2022 is set to be a year of celebration at Glazebury based Bents Garden & Home. Not only is the family owned and run business marking its 85th anniversary this year, but it is also welcoming a new arrival to the Centre with the popular kitchenware and home brand, Lakeland set to join the wider Bents family later this year.
It is 85 years since Alfred and Margaret Bent started to sell roses from the front garden of their small terrace house, marking the start of what would be a very special journey. Over the past 85 years and whilst never forgetting its gardening heritage, Bents has worked hard to create somewhere that is no longer just focused on the garden but also encompasses home, lifestyle and leisure. The arrival of fellow family business Lakeland further enhances Bents’ appeal as a complete day out destination centre.
Says Matthew Bent, Managing Director: “As a family business we’ve never been ones to rest on our laurels. We’ve always followed our passions and taken chances, and we are committed to quality, outstanding customer service and innovation, all of which are in line with Lakeland’s own philosophies and approach to their own family business.
“With their unrivalled collection of creative kitchenware and practical, time and effort saving ideas for the home we believe that they are going to fit perfectly into our family business, and we are all looking forward to welcoming them in store.”
Emma Kay, Head of Property at Lakeland adds: “We are delighted to be opening a new Lakeland store at Bents Garden & Home. It is a fantastic centre for our customers to visit, and is run on the same strong family values that are so important to us. Lakeland customers enjoy exploring our innovative, high quality kitchen and homeware products, which we believe will complement the existing offering at Bents really well. We know that we have many loyal customers in this area who will welcome the opening of our new store and we are looking forward to announcing our opening date and welcoming into store later this year.”
Over the past 85 years Bents has undergone a number of key milestones many of which were introduced by Matthew’s parents, Ron and Wendy Bent and went on to establish a number of key trends within the garden centre industry.
2017 saw the launch of the UK’s first Open Skies Glass House, an all-weather destination where customers can shop for plants come rain or shine and more recent years have seen the opening of a £10m extension, housing a number of new home and leisure departments, including an extensive Food Hall and Pet Place with its own Pet Cafe. The arrival of Lakeland is another fantastic addition to the family and the latest step on the wider Bents’ journey.
Established in 1937 Bents is now in its third generation, with four of Alfred and Margaret’s grandchildren involved in the business: Matthew Bent, Managing Director; Rachel Bent Head of Visual Merchandising; Helen Bent, Head of Marketing and Katherine Bent, Head of HR. Under the guidance of three generations of the Bent family it is now a £25m turnover operation, employing over 400 colleagues.
Now, with a number of different dining destinations, outdoor play area, landscaped lake, Jurassic Cove Adventure Golf Course and on site nursery, where it grows and nurtures over 60% of its plants, Bents is a very different entity to when it began life 85 years ago, but says Matthew: “despite growing in size we’ve worked hard to keep the great family feeling and ambiance we have established a reputation for; something I think my grandparents would be very proud of if they could see us now.”