Dobbies Garden Centres

BigC

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Dobbies Garden Centre Chain is opening a new centre in my home town.
I'm seriously contemplating applying for the role of Aquatics Manager. Given that all the criteria can be met by both parties.
I dont know the full details yet but first things first.
Has any of the membership been into one of these establishments, specifically the aquatic dept.
What sort of reputation do they posses as far as Aquatics go.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Regards
C
 

dave_oddballs

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never heard of them, unless you meen dobbies, in which case i have only visited one near blackpool, which was a big place but the aquatics department was small and in a small corner of the centre, tanks were typical small (approx. 2 foot) display tanks, with just your average kind of community fish, can't comment on the chain as a whole as i have only seen or visited this simgle store!

Dave
 
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BigC

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LOL... Amended, thanks Dave for your input.
Regards
C
 

minxfishy

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There is a Dobbies Garden Centre near me, as Dave commented, its a large place but the aquatics dept is pretty small, they do a range of mainly aqua one tanks and the actual fish display tanks are small with your basic bread n butter fish, not always in the best condition and a strange mix of fish in them sometimes. The one near me also has large vats of coldwater fish in the outside section too.
 

chrisbassist

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sounds like they need someone with some know-how to bring up the standard before it gets too low :good:
 

Davo86

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There is a Dobbies Garden Centre near me, as Dave commented, its a large place but the aquatics dept is pretty small, they do a range of mainly aqua one tanks and the actual fish display tanks are small with your basic bread n butter fish, not always in the best condition and a strange mix of fish in them sometimes. The one near me also has large vats of coldwater fish in the outside section too.

I work in my local Dobbies, and have done for the last 8 years part time, In my humble opinion our store is very good, we don't deal with marines, but have a decent enough 'beginners' selection of trops and coldwater species, again IMO the aquatics are very much aimed at the beginner, which can give you the idea of the average consumer

There is a seriously big difference in the sizes of aquatic departments within the Dobbies stores, with Gailey having maybe 4 systems, then you have our store which has 19 systems and then you have the likes of Atherstone which has got to have around 50. Having a Aquatic Manager position however does suggest it is going to be a big one as our store only merits a Supervisory position.

From what I've seen, the only problem with the position is, being within a garden centre, as soon as you are regarded as a manager or in the case of our store, a Supervisor, then you are partly responsible for the whole store, My Aquatic Supervisor spends a lot of time on the shop floor and at weekends I practically run the department alone due to his other responsibilities,

Stockwise I think we have a few decent suppliers, although what you can and can't order is very restricted and is something that annoys me on a regular basis and tbh most of the time you get told what you should stock,

Feel free to PM me if you have anymore Q's
 
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BigC

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Cheers Davo that was excellent.
The problem is there is a major Northern Ireland Aquatic establishment within a mile radius.
From what you tell me stocking bread and butter fish only would not cut the mustard given the close proximity of this store.
From this I would deduce that the newcomer would be a small set-up unless they fancy taking on this well established and well supported emporium.
Thank you again, something to ponder.
Regards
 

spectrum

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My cousin raves about the one near us, although he doesn't really know much about fish (despite having a 120l tank he has never done an ounce of research in his life), however I get the impression that Dobbies is nothing special, stocking mostly things like guppies and the more common tetra species.
 

Bridie

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Hi,
Got my tank and shrimps from Dobbies. They are certainly targeting the mainstream, average fish-keeper. But I guess that´s what you have to do to run a buisness, unless you become a real speciality-shop people travel 100s of miles for- which I don´t think a gardencentre tries to be. The display-tanks looks decent(I even got a glimpse at the filtersystem)
Being just a branch of a chain, there will certainly be restrictions on what to order, as most items are stocked by every branch around the country.
IMO, the most important thing (despite decent hardware to work with) is the knowledge of the staff. That´s what makes the difference between shops. I did not have any long conversation, but the staff I spoke to seemed to know their buisness. :good: I don´t think, even as department manager, you could make a big difference to what is stocked. But you can make the difference between selling goldfish in a bowl (and a replacement goldfish every other week) and selling wisely. There might be some pressure on about reaching a certain turnover, but this target should be achievable by advising to buy water test kits instead of plastic ornaments.
Good luck with the job!
 

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