Garden and Outdoor: Ames group expands to outdoor living with UK acquisition

US-based company acquires La Hacienda UK in break from traditional tool-driven strategy.

Albeit the core business of the Ames Group of Companies continues to be non-powered lawn and garden tools, the recent move into ‘Outdoor Living’ – with the acquisition of La Hacienda UK – proves to be somewhat interesting. The US-based company – with their headquarters in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania – has various manufacturing facilities and distribution centres globally, including in the USA, Canada, Australia, China, and here at Whites Cross, Co. Cork, Ireland – trading as Ames True Temper.

The company’s Sales and Marketing Director for Europe Niall Nugent says: “Our strategic entry into the leisure side of gardening has been part of our overall global strategy for the past couple of years. We closely monitor consumer behavioural trends and we truly recognise a far greater appetite for the younger consumer to spend more time entertaining and enjoying the great outdoors, as opposed to performing functional tasks such as garden development and maintenance.”

Niall continues by explaining how “within the industry, there are mixed feelings on what the next generation are willing and not willing to do when it comes to the garden.” “So much so,” he continues, “that to a certain extent, it has been mentioned that the terminology ‘DIY’ is changing to ‘DIFM’ (Do It For Me), but the reality remains garden maintenance will be forever essential, so it’s a matter of getting the balance right.”

The strategic acquisition by Ames now exposes the La Hacienda brand and the mentioned categories to countries and channels which – in the past – would have been somewhat challenging for La Hacienda as a standalone business. “Our group footprint in Europe will continue to develop into 2018 with further acquisitions in the pipeline,” says Niall.

Founded in 1998 by brothers John and Simon Goodwin, La Hacienda has become one of Europe’s largest developers, importers and distributors of various product ranges, including fire pits, chimeneas, and electric garden heaters, as well as a comprehensive range of garden décor. At it’s UK base in Stroud – just outside of Bristol – La Hacienda currently employs over 40 people across all of its various departments.

At the heart of La Hacienda is a number of core values that have led to the continued success over the past 20 years. At the forefront of those values is innovation and – in particular, with outdoor heating and cooking – new concepts and product development are the keystones to driving the category. This is quite obvious with the recent launch of the La Hacienda Firebox®.

Catch up on the other posts in our Garden and Outdoor supplement here.