Art and crafts retailer, C-Crafts has today announced that it will be opening a flagship store at Bents Garden & Home this October. Located in Glazebury, near Warrington, the award-winning garden and lifestyle centre is ranked by Horticulture Week as the second highest turnover garden centre in the UK. The site attracts an unprecedented 1.3 million customers annually from throughout the North West.
C-Crafts is the brainchild of former Hobbycraft Chief Executive, Chris Crombie. Currently operating from 14 locations across the UK, the store at Bents will be the first of a new, larger format for the group. Crombie says “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to open our first superstore at Bents, which is undoubtedly one of the very best garden centres in the UK. Garden centres are proven as excellent destinations for arts and crafts due to the similarity in the customer base for both categories”.
At 4,500 square feet and stocking over 15,000 products this will be the largest store so far for the emerging chain. Crombie expects that the new store will become the model for future expansion “the vision for C-Crafts was to create a smaller store format than the traditional superstores which could be located in leisure destinations such as garden centres. We are working with a number of landlords at the moment and hope to announce further stores soon”.
As part of their £8m development, which forms the latest phase of a larger plan, the Warrington-based Bents Garden & Home are creating an additional 50,000 square feet of retail space which will be host to a number of new retail units, including a Children’s Boutique and the doubling in size of their pet care department, with plans for a groom room and pet café.
Said Matthew Bent, Managing Director at Bents, “We are very pleased to welcome C-Crafts and we are confident their arrival will further enhance the Bents’ experience. Arts and crafts is the top requested additional product category asked for by our customers and we are delighted to be partnering with a company that has such a strong knowledge of that sector.”
Note to Editors: Bents Garden & Home was established in 1937 by Alfred and Margaret Bent who started selling roses from their front garden, just metres away from the Centre’s current location. Bents is now run by the third generation of the family and whilst still passionate about the garden it has successfully evolved into a lifestyle experience, extending its expertise into the home and increasing its appeal as a onestop retail and visitor destination.
C-Crafts was established in 2012 by Chris Crombie, former Chief Executive of well-known art and craft chain, Hobbycraft. Chris was a member of the management team that launched the first Hobbycraft store in 1995. He held a number of senior positions within the business until it was sold to private equity in 2010. C-Crafts operate predominantly from garden centre locations due to the proven synergy between gardening and crafts.