Selfridges launches gardening centres as interest grows during Covid crisis

Selfridges has launched garden centres at its stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham stores, capitalising on the gardening boom that accelerated during the pandemic.

The retailer said the new centres feature its own-label compost and an exclusive themed clothing range from Prada, and form part of a creative theme for the year called Good Nature.

Selfridges said it was launching the new range after the number of gardeners rose by 3 million last year, with nearly half of them aged under 45, as the nation turned to home pursuits during the pandemic.

The garden centres also include a “potting shed” where customers can talk to experts and take part in workshops and events that will run between 25 June and 11 July. A dial-a-gardener problem-shooting consultation service is another feature of the launch.

“A garden centre is evocative but familiar, and has provided rich inspiration for our teams, literally and creatively,” said Hannah Emslie, the creative director of Selfridges. “We know our customers are more interested in gardening and greening than they ever have been. And so we are playing with the idea by bringing the essentials of a typical garden centre to our stores.”

A range of own-brand gardening merchandise is sold in-store and online and Gary the gnome, a limited-edition mascot, features on a collection of caps, totes and T-shirts featuring slogans such as “Herb your enthusiasm” and “Horti-couture”.

There is also a 16-piece range called Shakedown Garden, inspired by the Grateful Dead’s album Shakedown Street, giving the band’s “aesthetic of tie-dye, skulls, bears and roses a botanical spin”.

“We will be retailing plants, compost and garden gnomes alongside special and unexpected Selfridges products with a sense of fun and imagination as we continue to explore pleasure in nature this year,” Selfridges said.

Last month, Selfridges obtained a licence to enable it to hold weddings at its flagship London department store.

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