Wyevale Garden Centres

The Garden Centre Group announces changes to its Executive Team

3 October 2013 - The Garden Centre Group today announced changes to its executive team.

Dan Zinner will join the company as Trading Director effective 14 October, 2013, assuming responsibility from Stephen Pitcher, who has decided to leave the business. Dan will lead all aspects of The Garden Centre Group's buying, pricing and supply decisions, and report to CEO Kevin Bradshaw.

Dan joins The Garden Centre Group from Clicks Group, a South African retail group with a focus on the health and beauty sector, where he has worked for the past 5 years. In his capacity as Group Head of Business Development and Clicks Retailers Head of Healthcare, Dan had responsibility for sourcing and marketing own label products for the business. Prior to working at Clicks, Dan spent a number of years at McKinsey & Company in London advising on strategic and transformational change across a broad range of consumer and retail industries.

Stephen Pitcher, who has served as The Garden Centre Group's Purchasing Director since 2008, has decided to leave the company to pursue new challenges in November, following a transition period. During his time at the Group Stephen has helped develop a strong plant and product sourcing capability, and Dan will build on that to ensure The Garden Centre Group offers the best product range for customers.

In addition, Colin Hughes will join the company as Retail Operations Director, responsible for leadership of regional garden centre teams overseeing service, standards and performance. Colin joins on a permanent basis after leading a number of successful initiatives at The Garden Centre Group in his role as Interim Retail Operations Director over the past six months. Previously Colin served in retail operations roles at Marks & Spencer, was Director of Operations at Pret a Manger and laterally Board Director at EAT. Whilst at EAT, Colin oversaw the expansion in the UK retail estate to 117 shops.

Kevin Bradshaw, chief executive of The Garden Centre Group, said: "I am very pleased to welcome Dan and Colin to our talented Executive Team. Dan is a highly experienced strategist and manager in the retail industry with an impressive track record for driving results. His knowledge of optimising supply chains will help further improve product range and availability at The Garden Centre Group. Colin has already hit the ground running during the past six months, providing strong leadership and direction to our regional teams. I look forward to Dan and Colin's expertise and skilled leadership as we drive toward meeting our growth targets for the Group."

On the departure of Stephen Pitcher, Bradshaw added: "We thank Steve for all he has accomplished for the Group, including delivering strong margins, reducing stock levels and building a team with deep knowledge of horticultural sourcing. We wish him the best as he leaves to pursue new challenges."

About The Garden Centre Group

The Garden Centre Group, which is the nation's largest group of garden centres, prides itself on the quality of its plants and the horticultural expertise of its staff. There are 139 garden centres in The Garden Centre Group including Blooms Garden Centres, Country Gardens and The Garden Centre Group, all of which are located throughout the country.