Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

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Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 55


April/May 2021





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A complete selection for

- Around 1,600 items - 50% new collection, also many own designs - A suitable for online sales collection - Buying factory direct


Garden furniture | Solar lighting | Fountains | Pottery | Garden statues

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Garden Centre Retail S

pring is here, and it brings with it the news we’ve all been waiting for. After months of rallying cries from the industry, Welsh and Scottish garden centres were finally given a date to reopen. As of 22 March, garden centres in Wales were able to welcome customers, providing they have social distancing measures in place, and Scottish garden centres followed suit in April. The big question, though, is when will they recover? Scottish garden centres were given essential status from May to December last year, giving many the confidence to go ahead with planting for spring sales. However, after being deemed non-essential for the latest lockdown, many plants are having to be scrapped. Two of the biggest selling opportunities – Mother’s Day and Easter – have been and gone. The pressure is now on to make the most of the gardening boom experienced over the last year and to have a bumper spring. There are special occasions yet to come over the next few months, though. With this in mind, our latest issue is a giftware special, created to help garden centres take advantage of these. We cover greeting cards, gift vouchers, artisan offerings, changing trends and the latest lines to stock on your shelves. It’s been one of the most challenging years the industry has ever faced, but with the busiest season upon us, it’s time to dust ourselves off and prove our resilience once again.

Subeditor – Sam Seaton Tel: 01903 777 570 ADVERTISING Head of sales – Jessica McCabe Tel: 01903 777 587 Sales manager – Tina Savelle Tel: 01903 777 584

Nina Mason Head of content, Garden Centre Retail

Horticulture Careers – Daniel Riley Tel: 01903 777 570 PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek

The pressure is now on to make the most of the gardening boom experienced over the last year and to have a bumper spring

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson MARKETING AND CIRCUL ATION Client relations – Millie Genner Tel: 01903 777 582 Subscription enquiries – Jessica McCabe Tel: 01903 777 587 Garden Centre Retail is published bimonthly by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2021 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, non-commissioned photographs or manuscripts.

@GardenRetailUK Garden Centre Retail Garden Centre Retail

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EDITORIAL Head of content – Nina Mason Tel: 01903 777 570

Subeditor – Katrina Roy Tel: 01903 777 570


Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA

Deputy head of content – Rachael Forsyth Tel: 01903 777 570

Nina and the GCR team

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Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

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C on t en t s

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 55


April/May 2021






A round-up of the latest news from the sector


Taking your offering to the next level


Museums & Galleries Ltd


Flourishing through a pandemic


Supporting independent producers


Exploring how these cards are worth far more than their RRP

Capitalising on the continued popularity of houseplants


Willsow’s Plantable Children’s Books


Perfecting displays with Coolings Garden Centre


High quality boots for all ages and purposes in the garden


Gardening gifts for adults and children


Toynamics UK & Ireland




01/04/2021 15:23

The GIMA Awards return for 2021


Stamford Garden Centre is looking to raise footfall with a new culinary school



24 BUSINESS PROFILE Image Retail Solutions








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16 GARDENING, GIFTS With Andrew Burton, Malcolm Scott Consultants








Perrywood Garden Centre


Say It With a Card

Homeware – plant pots and doorstops

A look at the rising popularity of baking and cocktail making kits


Food and drink gifts – condiments, sweets and alcohol


Pet gifts – snacks, toys and accessories


Wildlife – food, feeders and habitats

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Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


01/04/2021 16:34

N ew s

NEWS CENTRE Eddie Topping retires from The Barton Grange Group


fter 65 years at the helm of one of Lancashire’s most successful family businesses, Eddie Topping has stepped down as chairman of The Barton Grange Group. Eddie has decided to retire and has handed over the chairmanship to his eldest son, Peter Topping, who runs the business with younger brother Guy. Peter will continue to oversee Barton Grange Landscapes and the company’s various nurseries while Guy will continue in charge of the award-winning garden centre and the Group’s latest venture, leisure venue The Flower Bowl. “As far as day-to-day operations are concerned, nothing will really change,” says Peter. “But Dad’s in his late eighties now, so we all agree he’s earned his retirement and deserves to put his feet up!” Eddie started his own market garden business in 1955, before setting up a landscaping company in 1957 and then opening the region s first garden centre


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in 1963 in the grounds of the then Barton Grange Hotel. ddie became an in ential character in the industry, and has been president of the Horticultural Trades Association and chairman of the Garden Centre Association over the years. Eddie has always supported local charities and organisations in the Preston area and, in 2003, he was awarded the MBE for services to charity in Preston. “Dad’s heart is still in horticulture and he has loved seeing the garden centre win multiple awards over the years,” says Peter. “The business would never have been such a success without his vision and drive, and we’ll miss him in the boardroom.”

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

England’s first Little Dobbies store opens its doors


obbies Garden Centres has opened a new format store in Bristol – Little Dobbies. Located on Whiteladies Road, Clifton, this is the second Little Dobbies to open in the UK, following the success of the debut store which launched in Edinburgh in November 2020. Bolstering the Dobbies portfolio, this takes the total to 70 Dobbies’ stores across the UK. Little Dobbies Clifton’s core offering is horticulturally focused with a carefully curated range of convenience gardening products, ideal for those in urban areas with a compact gardening space. This is complemented by a range featuring houseplants and pots; a small selection of

gifts; and selected seasonal ranges. For opening, spring and summer products will feature including bulbs, seeds and gardening tools. Freshlyground takeaway coffee is also available. Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, said: “This is an exciting new venture for our team, as we expand our Little Dobbies offering into Bristol. The store features gardening essentials for urban residents and showcases some of the extensive ranges available at our larger stores and online at “We hope that residents in Clifton enjoy shopping at Little Dobbies. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the project.”

Tong creates new role ahead of the launch of its new Food Hall


Bradford garden centre has appointed a new food hall manager as it prepares to launch an extended offering with

a new look and new artisan producers. Mark Jocelyn has been recruited to manage the new Hearty’s food hall at Tong

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N ew s

Doggy day care opens at ags i Dobbies location


©Nic Bisseker Photography

oggy day care provider, Bruce’s, has opened its newest centre at the Woodcote Green Garden Centre in Surrey, owned by Dobbies. This is the second Bruce’s day care to launch at a garden centre location, demonstrating the success of this new concept for garden centre concessions. Bruce’s doggy day care centres operate like a children’s nursery, but for dogs. Following 12 years of growth and success, Bruce’s continues to expand, and the identification of new site locations is a priority. The

Garden Centre following a refurbishment programme that has seen the former food hall almost double in size. Mark joins the Tong Lane garden centre with more than 2 years catering experience and has most recently managed The Deli at The Piece Hall in Halifax: “It’s a very exciting time to be joining Tong, as we establish the blueprint for the food hall offering, both here at Tong and at future sites. “I’m already enjoying working with the butchers, bakers and buyers as Hearty’s prepares to launch to the public and am looking forward

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Bruce’s brand has already opened four new centres, with plans for further site rollouts over the coming year. Garden centre locations are naturally aligned with the Bruce’s doggy day care concept. Often semi-rural and with excess outdoor space, and often have wide green areas where dogs can exercise and play, with the opportunity for small, indoor areas for reception where the dogs can choose to snooze if they wish. Bruce Casalis, founder of Bruce’s, said, “The demand for doggy day care services is booming and as the UK’s leading provider, the Bruce’s brand is set to grow. As we’ve researched sites for new day care centres, it has become clear that a garden centre setting is beneficial to us, while the arrival of our customers is beneficial to them. It’s a perfect match and we are hoping to replicate more as we grow.” to leading the operations for both the ambient food and gift ranges as well as the expanding fresh produce areas. “I will also be working with the commercial team to introduce new producers and artisans as well as launching products under the Hearty’s ‘Lovingly Made’ banner.” The development of Hearty’s has been led by former Nestlé senior commercial manager, Sarah Dwyer: “I’m delighted to welcome Mark and I’m looking forward to seeing him and his team deliver our exciting vision.”

Association Updates HTA announces a ointment o new gi ting director The HTA has signalled its commitment to developing and improving the gifting side of its offer with the appointment to the new position of director of gifting sales and marketing. Jon Dixon will join the A on esday April. e brings significant e perience from the gifting sector having led and developed gifting schemes for both Sainsbury and Argos. www. teams u wit lanet ark or ins ection rocess The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has teamed up with Planet Mark to help evolve its inspection process as part of its pledge to continue working on environmental challenges this year. It will work with its inspectors and Planet Mark to embed environmental factors within the whole process for future years. Steve Malkin, Planet Mark CEO, said: “Planet Mark is absolutely delighted to be partnering with the GCA, helping their members to measure and report their environmental impacts, allowing them to identify areas for improvement in a structured way.” L

also team u wit lanet ark A has teamed p with lanet Mar . ts certification recognises continuous improvement, encourages action and helps build an empowered community of like-minded individuals to make a whole world of difference. A first became aware of lanet Mar in 2 2 at the GCA conference, where Sir Tim Smit KBE the founder of the Eden Project, gave a presentation on sustainability and what businesses could do to reduce their carbon footprints. www.lo

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N ew s

Event Updates SOLEX 2021 cancelled The Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) has taken the decision to cancel this year’s SOLEX Exhibition after much discussion with its members, exhibitors and registered visitors. The next SOLEX will now take place at the NEC from 12-14 July 2022. A statement from LOFA says: “We wanted to make the right decision for everyone involved and we did not want to continue with a show that would not be up to our customary high standards and so have decided not to run SOLEX in 2021 but move the exhibition to July 2022 when we can come back bigger, better and hopefully COVID free.” For the second year in a row, a virtual SOLEX is being planned for this summer. LOFA says it will share its plans for this over the coming weeks.

Grimsby Garden Centre helps local school

G Harrogate Christmas & Gift cancelled for 2021 Harrogate Christmas & Gift 2021 has now been cancelled for this year. The next event will now be in 2022 from Sunday 16 January to Wednesday 19 January 2022 at the Harrogate Convention Centre. It was originally postponed from January to May this year. Simon Anslow, show organiser explains: “Following the government’s announcement that the UK will not be able to resume events until 21 June, it has been decided to now focus on the 2022 show. It is very disappointing for everyone involved – but hopefully life and business will be back to normal by January next year and we can all look forward to another bumper show.”


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Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

reen fingered p pils of Littlecoates Primary Academy received a helping hand from Grimsby Garden Centre in the creation of their new mini orchard. Pupils at the school planted the free fr it trees and oral seeds donated by the garden centre as they enjoyed outdoor activity after months of home schooling. The community-focused garden centre knows more than most about the positive impact of horticulture on both mental and physical health. Owned by NHS mental health services provider A i , profit made by the garden centre goes back into its upkeep and straight into improving mental health services across North East Lincolnshire. Not only that, but the centre also encourages individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with mental health diffic lties to get back into work by offering skills, training and employment opportunities. NAViGO head of commercial services Jo Keen said: “We

think young people should have the opportunity to experience nature and have the chance to grow vegetables, fr it and owers. e now how beneficial gardening can be for both physical and mental wellbeing – it can be very calming, inclusive, and it’s also great to have an understanding of where food comes from. “And as pupils return to the classroom following months of home schooling , we are determined to support young people in getting outside and having some muddy good fun. “We love being part of the local community, we consider ourselves much more than just a garden centre and we hope this is the start of a season’s long friendship.” Over the next few weeks, Grimsby Garden Centre will be sending free Grow With Us seed packs to all local primary schools across North East Lincolnshire to celebrate a return to outdoor activities, encourage the creation of garden havens and to spark an interest in nature.

01/04/2021 11:54



INTERVIEW with Perrywood Garden Centre




GIFT WRAPPING SERVICES Providing the finishing touches


BUSINESS PROFILE Museums & Galleries Ltd


GREETING CARDS How sales have flourished through a pandemic


ARTISAN PRODUCTS Supporting local, independent producers


GIFT CARDS Exploring the multi-faceted benefits for garden centres


BUSINESS PROFILE Image Retail Solutions


CATERING FOCUS Looking at Stamford Garden Centre’s new school

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01/04/2021 15:08

The Garden Equipment Wholesaler




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01/04/2021 09:46

I n t er v i ew B u s i n es s




Garden Centre Retail talks to Perrywood Garden Centre in Essex about post COVID-19 optimism, and the most effective way to sell gifts and food.

s readers of GCR probably won’t need to be reminded, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a hugely detrimental effect on the UK’s garden centre industry. The weeks of enforced closure at the beginning of last year for instance meant that businesses didn’t just miss the spring, but arguably the best spring in a generation. Even at time of writing (late March) – with many centres now back up and running – great chunks of potential revenue still continue to go missing thanks to ongoing restrictions around restaurants and the serving of food. With that in mind, it’s good to report that this spring is starting to look much brighter, both for garden centres and the country as a whole. One reason for this is the ongoing vaccine roll-out, which if all goes to plan, should facilitate a grand reopening of society in the near future. This in turn has led to wholesale change in mood, with the public now eagerly anticipating the hopedfor good times to come, many of which will likely take place in people’s gardens. One business which is

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currently taking full advantage of this newfound optimism is Perrywood in Essex, with the end of February witnessing a marked uptick in sales. The centre deals in far more than just plants, barbecues and garden furniture however, with every part of its offer communicating a vision for the business as a whole.

All year round

Perrywood is a familyowned garden centre located in the village of Tiptree, just to the

south west of Colchester. The site covers an area of roughly 43,000m2, and is made up of a main building, production facilities and a large selection of greenhouses. Giving an outline of the business and its history, retail director Simon Bourne says: “My grandparents bought the site in 1955, when it was really just a smallholding – strawberries, potatoes, chickens, that kind of thing. My dad, who had left school to work for Colchester parks department, persuaded my grandad to put up a greenhouse, because he could see that there was money in plants. “The business continued to do well, and in 1984 my parents decided to buy it. The turnover was still comparatively small at the time, with just one greenhouse, a few polytunnels and a shed. “Over the next ten years, we added a new greenhouse every year and that’s how we grew the business. In 1999 we added a restaurant, 

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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B u s i n es s I n t er v i ew

which was really the key change. r most recent ma or development was the ac isition of a second site in db ry, which we bo ght when yevale stopped trading. After years of really not being interested in the b siness, decided that really wanted to be involved at errywood. started off on the shop oor, while at the same time grad ally starting to learn abo t b ying thro gh observing my dad. very Monday, he wo ld have a e e of reps waiting to see him, so being able to watch him at wor was a real ed cation. wo years later, my sister oined the company her bac gro nd is in mar eting


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Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

and comm nications. My brother is now involved as well, dealing with operational side of things. n the early part of its e istence, errywood represented a solid e ample of a family owned, plant oriented b siness. hings changed considerably with the opening of its resta rant, a development which enabled the centre to bring in c stomers thro gho t the whole year.

According to Simon, however, this was not the only benefit of s ddenly being able to serve food, with the whole offer now being forced to change in order to ta e acco nt of a potentially m ch broader c stomer base. t was at this point that errywood started to diversify, while at the same time developing a retail philosophy which still serves them well to this day. Disc ssing the broader impact of the resta rant, imon says o begin with, o r primary foc s was plants and things to do with plants, something which is, of co rse, still incredibly important now. t was only after the resta rant however that we started to move into all the other things which people now ta e for granted when they visit a garden centre. hat incl ded gifts, homeware, clothing and so on. e ve also added a pet offering, albeit only a very small one.

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I n t er v i ew B u s i n es s

Our thought has always been that if we’re going to do something, we need to make sure we do it right.”

Retail philosophy

According to Simon, Perrywood’s philosophy of selling is apparent from the moment that the customer walks through the door. e s ms p the first part as the need to retain a quality-based “theme” across the whole of the site. Or, to put it another way: “If you’re having a scone in the coffee shop, the standard of that scone should be similar to that of the bedding plants in the greenhouse, and the gifts in the gift section.” At the same time, the look of the garden centre is deliberately designed to communicate the idea of ‘curation.’ Everything is simple, elegant, and most important, placed for maximum effect.

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Going into greater detail, he says: “When you come into Perrywood, the first thing yo re met with is home and giftware. It’s designed to look like a deliberately curated set of products, which, hopefully, people aren’t able to walk past. “There’s no boxes, no shelving, and styles are all themed by colour, whether that s sil owers, vases, or pict re frames. It’s the same principle as a supermarket placing the fruit and vegetables at the front of the store. We try to make people touch the products and pick them up.” 

When you come into Perrywood, the first thing you’re met with is home and giftware. It’s designed to look like a deliberately curated set of products, which, hopefully, people aren’t able to walk past Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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B u s i n es s I n t er v i ew Staying on the subject of gifts in particular, Simon says that another key aspect of the Perrywood strategy is to always be mindful of the needs of the customer, and in particular how they view themselves and where they live. “We always try and make sure that the gifts and homeware is tailored to o r specific base,” he says. “In North Essex, we consider ourselves to be in the countryside, so the centre is very rural in terms of feel. At the same time, we’re not too far from the sea, and whenever we do seaside-related things, they sell really well. The products we sell go hand in hand with what you’ll see in lifestyle magazines – in that sense, I’d say it’s aspirational. “Obviously, the gift offer changes the whole year round. For instance, we always make sure that we clear our Christmas as quickly as possible in January, as soon as our customers pack away their own decorations at home. We then start to introduce green into the styling, in anticipation of spring, then Easter, then summer.” Another important element in terms of achieving a particular ‘feel’ is the Perrywood food offering. While not

massive, it also has a key part to play in communicating quality and luxury. Discussing this, Simon says: “When we first started doing food, we decided that

We always make sure that we clear our Christmas as quickly as possible in January, as soon as our customers pack away their own decorations at home we were going to do ‘gift’ and ‘treat,’ which could be for yourself or someone else. One simple example is if someone’s at the garden centre, they know they’re going to have a cup of tea when they get home, and we offer them the chance to have something a bit nicer than just bourbons to go with it.” He continues: “At the same time, we’ve also got two freezers full of meat. One of those is beef, pork, chicken and so on, with the other specifically for game. e know the provenance of everything we

sell, and the farms that it comes from. The game comes from a local supplier who came to us back in September when all the restaurants were starting to close again. They’ve now built a large part of their business around supplying retail, and I think you’ll see those freezers in a lot of garden centres.” The mention of closed restaurants returns us to the (increasingly exhausting) subject of COVID-19, and its continuing impact on garden centre business. As mentioned, Perrywood has done extraordinarily well so far this year, something which Simon puts down to people being raring to get back in the garden post-lockdown. Relating his experience of the pandemic so far, he says ith the first loc down, we had to be incredibly agile having been given no advance warning of when we were going to be able to open again. When we re-opened, we tried to represent the gold standard when it came to the measures which we put in place, but again, that’s something which has evolved with time. We only had four of our seven tills open last spring for instance, something which we revised over Christmas. We can now push customers through much faster, which both maximises our retail space and provides an even safer environment.” He continues: “In terms of what’s next, I have to say I feel a certain amount of optimism. The sun came out in the last week of February, and we took

When we re-opened, we tried to represent the gold standard when it came to the measures which we put in place more on one particular Saturday than we did on any single day for the whole of last year. That level of interest hasn’t stopped since. “Obviously, the weather played a big part, but you can see that people are hoping for good times. They also know that they’re not going away for Easter, or possibly even over the summer, so they’ve turned their attention to the back garden. That’s great for us.” Perrywood is a true British success story, both in terms of its turnover and its reputation within the garden centre community. It’s experience since February also makes it a beacon of hope for a beleaguered industry, waiting patiently for the sunny days to return. w


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Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

01/04/2021 11:00




ner than you think !

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Or ask foor caall Salesman t


Dolls N Sold






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01/04/2021 09:46

B u s i n es s A n d r ew B u r t on


SUPPORT HEALTHY MINDS AND BODIES Andrew Burton demonstrates how garden centres can benefit from consumers taking an interest in their health and wellbeing


s a consultant supporting the garden centre industry, I receive lots of feedback. My learning from 2020 has been, unsurprisingly, that we’ve all experienced a year of change and focus. Not only have we seen a change in the way garden centres trade and think, but also a change in the mindset of many customers. With gyms closed and mixed outdoor socialising limited, we saw the regeneration of the ‘healthy minds and healthy living’ mindset. Customer focus in this area has grown significantly in the past 12 months, and those businesses who embraced it have thrived as a result. For the customers with that mindset, exploring different wellness practices isn’t just a trend, it’s an effective way of coping with the general anxiety of life. Garden centres have a huge opportunity here, and with a large selection of health and wellness gifts in place already, that healthy living story is close to hand. When working alongside businesses to help build their proposition, I envisage a core customer’s requirements, and when considering health and wellbeing, this could encompass an apothecary garden at the centre, and stocking products including health foods, vitamins


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Andrew Burton.indd 16

or aromatherapy products – but it’s important to count the low hanging fruit that are already accessible.

Healthy living isn’t a new concept, but customer focus in this area has grown significantly in the past 12 months, and those businesses who embraced it have thrived as a result Garden tools

Excellent exercise essentials that help customers to build up a sweat in a positive garden environment. The positive effects of gardening on the mind and the body are well documented. Picture a display built around a gym concept, but with gardening tools, trugs, wellies, plants and compost.

Seeds and plants

Growing your own is a rewarding, mindful pastime that has come to the fore

in 2020. And what is more rewarding than putting new plants in your garden? The exercise of planting something, and the positive endorphins you can get after your work is done – there is nothing better!


Not generic packeted food, but food promoted in strong farm shops and focused on fruit and vegetables, with butchery and herbs that link to recipes and health, all merchandised together to create a story and a delicious gift range. Highlighting food that is fresh, full of protein and nutrients which good for specific parts of health is essential. ood can create a personal gift if it is marketed well, benefiting both the recipient and business. Additional add-on sales include kitchen accessories, cooking utensils and coffee grinders to identify just a handful.

Scented candles

A core giftware line, and when wellpresented and explained, creates a tranquil ambience to replicate or gift. I believe now is the time to speak to those customers who want or need inspiration to invest in their own health and minds, or that of those they are buying gifts for. w

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G i f t S er v i ces B u s i n es s



Free gift wrapping services can help garden centres go the extra mile


our garden centre may already be known for its giftware department, but offering in-store gift services can really make your store a destination for each special occasion. Garden centres such as Prestonbased Barton Grange, south-east chain Haskins and Cardwell Garden Centre in Scotland already offer successful giftwrapping services in store. At Cardwell Garden Centre, customers can have their purchased goods wrapped by a trained member of staff at a separate counter from the checkout. Even products that are bought online can be giftwrapped on request. “Offering a free gift-wrapping service to customers gives us a competitive edge over other retail outlets like supermarkets and giant homeware stores,” says Cardwell’s retail general manager, Paul Carmichael. “Good customer service is very important to us and we see it as one

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of the USPs for coming to Cardwell. If you go the extra mile for your customers, you will get their loyalty in return. “We offer gift-wrapping all year round, but our busiest periods are, not surprisingly, around Mother’s Day and hristmas. e b y in specific materials for our gift-wrapping and our senior staff train other members of our team in the best way to gift-wrap an item.” t if time and staffing, for that matter – is limited, it might be worth setting some rules for the service. Do you want there to be a minimum gift value to offer this service for free? Is there a maximum number of gifts you’ll offer to wrap at one time for one customer? And how many different options of wrapping and accessories do you need to offer? Sustainability is also a key consideration and customers could be deterred if your wrapping doesn’t have certain green credentials. Consider whether the wrapping paper you’re using is recyclable, along with the ribbons and bows you use to decorate it. If it is, make sure you let customers, with in-store signs and a note on your website. w

WHAT GIFT SERVICES CAN YOU OFFER? Gift wrapping Who hasn’t spent hours wrapping presents at Christmas? Or realised, last minute, that they haven’t wrapped their friend’s gift? Take time and stress away from the consumer and give your garden centre that competitive edge by offering a giftwrapping service both for in-store and online purchases. Gift vouchers and gift cards Selling your own gift vouchers and gift cards provides the perfect opportunity to bring in new consumers and to encourage customer loyalty. It can also lead to impulse buys from those struggling to settle on one gift idea. Find out more about gift cards on page 23.

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


01/04/2021 15:02

A d v er t or i a l

Brambly Hedge

Catherine Rowe

Sarah Campbell

Helen Ahpornsiri

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES M se ms alleries td is a company with more than years e perience in p blishing fine art greetings cards, social stationery and gift prod cts for the retail mar et and beyond.

M se ms alleries td is a company with over years e perience in p blishing fine art greetings cards, social stationery and gift prod cts for the retail market and beyond. Its foc s is p blishing gorgeo s wor from o r national and regional m se ms, as well as contemporary artists and designers. Over the last several years the company has invested heavily in e panding its gift pac aging portfolio and has branched o t into gift prod cts, incl ding travel m gs, drin s bottles, tote bags and po ches. t has st added stylish facial coverings feat ring designs from the A, ritish M se m, and at ral istory M se m. ey to the company s retail strategy is to meet its c stomers where they are, listening to specific


retail re irements and ta ing trends in prod ct development, marketing and design selection into acco nt. M is partic larly interested in the garden centre sector, recognizing the attraction the sector holds for the cons mer. he company is a member of the GCA. Active d ring the pandemic loc down, M has st la nched several brands li ely to appeal to lovers of fine design, owers, gardens, wildlife, and nat re in general. A ma or la nch is with the premier designer Sarah ampbell who has an ama ing portfolio of bright and fresh prints covering a year career, and is still very m ch wor ing she s st held a shop in shop at Anthropologie ondon . hat sets arah apart from others is the colo r, oy, and commercial appeal in her wor . t channels the positivity which will appeal to cons mers as they e it the long winter months of loc down. Creative director for M se ms & Galleries, Ben Dorney says: “We are really e cited by arah s wor , it feels very s ited to the M&G c stomer. e were drawn to arah s oyf l,

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

Business profile - museums and galleries.indd 18

e pressive, vivid ill stration and pattern. We see this as a long-term collaboration and loo forward to growing the range over time.” Another la nch showcases the wor of yo ng designer atherine owe. atherine s career has blossomed – she s refined a distinctive style, wor ed on n mero s commissions, and in 2 won the iberty pen all ompetition. t feels right that her first f lly licensed card range nder her own name is with M , where her professional story started, and her designs look fab lo s. he has a distinctive scraperboard techni e, with bold patterning of orals against wildlife motifs. Drawing on fantasy, heraldic, and traditional styles, her ni e sense of colo r and composition is contemporary and desirable. Helen Ahpornsiri is an e traordinary artist who wor s with dried owers and foliage to create intricate wor s of art. After a s ccessf l stationery deb t in 2 2 , M is delighted to la nch a card range this year nder the ild Press’ brand. People have really taken to the Wild Press look: it s ni e, astonishing in detail, b t still

manages to deliver attractive, commercial designs. he final new release from M for 2 2 is the wonderf l Brambly Hedge. The Brambly Hedge books are the creation of ill ar lem. illed with bea tif lly detailed ill strations of the mice who live in the Brambly Hedge, they have sold over million copies worldwide and are end ringly pop lar. rambly edge feat res in M s ll strators range, Special Occasions, and also in Christmas. Brambly Hedge joins other classic British character brands Paddington ear, oald Dahl, ess ow M ch ove o , he iger ho ame to ea, and Miffy in M s prod ct ranges. CONTACT

Unit 9 & 10 Cronin Courtyard, Weldon South Ind. Est., Corby, Northamptonshire, NN18 8AG 01373 462 165

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B u s i n es s G r eet i n g C a r d s



he greet ng card mar et has o r shed n oc down ow can garden centres ta e ad antage o th s


an you imagine 150,000 birthday cards pouring through your letterbox? For his 100 th birthday in April last year, the late Captain Sir Tom Moore received even more than this after he raised £28m for the NHS. Volunteers had to be brought in to open them all. eedless to say, since the first hristmas card in 1843, Britain continues to be a country of card senders. The Greeting Card Association says we send more than any other nation in the world, spending £1.7bn on cards each year – and that doesn’t take into account the handmade cards. So, how has the market changed over the last few years, particularly throughout lockdown? Where’s the best spot to display cards in store? And is sustainability an obstacle to overcome? “We believe that it is engrained in the British culture to send a greeting card,” says Kay Patel of the recently launched The Seed Card Company. “It is not about being popular but an accepted and well received gesture. If anything, the need for sending a greeting card has increased to reassure our friends and loved ones that they are being thought of even when you cannot physically see them.” Amanda Fergusson, CEO of the Greeting Card Association, says the effort of sending a card creates a really powerful


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connection which has become more important while everyone is stuck at home. “The effort that goes into a card means something; it shows that people have taken the time to choose a design that is appropriate to you, or they think you’d like, and choose the appropriate wording.” The UK also leads the world in greeting card innovation and design, says Amanda. “Everybody looks to us to what’s happening in the card industry and we export cards all over the world. It is a leading British industry.” It launched one of the most recent card-sending events too – Thinking of You Week. Around seven years ago,

Everybody looks to us to what’s happening in the card industry and we export cards all over the world. It is a leading British industry a member of the Greeting Card Association who produced a variety of Christian cards decided to send a card a day for Lent. He sent 40 cards in total to his friends and family and was blown away by the response. “He said to the GCA that

we should bottle this,” says Amanda. “So, it gave us the idea to develop an occasion around ‘thinking of you’ with a ‘thinking of you’ card. The third week of September is now officially hin ing of o ee . “It’s extended to America and Australia too. I was in America around 18 months ago talking to their Greeting Card Association, and the US Postal Service – who presented after me – said there were 44 million more cards sent between 2017 and 2018, and they put this down to Thinking of You Week, but also millennials, and we’re seeing the same over here. The 18 to 34-year-old age group are sending more cards than a generation ago.” This isn’t the only change. Where previously a large multipack of Christmas cards wo ld s ffice, people are now leaning towards smaller packs or individual cards, says Amanda. “People are more t ned into b ying a specific card than they used to be. If they’re going to send cards to their friends, they want to send cards that are appropriate to that friend, not a generic image. Traditionally, 94% of greeting cards were bought in a brick-andmortar store, because people would like to choose the right image and the right words. They want to feel the quality.” Lockdown has meant a lot of these brick-and-mortar stores being closed at some of the most crucial occasions over

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the last year, but garden centres being able to remain open has meant sales have been incredibly strong, says Sue Morrish, co-owner of The Eco-Friendly Card Co. “Garden centres that have a good selection of cards have been very busy, partly because people can’t buy cards in other places, but also because people are

Garden centres being able to remain open has meant sales have been incredibly strong looking for cards, for something nice to send to friends and family. “Most of the garden centres we supply foc s on blan cards, not on specific events; people can then use that card for any situation. If you go down the route of doing special occasions, your footage becomes much bigger and not necessarily with much increase in turnover. Garden centres are not specialist card shops – what they’re trying to do is supply something that people can pick up in addition to buying plants or fertiliser or whatever it is they’ve gone in for.” Even for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Mothering Sunday, blank cards with romantic or spring imagery can fit the bill. wo ldn t recommend garden centres go down the ro te of stoc ing lots of specific designs for those occasions, b t yo ll find there are more sales made around these times. Even garden centres with larger card departments might still have a heavy emphasis on blank, so 25% occasion to 75% blank. We also might be the only card supplier in an independent garden centre, where they might have one

©The Seed Card Company

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spinner. I’d always recommend blank in that kind of situation. A 64-pocket stand will have nearly £900 worth of products at retail value.” Amanda says range should vary with space, though. “If you have limited space and you’re offering blank cards then these will do for birthdays or congratulations, for example. But you’re potentially missing an opportunity if you have the space to do a comprehensive range. If you have a range, people are more likely to make your card area a destination to buy cards for the next few occasions that they’ve got.” So, where can you place your cards to attract the most attention? “This is answered not only as a greeting card supplier but also as a consumer – near the shop counter,” says Kay. Garden centre environments do differ, though, says Sue. “Some garden centres have dedicated, indoor spaces for gifts, and often you’ll find cards there. t they can also end p in spinners in airy, cold environments. The main thing to consider is a place where you’re going to get good footfall. If you’ve got gardening gifts, put them near your gardening gifts.” Speaking of environments, sustainability continues to be a hot topic. The nature of the product means it is very environmentally friendly, says Amanda. “It’s recyclable because it’s paper. We advise all our members to put the FSC logo on the back of their cards, which they can do if their printer has the authority to use it. We’ve worked hard to make sure our members are informed about where to buy their paper, what to do to make sure their cards are recyclable and how to communicate that to retailers and consumers.” The Eco-Friendly Card Co has been using recycled board for its products and

©The Eco-Friendly Card Co

G r eet i n g C a r d s B u s i n es s

compostable bags for more than ten years, and its environmentally friendly stance seems to be proving popular with consumers. “In 2020, our sales to independent retailers – despite lockdown – were actually the same as in 2019, which is quite remarkable,” says Sue. “If it had been a normal year, we could have seen brilliant growth. It really shows the strength of The EcoFriendly Card Co brand, that people have been looking for products with a really diverse set of imagery but also environmental responsibility.” New brands are entering this space too, like The Seed Card Company. “Being a card-based business, we have to be very conscious of all the materials we use,” says Kay. “‘Naked’ cards are the norm now with a sticker keeping the card and envelope together, and cards being made from FSC certified card. At he eed ard ompany we have these values and sustainability embedded in our ethos, with cards made from post-consumer waste card that are fully biodegradable, plantable and printed with vegan-friendly inks; as well as stickers being made from sugarcane and hemp.” It’s a continuously evolving market, but Amanda says it continues to be buoyant, and it remains an area for garden centres to invest in. “We’ve been getting some really good sales, some really good feedback, and I think it’s an exciting time for us.” w

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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B u s i n es s A r t i s a n P r od u ct s


SMALLER SUPPLIERS Local, artisan and independent producers can help broaden your giftware range


t’s all well and good stocking the big brands, but selling these alongside a range of artisan products can make your gift offering unique. Take Garsons. The garden centre, located in sher and itchfield, has a wide range of artisan gifts, from toys to home fragrances and toiletries. “Our displays are a fusion of well-known brands and smaller niche brands that are often not found in mainstream retailers or yet household names,“ says Sarah Crees, Garsons’ gift and Christmas buyer. Choosing the products and brands takes careful consideration, though. “When looking at selecting which artisan brands and products to stock the key things we look for are their origin of manufacture, eco and sustainable credentials, originality and quality, and their brand story,” says Sarah. “By offering these carefully selected speciality brands we generally know that our customers will be receiving products of the highest quality, such as Toasted Crumpet, a local supplier who produce illustrated stationery, greeting cards, textiles, and home gifts. In addition to quality comes luxury, such as the

independent home fragrance Grow Your Own Mini brand we stock Sandy Bay Dinosaur Garden London where the candles are Clockwork Soldier Ltd handmade made from the finest nat ral wa . A clever pop-up miniature garden “We’re a proud stockist including real cress seeds to grow. of Clockwork Soldiers Encourage budding gardeners who specialise in paper with a box that folds up into craft activities with the a fun 3D play scene and aim of encouraging moveable dinosaur characters. imagination in play This fun dino-kit includes all distracting children from you need to sow and grow digital toys and screens.” your garden in four easy Garden centres have steps. No messy glue become key retailers for or scissors needed! producers such as these. “Over the last few years RRP £7.50 our number of garden centre stockists has exploded,” says a spokeswoman for Clockwork Soldiers. “We make creative kits that sit happily in the lifestyle and gift ranges that more and more garden centres are stocking. As garden centres become do incredibly well; we’re proud to stock shopping destinations, we’re pleased to them and we make sure we showcase see how much they and their customers and give them pride of place in displays. value small independent brand like ours.” It’s always lovely to see how small Garsons says it is particularly proud to support and stock ‘Made in the UK’ toiletry and bathroom brands such as The As garden centres English Soap Company, The Southsea Mini Spa Gift Set become shopping Bathing Hut and The Great British Southsea Bathing Hut Bee Company. It also has an area destinations, we’re dedicated to eco-friendly kitchen and Portsmouth was once known pleased to see how much household products, adds Sarah, for its soap making and which stocks “many varieties of they and their customers restorative sea bathing. water bottles, re-usable cups and Southsea Bathing Hut is value small independent food preserving bits and pieces bringing that heritage back to from brands like Bee’s Wrap, brand like ours life, with natural skincare inspired an independent company that by coastal, natural beauty. This produces organic cotton coated independent brands grow and evolve into special gift set provides a luxury with sustainably sourced beeswax big success stories such as Sophie Allport home-spa experience using only natural, resulting in a reusable way to kitchen and homeware.” vegan and cruelty-free products, beautifully store food. There are plenty of artisan and presented in a handmade luxury washbag. “The sales of these artisan brands independent brands looking for a chance, mentioned along with many others and it can be h gely beneficial for both RRP £33.00 we stock such as Bath House Artisans the brand and the garden centre to stock of Natural Beauty and Lanka Kade toys them in their offering. w


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G i f t C a r d s B u s i n es s



Gift cards and vouchers have become a hot choice since lockdown began, so how can garden centres take advantage of this? And will gift cards remain popular once lockdown lifts?


xchanging gifts whilst remaining a metre apart is not easy. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that sending a gift card instead has become more popular over the last few months. This Christmas, for instance, saw a surge in purchases, according to the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA). Research it conducted with Global Data showed that 17.9% of Brits purchased a gift card in November 2020, which jumped to over a quarter (25.2%) in December – and more than a third cited lockdown restrictions as a reason for their purchase. The demand for digital gift cards had also grown. Last year, they accounted for 26% of all UK gift card spend and 50% of all gift cards spent online. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), which runs the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme, also experienced a surge last year, with sales of its gift cards up 15% from 2019. Around 1,400 garden centres nationwide accept its paper vouchers and 900 its gift card. “Many consumers have developed a desire to support struggling local high streets and businesses during the pandemic, and gift cards have been a key way to do this, boosting the cash ow of these companies at a time when they may not even be able to open,” says Phoebe Cornford of Secure Vouchers, a voucher printing company of which garden centres is one of its main customer markets. “According to the GCVA, 41.6% of respondents look to purchase gift cards with the intent of supporting companies. here has also been a significant rise in online shopping, with many businesses now offering online redemption platforms for their gift vouchers, making them a good choice for consumers.” “Vouchers have been a successful lifeline for lots of small businesses during the recent pandemic, providing additional financial s pport whilst being told to remain closed,” says Phoebe. “They are expected to remain strong when businesses re-open and people look

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to spend their money on gifts for loved ones and day out ‘experiences’. Gift cards are increasingly boasting positive benefits to retailers beyond the price of purchase and redemption. Many consumers spend a higher amount than the straight value of the gift card during redemption. This is a lucrative opportunity for retailers to generate revenue beyond the initial sale. “Gift cards also play a key role in introducing shoppers to new brands. Many consumers have developed a desire to support local high streets and businesses during the pandemic. Gift cards are an instant cash ow and referral machine. Even when lockdown restrictions are lifted, Phoebe expects gift cards to remain popular. “This year has shown how resilient and adaptable the gift voucher industry is. Before lockdown, gift cards and vouchers were doing extremely well. During a lockdown, they sustained growth

Gift cards are increasingly boasting positi e benefits to retailers beyond the price of purchase and redemption and adapted to online methods. After loc down, they will contin e to benefit both businesses and consumers alike.” The HTA agrees, particularly for gardening related vouchers. A spo eswoman said that, whilst it s diffic lt to predict whether the trend will continue, there are some three million new gardeners in the country due to lockdowns. From producing own-branded gift cards and to participating in the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme, garden centres can open up a new revenue opportunity whilst taking up little retail space. As Phoebe says, there are few reasons not to take advantage of this market. w

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A d v er t or i a l

IMAGE RETAIL SOLUTIONS Image Retail Solutions is a retail EPOS supplier specialising in garden centres and farm shops

Amazon, along with a very comprehensive, generic API that can be utilised by almost any web developer to link the EPOS to a retailer’s bespoke storefront. Multi-channel sales are crucial in this overly competitive industry, and a successful EPOS solution must provide the retailer with multiple routes to market: store, web and app.

As a business, Image Retail Solutions Ltd has been writing EPOS software here in the UK for more than 20 years and now boasts an installation base of over 1,000 live systems. Many changes have happened during that time. Garden centres used to be predominantly nursery based, but now they are the department stores of the future – almost a visitor attraction in their own right with gift shops, cafes and farm shops. Events and workshops are also becoming more common (COVID permitting!). As this change has occurred, the demands on EPOS have changed with it, from glorified cash register to a full business package. Here at Image, we have kept up with this change, offering software updates on an almost monthly basis. oftware is id and needs to move with the times. So many EPOS systems quickly stagnate – what you buy at the outset has the same f nctionality five


years later, with the retailer trying to fit the b siness around archaic software, instead of the software evolving with the industry. At Image, we have our own development team continually talking to retailers, taking their feedback on board and evolving the software. This may be in areas such as loyalty schemes, mobile apps, e-commerce integration, accounting integration, business reporting and data analysis. Of course, the core elements must also remain strong such as stock control, ordering, promotions and ease of use for general staff. Loyalty, bounceback and promotions We can offer multiple loyalty options as required by a modern garden centre to ensure repeat business and continued business support from the customer base. This can include bounce back vouchers, customer type

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loyalty (and promotions) allowing targeting of key groups such as OAPs. Flexibility is the ey here to find the right solution for your business. Mobile apps Image has written several mobile apps to support the garden centre industry. These include a table service app for the cafe, a delivery/click & collect app for retail products, a ticket sales app and a scan & shop app. These apps all tightly integrate with our EPOS or can work standalone with third party solutions. Mobile apps are easy to manage and run, and most customers expect this technology. E-commerce solutions Website integration has been invaluable to garden centres during the pandemic, and we have seen our customers exploit this area very successfully. Amongst other integrations, we offer direct links to Shopify and

Suppliers, historical data and roduct file We have products on our database from more than 150 garden centre suppliers and have a clo d hosted file of over two million other products. So, there should be very few items our system does not recognise. It is a simple process to import products from new suppliers. On implementation, we always try to help import a retailer’s e isting prod ct file. Service, installation and support We pride ourselves on our seven-day technical support and back this up with onsite hardware cover. Many of our competitors only offer swap-out or return-to-base cover, which is not something we feel is appropriate for a modern business. We carry out all installation work and training necessary to make the transition to your new and improved EPOS system as easy and painless as possible.


Please contact us for an informal chat and to arrange a software demonstration. 01202 698 610

01/04/2021 11:45


Systems from


• Full EPOS, stock control and reporting • Customer delivery scheduling • Goods for collection & call-off features • Searchable plants database with images • Ability to track stock/plant location • Front-house and backroom stock segregation • Fully featured loyalty and discounting schemes • HTA gift card integration • Web-store integration (incl. Shopify) • Multi-channel sales (in-store, web and app) • Mobile / tablet apps (table service, click & collect, etc) • Label & tag printing • Retail & hospitality interfaces *All prices exclude VAT and are subject to change. All EPOS systems & software require a compulsory support contract.


• Over 20 years’ experience in the EPOS business • Over 1,000 live systems across the UK • HTA members • UK based company • UK-wide engineering team • Software developed in-house • Quality hardware

No obligation on-site demonstration; please enquire Registered in England & Wales: 9450326

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01202 698610

Registered address: 1 Avon Road | West Moors | Ferndown | Dorset | BH22 0EG

01/04/2021 09:48

B u s i n es s C a t er i n g F ocu s


EXPERIENCE Chef James Birchall is opening a cookery school at Stamford Garden Centre, offering customers a unique experience on site


OVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the retail sector. This year alone, non-essential stores have been forced to close for more than three months. Even garden centres selling essential products have chosen to shut up shop to stop the spread of the virus. Online retail, on the other hand, has boomed. Take the biggest of them all, Amazon. The e-commerce behemoth boasted an eye-watering $386bn worth of sales for 2020, up more than $100bn from the previous year. A roadmap has now been announced for removing lockdown restrictions, but how can shops pull in consumers who even before COVID-19 were getting used to shopping at the click of a button rather than visiting a bricks and mortar store? Garden centres as destinations is hardly a new concept, but Stamford Garden Centre is taking this a step further by creating an experience for its customers to bring in footfall. The upcoming addition to its site is a cookery school run by James Birchall, a professional chef who has worked in the kitchen at Michael Caine’s restaurant, Langan’s Brasserie, in Mayfair. Until recently, James was running his own restaurant, but lockdown led to the decision to turn his attention entirely to the new cookery school. Once opening, he will be running sessions for various age gro ps, incl ding children. first got into food when cooking with my


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nan and grandad,” says James. “It was very traditional food in the countryside in Somerset, all made fresh by hand. “They built me a step so I could reach the countertop when I was a kid. So now, after years of working in restaurants and hotels, I want to pass my passion on the next generation of foodies and young

after years of working in restaurants and hotels, I want to pass my passion on the next generation of foodies and young people people, hence why we’re opening a cookery school at a garden centre – to try and bring people together through food. The garden centre is perfect for that because it’s a real family destination, surrounding by fresh produce.” James joins a host of other independent businesses on the site at Stamford Garden Centre. These range from a hairdressers to an interior design company to a carwash. “The site is more of a village,” says James. “Stamford is a real supporter of ‘Shop Local’, there are signs about it all over the town, and the owner of the garden centre - Chris Isaac - is a big supporter too. There are lots of different local independent businesses on site, as well as the amazing butchers and food hall in the garden

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C a t er i n g F ocu s B u s i n es s

centre, so it’s going to be a really good place to have the cookery school.”

There are lots of different local independent businesses on site, as well as the amazing butchers and food hall in the garden centre, so it’s going to be a really good place to have the cookery school Events will be held throughout the year, which James compares to visiting a zoo, where you might be invited to watch the penguins being fed at a particular time. Instead of watching animals being fed, though, James will be hosting BBQ demonstrations, for instance. “There are three main areas to the cookery school, and one is education. So, we will be doing pop-ups around the garden centre using what they sell. They have some unusual garden cookery equipment, so we’ll be using this and learning about different produce.” James’ uses a local allotment for a lot of the produce but is planning to have a smaller version – a kitchen garden – at the cookery school as well.

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This educational element includes a venture called ‘Cooking with the Curriculum’, where topics children are learning in school will be incorporated into the programme. James will also be hosting ‘Mum and Dad’s Night Off’, where parents or grandparents can watch their children cook dinner for them. “It has so many positives – children have a sense of achievement because they’re providing a meal for their parents, and parents love it because they get a night off cooking. The end goal is that children then pester their mum and dad to cook at home. There will also, hopefully, be an apprenticeship chef programme so that tomorrow’s apprentices train the next lot and have their own cookery school or their own mission to help.” The second element of the school is what James is calling “experience evenings”, aimed at adults. He will be cooking live in the garden centre’s restaurant for people to learn about different cuisines and to interact with, if they wish. he final element is contin ing the fresh food delivery and collection service James started in lockdown. “It’s slightly contradictory, in terms of I’m trying to get people to cook fresh, but these meals are made in the kitchen using fresh and local ingredients, with a short shelf life

of two days. This is the vehicle I’ll use to train apprentices at first, and once they ve gained the skills, they can move on to other areas.” If the government’s roadmap out of lockdown stays on track, James is planning for the cookery school to open in the summer. Group numbers and availability will depend largely on the social distancing rules around this time, b t he s eager to find a way to r n workshops within the rules and to work with Stamford Garden Centre to create the best experience possible. w

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


01/04/2021 10:08

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GIMA The date for the GIMA Awards 2021 has been set


PLANT FOCUS Capitalising on the continued popularity of houseplants


ANATOMY OF A PRODUCT Willsow’s Plantable Children’s Books


GARDENING GIFTS Perfecting displays with Coolings Garden Centre


LEON BOOTS CO High quality Wellington boots for gardeners


LATEST PRODUCTS Gardening gifts for adults and children


MEET THE RANGE Toynamics UK & Ireland


LATEST PRODUCTS Homeware gifts – plant pots and doorstop


FOOD GIFTS Exploring the boom of baking and cocktail making kits


LATEST PRODUCTS Food gifts – condiments, sweets and alcohol


LATEST PRODUCTS Pet gifts – snacks, toys and accessories


LATEST PRODUCTS Wildlife – food, feeders and habitats

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01/04/2021 16:35

G IM A A w a rd s



Following an imposed year off in 2020, leading garden industry trade assoc at on s eased to confirm that ts ann a awards e en ng w be ma ng a h gh ant c ated ret rn on o ember

aking place at the fabulous Celtic Manor Resort, this year’s event will be a night to remember, celebrating not just a return to normality but also the best that the garden retail sector has to offer. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the event being cancelled for the first time in its 40-year history in 2020, the industry has not stood still. Suppliers have been busier than ever creating exciting new product, marketing and merchandising innovations throughout the 2020 and 2021 season. These innovative new launches and initiatives will be celebrated in a glittering night of awards and merriment, with all of the usual categories, including: GCA Supplier of the Year (GCA), Gardenex Export Achievement and the Sword of Excellence set to make a return. A new Sustainability award will also join the line-up, in recognition of a product, business initiative, or wider business ethos which demonstrates how suppliers are successfully driving the sustainability agenda. Before we Recycled rubber planters don our glad

rags again, let’s look back at some of the most exciting new product winners of the 2019 awards. The big winners back in 2019 were Primeur, supplier of the Eco Garden range of planters, stepping-stones, garden borders and decking tiles, all made from recycled rubber tyres. It was the Tierra Verde Planters which stood out to judges, thanks to their sustainable material innovation and self-watering functionality. Scooping not just the Decorative Garden Pots & Planters Award, Primeur also walked away with the Sword of Excellence, which is selected from all product category winners. Since this award win, Primeur has seen sales of Tierra Verde skyrocket, with record sales shaping much of 2020 and its dedicated merchandising displays finding their way into h ndreds of garden retailers across the country. Tierra Verde has gained legions of fans since its award win, appearing in a host of high-end consumer home and gardening magazines and trialled by top in encers to increase brand awareness and engagement amongst traditional and emerging gardeners. Another big winner on the night was Treadstone with its ClipGlove, which scooped the 2019 Garden Clothing & Gifts Award and the Best Point of Sale Award. Praised by the judges as a ‘breakthrough in garden gloves’, the ClipGloves offering now includes two distinct colour palettes and has also

Chesneys Heat-Grill Lifestyle

CLIP glove

received wider critical acclaim, topping several leading consumer product charts in 2020. Looking ahead to 2021 will see new innovations boost the ClipGloves offering further, including the introduction of new glove styles and promotional activity. A new name that grabbed one of the 2019 Product Awards was Chesneys Limited, with its Chesneys Heat and Grill. Since making its debut at the 2019 GIMA Awards, Chesneys has witnessed significant growth, opening a new showroom on the af ent ing s oad

The 2019 GIMA Awards – product award winners Garden Care Winner: Hozelock Pure BioMix


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Growing, Planting Equipment and Sundries Winner: Gardena - Metal Hose Trolley

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

Decorative Garden Pots & Planters Winner: Primeur Tierra Verde Recycled Rubber Planters

Garden Tools, Machinery and Implements Winner: E P Barrus Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Digging Spade

Outdoor Leisure Winner: Chesneys Ltd Chesneys Heat & Grill

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A w a rd s G IM A

in London’s Royal Chelsea borough. The Heat and Grill sold out in 2020, with orders contin ing to ood in ahead of the 2021 restock in early April – hardly surprising when you consider the GIMA judge’s comments: “Stand out product in this category, Looks stylish, sleek and contemporary. Dual purpose has all yearround use.” ommenting on the welcome ret rn of the GIMA Awards, GIMA director, Vicky Nuttall said: “We could not be happier to confirm that the ann al awards ceremony will be back later this year. I know how missed the event has been, so being

able to confirm its ret rn is a very special moment for s. “This year’s awards may be a little later in the year than we are used to but that won’t stop us celebrating in style! We are very m ch loo ing forward to throwing open the doors to Celtic Manor once again and being able to celebrate the incredible hard work that our suppliers have achieved in the face of adversity over the past two years.” o mar the r by anniversary of the event, GIMA is asking attendees to add a splash of red to their glad rags to help mar the celebrations even f rther.

This year, the GIMA Awards will be sponsored by a wealth of fantastic ind stry brands, including Glee, returning once again as headline sponsor, alongside the HTA, GCA, Gardenex, Garden rade ews, ardenfor m, arden Radio, Garden Centre Retail, Garden Centre Update, DIY Week, CM Ventures and ornby hitefoot . Additional sponsorship opportunities are also available contact MA to find o t more. o find o t more abo t how to enter the 2021 GIMA Awards or to book your place at what is set to be a night to remember, please visit w

GIMA Awards 2019

Plants, Seeds and Bulbs Winner: Farplants Spiraea ‘Walberton’s Plumtastic’

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Garden Landscaping Winner: Forest Garden - Victorian Walkaround Greenhouse

Garden Clothing & Gifts Winner: Treadstone Products – ClipGlove

Pet Care, Aquatics and Wild Bird Care Products Winner: RSW International - Smart Choice Dog Ball Launcher (The Stomper)

Garden Lighting, Water Features & Ornamentation Winner: Smart Garden Products Limited – Bug Lights

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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Proudly supplying garden centre retailers canopies, covered walkways & sustainable statement buildings for over 55 years Contact our team today to see what we can bring to your centre 01243 55 44 55

Supported by point-of sale material to help boost sales.

Bathgate offer retailers a comprehensive range of high-quality horticultural products.

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Products can be delivered nationwide. 01270 762828

01/04/2021 16:34

P la n t F ocu s P r od u ct s



How can garden centres make the most of the growing popularity of houseplants?

Books My House Plant Changed My Life

Author: David Domoney Publisher: DK TV gardening personality David Domoney writes about the science behind the positive effect of houseplants on wellness and provides information and growing tips for his top 50 ‘life-enhancing houseplants’. These are the indoor plants which David says are the most beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing as well as having the greatest air-purifying credentials.


ouseplants have become hot property. A ‘mint variegated Monstera deliciosa’ recently sold for £28,200 on eBay, according to home inspiration website Homedit. The buyer refused to pay, unfortunately, and the plant was sold a few weeks later for a more modest yet still jawdropping £8,000, but the point still stands that people are willing to pay top dollar to turn their homes into indoor jungles. A survey of nearly 4,000 houseplant owners by Homedit revealed that 9% claimed to own more 200 houseplants and nearly 11% spent more than £1,000 on caring for their collection. An impressive 48% said they’d spent between £101 and £500 on a single houseplant. Could their growing popularity be in part down to their possible health credentials? SaveOnEnergy set out to discover the best air purifying houseplants and discovered that eight out of the 10 houseplants studied were able to remove 10% of CO2 in just 24 hours. Prayer plants topped the list as the most effective, taking in 14.4% of the total CO2 in the test environment, which replicated that of a home with no ventilation.

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At Home with Plants

Whilst it may be counterintuitive to hike your houseplant prices and start selling them as healthcare, it may be worth considering the selling space for these green goldmines. Rosebourne, for instance, has moved the houseplant area to the centre of its stores in Aldermaston and Weyhill, so when customers exit the food hall, the first thing they see is this display – it’s a high footfall area, being close to the toilets and to the entrance of the restaurant. This seemingly small shift makes a big difference. Rosebourne says the move has allowed greater space to be allocated to its houseplants and in a less draughty position, suiting both plants and customers. Jack Shilley, assistant manager at the Aldermaston store and plant buyer for Rosebourne, says: “We have seen a switch to green in recent years away from owering plants to foliage orientated plants. Our bestsellers in terms of quantities include aloes, cacti and succulents – especially the 5.5cm pots – peace lilies, kentia palms, Devil’s ivy, and Boston ferns, to name a few.” 

Author: Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly Publisher: Octopus Houseplants are not only beneficial to o r health, but they’re also aesthetically pleasing – just look at the raft of terrariums on sale. Ian Drummond – owner of In-Tray Plants – and Kara O’Reilly share styling tips for transforming a home with houseplants, telling you where different species will work best and how to look after them.

Wild Creations

Author: Hilton Carter Publisher: CICO Books From the author of ‘Wild at Home’ and ‘Wild Interiors’, this latest in the series contains step-by-step instructions for houseplant creations, such as a wall-mounted plants, and hacks for plant worries such as watering them while you’re away. Plant and interior stylist Hilton Carter also explores ten key ‘wild plants’ and how to care for them.

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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P r od u ct s P la n t F ocu s

Online challengers

Over the last few years, online stores have been popping up focusing solely on selling houseplants and the accessories to go with them.


Launched: 2015 atch helps c stomers to find the right plants for a space, delivers them to the door and helps customers look after them. It has a wide range of plants to choose from, many that fall into specific categories s ch as n illable and pet friendly .


Launched: 2020 ollowing the s ccess of his boo At ome with lants , an Dr mmond set p n ray to s pply ho seplants to a broader client base than his interior landscaping company, ndoor arden Design. ased in ondon, n ray delivers nationwide.

Beards & Daisies

Launched: 2015 eards Daisies launched letterbox owers in 2 then became exclusively plants in May 2019. It prides itself on its plants being packed b y its in ho se team of plant lovers . eards Daisies says it has the largest collection of houseplants in the UK, ready to deliver as soon as the next day.


Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

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P la n t F ocu s P r od u ct s

Indoor pots elho Vibes

The new vibes range of indoor pots has an organic, textured finish, being ribbed both outside and in. The slightly rounded body and decorative pattern utilise natural and soft shapes to re ect the bea ty of nature, creating a sense of calm. This is elevated by the use of four new soft shades – butter yellow, delicate pink, deep blue and silky white. Launch date: Winter 2020/21 RRP: £4.89, £5.99, £7.49, £10.49

Lechuza PILA stackable self-watering planters and storage

he new A range can be sed e ibly thanks to the modular system, where up to three plant or storage elements can be stacked on top of each other. Made from high-quality UV- and weatherresistant, each A planter benefits from LECHUZA’s self-watering technology and pure mineral plant substrate, as well as a removal planter liner made from 100% recycled plastic. Available in six contemporary matte colours, including grey, coral or green tones. Launch date: Spring 2021 RRP: £28.99 to £58.99

He adds that terrariums have become trendier over recent years – the #terrarium hashtag has more than 2.2 million posts attached to it, and #terrariumdesign more than 97,000 posts. “We offer ready planted ones along with the component parts for people to assemble their own,” says Jack. “This year we plan to introduce planting stations allowing people to select the plants and any vessel they want for us to plant for them. We are hoping that this another popular option for our customers as the department continues to grow.” The houseplant area has been carefully designed into categories surrounding a centrepiece. Plants are arranged in height order within each category and colourful impulse stock is placed at front with foliage behind. Rosebourne says the layout of its houseplant area allows customers to be immersed in the arrangements providing a ‘jungle like’ feel and sensory experience. The display also includes related products, such as feeds, compost, misting bottles and ceramics for additional sales – we’ve highlighted some of the indoor plant pots you could add to your shelves on page 44.

It’s not enough to simply sell the products, though. Customers need to be able to care for the plants too. “From an information perspective, it is very much about providing the personal touch with staff on hand to provide advice and expertise for customer queries. Our plantarea staff have a genuine interest in horticulture along with hortic lt ral alifications and can talk from personal experience due to their genuine interest in the plants we stock.” For GCA members, there are also modules staff can undertake on houseplant care via its e-learning programme and yo can find out more about this training initiative in our February/March issue). You could also stock books with care information – and style inspiration – such as those on page 33. Houseplants were already proving popular before lockdown began – the Garden Centre Association found indoor plant sales shot up by 14% between 2017 and 2019. And being stuck in our homes for months has only fed this passion, so now is the perfect time for garden centres to showcase their houseplant assortment.

Ivyline Vigo Matt Anthracite Planter with stand

Elevate houseplants with this on-trend Vigo planter. Perfectly propped up on a Scandi-style wooden stand, this contemporary planter in anthracite grey is ideal for spotlighting houseplants of the moment, such as a Parlour palm for a quintessential look, or an Elephant’s Ear plant for a touch of the tropics. Launch date: March 2021 RRP: £37.99

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Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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A d v er t or i a l


First of its kind illsow has created the first ever plantable children s boo . ach Willsow book contains at least 500 non-GMO seeds embedded into the front and bac pages. As well as seeds, the boo s are made from post cons mer waste. nstead of to ic gl e or metal, the pages are stitched with nat ral cotton. Positive plots Each story contains messaging around teamwork, diversity and how we can all be heroes. illsow s aim is to ed cate children and adults alike that we can all do more for the environment. There is always a way to make recyclability fun. Grow your own illsow ma es it really simple to learn abo t how to plant vegetables and herbs. he bac page of every boo contains simple instr ctions on how to grow yo r own and meet the main character. With Willsow, the end of the story is just the beginning.

Product Willsow Plantable Childrens Books Manufacturer Willday Printers Launch date November 2018 RRP £9.99 Awards LeicestershireLive Innovation Award for Education & Training, Niche Business Award 2020 for Innovation in Business, The Lloyds Bank New Business of the Year Award 2 2 finalist Tel 0116 2518 478 Email Web


Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

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G a r d en i n g G i f t s P r od u ct s


GIFTWARE Coolings Garden Centre shares some key considerations for giftware displays


ow can you make your garden centre the go-to place for gifts? Independent garden centre group Coolings is doing just that with its giftware. It has created enticing areas in its stores for customers to browse the variety of products available. Choosing the right position for this area is crucial, says Coolings shop buyer Nicky Peto. You need to be aware of the c stomer ow thro gh the shop and also how you can negotiate space in different seasons throughout the year. “For example, fertilisers and chemicals are condensed over the winter period which makes way for more giftware coming up to Christmas,” says Nicky. therwise, giftware needs to fit in around seasonal products.” Garden centres also need to ensure they have enough stock to make an impact, using props for the display. Coolings

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– a family business located in Kent and East Sussex – sells a mix of homeware, toiletries, unusual pots for indoor plants, candles and diffusers, the latter with the idea that the candle holders can be repurposed as houseplant pots. There are options for smaller garden centres, too. “It would be good if some gifts could be incorporated but we realise that sometimes space is very limited. Garden related gifts are a good option to start with, as things like handwash and hand creams can benefit the gardeners amongst us.” Nicky adds that it’s key when considering giftware to realise your demographic. “If your customers are plant focused then it would be detrimental to take up valuable space with gifts when the area would be better utilised with plants and plant related products.” One of the Coolings’ sites is more family focused whilst another has a definite gardening vibe , so the gift sections in these stores are tailored towards this. “It is all about striking the right balance,” says Nicky. “Up until a few years ago we did not have a gift section at all, and we

have slowly built up a selection which is placed around the shop rather than one specific area. Once the giftware areas have been set up, it’s then essential to keep it looking good and ensure the stock is turning over regularly, injecting new products into the display on a regular basis to keep it looking fresh, says Nicky. There’s plenty to consider when it comes to giftware, but it’s worth taking the time on to boost sales. w

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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A d v er t or i a l


Award winning ellington boot man fact rer, eon oots o td, has made significant waves in the industry since it came to the UK market two years ago, with a boot that offers a revolutionary alternative to heavy rubber or PVC footwear

Unisex (EXBL) Explorer. RRP: £49.95

Children’s FRPN/ FRBL Froggy RRP: £22.95

Leon Boots Co is taking the garden centre industry by storm. In just one week, the award-winning wellington boot company scooped preorders from more than 40 garden centres across the UK. These include the prestigious Chessington Garden Centre, which led the way with the first pre-order from UK director Kevin Burgess. Having already made a name for itself in other UK markets such as agriculture since it launched in 2018, LBC has now unveiled a new range of garden ankle boots aimed at the garden retail market. And these are far from your average wellington boots.

At only 219g, these are ultra-lightweight with removable liners to allow for use all year round. The colourful and vibrant boots are not only light, but also comfortable and durable. They are manufactured using an EVA polymer in a single injection moulding process that makes them resistant to splitting or cracking. At only £29.99 RRP, they are bound to prove popular with gardeners. There are a variety of colours available – gardeners’ favourite green, as well as black, fuchsia, red and yellow. Find out more at:

Ladies Garden Ankle Boot (GDGR) Green

Unisex (EXBL) Explorer. RRP: £49.95

Unisex (UPR2) Non-Slip Sole. RRP: £54.95


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Ladies (MNNV) Montana. RRP: £39.99

Contact Kevin Burgess fice 01934 315386 ob e 07525 772427

01/04/2021 12:53

G a r d en i n g G i f t s L a t es t P r od u ct s

GARDENING GIFTS FOR ADULTS Briers Bees range Smart Garden Products

Brier’s vibrant Bees design is a collection of on-trend gloves, wellies and clogs, offering fantastic quality, comfort and innovation. Briers provides tried and tested reliability at affordable prices – which is the reason why they are one of the UK’s market-leading brands. RRP From £7.99 Launch date Available now Kent & Stowe Capability Trowel Westland Horticulture Ltd Introducing the new Kent & Stowe Capability Trowel, transforming the traditional trowel into a game changing, innovative tool that f lfils a m ltit de of f nctions. Made from polished stainless steel, the Capability Trowel has been expertly designed to incorporate a serrated edge for cutting roots and opening compost bags, plus a pointed tip for tackling tough soils. It is available in a free-standing display unit with informative point of sale information, it also makes this ultimate gardening companion easy to merchandise in-store. RRP £14.99 Launch date Available now Garden Ankle Boot Leon Boots Co Ltd Award-winning Wellington boot manufacturer Leon Boots Co Ltd has produced a colourful range of garden ankle boots that are light, durable and comfortable. The range offers a design of boot that is a ‘revolutionary’ alternative to heavy rubber or PVC footwear. The boots are manufactured using an EVA polymer in a single injection moulding process that makes them resistant to splitting or cracking.

Burgon & Ball RHS Gifts for Gardeners ‘British Meadow’ Collection Burgon & Ball Bringing a fresh look to the topselling ‘RHS Gifts for Gardeners’ range, the new ritish Meadow collection showcases delicate meadow owers and b tter ies, tapping into the trend for a more informal, natural gardening style. The range includes many favourite gift sets from previous collections now in new plastic-free packaging, such as such as trowel & fork set and pruner & holster set, with a boxed garden snip adding a new option. RRP £10.99 to £25.99 Launch date Available now SeedCell Selection Box – Herb SeedCell The pods are made from 100% recycled industrial waste which is stripped of any bleaches, acids or other chemicals and does not contain peat. Each biodegradable, plantable seed pod is pre-sown with high quality seeds and comes ready to plant; just water the soil and plant the seed pod. SeedCells’ selection boxes are packed full of the most nutritious herbs and delicious vegetable seeds. Its aim is to make the growing experience straight forward giving satisfying results every time, filling gardens with fresh prod ce, ready to be pic ed and enjoyed throughout the year. RRP £19.99 Launch date Available now

RRP £29.99 Launch date Available now

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Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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L a t es t P r od u ct s G a r d en i n g G i f t s

GARDENING GIFTS FOR KIDS Bug Box Kit Smart Garden Products

The Bug Box Kit includes everything needed to catch minibeasts and other creepy crawlies and will make a great gift for children that enjoy gardening and the great outdoors. The Bug Box Kit is part of the Briers Kids! range that has everything needed to dig, plant, tidy and tend to the garden. RRP £7.99 Launch date Available now

Burgon & Ball National Trust ‘Get Me Gardening’ children’s tools and accessories Burgon & Ball With family gardening a strongly-growing category, Burgon & Ball introduces the new ‘Get Me Gardening’ licensed range of children’s garden tools and accessories. The new collection has been created in collaboration with the National Trust, Europe’s largest conservation charity, with sales supporting the Trust’s charitable activities. The range offers retailers an option with unique market positioning; utilising high-quality materials including steel, wood, and heavyweight 100% cotton, these robust tools are colourful, fun, and designed to last. RRP £7.99 to £17.99 Launch date Available now Kent & Stowe Kids Tools Westland Horticulture Ltd Kent & Stowe Kids Tools combine strength and practicality, with high-quality stainless steel heads and beautiful ash wood handles – a scaled down version of the Kent & Stowe full size collection. Suitable for children age 4+ with adult supervision. K&S also offers a range of kids gardening gloves. RRP £5.99 to £19.99 Launch date Available now


Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

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Happy Gardens Build & Grow Your Own Windmill Garden G Plants Ltd Brand new for 2021, ideal to keep kids entertained on a rainy day and care for their little garden which will grow in a matter of days. Pop out each piece and follow the instructions to build a windmill farm scene, complete with characters. Sow the seeds and watch them grow! Part of the Happy Gardens children grow range. RRP £8.99 Launch date Available now

3D Puzzle Garden – Castle Build & Grow Kids can create their very own interactive play set with a real garden. This make and create set comes with an easy-to-follow numbering system for easy assembly. Recycled card is used to make the play sets and the packaging, whilst vegetable ink is used to print it all and make the characters come to life. The tiny amount of plastic in each set is fully recyclable and can be used over and over, making sure each 3D Puzzle Garden is good for children both now and in the years to come. RRP £14.99 Launch date May 2021

Sembra Growing Kits Traditional Garden Games Ltd Sembra’s range of ‘easy sow and grow’ kits are a fun and educational way for children to get their hands dirty and grow their own vegetables, herbs, and owers. he its incl de all that is needed for home growing namely seeds, substrate and biodegradable pots and additional illustrated educational books for kids to learn how to sow and grow the plants. RRP £12.95 Launch date Available now

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A d v er t or i a l



Toynamics describes its vast product range and how it tailors its customer approach towards garden centres

Can you give us a brief outline of the brand?

Toynamics UK & Ireland is a distributor of leading high profile toy and n rsery brands. As a m lti brand distributor, Toynamics’ portfolio includes Hape wooden toys, Nebulous Stars craft products, Nanoblock microsized building blocks, and the Skip Hop baby, toddler and n rsery range. Toynamics’ core brand Hape designs creative ecofriendly wooden toys, made from top quality sustainable materials. he collection of playf l learning toys is suitable from birth through to early primary school age children, and includes key categories: railway, sand and water play, infant, craft, nat re f n and m sic.

What makes the company different to your competitors? The Toynamics approach is not just about selling its product, it’s about pride in its c stomer relationships. The company offers its garden centre retail customers dedicated marketing support in store and across cons mer platforms. he team ensures the ranges proposed meet the target customer profile and their needs and are supported with POS and fully functional D display nits.

Why should a garden centre work with your brand? As garden centres have become a top retail destination for families, offering a wide selection of products, food and entertainment, Toynamics has tailored its offer to re ect this shopping experience, supporting the purchasing needs of families with quality products aimed at their lifestyle re irements. Look out for our two bestsellers – Hape DJ Spin and Mix Studio, and Hape Railway Bucket Builder Set – plus key categories which are available in Card Display Units, on a planogram or can be made to fit yo r space.

What’s the next step for the brand?

Hape is at the forefront of the wooden toy market with new technology, unique products and an engaging shopin shop system. or garden centres there s an option for developing in store theatre and experiences – for example Hape has a train tunnel children can walk through and hear train noises, or a sit on a train with lots of buttons to press which also do bles p as a play table for the railway sets. Each of the brands that Toynamics distributes offers their own ni e selling points all aimed at yo ng families.

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What support are you offering garden centres?

As well as offering individual retailers the best range solution for their customer base, Toynamics offers a competitive margin and stoc t rn.


10b Nursery Court, Kibworth Harcourt Leicestershire, LE8 0EX Tel: 0116 478 5230 Sales email: sales Marketing email: emma.damerell Website:

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


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L a t es t P r od u ct s H omew a r e G i f t s

HOMEWARE GIFTS The Hoff Pot Bergs Potter

Bunny Doorstop Smart Garden Products

The Hoff range from Bergs Potter offers many opportunities to mix and match raw clay pots with glazed saucers in fantastic colours. The cylindrical terracotta pots are of the highest quality and provides optimal conditions for respiration and growth, while the raw and hand-glazed saucers give endless opportunities to create your own design – matching the desired plant.

The Bunny doorstop is both practical and decorative. It is hard-wearing, made of 100% polyester and weighted with sand to at least 1.5kg – heavy enough to hold open most doors or to stop them slamming shut. Bunny is part of a wider range of 10 adorable designs, including Scottie dog, owl, woolly sheep, fox and llama.

RRP £6.30 to £23.50 for pots, £3 to £22 for saucers Launch date Available now

Hand painted ceramic vases By Jo Crafts Each vase is individually hand painted using alcohol inks, pure alcohol and a na ed ame to create the movement in the paint. As they are all hand painted, By Jo Crafts accepts requests for any colour combination at no extra charge. They are unique, and they would be a vibrant addition to the shelves. The company’s ability to cater for any colour combination will enhance customer interest. RRP £25.00 Launch date Available now PTMD’s Kacie collection The Orangery Collection PTMD presents a collection of thousands of limited edition distinctive plant pots and home accessories. Their Kacie design is presented in five slee complementary h es which are inspired by the soothing pastel tones of spring. Each of the pots in this collection is unique as a result of their reactions during the glazing process. This collection is presented in six sizes, from 8.5cm to 19.5cm and is suitable for presenting houseplants in indoor settings. RRP £7.99 Launch date Available now


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RRP £14.99 Launch date Available now

Dewdrop Ginique Ltd ring fire into a home and create a unique and cosy atmosphere with the new Dewdrop collection by Glowbus® from Ginique. These tealight candle holders are available in two sizes – medium (H15 x W10cm) and large (H22 x W15cm). They come in three bea tif l finishes orten steel and stainless steel, which can be used outdoors as well as in the home, and blackened steel for indoors only. Each piece is individually handmade in Belgium, numbered and signed by the artist, Andreas Ketels, so although the design is the same, each one is unique to the purchaser. RRP £319 for medium, £423.50 for large Launch date Available now

Handmade Door Stop The Wheat Bag Company Handmade door stops are the latest products to join The Wheat Bag Company’s range. Each door stop is individually handmade from cotton fabric, weighted with cleaned English wheat grains and topped with padding to maintain their shape. Perfect for any home interior, these are perfect for keeping heavy doors in place. They are available in a wide range of designs to suit all tastes. RRP £19.00 Launch date Available now

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Handmade in the UK Over 50 Designs Available E: T: 01747 840499

New Luxury Velvet Collection

Bespoke Display Stands Available

PADi Pillows A stable, lightweight, hands free tablet stand. Perfect for holding and supporting any mobile device. Suitable for iPads, Kindles, phones and all other portable devices.

Microwaveable Wheat Bags Our handmade wheat bags are perfect for when you're feeling cold, stressed or suffering from tense muscles and aches. Each wheat bag is filled with cleaned English wheat and come either unscented or with English lavender buds.

Door Stops

Help your garden centre bloom with our Gift Vouchers • E-Vouchers • Voucher Cards • Posters Browse our gift voucher range today at Tel: 0121 507 9608

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01/04/2021 09:52

P r od u ct s F ood a n d D r i n k G i f t s



With home baking and cocktail making rising exponentially in popularity throughout lockdown, we explore some of the best baking and cocktail kits and whether the trend is here to stay.


his March marked one year since the nation went into lockdown. Back then, the hopeful among us predicted it could only last a few weeks, maybe a month. But as the months went on and words like unprecedented, self-isolation and furlough rose in use, so did something else. Value sales of home baking items soared 49% throughout March, April, May and June, according to Kantar. Anyone who tried to p rchase o r thro gho t the first few months of loc down won t be s rprised that sales of o r grew the fastest, with its unit sales almost doubling.

Cookie Crumbles

The Ultimate Chocolate Baking Kit RRP 12.50 Shoppers picked up an extra 21.4m packets – boosting value to £46.6m, according to The Grocer. Meanwhile, Mintel s ritish ifestyles report showed that alcoholic beverage sales jumped


Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

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16.3% last year, to £3.6bn. Predictably, home baking and cocktail making kits grew in popularity as buyers recreated their favourite cakes and cocktails in the comfort of their own home, without the stress of making things from scratch. At Cookie Crumbles, sales rose by a staggering 900% as its range of eight ca e mi es and ten gift sets ew off the virtual shelves. As well as its easy-tose gingerbread, coo ie, m ffin and brownie ba ing mi es, oo ie r mbles offer gift sets which include a chef hat, disposable tins, a cutter and a wooden spoon – depending on the set chosen. Among the range is the Little Baker Kit which founder Carola Weymouth hopes will allow everyone to enjoy the joys of home baking. With the goal of making the products as good as homemade, oo ie r mbles its only se wholemeal fibre and don t incl de additives, artificial avo r, colo rs or hydrogenated fat. reative at re s mi es include a multi-award-winning chocolate cake, gooey chocolate brownie and a lockdown favourite banana bread. The company also saw a resurgence in the popularity of home baking, especially since it has created the s first range of op allergen free, palm oil free, refined s gar free, vegan friendly baking mixes, making them safe for the whole family. t it wasn t st ba ing its that reaped the rewards, cocktail making kits also saw a huge rise in sales. Things looks bleak for the Wasabi Company at the start of loc down t s not an overreaction to say we were devastated, we thought we may

Devon Cove

Cove Cocktails Espresso Martini Cocktail Kit RRP £30.90 be looking at the worst,” explains Jon Old, founder of The Wasabi Company. “But what happened instead was a phenomenal boom in sales from our online shop, thanks to our amazing customers.” In order to help its customers even more, Wasabi Company curated kits including its particularly popular Wasabi Bloody Mark kit, with the Wasabi vodka feat red on s his Morning and Alan itchmarsh s ove the ee end. he its were so popular, that the company has now released a vegan version. Devon Cove creates a range of luxury cocktail kits which include its awardwinning Cove vodka, its fruity Cove

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F ood a n d D r i n k G i f t s P r od u ct s start was.” Moreover, spaces they love, it believes lockdown forced many the future will see a balance into a slower pace of between nights out and life, one in which they nights in. “Our cocktail kits were able to put their are often ordered as gifts, own needs first and with customers coming back people aren’t willing to to us time and time again – give that up. All of this they love the experience of could mean more cosy learning to make cocktails,” People have been forced nights in and less nights explains Leanne. Ready to spend nights at home, out ordering from a for summer, Dove Cove is busy bar; more baking releasing a whole host of but they’ve still wanted at home with the family new cocktails including to create fun nights in, and less day trips out. part parks which will be For Cookie Crumbles, ideal for reuniting with so we’ve seen more and sales have continued to friends and family. more demand for our be strong throughout With sales soaring and January and February: trends for home baking and cocktails kits “Our sales are still cocktail making unlikely to well above prego anytime soon, it seems more demand for our cocktails kits.” Some Creative Nature pandemic level and we’ll be seeing plenty more of the most popular kits include ingredient Wholegrain Banana Bread Mix we’re expecting this kits helping to make it easier to make cocktails such as espresso martini, RRP £2.99 to £3.49 trend to continue than ever to enjoy favourite cosmopolitan, French martini, Moscow now consumers have discovered the joy tipples and baked goods right at home. w mule and Cove Royal – Devon Cove’s take of baking at home during lockdown,” on a kir royale. explains owner Carola Weymouth. Is this trend set to stick around, “However, consumers will expect to though? With Boris Johnson setting out find prod cts that give an easy and the roadmap to ease the nation out of instant success, hence to rise of meal lockdown, we could see restaurants and and baking kits.” bars serving customers outdoors by Creative Nature feels similarly, knowing 12 April and indoors by 17 May. So, will that once people have the home-baking there still be a need for consumers to itch, they won’t easily lose it, “Family create their own concoctions? bonding time is so precious and lockdown For many the announcement that allowed families to do activities they pubs and restaurants will reopen and never normally have time to. With popular life will generally return to ‘normal’ is all baking shows like Great British Bake Off, they’ve been waiting for. But for some, as people will continue to be inspired to bake lockdown eases, feelings of anxiety and at home, especially using baking mixes as stress could be heightened. As Mental they’re so quick.” explains Matthew Ford Health Foundation writes: “We should operations manager. be prepared for the fact that the end of The cocktail making bug won’t be easily lockdown might be as hard for us as the shifted either, according to The Wasabi Company The Wasabi Company: “We’ve no doubt the craze for kits is The Ultimate set to continue, and we’ve also Bloody Mary Kit seen new trends developing RRP £59 for grow-your-own where our consumers have taken on the Wasabi Plant Growing Challenge to use within our recipes – this drove our plant sales through the roof,” explains Jon. The Wasabi Company expects to see this grow even more, and is adding even more plants to its range to accommodate this. Devon Cove’s Instagram has been ooded with images of consumer setting up their own home bars and pub gardens, and now people have learnt to and created Damson Liqueur, premium ingredients and instructions to make delicious cocktails at home. Director Leanne Carr tells us: “People have been forced to spend nights at home, but they’ve still wanted to create fun nights in, so we’ve seen more and

Food and drink gifts.indd 47

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


01/04/2021 10:41

L a t es t P r od u ct s F ood a n d D r i n k G i f t s

FOOD AND DRINK GIFTS Posh Pickle Sauce The Hawkshead Relish Company

Vegan Gummies in Plastic-Free Pouches Sweet Lounge Five of Sweet Lounge’s most popular vegan gummies are now sold in its new 65g plastic-free pouches. These delicious sweets are gl ten free, free from artificial colo rs and avo rs and contain real fruit juices. In addition to this, the sale of each packet goes towards planting and conserving trees in the Amazon Rainforest. RRP £2.25 Launch date Available now

Cambridge Dry Gin Cambridge Distillery Using botanicals grown in and around their own home, William and Lucy Lowe created a recipe including juniper, fresh basil, rosemary, angelica, lemon verbena, blackcurrant leaf and rose petals, each individually distilled and expertly blended into this outstanding gin. Bright, herbaceous, beautifully rounded and exquisitely refreshing, this gin captures the quintessential taste of the English seasons. RRP £39.99 Launch date Available now

Three-jar Gift Packs Bramble Foods Ltd


RRP £2.99 Launch date Available now

Ultimate Ketchup Collection Stokes Sauces Ltd This Ketchup collection is the ultimate gift for ketchup lovers and would be very well placed within the gifting section of garden centres. Not only does this gift set contain a unique selection of fo r to es original and avo red etch ps in 38g mini jars and a 300g bottle of Stokes award-winning original Tomato Ketchup, but it is also packed in a stylish gift box. RRP £12.95 Launch date Available now

Gingerbread Decorating Kits TTK Confectionery (Wholesale)

Bramble Foods has released a range of two and three jar gift packs, featuring the most popular varieties of its awardwinning chutneys and preserves in handy 100g picnic-size jars. The packs are beautifully designed with Bramble’s clean and fresh new look, featuring warm grey leaves on a crisp white board. The jars each have a uniquely designed colourful label and are sec red with a p sh fit, so these packs are absolutely plastic free.

The perfect Christmas activity for kids of all ages! A seasonal staple for retailers, each kit has everything needed for customers to build and decorate their own festive fig rines, with the design baked into the gingerbread for easy piping. Choose from eight bestselling designs, all packaged in a quality box, perfectly shaped for wrapping and putting under the tree.

RRP POA Launch date Available now

RRP £10 Launch date Available for pre-order

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021

LP Food gifts.indd 48

The Hawkshead Relish Company’s New Posh Pickle Sauce is derivative of a traditional burger relish balanced with seasoning and spiced to create a lovely soft yet moreish sauce. Packed with gherkins, dill, and onions, the osh ic le a ce is perfect with fish, sausages and burgers. The vibrant colour, and mo th watering avo rs of this sa ce ma e it an absolute must for the long awaited summer BBQs. Posh Pickle Sauce is vegetarian, gluten, and nut free. It is handmade in the Lake District.

01/04/2021 10:47

P et G i f t s L a t es t P r od u ct s


Home Barking Kit Sniffe & Likkit

Scoff Paper make the only naturally made edible greetings cards for dogs – and they dish them o t in five tasty avo rs. All occasions are covered with the range of cards – Birthdays, Gotcha Days, Christmas, alentines, and even et ell cards too. They also sell edible ink pens, so people can write a loving message to their pooch Scoff Paper cards are truly unique and bring a whole lot of f n to the pet ind stry.

The ‘Home Barking’ Kit is a ni e way to treat f rry friends, whether it’s for a birthday or st good behavio r. ach ma es to 2 mini celebration ‘pup-cakes’ and is comprised of a nutritionally balanced, dry recipe mi , pl s re seable paw and bone silicone ba ing mo ld. he low calorie mi contains wholesome ingredients s ch as organic cocon t o r, chic en liver, brown rice, t rmeric and chia seeds and a hint of blac pepper for seasoning. Available thro gh edigree holesale www.petprod or via hello sniffeandli

RRP per card, 2. per pen Launch date Available now

RRP . Launch date April 2 2

Scoff Paper Scoff Paper

Pet Scents Pet Scents

Pup’s 1st Gift Box Goodchap’s

Pet Scents is a British-made, non-toxic scented candle range – nat ral wa soy, cocon t, rapeseed and beeswa , high ality scents and essentials oils with no parabens, no carcinogens and no dyes. he glass is recycled, and al mini m tins are eco friendly. reated by a team from within the pet ind stry and pet owners who are passionate about creating products safe for our pets and kind to the environment. he three la nch fragrances are inger ime, cean ree e and anilla ream.

oodchap s new p s st ift o is pac ed with toys and treats, perfect for welcoming any new p ppy to the family. ith dog p ppy ownership ic ly on the rise, d e to loc down and vario s other factors, now is the perfect time to stoc this ni e gift. t contains oodchap s bestselling set of handmade toys, Pup’s 1st Fetch and Tug, a pack of its natural and healthy training treats and a handy pocket sized treat tin, all in ecofriendly plastic free pac aging.

RRP . to . Launch date Available now

RRP 2. Launch date March 2 2

Zoon Head in the Clouds Range Zoon

Soft ‘n’ Squishy Bites Denzel’s his highly palatable treat comes in eight y mmy avo rs, perfect for training, on the go or as a high val e reward. hey come in plastic free, biodegradable po ches so perfect for the plant to. RRP 2. Launch date Available now

LP Pet gifts.indd 49

The Head in the Clouds pet collection consists of a comfy bed with matching herpa eece comforters, f n themed toys and bowls a bea tif lly coordinating set of beds and accessories for man s best friend. he beds are available in several si es, have high sides for enhanced comfort and are machine washable. he bowls are dishwasher safe with the themed pl sh toys completing the collection. RRP . Launch date Available now

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


01/04/2021 15:51

Tel:01778 01778422700 422700 Tel: Email:

Tel: 01778 422700

Timber Displays is an established company set upEmail: to treated timber display products to the gardenset centre Timber Displays is an established company up and to industries. provide treated timber displaynursery products to the garden

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company provide treated timbe Our products are made to a high from We have continued to ensure our products are madeset to a up highto specification pressure trea products to the gardentocentre an timber and designed to increase yourdisplay turnover by showing merchandise its full pote specification from your pressure and to add an attractive feature to your outlet while competitively priced. nursery industries. 01778 422700 treated timber andremaining designed to increase your turnover by

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have continued to ensure our products are made to a high specifi Timber DisplaysWe is an established designed company set up totimber provideand treated timberto increase your turnover by showing your me For further information please display products to the garden and and tocentre add an attractive feature to your outlet while remaining call 01778 422700 or email us nursery industries.

at For further information please call 01778 422 or visit our website We have spent a lot of time this year email us at

introducing some new products to our range and these can now be found on our website.visit our website www.timberdisplays.c We have continued to ensure our products are made to a high specification from pressure treated timber and designed to increase your turnover by showing your merchandise to its full potential and to add an attractive feature to your outlet while remaining competitively priced.

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For further information please call 01778 422700 or We have continued email us at or to ensure visit our website timber and designed to incre and to add an attractiv

New and second hand aluminium benching:furth For Fixed, Semi rolling, mobile and sales benches.

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VALEKA BV • Heliniumweg 14 • 3133 AX Vlaardingen, The Netherlands Tel: +31-10 599 74 02 • •

Glasshouses sourced, refurbished and erected. Venlo specialists. Bespoke structures. All aspects of glasshouse work including reroofing, maintenance, cleaning, gutters and refurbishment Tel: 01724 734374 Fax: 01482 648032 Email: Web:

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01/04/2021 09:53

Wi ld li f e L a t es t P r od u ct s

WILDLIFE ee and utter Fallen Fruits


reating a bee and b tter y friendly garden means more than st planting owers, they also need a so rce of water. he stones included produce minerals in the water which they prefer and also provide a gently sloping access to the water where they can land safely. he vibrant yellow colo r attracts both bees and b tter ies and also adds a welcome pop of colour in the garden. RRP £19.99 Launch date June 2021 (from Bosworth Nurseries)

Peckish Secret Garden range Westland Horticulture Ltd he ec ish ecret arden range is the perfect way to add a decorative touch to the garden whilst attracting our feathered friends at the same time. he range is made from hard-wearing metal to last thro gh the seasons, with a beautiful decorative leaf design and an anti e finish. Available in the range is a variety of bird feeders, bird baths and a feeding station to really offer consumers everything they need to transform their outdoor space and bring more birds to their garden. RRP £9.99 to £39.99 Launch date Available now

Brambles Meaty Hedgehog Food Brambles Pet and Wildlife Ltd Brambles Meaty Hedgehog Food is used and highly recommended by wildlife rescues all over the UK. It contains no sugar and is highly palatable and nutritious. It is part of the rambles range that is ying off the shelves! Brambles’ products are only sold to trade customers – it doesn’t sell direct. RRP £1.35 Launch date Available now

LP Wildlife.indd 51

Beepot Bee house and planter Green&Blue he eepot is designed and made by Cornish company reen l e, using 75% waste material from the Cornish china clay ind stry. he eepot creates a safe nesting site for solitary bees in the garden, with space for bee friendly planting right on the doorstep. As awareness grows of the trouble our wildlife is in, the eepost is becoming a pop lar gift choice for gardeners loo ing to ma e a difference and give nat re a home in their gardens, balconies, or allotments. RRP £49 Launch date Available now

Urban Garden Wild Bird Feeders one field’s he rban arden range consists of seed, pean t, ny er, fat ball, s n ower heart and s et bloc feeders in a slee blac finish. inished with a gift tag, these feeders are the perfect accessory and gift for any wild bird feeding enthusiasts. Hand-tied with a ribbon, this feeder is presented as the ideal gift opportunity and the perfect offering for retailers to offer a s stainable, conservation-friendly brand instore. RRP £8.49 Launch date Available now www. one

Simon King Wreath Nester Wildlife World Designed to be practical for wildlife and a beautiful addition to a garden. he wreath nester is an e cellent roosting place for small birds helping s rvival on cold nights, b ild nests and shelter away from predators. he hand woven wreath is easy to embellish with seasonal foliage. Decorating the wreath can be an enjoyable activity to do with others too. his gen inely unique wildlife product will ma e a great addition to any garden centre’s shelf. RRP £29.99 Launch date Available now

Garden Centre Retail April/May 2021


01/04/2021 15:05

FSDU Displays

Exclusive 10% off the below displays using code “GardenCentreRetail10”

Exclusive offer for Garden Centre Retail readers

Railway Display

Featuring Hape’s best selling railway toys with a variety of pricepoints.

Sand & Water Spinner display A one stop shop for all sand and water toys. Wheeled display also lights up!

Contact Us: T: +44(0) 116 478 5230 |Web: 10b Nursery Court, Kibworth Business Park, Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, LE8 0EX

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01/04/2021 09:55