Crocus Case Study - Online garden centre needs to grow a...

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Online garden centre needs to grow a profit. Two old schoolmates set up Crocus to give gardeners a much wider choice of plants. Now they have to boost sales to make profit. Friends since their time in Eton, Mark Fane and Peter Clay kept in touch after their schooldays. During one of their get-togethers over a curry in August 1999, Clay was picking Fane’s brains. He was developing a garden around his country house in Herefordshire but was struggling to find the plants he needed. “I knew what I wanted to sow, but garden centres couldn’t provide the plants or tell me if I had made the right choices,” said Clay. “I was asking Mark because he has a horticultural background.” Fane said they should set up a website. “It could give advice and, through e-commerce, provide the plant solution too.” They started jotting on a piece of paper, figures were plucked from the air and by the end of the meal, they knew they were on to something. They were both looking for a change. Clay had been in advertising for 16 years. Fane had a heady City career in venture capital behind him and had already branched out on his own by taking over and turning round part of the family gardening business. He was ready for a new challenge, and the idea of teaming up his business and horticultural skills with Clay’s brand and marketing expertise was appealing. By the following April, they had done their research, raised the funding - £1.3m – through City contacts, and the website went live with the address of The business is a breakthrough in the £3 billion-a-year garden sector. Not only are 80%
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2009 for the course MGT 3150 taught by Professor Ken during the Spring '09 term at Al Akhawayn University.

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Crocus Case Study - Online garden centre needs to grow a...

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