Express & Star

Green & Bloom chooses Lye for a regional hub

New Covent Garden Flower Market wholesaler Green & Bloom has formed partnerships with national operators Whittingtons and Country Baskets, which will expand the Green & Bloom cut flowers and plants offer to two new regional hubs – one in the Black Country.

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Stallholder Freddie Heathcote with dahlias at New Covent Garden Market in London

The first new branch will open at Whittingtons’ Norwich on April 29 and a second will open for business at Country Baskets facilities at Gibbs Road, Lye, a few weeks later.

The hubs will be sub-branded Green & Bloom Local and both locations will be set up as collection points for online webshop orders, as well as offering local delivery.

Green & Bloom was formed by the merger of Zest Flowers and Arnott & Mason in 2021 with expansion beyond its New Covent Garden Flower Market base one of its aims.

Freddie Heathcote, Green & Bloom’s managing director, said: “Both Whittingtons and Country Baskets are keen to increase footfall in their stores and the click-and-collect element of the business will achieve that. We will also be including their product ranges on our 15,000-line webshop, which will significantly expand the offer and our combined reach. We’ll be giving customers in both areas a far wider product range than they have had access to until now.

“We’ll be looking to onboard as many new business-to-business customers as we can in the initial months. From our London base, we have seen a significant uptake in new account applications in the past two years due to our attractive new online offering and we’re very confident that we’ll have a similar level of interest in Norwich and Stourbridge, especially considering the existing customer networks of our partners.”

The existing Whittingtons staff in Norwich are being trained to handle the Green & Bloom account management and deliveries from day one, while Freddie will be relocating to Lye for a period to run his company’s operation there, before installing management to take it forward.

Product from abroad will be transported directly to Lye for same day delivery.

“We’re looking to expand our range of UK grown cut flowers and these transport route will open up some opportunities to do that logistically and bring product back to NCGM for resale,” Freddie said.

“Our customer portfolio here has expanded across the range of contracts, retail florists, events and corporate customers and the flower market, London and the South East remain core to Green & Bloom’s long-term objectives.”

Leeds-based Country Baskets was established in 1990 as a family run business and is now the UK’s largest wholesaler of floristry supplies and artificial flowers. It has five branches around the country, which are open seven days a week.

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