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GIVE US A BRIEF OUTLINE OF YOUR COMPANY AND ITS PRODUCTS. Suttons has been established for over 200 years and is one of the oldest brands in the UK. We supply packet seed, seed kits, lawn seed and plants. The company employs over 200 people and is based in Paignton, Devon. We also have a nursery in Yorkshire where we grow our plant range – notably our range of grafted vegetable plants.

WHAT IS THE ETHOS OF THE COMPANY? We are all very proud of our brand and our company, we encourage a ‘team work’ type approach where we all work together to a common aim. The customer is the boss!

WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE COMPANY? We have two main areas of our company – the ‘retail’ division which supplies a large number of retail outlets throughout the UK and our ‘direct mail’ division. We also have an export arm which supplies products to customers as far away as Canada and Scandinavia.

WHAT IS YOUR ROUTE TO MARKET? We supply our customers directly via our own sales team and a large team of merchandisers who cover the merchandising requirements of a variety of outlets.

WHAT ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AND PROMOTIONS DO YOU OFFER FOR THE GARDEN CENTRES? A lot! Including the loan of ‘veg’ and ‘fl ower’ costumes, free stock for prizes, support of customers’ local schools, consumer promotions, various POS (including our award winning Grafted Veg POS) and a host of other ‘one off’ items.

ARE YOUR PRODUCTS MADE IN BRITAIN? All our products are packed or grown in the UK, however the actual seed comes from all over the world.

Chris Ramsden /Suttons Seeds

WHAT IS THE SPLIT BETWEEN INDEPENDENT GARDEN CENTRES AND MULTIPLES IN TERMS OF TURNOVER AND PROFIT? Actually we don’t supply many multiple customers and none of the major supermarkets with seed. The majority of our customers are what we call the ‘independent’ trade – garden centres and garden centre groups in the UK and Eire.

HOW WILL YOU REMAIN COMPETITIVE FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS? Innovation and quality is the key and we will continue to adopt this strategy.

WHAT IS THE UNIQUE SELLING POINT OF YOUR BRAND OVER YOUR COMPETITORS? Our heritage and brand loyalty is our main strength, built over many years, and our commitment to quality. The Suttons brand has a very high awareness rate amongst consumers.

WHAT EXHIBITIONS ARE YOU PLANNING TO ATTEND BEFORE THE END OF THIS YEAR? Suttons will be represented at most of the major customer and trade shows this year including working with a local partner and helping them build a garden at RHS Chelsea.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE NEXT 12 MONTHS WILL BE BETTER THAN THE LAST IN TERMS OF TURNOVER AND PROFIT? As everyone knows – the 2013 season was one of the worst we have experienced, particularly for seed suppliers. Without wishing to tempt fate I can’t believe it can be as bad as last year (can it?). I have to say the initial signs so far are very encouraging and our customers – to their credit – have put last year behind them and invested in good levels of stock once again for 2014.

CONTACT Chris Ramsden

Sales and Marketing Director 01803 696 364



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