide more choice and convenience.

Steve Leach, pictured, Nisa Retail sales director, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Dobbies and look forward to helping them on a journey to establish their Foodhall as a one stop shopping destination, and unlocking the full sales potential of these sites.

“Nisa has enjoyed an exceptional period of recruitment and has proven again that it is perfectly suited to partnering with a wide range of different retail formats and we know that Dobbies will benefit greatly from the input of our specialist retail support teams.”

Read more: Nisa bolsters key team supporting independent retailers

The Waldo Way organisation has worked closely with the Dobbies retail team to develop a range of fresh, chilled and frozen products, while helping to dovetail an everyday range of ambient products into the existing Dobbies Foodhall range.

Archie Stewart, head of food at Dobbies, said: “I am delighted to see our new strategy come to life in the Foodhalls. Customers are increasingly shopping for less, more often and so we have created a Foodhall offer that caters to this top up shop mission, whilst also maintaining Dobbies uniqueness.”

The brand isn’t represented in Yorkshire or Lincolnshire, with Chesterfield, Derbyshire, the closest branch to Nisa’s base. 

Dobbies dates back to the mid 1800s, when the industrial revolution saw garden ownership put in the grasp of ordinary people. 

Read more: Nisa's gala dinner is a record draw

A prize-winning gardener, he first sold seeds from a leek in 1865, leaving his career to devote himself to J Dobbie ‘Choice Seeds & Flowers’ of Renfrew, selling to chief assistant William Cuthbertson in 1887, with the name tweaked to Dobbie & Co. 

Through mail order seed selling it was known across Scotland and England, moving to larger premises in Edinburgh, before the 70-acre site at Melville was taken in 1934, where it remains to this day.

It was acquired in 1969 by Waterers – another distinguished horticultural business based in Surrey – and the amalgamation allowed business to flourish both north and south.

Today Dobbies is owned by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital.

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