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Homebase Oban has been punching above its weight over the summer months – regularly coming out in the top three of the company’s Scottish sales charts – even beating the Edinburgh store to the top spot on one occasion.
And the Lochavullin store puts the success down to its green-fingered customers.
Store manager Stephen Mclaughlin told The Oban Times: ‘Our gardening range has proved particularly popular over the summer months, which shows just how keen our customers are on refreshing their green outside spaces.
‘We know how much our customers love our garden offering, so we made sure we had team members with expert knowledge, inspirational displays and a great range of products.
‘Having a strong team of experts, great range of products and beautiful displays has really been a recipe for success this year.’
While gardening seems to have been top of peoples’ minds during, and as we come out of the Covid-19 situation, it’s not just getting their hands dirty that has appealed, they have also been keen to make the most of their outside spaces to enjoy time with friends and family.
‘We’ve seen a huge demand for our outdoor living range – everything from outdoor sofas, to chairs, tables, firepits and more as people entertain and socialise with friends and family again,’ confirmed Stephen.
‘Travel has been challenging over the last year, so our customers are really embracing the joy of staycations and making the most of their own homes to enjoy the beautiful scenery on their doorsteps.
‘While the community has been rallying round its local store, the store been helping out in the community.’
Stephen added: ‘Being involved in the community is so important and I truly believe we can make a positive impact on those around us in Oban and across the country.
‘From our store, we’ve donated plants and supported local primary schools with children’s gardening tools for their Grow Your Own Project which sees young people get more involved with nature.
‘We also gave plants to Oban hospital to keep their garden blooming. It is something we are passionate about continuing and we’ll be looking at ways in which we can get more involved in the community in the months and years to come.’
In the two years that Stephen has been manager, the Oban store has gone from strength to strength. Thirteen new jobs have been created taking the staff tally to 23.
‘Being based in a small town, we really get to know our customers – some travel a long way from islands including Mull, Barra and Tiree – so it’s important we get it right
for them,’ he concluded.