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Benchmark


2018 THE GARDEN MARKET SUPPLEMENT


STAFF COSTS: NO SIGN OF SERIOUS CONCERN


Staff costs as % of turnover


1. Gordale 2. Hayes 3.


5-year Latest average year -1 year Whitehall


4. Van Hage 5. Scotsdale Planters


6.


7. Haskins 8. Webbs 9. Notcutts 10. Squires


11. Blue Diamond 12. Dobbies 13. Polhill


14. Woodcote Green 15. Klondyke 16. Aylett


17. Chessington 18. Hillier 19. Bents 20. Frosts


21. Millbrook 22. Garsons 23. Stewarts


12.6 12.6 12.3 20.4 20.6 20.2 21.6 20.6 20.2 22.0 23.1 22.1 23.2 22.8 22.8 23.6 25.2 25.6 23.8 24.4 24.1 23.9 25.4 23.7 24.6 22.9 23.6 24.8 25.2 24.9 24.8 25.1 24.4 24.9 25.4 24.7 25.0 27.0 24.6 25.2


23.0 27.2


26.0 26.9 26.6 26.0 26.8 26.0 26.4 27.2 26.1 26.6 26.7 27.1 27.5 26.9 27.0 29.2 27.7 27.1 29.9 29.3 29.3 30.5 29.3 30.8 32.0 31.3 32.6


24. Barton Grange 32.6 32.8 31.6 25. Coolings 26. Wyevale Average


35.3 35.9 34.5 n/a 25.8 23.0 26.2 26.3 26.1


-2


year 12.1


19.6 21.4 21.3 22.8 22.8 23.1 22.5 22.8 24.0 24.0 24.7 24.8 24.5 25.7 25.1 25.0 26.4 28.2 32.4 29.8 30.9 32.5 31.3 34.7 24.2 25.8


Source: DIY Week analysis of fi led company accounts. Average excludes Gordale and Wyevale 12 DIY WEEK GARDEN MARKET SUPPLEMENT


-3


year 12.6


20.2 22.4 21.5 22.2 22.0 23.5 23.5 25.2 24.1 25.1 24.7 24.4 25.5 25.1 25.6 26.2 25.8 27.5 29.9 29.2 30.7 31.8 33.2 34.6 23.4 26.0


-4 year


13.6 21.2 23.6 22.3 25.2 22.1 24.0 24.2 28.4 25.8 25.6 24.9 24.0 25.8 26.0 26.7 27.7 27.2 28.0 29.1 32.0 30.9 31.9 34.1 36.9 n/a


27.0 G


ordale’s staffi ng policy has always been a puzzle to us – and, we suspect, to many others in the garden centre


market. It simply runs on far fewer staff than any other comparable operator. Hayes employs 141 people to make sales of £10m; Chessington employs 218 people and makes £10.6m; Polhill needs 185 people to put £10.8m in the till. Gordale’s turnover is the same as Polhill’s – but with just 93 staff , it employs only half as many people. The result, of course, is that


Gordale’s staff costs are far lower than any other company covered by this survey; so much so, in fact, that we have excluded them from our average calculations in this table. Also excluded from the averages are Wyevale, simply because changes in accounting policies have made it impossible to produce a consistent analysis of staff costs. These two companies aside,


what’s remarkable about this table is how close most companies’ fi gures are. Looking at average staff costs over the past fi ve years, and including Gordale, there are just four companies under the 22% mark, and seven over 26%. All the rest are tightly clustered in the 22%- 26% bracket. And it appears that the industry


is broadly happy with staff costs the way they are. 16 of the companies analysed had lower staff costs in their latest year than they did four years earlier, seven showed costs higher, and one was unchanged. The overall trend points to tighter control of staff costs, but the degree of diff erence over the years is very small. All this matters, of course, because full-time staff cost as much when the tills are ringing as when they aren’t. Most garden centre operators rely on part-timers to match staff supply with demand at peak periods, and our analysis seems to show that they do it with considerable skill.


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