Dobbies is not just managing to shift record numbers of plants. The burgeoning garden centre operator has also seen 3.9% growth at its restaurants in its most recent year. The group, which reported like-for-like sales growth of 6.2%, said sales at its on-site cafes and restaurants now accounted for 20% of its £104m revenues. Dobbies was established 140 years ago and now has 11 million customers to its 25 locations across the UK, and its website. The group, which was bought by Tesco in 2008, aims to expand to 100 stores over the next 10 years. It reported a record year for sales of “grow your own” plants, such as tomatoes and strawberries, and plans to start selling live egg-laying chickens and coops after successful trials – a trend amongst customers that it dubbed as a return to the “good life”.

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