High street fashion retailer Next and supermarket chain Morrisons are to start selling DIY and gardening products.
Morrisons will be introducing garden centres to 30 of its shops during April, while Next is trialling a single experimental gardening and DIY centre in August.
Successful trial for supermarket
After a successful trial at the revamped Kirkstall store in West Yorkshire, Morrisons is set to roll out its garden centre range into 30 more stores this month.
The garden centres will use the outdoor areas of the shop, further developing the grocer’s non-food range.
Next to open new ‘garden centre’ store
Next will trial a new format store in August, featuring a garden centre and DIY products alongside its existing home and clothing ranges.
The fashion retailer currently has 44 home stores and plans to open a further 15 in 2011, but has stressed that the new garden centre is an experiment, and says it has no plans to roll out any more.
As well as a paint centre selling Dulux and Next paint ranges, the new-look store will also offer wallpaper, tiles, flooring and fencing, along with other DIY and gardening products.
Chain store or independent?
Which? shopping expert Sarah Dennis says: ‘Our latest Which? Gardening garden centre survey shows that the big chains lag well behind the smaller independent garden centres when it comes to specialist knowledge and advice – so it will be interesting to see how these new players in the market fare.
‘Our research showed that independent plant centres often have a wider variety of plants to choose from, but items such as furniture, tools and chemicals can often be found at a lower price in the big supermarket and DIY chains.’
Which? Gardening can help you buy everything you need for your garden. We’ve independently reviewed products from all the leading brands, at all price ranges, including recommendations for Best Buy: