Just six months since Martin Harvey left European garden
catalogue group, Bakker Holland to join Westland, the group has
re-structured its business. The new company, Marshalls Garden
Catalogues, operates niche vegetable seeds and fruit sector
leader S E Marshall & Co, Unwins Seeds and Elm House Nurseries.
Westland acquired the businesses in 2004. The arrival of Martin
Harvey and the re-structuring of the business indicate that
Westland plans major developments in the gardening mail order and
online sectors. Harvey is no stranger to the company, having
worked as a consultant to Unwins in the 1980s, with his expertise
on board it will be interesting to see how Marshalls Garden
Catalogues develops its largely seed-based brands.
Harvey told CEB that he couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
“The Royal Mail has forced the hands of companies like this
to look for bigger formats and extend product ranges. They’ve
given us a real incentive with Pricing in Proportion to move on
from the traditional seed industry approach, using A5 catalogues
with postage stamp sized images. Plus, within the last year the
focus on ‘food miles’, poorer nutritional values of imported
foods and really fresh locally grown vegetables has given ‘grow
your own’ a real boost. Add that to having a holding company that
is both truly entrepreneurial and understands the nuances of the
garden market and you can only make one conclusion – that you
just found yourself in the right place at the right time”.