Williamson Design Florist Limited

Award-winning Scottish flower shop chain Williamson’s is growing the workshop facilities and visitor café at its garden centre base, thanks to finance from Bank of Scotland.

Fourth-generation Managing Director Jim Williamson is a leading light in British floral design. Alongside him, three generations of the Williamson family currently work in the business, which has an annual turnover of £2.6million and 75 staff.

It has 11 retail florist shops in the Central Belt, Perthshire, Fife and Angus, an online shop and a garden centre at Uphall in West Lothian. The garden centre, which stands on the site of the family’s original nurseries, is also home to the company head office and internet distribution centre.

Investing in bricks and mortar

In recent years, Williamson’s has invested heavily in developing its e-commerce arm. Now, with a £220,000 asset debt facility recently obtained from Bank of Scotland, it is investing in its Uphall base. “We are extremely proud of our heritage and we intend to continue to build our reputation,” says Jim Williamson. “Though we’ve made huge gains digitally in recent years, investing in the bricks and mortar side of our business remains of the upmost importance.”

The facility from the Bank has allowed the company to extend the café for visitors to the garden centre – what used to be a 60-seater space now accommodates an additional 50 customers, with a new all-weather cover and renovated kitchen facilities. “We want our loyal customers to have as full an experience as possible when they visit us,” remarks Jim.

The financing has also helped Williamson’s expand the floral gift workshop that supplies its online shop and retail stores. This means the business will be well positioned to take full advantage of the annual Valentine’s Day surge in flower orders, when it typically sees a tenfold increase in daily deliveries – from an average of 300 to nearly 3,000.

Bank of Scotland Relationship Manager Derek Weir concludes: “It’s great to see such a well-established family florist continue to blossom. Bank of Scotland is committed to providing a variety of financing options to help businesses grow and meet increasing customer demand.”

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“Though we’ve made huge gains digitally in recent years, investing in the bricks and mortar side of our business remains of the upmost importance.”

Jim Williamson, Managing Director, Williamson Design Florist Limited