Next shoppers are now able to pick up potted plants and other gardening items when they go shopping for clothes and homeware products. The clothes retailer opened its doors to customers for the first time in months this week.
Homebase is launching mini garden centres in some Next stores this week, selling plants, pots, seeds, and gardening tools.
The DIY and garden retailer has also said it wants to offer customers access to expert gardening advice.
The new collaboration between the two British retailers was introduced to some shops across the UK from Monday, April 12, and is called Garden by Homebase at Next.
More people have been stuck in their gardens more than ever before over the past year, and so Homebase hopes that some Britons’ new-found passion for gardening will continue well beyond lockdown.
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Mr McGloughlin added: “We’re a great nation of gardeners, with more and more people enjoying the benefits of gardening and being outside.
“The launch of these new garden centres means we’re able to offer more gardeners, both experienced and those just starting out, Homebase products in more locations across the country.”
Although Next was closed during the UK’s third lockdown, Homebase was open due to it being classed as an essential retailer.
This is because it sells DIY products that people may need to keep their homes and gardens safe and comfortable.
In other Homebase news, the retailer has today launched Birdbase, a new online content hub filled with educational materials, top tips and advice that will turn your outdoor spaces into a bird and wildlife haven.
This coincides with the introduction of the DIY chain’s Home for All campaign, that hopes to raise people’s awareness of the importance of biodiversity.
According to Homebase, the UK’s bird population is in decline due to a variety of factors, including the destruction of birds’ homes and natural habitats, and the retailer wants to help change that.
It has therefore partnered with naturalist and TV presenter Iolo Williams to offer customers tips on how to attract more birds to their gardens.
Iolo said: “Having dedicated my career to conservation, I am hugely passionate about the UK’s bird population.
“Not only do birds look beautiful and grace us with whimsical songs, but they also play an incredibly important role in our ecosystem. Quite frankly, we’d be lost without them.”
Stephen Pitcher, Trading Director of Garden & Seasonal at Homebase, also commented. He said: “We’re really passionate about encouraging a wider variety of plants and wildlife into everything from balconies and back gardens to local communities to help our ecosystem thrive.
“We know it can be difficult to know where to start, but the smallest of actions really can make a big difference.
“Birds are particularly great as they help control insect populations and spread plant seeds, and you can easily make your outdoor space more inviting by leaving water and food out or by planting more hedges and trees and erecting nest boxes for them to nest in.”