A TOTAL of 18 people will lose their jobs when Bradley Nurseries, near Stafford, closes its doors at the end of March.
The garden centre, in Oak Lane, Bradley, and its accompanying restaurant, is due to shut its doors for the final time on March 30 after admitting defeat in the face of competition from supermarkets, the effects of the weather, the recession and the centre’s isolated location.
The business owners, Garden King, which will continue to run its two other centres in Leicestershire, decided there was no future for the Bradley operation.
“It has been losing money, basically,” said joint manager, Darren Sanders, who has been at Bradley for two and a half years. His fellow manager, Dave Winfield, has been working at the site for nearly 20 years.
Garden King is the centre’s third owner in recent years.
Ten members of staff at the garden centre, and a further eight at the Olive Grove restaurant – a franchise which operates out of leased premises on the site – will be made redundant when the business closes.
“The centre needs investment of £1 million,” said Mr Sanders. “And even then, there would be no guarantee of success.
“We’ve had bad weather for two years, people have less money to spend, and Bradley is too far out out of the way for most people. We just haven’t been able to pull in the customers. It’s been losing money for a long time.
“We’ve also faced competition from the big supermarkets who have taken a lot of the bread and butter business from us over the years.”
Mr Sanders said a number of options for the site were being considered.