Off centres

Whether spring makes you think of holidays, barbecues and longer evenings or sunburn, wasps and hay fever, it represents a marked change in behaviour.

Two weeks ago I dropped in to this garden centre on Henley Road. I was the only person in there. Today there was a queue of around 20 people at the tills, a packed car park and people leisurely discussing how to improve their gardens.

There can be few more seasonal businesses. But one thing doesn’t change.

These places (sadly, not this one) generally have excellent coffee shops. What better place to meet a business contact to discuss things away from the office? On a week day you are free from the bulk of  shoppers, unlikely to be overrun with mums and tots like you might in Costa and at this time of year, can enjoy a green and pleasant setting.

Sheeplands at Hare Hatch even has free wi-fi. Why businesses fail to use such beautiful environments for their meetings I don’t know.

But just go to Sheeplands any lunchtime and you’ll notice the locals have certainly got the message.

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About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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