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Arboretum cuts ribbon on €4.5m Wicklow garden centre revamp

Redeveloped Kilquade site will bring 25 jobs to the area, according to owners Doyle family

Arboretum, the Doyle family-owned garden centre and lifestyle brand, will officially open its redeveloped outlet at the National Garden Exhibition Centre in Kilquade, Co Wicklow, on Friday after a €4.5 million overhaul of the site, creating about 25 jobs

The almost 2,400sq m facility, incorporating retail space and a cafe along with the exhibition centre’s permanent gardens, features indoor plants for the first time since the family opened the outlet in 2015.

The project, for which the group initially received planning permission from Wicklow County Council in 2019, took nine months to complete and was delivered by German garden centre specialist Rabensteiner.

It comes less than a year after the Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow-based group opened its third outlet on Parnell Street, Dublin 1, above Chapters Bookstore.


“This redevelopment allows us to offer a completely immersive gardening experience to our customers and visitors,” said Barry Doyle, chief executive and co-owner.

“As well as an extensive range of outdoor plants, shrubs and trees, our new expansive glass-roofed facility will stock a wide array of indoor plants with 85 per cent of our stock coming from Irish growers. It also enables us to retail the full extent of our health and wellness, fashion and lifestyle offering.”

Fergal Doyle, co-owner and chief commercial officer, said the new outlet incorporates cutting-edge technology to recycle rainwater for watering plants, and solar panels to warm the centre’s heated, indoor plant area.

“The solar panels, the underfloor heating system, all of that means the facility can run under a building control management system that can run a lot more efficiently than our Carlow store,” he said. “This will be a cutting edge garden centre. There won’t be another one like it in Ireland.”

Fergal Doyle said the group hopes to retrofit Arboretum’s flagship Leighlinbridge store to make it more energy efficient. While he said there are plenty of supports for businesses looking to retrofit new, energy efficient premises, there are few options for companies planning sustainable new-build properties.

“The downside to it is the amount of capital expenditure to go into what we’ve done,” he said. “I would like to see businesses being able to jump into sustainable building, particularly with new builds.”

Barry Doyle said the revamp of the store will put the business in “a really strong position” over the coming 12 months. “I think we’ll be really reaping the benefits. I think it’s going to hit the ground running very quickly,” he said.

Revenues across Arboretum’s Kilquade and Leighlinbridge stores topped €8.7 million in 2022, according to accounts filed last year. With the addition of the Urban Green outlet on Parnell Street, the group expects revenues to have reached about €14 million last year.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times