Dobbies garden centre starts to take shape at Cotswold Designer Outlet near Tewkesbury

Richard Hodges, Andrew Horrix, Nick Anderson and Graeme Jenkins of Dobbies with Simon Tothill and Adam Twine of Robert Hitchins
TWM_RobertHitchins_021221_1012 lo res

Construction has begun on a new flagship Dobbies Garden Centre at Cotswolds Designer Outlet,  the retail and leisure destination being developed by Robert Hitchins in Gloucestershire.

When complete in autumn 2022, the 74,000 sq ft Dobbies Garden Centre will be the largest in South West England and is expected to serve more than 750,000 customers each year.

The centre will serve as the leisure anchor for Cotswolds Designer Outlet, featuring Dobbies’ range including plants and houseplants, gardening products, outdoor living, pets, gifting and toys, as well as a cookshop, home décor, and a 10,000 sq ft restaurant.

Cotswolds Designer Outlet, which is currently under construction, is a 180-acre mixed-use scheme by leading developer Robert Hitchins Ltd.

When complete, it is expected to be a major draw in an area that benefits from a catchment that includes Bristol and Birmingham as well as the millions of tourists visiting the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty each year. It is located on Junction 9 of the M5, bordering the A46 trunk road and adjacent to Tewkesbury.

Graeme Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer of Dobbies Garden Centres, said: “At Dobbies, we are committed to delivering our growth strategy and this is an exciting milestone in our plans.”

DOC Dobbies CGI 9499 – J9 Garden Centre – Artist impression 03 13-05-2020 lo res[2]Cotswolds Designer Outlet will be leased and managed by Realm, one of the UK’s leading specialist operators of designer outlets and retail destinations.

Expected to generate sales of £88.6m a year, attaining an average sales density of £455/sq ft, Cotswolds Designer Outlet is expected to perform to a similar standard to London Designer Outlet, which is also managed by Realm.

The centre has 11.8 million people living within a 90-minute drive, and 5.8 million within 60 minutes, ranking it among the top 10 UK outlet centres on the size of the market within its immediate catchment.

Simon Tothill, Property and Development Director of Robert Hitchins Ltd, said: “Cotswolds Designer Outlet will be a visitor attraction for people. Having Dobbies as our leisure anchor is a major asset to our scheme and a reflection both of the need for a mix of uses in retail destinations and the surge in popularity of gardening.”

The first phase of the premium retail destination will provide 75 units across 140,000 sq ft, alongside leisure facilities and landscaped areas. Phase two will bring the total footprint to 90 units across 181,000 sq ft. The premium outlet shopping destination, which is taking shape alongside hundreds of new homes, is expected to open its doors in autumn 2023.