Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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Garden Centre Retail Issue 28 • December 2016












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Garden Centre Retail W

elcome to the final issue of GCR for 2016, the December issue. We’re well into the busiest period of the industry calendar, and I for one absolutely love the festive season. We recently ran a competition for the best Christmas displays, and looking through all the entries, of which there were some absolutely brilliant displays, has got me in the holiday mood. We’ve picked out some of the best submissions on page 16. It’s well worth a look at and, you never know, you may get some inspiration for your 2017 displays. This issue rounds off the year in style. We’ve got an interview with Sarah Squire, the deputy chair at Squire’s Garden Centres, who talks about the 80 year history of the company. We’ve also got some of the secrets of success from leaders of Bents, Blue Diamond and Notcutts, who answer our questions on how they grew their businesses. On top of that, we take a look at loyalty schemes. Two garden centre heads tell us whether they think it’s worth having a reward scheme and what it does – or doesn’t do – for their centres. Recruiting is always high on the agenda within the industry, so we’ve spoken to MorePeople on whether it’s better practice to hire an employee with retail or horticulture experience. Another hot topic in the market is theft and shoplifting, so we’ve caught up with GCS to talk Jarloc, the innovative product designed to deter candle theft in garden centres. Along with all of the above, we have our usual product features in which candles, wood stains, garden statues and pet products are showcased this month. Finally, we will be attending the Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair on 9 January and we’ve picked out a selection of stands that you should visit. That’s all from me until 2017, have a fantastic winter season. I hope the tills keep ringing.

We’re well into the busiest period of the industry calendar, and I for one absolutely love the festive season

Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough Tel: 01903 777 574 PRODUCTION Design – Fay Pritchard, Kara Thomas, Mandy Armstrong 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 CIRCULATION Client relations – Amber Bernabe Tel: 01903 777 581 Subscription enquiries – Emily Maltby Tel: 01903 777 575

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Garden Centre Retail December 2016


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contents Garden Centre Retail Issue 28 • December 2016










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How important is local community?



Sarah Squire, deputy chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres


A roundup of the latest news from the sector

GCR speaks to two garden centres with different outlooks on play areas



GCR reports back from the HTA Marketing Forum


Three industry stalwarts from Notcutts, Bents and Blue Diamond discuss how they grew their businesses

21 LAYING DOWN THE LAW (FAIRLY) Gemma Murphy of View HR advises on disciplinary processes in the workplace


What to prioritise when you’re hiring: horticultural knowledge or retail experience



Tim Greenway and Julian Winfield offer their views on reward schemes



This month’s news from the suppliers


The latest in product and marketing campaigns from around the sector


GIMA offers six stand-out products benefiting from emerging trends


Candles, wood stains, garden statues, dog products and general pet products

45 GO & SEE

Which stands to visit at the Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair 2017

46 TRADING WITH Grange Fencing



We speak to Matt Ashcroft of Notcutts about making your pet section shine



Tips and advice for stocking magazines


A look into the issue of candle theft, and how to combat it without removing candles from the shop floor

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Garden Centre Retail December 2016


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news Agenda


Lynsey Martinez Marketing manager, Van Hage

Peter Callaway General manager, Haskins Garden Centre West End

Tim Greenway Managing director, ighfield arden World

Gerald Ingram Company director, Planters Tamworth

It is incredibly important to us to maintain a good relationship and reputation within our local community because this is where you will generate many of your sales from. The support of local community helps combat you against the desire for online shopping and when businesses help people, those people tend to want to support the company in return. Building a reserve of goodwill in your community means there will be people there to back you up and speak up on your behalf in the future. You also create good relations for the future and next generation of spenders. It will also help when there is a need to recruit locally. Giving back improves a company’s image in the eyes of a community, which is why we often partake in donating goods to local charities and horticultural organisations to help the world stay a green and happy place.

At Haskins we believe in connecting our business to the wider community, not just to our customers. One of the elements of our mission statement is ‘future sustainability’ and whilst this applies to our business practices, it equally applies to those who connect to us. It’s in the understanding that modern business and community mutually support each other that we embody the spirit of giving back – supporting a range of projects such as having a Charity of the Year and donating plants and Christmas trees to local schools and charities. We also understand that gardening is both personal and communal, allowing people from all walks of life to share a common passion. Our staff engage that passion, knowing that our customers end up with what’s best for them and we hope that personal touch cultivates and enriches their own gardening community.

ere at i eld e rel on the local community to provide us with our most regular customers and the majority of our 150 staff – so being a positive part of it is vitally important to us. When an independent garden centre reaches a certain size, especially as our location is semi-rural, then you need to appeal to customers from much further a eld r sto ers o e from about a 50 mile radius – many of them regularly. But if it weren’t for the support of our local customers when we ere a fled lin siness e wouldn’t be here now. From giving gift vouchers or ra fle ri es to d in local garden competitions, we get quite involved throughout the year. We give local charities space to promote themselves, run children’s competitions with a prize for the winners’ schools, use local suppliers for building work and so on where we can, have a Christmas tree recycling skip on site come January, and organise free events such as fashion shows and garden masterclasses. A local auction house holds pop-up valuation days here, and we arrange sell-out coach trips for loyalty card holders to stately homes, Christmas markets and more.

Planters started 31 years ago trading off the back of a farm trailer on an adjacent farmyard. Many of our current customers remember those days and really enjoy coming in to talk about the old days. It also means that they are on our side and if we get something wrong they are quick to defend us. We always donate a voucher and Skytrail tickets to every organisation or school that ask for fundraising. We also try to take a student looking for work experience from each school in our catchment area – many go on to join us as part time or even full time members of staff. We host ‘Knit and Natter’ groups in our restaurant as well as a community Bingo session once a month. In the past we’ve organised school growing competitions and have judged various allotment and community gardening projects. We offer any scrap wood and compost bags for free to local householders and run coach trips from each centre to historical houses, London and seaside resorts for our over 60s card holders. Not only does this build loyalty, it brings people together, especially those that are alone.

Building a reserve of goodwill in your community means there will be people there to back you up and speak up on your behalf in the future


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Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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Agenda news

Melanie Sewell Catering director, Frongoch Garden Centre

Lisa McCormack Founder, Battersea Flower Station

Nathan Dodd Head of marketing, Hall’s Garden Centre

Playing a part in the community as a business dates back hundreds of years. There’s no doubt that our centre, as I’m sure other garden centres have, has become a popular place for locals to meet up in a relaxed setting, particularly the restaurant. It’s been fascinating to observe how friendships have developed. Numerous regulars who come alone have set times on set days, and these have coincided with other regulars’ times. Over time strangers have become friends. One of the particularly rewarding aspects is seeing how often older members o t e o nit nd s a welcoming place to come to. Their visit is often the only contact they have with others that day. They go from table to table catching up with friends. Indeed, the restaurant has become a hot spot for family and friends to meet up. What is even nicer is when you see the joy they get from bumping into acquaintances they haven’t seen for a while. It has become evident to me that getting to know our own community and the people within it makes us feel like we belong to and are part of something bigger.

e ore e rst o ened four years ago, there was understandably scepticism. o r ears on rstl e wouldn’t be here without our local community, and secondly we truly feel that people understand what we are trying to do and value our ethos. We have two entrances and a long, enchanting (if commercially tricky!) site. Our A boards at both entrances don’t point to what can be bought in our centre, but explain that you can wander in and take a shortcut to the bus stop on the main road – which many people do everyday. We know many of our customers by name, and we’ve been in many of their balconies and gardens as we offer free consultations and advice. Customers leave their keys with us if they’re having a plumber come over while they’re at work, and we hold a yearly free summer party. It’s lovely to see so many people there, young and old – the local priest has told us that we’ve made Battersea feel like a village again. It’s tough running an independent business, and we wouldn’t be here without the support of our community, and without truly striving to have a positive impact on local people’s lives.

Hall’s Garden Centre was established in 1952 when the local area and population were quite different to what it is now. Indeed, where we are located was once a small dairy farm in leafy Warwickshire delivering milk to the theological college opposite. The seminary is still there but we now serve a sprawling north Birmingham suburb ere all t e elds a e een replaced by housing. Over the years we have developed along with the community and therefore now feel integral to the life of the area. Supporting local charities has always been important – it’s similar to looking after your own family. We raise money for Breast an er o tton old eld ‘Babes’ through events and the sale of the ‘Time To Live’ rose that we helped develop. We’ve donated plants to the local high street and the garden centre is one of the sponsors of the Christmas lights switchon. In the past we’ve donated an arbour to a local hospice garden, hanging baskets to the shopping centre in Sutton old eld and a stora e s ed to a nearby school. Of course, all this helps our PR, but it’s also very satisfying to use our position in ways that are so ene ial to lo al eo le

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Supporting local charities has always been important – it’s similar to looking after your own family


Garden Centre Retail December 2016


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o sands o sto e s o to Rosebourne opening

NEWS CENTRE Native daffodil threatened by garden centre hybrids


he native British strain of daffodil is becoming a rarity even in the wild due to cross-pollination, with ever

ol estone

ore fla o ant strains o t e flo er o t ro arden centres and nurseries, experts say. English Heritage, guardian of some of the UK’s most important historic gardens, is taking action by launching a mass autumn planting campaign, including 25,000 bulbs of the native strains of daffodil at some of its sites. The organisation is also handing out bulbs to visitors to take home to plant in their own gardens to help promote the native varieties.

ye ale set to lose

yevale Garden Centre in Folkestone is set to close its doors in March 2017. The site at Ingles Manor is set to be converted into private residen es and o e s a e a ter t e ro osal as ranted planning permission by Shepway District Council. A Wyevale spokesman said: “Our goal is to deliver the very best service and products to our customers across the UK and we’ve enjoyed operating Folkestone Garden Centre. The landlord of the garden centre has obtained planning consent to use the site for residential purposes. As a result, we have been served notice to terminate our lease with effect in March 2017.”


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Garden Centre Retail December 2016


ince opening its doors on Wednesday 19 October, over double the number of expected customers have flo ed to ose o rne t e new purpose-built garden and leisure destination in Weyhill near Thruxton. Rosebourne has proved an immediate hit with locals, visitors from across Hampshire and Wiltshire and those passing through the area. With customer numbers far

exceeding expectations, Rosebourne drafted in additional staff members to help in the opening week. Over 3,500 customers isited or t e o ial opening on Saturday 22 October, when TV celebrity gardener David Domoney, who presents ITV’s Love your Garden and is a regular face on s is ornin o iall cut the ribbon.

GCA and HTA partner on e-learning


n a move to help provide greater access to industry training opportunities, a partnership has been developed between the GCA and HTA to allow HTA members to access the GCA GROW (Garden Retail Online Workshops) e-learning package. The package will be available to those HTA members that are not GCA members, at a preferential rate for an unlimited number of users for an annual subscription fee. The GROW package has over 90 training modules on all aspects of retail, customer service, horticulture, health and

safety and food hygiene with units being added all the time.

06/12/2016 15:45


Frosts Garden Centre in Woburn Sands marks its 70th anniversary

The January Furniture Show returns with garden furniture offering


ringing a breath of fresh air to the January Furniture Show, the latest trends in garden, conservatory and outdoor furniture will be featured at the 2017 event. The four-day show, which runs from 22 to 25 January at the NEC in Birmingham, is a must-attend event for garden centre retailers, giving them the rst o ort nit o t e ear to see the best of the best. ere are o er on r ed exhibitors for the 2017 show. rands t at ill dis la o tdoor furniture and furnishings include Daro, Cozy Bay Furniture, Kettle Interiors and The Old Basket l o an Laraine Janes of the January

Furniture Show said: “Our gardens are now seen as extensions o o r o es a la e ere we can bring the indoors out and kick back and relax. Garden furniture is just as i ortant as o r indoor ie es and e ant to i e manufacturers the chance to resent t eir e s er ranges for the garden and the conservatory.” Simon Ainge, the Kettle ro sales dire tor said “Following a hugely successful debut in 2016, The Wicker er ant s i ressi e olle tion o i er rod ts demonstrates the versatility and di ersit o t e rod t

ort olio e re er much looking forward to another successful event for both brands.”

nsell a den ent e eo ens fi e days a te fi e dest tion The news has been “Heartbroken seeing 14 years


ess than a week after it was destro ed re nsell Garden Centre, near Heathrow, as reo ened or siness

welcomed by local customers, who are eager to return. The centre was gutted on Sunday 18 November when a e re ro e o t at t too aro nd re ters ore t an e o rs to rin t e fla es nder ontrol it e l es o s o e seen in the sky for miles around. Immediately afterwards, the owners of the West Drayton arden entre s o e o t eir loss on Twitter, and said:

o lood s eat and ts o in smoke. Thank you for all the messages”. On Thursday 24 November t e osted an ins irational message which showed a lar e o arden orna ent unscathed in front of the re a e le t t e re it t e ords s ol o o e from the ashes”. oors reo ened on 25 November.


rosts started as a nursery in and as flo ris ed into a multi-award-winning business. Harvey Frost – grandfather of the current managing director, James Frost – started a wholesale nursery business with just a handful of staff, concentrating on tomatoes and chrysanthemums. The business grew along with demand. In 1962, with the el o is sons drian and rian ar e rost o ened Frosts at Woburn Sands, i as one o t e rst garden centres in the UK – and soon became a leader in its eld

Norwich garden centre reveals multi-million pound revamp


Notcutts garden centre is o in a lti illion o nd re r is ent to its resta rant ill lant t e seeds for future growth. Notcutts has carried out extensive works at its Norwich site it t e ne l re a ed eatin area o ened to t e li in o e er Richard Greenacre, general manager for Notcutts in Norwich, said the restaurant had increased from 270 covers to 380 with staff numbers

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rising from 28 to 49. He said: “The restaurant has always felt like there wasn’t

eno s a e to t e er od in. We have always been very garden focused rather than gift

o sed and eo le o o e here like to have somewhere to sit and chat with their friends while they make a decision.”

Submit your news stories to Garden Centre Retail If you would like to submit any stories regarding garden centres or the horticultural ind str lease e ail t e to

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 15:46

news Extra


Garden Centre Retail attended the HTA Marketing Forum in o em er to find out hat garden centres can do to market to the modern day consumer The HTA Marketing Forum, held on 8 November in Towcester, had a notable focus on technology and social media, with encouragement for garden centres to become more engaged and open to the opportunities the internet and social media can offer their businesses. The day began with author of The Marketing Compass Nigel Temple, who outlined current marketing thinking and tips for success in the modern day marketing environment, as well as the need for incorporating technology to reach today’s customer. Antje Derks followed with advice on how best to capture the attention of potential customers and stand out among the sea of advertisements we’re all


exposed to on a daily basis. Antje concluded with strategies for brand awareness in a variety of mediums and correct use of social media, with Twitter specialist Pete Doyle imparting is e to ti s on i ro in customer engagement using in-house teams. Alan Down began the second morning session with a presentation on the quirky, inexpensive projects his business Cleeve Nursery has been involved in, showing that a good idea can lead to excellent marketing and PR opportunities without breaking the budget. Sally Cornelissen of Burleydam Garden Centre discussed how events can play a key role in marketing if planned correctly, and Ann Byrant of Garland PR gave an overview of the success Love

Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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A good idea can lead to excellent marketing and PR opportunities without breaking the budget

the Plot You’ve Got has seen in 2016, and plans for 2017. re or e er on l ded the morning sessions with an overview of the work completed this year by the reen n ers arit and encouraged garden centres to get involved with Garden ReLeaf day on 17 March 2017. Romeo Sommers of byRomeo and Green Your Day explained what the modern consumer wants and needs to feel connected to a brand, and how businesses have successfully used technology to meet these needs. Visual merchandising consultant Maxine Grouchett continued with the importance of storytelling in a retail environment, and how garden centres can best shape their shopper experience to

maximise sales and loyalty. Mark Mars of Perceptive Flow nis ed t e rst a ternoon session with best practice for Facebook advertising, allowing businesses to connect with their customers and heighten brand awareness. e nal session o t e day began with Mark Palmer, who covered the need for investment in the customer experience, which was found to be more important and infl ential e en t an e e ti e advertising. Richard Jackson, gardening presenter and supplier to QVC UK explained the various opportunities that are open to, but seldom used within, the garden centre industry, and Spun Gold TV’s Matt Young joined Love Your Garden’s Katie Rushworth to discuss how television and media can work together with the garden centre industry gardening to the younger generation. Though undoubtedly the advancement of technology and growing importance of social media bring an array of challenges to the garden centre industry, the overall theme of the HTA Marketing Forum was one of hope and innovation, and a need for the industry to grasp the opportunities available to them – among them inexpensive advertising, and an ability to connect in new ways with current and potential customers – with both hands. w

06/12/2016 15:47

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06/12/2016 10:47


Garden Centre Retail spoke to Sarah around the time of the 80th anniversary celebrations of Squire’s Garden Centres. Sarah explains her key to success, the changes she has seen in the industry and how to keep up with new innovations

The interview features COMPANY CV

Turnover £45m per year Breakdown Garden plants 22% Gifts 16% Catering 10% Size of site 15 centres across the South East Employees 700

Sarah Squire, deputy chairman at Squire’s Garden Centres

It’s getting harder and a de to find people who are taking courses in pure horticulture

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What do you think has been key to Squire’s success over the years? I think it is simple hard graft from the team over the years. Our policy of reinvesting in the business is also important – if there’s an opportunity to acquire a site or do one up then we try and do that. We prioritise keeping standards moving forward all the time – we believe if you’re not going forward you’re going backwards, so we keep very active.

Another factor is being very clear on what we’re about rst and ore ost e re garden centres, so we focus on the garden side of the business. That’s not to say the other aspects of the business aren’t important, but when you look at the products that garden centres sell, a lot of it you can get on the high street or online. I think for specialist retailers we have to ask ourselves: who are we? We are garden centres, so focusing on gardening and plants is crucial.

We also invest in our staff. A big challenge at the moment or s is ndin ali ed horticulturists. It’s getting arder and arder to nd people who are taking courses in pure horticulture – the majority either want to be garden designers or getting stuck into landscaping – so we made the decision to start apprenticeships. We have a two year scheme in which our staff learn on the job as well as going to RHS Wisley to do the formal courses. That’s è

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


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features The interview Original Squire’s van

For specialist retailers we have to ask ourselves: who are we? We are garden centres, so focusing on gardening and plants is crucial Squire’s Garden Centre, Long Ditton

i es i en a in t e i ties centres in the country

one o t e fi st a den

an area we’re really keen to foster and continue with; we’re already on the third group of apprenticeships and those ro t e rst ro are still with us, so we’re really chuffed with that.

Growing our own:

Rose ‘Champagne Moment’ in Squire’s 80th Celebration Plant Collection


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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apprentice Will Cha

How do you think garden centres have changed from when Squire’s started? We started as a nursery and landscaping company back in the Thirties, growing plants and working on people’s gardens. It wasn’t until the late Fifties to Sixties that garden centres became what we know them as today, so that in itself has been an enormous change. or t e rst ten to t ent years garden centres were more or less just about plants and gardening, but in the Eighties garden furniture started to take off and everything evolved from that point – in their day my grandparents would have just

taken their kitchen chairs into the garden if they wanted to sit in it. Now garden centres have restaurants, pet sections and homeware departments, so the industry has expanded massively since we began. People’s expectations have also changed greatly – they now expect department store levels of cleanliness as well as a huge spread of products to browse. Food is another expectation; customers want to get not only a cup of tea and a cake but a full meal, which is a big change. What do you think has been ost si nifi ant in ens in customers keep coming back to Squire’s? I think the plant offer is absolutely key. Hopefully we have a reputation for selling a wide range of good quality plants. I think what we need to do is to really focus on the help and advice we can give

06/12/2016 15:50

The interview features

The Greatest Festive Catering Team 2015 – Squire’s Badshot Lea

Squire’s Milford GCA Awards 2016 – Cara Stonehouse, Ricky Bowness, Adam Eaton, Val Hockley, Ban Bourne

our customers – there are lots of people that don’t know much about gardening and o ld nd arden entres a it intimidating. We need to work towards making garden centres easier and more enjoyable, and giving them plants that are going to succeed in their gardens, then hopefully once they’ve had success they’ll get the bug and continue gardening. At the same time you need to offer the specialists something different or new, or i is er a s ore di lt to cultivate. We also try to talk to our customers. Nowadays you have more customers whose needs are immediate – they’re having a barbecue tonight so they need their outdoor space made to look beautiful between now and then. I would hope our customers see something different every time they shop with us. I think that’s the great thing about

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garden centres – it’s seasonal. Most of our customers are coming for a seasonal purchase, so when they come back we’d hope they see something different, whether it’s our Christmas displays or early spring plants. How do you stay up to date with new trends? We recently introduced EPoS. We were probably slightly behind the curve on that, mainly because we were preoccupied with projects like buying Milford. We took the plunge and made the investment into EPoS, and we’re startin to see t e ene ts coming through. In some ways coming into it a bit later has been helpful, in that a lot of problems, such as wet bags of compost or crinkly labels on plant pots that don’t scan, have been ironed out. Now the technology is much better and we’re reaping the rewards.

What do you think sets Squire’s apart from its competitors? I think you can spend your life worrying about what your neighbours are doing, and that leads to paranoia at best. You’re much better off saying: what can we do to make sure we’re the best that we can be? Of course one has to notice what’s going on in the industry and what other people are doing, but we can’t affect that. What we can affect is doing the greatest possible job we can – just concentrating on what we have control over and doing our utmost to get it right. It also comes down to knowing who your competitors are. Yes, there are other garden centres, there’s the high street, there’s the internet, but it’s not just other shopping environments. Our competitors are actually anything people are doing other than being in our garden centres. Years ago there was nothing else to do on a Sunday – you’d go to church, come back and do the garden, and garden centres were open on Sundays when other shops weren’t. Now there are so many more calls on people’s time, we’re not just in competition with other retailers but with anything people are doing in their leisure time. As an industry we need to get younger people into garden centres and break the habit of buying everything online, which is a challenge for the industry as a whole. What do you think will be imperative to Squire’s success in the next ten years? Continuing to grow and invest. We’ve recently had two days of meetings with our senior teams to have a look at where we’re going. Watch this space. What’s imperative is for us to keep trying to get better and provide a better shopping environment. Catering is really interesting because it’s a whole

Afternoon tea at Squ


different ball game within our business, with a completely separate skill set and different margins. There are so many more exciting developments to come in our catering offer, from menu development to the a ar de or and re nin t e customer experience. We would love to buy another garden centre or two in the future, but that depends on ndin t e ri t t e don t want to grow for growth’s sake. Where we can do an extension or a refurbishment on one of our existing centres, we will. We’ve just given our pets and aquatics department a new look in our Badshot Lea centre, and we’re completely rebuilding our Chertsey garden centre, which is exciting. We have planning permission to put an extension at our Hersham centre, so we’re going to be adding approximately 25% on there, similar to what we did at Long Ditton last winter. We’re also planning to put an extension in at Woking which will take place in t e ollo in nan ial ear so there’s never a dull moment. We’ve got lots on and a really great, enthusiastic team. w CONTACT Squire’s Garden Centres rou fice Badshot Lea Road Farnham Surrey GU9 9JX 01252 356 860 www.s uiresgardencen res.

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 15:50

features Competition


Throughout December GCR held its Christmas displays competition – we are proud to announce Garsons Esher as our winner, and feature nine of the other fantastic submissions we received








This year, our garden centre team have based our displays around London. London has historically had beautiful Christmas displays and so we took inspiration from its most iconic sights. In total, we have 12 themes including Bloomsbury, Chelsea, Drury Lane and The Shard. Each theme has a centrepiece such as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens or a theatre in Drury Lane.

KNIGHTS GARDEN CENTRE WOLDINGHAM The Christmas team were inspired by a snowdrop themed display they saw when visiting the Gisela Graham showroom. They fell in love with the idea as it was so different but Christmassy at the same time. Using snowdrops links perfectly with the company’s core business – plants! It used a variety of green, silver and white decorations predominantly from the Gisela Graham range. The display has been a huge hit with customers!


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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The inspiration for this theme came from Gisela Graham displays. We have given it our own twist, using our Victorian brick walls as a backdrop.

DALESIDE NURSERIES Being a small nursery still growing the majority of our stock, it seemed appropriate to highlight some of our stock that has particular winter interest, with a path winding through to the Christmas tree at the end.

08/12/2016 11:41

Competition features GARSONS TITCHFIELD BENTS GARDEN & HOME Every year we aim to seek out new ideas and exclusive products to create a customer experience like no other. This year our Christmas experts have brought together some of the season’s hottest colour trends, combined with stylish products and decorations to create a number of statement themes and fashion ideas for the home. All displays are surrounded by featured decorations and matching products, making it easier for customers to shop and recreate their themes at home.

t arsons it eld o r ne retail ildin and ano o ened in November, so this Christmas there’s even more choice in our expanded giftware department complete with imaginative displays.



Each year we have a miniature train track within our display. This year we had three trains running, at different levels, through a mountainous scene that included alpine houses, trees, and iniat re res e train is al a s a assi e i li t or o r customers, appealing to both young and old.

For our Christmas Winter Wonderland, we designed it with two se tions one is a ro en in do ins ired t e l ro en and the second consists of lots of gingerbread houses, candy canes and oversized sweets.


DUNBAR GARDEN CENTRE Our themes range from contemporary to traditional, ensuring that there are a mixture of themes and styles to suit a variety of tastes.

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We are a small enthusiastic team with an even smaller budget. We like our displays to be quirky and unique to us here at Jacksdale – this year we chose a lovely grey panelled paper with decorations and gifts to complement it.

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


08/12/2016 11:43

features Big business

Customer engagement at Notcutts


Three seasoned leaders of the garden centre industry spill the beans on how they think their companies achieved such dizzying heights

Matthew Bent, Bents Garden and Home

How did you start out as a business? Matthew Bent: Bents is a family business, started by my grandparents almost 80 years ago. The centre remains a family-managed business, now in its third generation. Before then it was run by my parents, Ron and Wendy Bent and Ron’s brother John, who together started the journey from a small rose growing operation to what is now a multimillion pound company. Alan Roper: The business has been going since 1904, and was originally established as a Guernsey grower, growing, packing and exporting tomatoes under the name Fruit Export. The business in its current form manifested in the year that I joined, which was early 1999. That was the beginning of establishing ourselves as a garden centre group, whose primary focus was based on targeting an AB1 demographic. Caroline Notcutt: My greatgrandfather Roger Crompton Notcutt was advised by his doctor to work outdoors due


Alan Roper, Blue Diamond

Alan Roper

to ill health. He started by selling fruit and vegetables locally and then went on to buy a nursery in Ipswich. It will be 120 years ago in February that he bought the nursery at Woodbridge that became our rst arden entre

3 Shires Garden Centre, Newent, one of 17 Blue Diamond garden centres

Blue Diamond garden centre

Garden Centre Retail December 2016

How did big businesses get big_V2.indd 18

Caroline Notcutt, Notcutts

Whilst you have to exert control, you have to allow people to breathe, be creative and add value

Did you have any obstacles to overcome or issues that hindered success? MB: We are working within a very competitive industry, not only competing with other garden centres, but with larger multinationals entering the arena such as Next, Waitrose and B&Q, most of which also have home and lifestyle elements to their business. It is a challenge to stay one step ahead, trying to react quickly to changes in customer demands. AR: If you're trying to break new ground and do something different, the reality is that people won't have experienced it and won't get it, and their own experiences and mindset means that you have to do an awful lot of arm wrestling to move in a new

direction. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience, but you gradually build a collective energy of people that are all on the same page. When you've got that team you can then start to move forward. CN: I think every business has obstacles and challenges. For garden centres the weather and seasons have a great in en e on t e siness Competition from other garden centres and retailers such as the DIY stores and supermarkets means we need to focus on providing the best customer experience and are constantly looking for ways to differentiate ourselves. Was there a turning point for your business? MB: There have been several highlights in the history of the Bents business, such as the development of Christmas as a key area of our business, the launch of our 900 seater Fresh Approach Restaurant, and the opening of our Open Skies glasshouse, which has transformed the way our customers shop for plants. But

06/12/2016 16:08

Xxxxxxxxx xxxxx features

Bents Garden and Home in Glazebury

our most recent achievement must be delivering the latest phase in our journey: a 32,500ft 2 new building with six new retail departments. AR: The culture of our business is based on empowering people within our centres – whilst you have to exert a degree of control, you don't just have it for control’s sake. You have to allow people to breathe, be creative and add value. That was the turning point – when everybody 'got it', we were all on the same page and value was added. CN: My father Charles Notcutt was the driving force behind the change from our nursery business to the retail garden centre business. Our Notcutts Privilege Club is hugely popular and we have grown our membership to 160,000 customers. Many of our customers have been members since we launched seven years ago and enjoy the numerous ene ts o t e s e e Why do you think you’ve gained and maintained such a high rate of success? MB: Next year is our 80th anniversary so we have a lot of experience in growing, nurturing and selling plants. We have our own on-site nurseries where over 60% of our plants are cared for, so we can ensure their quality prior to sale and we have also gained a huge amount of experience not just in plant sales but in all areas of the garden, as well as home and leisure, that we can share with our customers. It’s not just our longevity and

How did big businesses get big_V2.indd 19

Delicatessen at Bents Home and Garden

experience that sets us apart from the multinationals, but also our extensive choice and dedicated colleagues all of whom help provide inspiration for our customers. AR: We didn’t follow the herd. Whatever you do, you should be aware that things evolve and change, and try to position yourself at the front of that. It's much harder to make a business decision if you're breaking new ground, but for me that's where the excitement lies, and the fun. If you're creating a retail environment with a point of difference, customers will choose to spend money because they haven't seen it anywhere else. CN: We have stayed true to our roots with gardening remaining at the heart of our business. We have fantastic teams who ensure we have the highest quality plants and we provide a great service to our customers through friendly help and advice. What advice would you give to garden centres striving to

improve sales or footfall? MB: My parents have always believed in planning the present from the future, so there has always been a long term plan in place. With all our developments we start with the end in mind, which means we usually see positive outcomes. AR: Strive to be credible. If you’re going to do gardening, you’ve got to have a credible plant offer; if you’ve got a restaurant, treat it as a destination, and deliver such an experience that will make people visit the centre just to eat there. Have authority in all product areas, complete with a point of difference targeted towards your customer demographic. The key thing is: don’t try to be all things to all people. You have to be known for something. CN: Customers are looking for a destination with an environment they enjoy, as well as a leisure experience. We listen to our customers and carry out research to shape our proposition and generate fresh ideas and inspiration. w

We listen to our customers and carry out regular surveys and research to shape our proposition and generate fresh new ideas and inspiration Caroline Notcutt

Notcutts staff


Bents 01942 266 300 Notcutts 0344 879 4166 Blue Diamond 01481 210 280

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:08

Its not too late to get your new EPOS system installed in time for the new season! The Vector EPOS System from CSY has been over 20 years in the making. Our software is developed and supported in-house which gives us a great deal of flexibility. Vector has evolved over that time to become a comprehensive tool for garden centres who want to achieve the best from their retail sales. With pleasing looks and smooth easily cleaned surfaces our EPOS hardware is a credit to the image of any store. Our easy-to-use front end till screen gets users making sales within a few minutes. Our major strengths are simplicity of use at the till whilst providing sophisticated features and reporting. We can cater for all the aspects of retailing from managing customer accounts to complex promotions. CSY Vector EPOS also offers integrated chip & pin card processing over broadband for faster transactions, security coded gift vouchers and an integrated loyalty scheme with bespoke-designed loyalty cards. CSY can also provide a range of accessories to compliment your EPOS system. We can provide Handheld Terminals, TabletPOS, Electronic Shelf Edge Labels, Weighing Scales, a range of label printing solutions as well as EPOS consumables. To find out more, give our team a call on 0115 948 4848 or visit our website;


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. . . e t la oo t t o n e r ’ You ” ! e t a d t n a t r o p m i y for a ver 7




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06/12/2016 11:40

Human resources features




n the first o a rand ne series on all things Gemma Murphy o ie shares her e pertise on ho to keep out o trou le hen one o your sta hasn’t

here is no doubt that undertaking a proper disciplinary process will get a business in far less trouble than the makeshift approach. This is because disciplinary procedures and rules are prescribed by law and require employers to operate all procedures at a set standard. It is a legal requirement for an employer to set out their disciplinary rules and procedures in their handbook, as stand-alone policies or in contracts (although this is not particularly advisable). Correct procedure We regularly see headlines about businesses being brought before an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, but what does this really mean? Quite simply, in the case of a misconduct dismissal (redundancy, capability and sickness absence are a whole other article in themselves), this means an employee is alleging their employer has either not followed the correct dismissal procedure, or that the decision to dismiss was unreasonable. Prior to reaching a decision to dismiss, an employee should normally be given warnings about their behaviour and

HR_version2.indd 21

an opportunity to improve. In any disciplinary process (including allegations of gross misconduct), a proper procedure must be followed to better protect the employer against the risk of a claim. Any potential disciplinary matter will need to be investigated. This is not disciplinary action and ideally, will be carried out by someone independent who does not go on to carry out any disciplinary action. The level of detail of the investigation will depend upon the allegation, but guidelines state that it should be ‘reasonable in all the circumstances’. Suspension Depending on the particular situation, it may also be appropriate to suspend an employee on full pay whilst an investigation takes place. Suspension is not in itself disciplinary action and does not infer that any decision has been made (two points which should be made clear to the employee). Any suspension period should be as short as possible. If the investigation determines that there is a case to answer then a disciplinary

meeting should be set. Alongside formally inviting the employee to the meeting, you will need to notify them of the alleged misconduct and the potential consequences, as well as provide copies of all documents, evidence and statements you intend to rely upon. An employee should be given at least two clear days’ notice in order to prepare for the meeting, although you should consider whether that timeframe is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances of the case. The employee has the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing by a colleague or trade union representative, but there are rules on the companion’s involvement in the meeting. Once you have listened to the employee’s case, the meeting should be adjourned so that a decision can be reached. Sometimes it is necessary to carry out further investigations, which may involve further meetings with the employee. The decision should be communicated in writing and the employee should normally be provided the opportunity to appeal, ideally to someone more senior, but in any event someone independent.

Suspension is not in itself disciplinary action and does not infer that any decision has been made Businesses dealing with disciplinaries involving senior staff or complex matters (or perhaps smaller businesses with limited management structure) an str le to nd so eone appropriate to carry out investigations and meetings. It is open to a business to use resources within associated companies or bring in external HR consultants. w CONTACT

View HR is a HR and employment law consultancy, providing businesses with specialist guidance and independent support. 07496 308 540

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:10

features Recruitment



These days recruitment is focused less on horticulturists and more on those with retail knowledge. Are garden centres becoming more retail-centred, or are there simply not enough horticulturists to fill the roles? We asked MorePeople’s Guy Moreton how recruitment in garden centres has changed over the past decade and what challenges lie ahead retailers are fantastic at the customer journey, and it’s staff that have worked in larger retail businesses like these that garden centres are now recruiting.

How has recruitment in garden centres changed in the past ten years? The change has been primarily in terms of the type of people garden centres want to employ. Previously a garden centre would always try to recruit somebody with a horticultural background – even if the job role was running the indoor area. As we’ve seen garden centres get bigger, horticulture has become less intrinsically important;


as centres started selling more non-garden products, they began recruiting nonhorticultural staff. In a modern day garden centre there now tends to be a clear divide between horticultural jobs, which are plant area orientated, and retail jobs which tend to be geared towards the regional manager, general managers and any non-plant department. Garden centres now have a huge number of nonhorticultural people coming

Garden Centre Retail December 2016

RecruitmentV2.indd 22

in who bring skills and knowledge about consumer journeys and more. Ten years ago in horticulture if you talked about the consumer journey, people would have thought you meant the journeys customers made from their homes to the garden centres. There never was that analysis, looking into where customers go and how much time they spend there. And yet Tesco, John Lewis, Lidl, House of Fraser, Debenhams and all the big

Do you think these changes have been led by what the customer wants, or what managers want their garden centres to evolve into? The honest answer is both. The industry hasn’t become more retail focused solely because of its customers; new retail staff are being recruited, which is being driven by owners like Wyevale and Dobbies, who are themselves more retail orientated. Plenty of horticulturists make very professional managers, but retail managers in garden centres bring a completely different skill set. Garden centre owners with a retail background, which is happening more and more in the industry, will tend to be more consumer focused than those before them. Fifteen years ago if you went into a garden centre and asked the owner if they were doing any form of consumer market research, they would look at you as if you’d fallen off a log – whereas professional retailers know absolutely everything about the people that come to their centres. They’ve responded to the consumer demand because

06/12/2016 16:11

Recruitment features they were asking consumers what they wanted, and that as de nitel el ed raise t e le el o sto er o s in garden centres. Do you think it’s more important for horticulturists to learn retail skills, or for employees with a retail background to learn about horticulture? enerall as an ind str e still don t ana e eo le ell eno and e ertainl don t ta e trainin and de elo ent o o r eo le serio sl is is a eneral state ent t ere are lent o eo le in t e ind str o rioritise trainin and do it ell t enerall e do not in est eno in trainin o r sta e a e to as a e t e li es o e ale and o ies one to ot er retailers to rin in retail s ills t s not st a o t t e merchandising, the customer o t e sto er o rne and t e retail nderstandin t eir o inion is t at t e ana e ent a a ilit o so e od t at o es ro e en a s is etter t an t e ana e ent a a ilit in t e a era e arden entre nd t at s rel do n to the garden centre industry ein e ind in trainin in est ent as as ed on e in a orti lt ral on eren e eetin at a ens i train t ese eo le and t e lea e re lied at a ens i o don t train t e and t e sta e sa t at o a e a res onsi ilit as a siness o ner to a e o r sta as ood as ossi le in o r siness toda o train t e in o to deal it t e customer, tomorrow morning t e re oin to treat o r sto ers etter What would you say a garden centre should consider when recruiting? e o ld al a s ad ise no atter at si e t e siness t at t e reall i e so e t o t into not onl at t e

RecruitmentV2.indd 23

o role is t et er t e need it. What has caused the o a an at is needed to ll t e role at as t e last erson in t e role ood at and at eren t t e so ood at n ort natel at e e seen is t at ost orti lt ral sinesses i t not t as much thought into this as ot er ind stries ain t at s indi ati e o t e si e and s ale o t e entre and er a s a la o senior ana erial ro essionalis t it is ettin etter all t e ti e e er t in e entioned no is etter t an i e d a e ad t is on ersation e ears a o and reall elie e in e ears ti e it ill e etter still Do garden centre vacancies tend to be ďŹ lled easily? o roles in arden entres are er di lt to ll e don t a e eno ood alit lant area ana ers i is indi ati e o a i er ro le a in t e orti lt re and a ri lt re se tors er od in t e se tor re o nises t at e a e a allen e in ettin orti lt re ore a e ted

t e o t o toda nd don t ro ess to a e t e ans er i onest it s een t e ase or ears What kind of retail/ horticulture dynamic should a garden centre aim for? at de ends on t e indi id al entre its s e i ar et and siness n e er arden entre t ere s o ld e a ood arria e and alan e et een retail and orti lt re sta arden entres s o ld tr to ens re t eir retail sta or losel it lant area or ers i o a e o r retail or ers inside and o r orti lt rists o tside t e don t tal to or learn ro ea ot er i art o t e ro le and t e sol tion is o sta are managed when they get into the sector. erall o ld sa t at as an ind str e need to rin ore eo le into orti lt re and i e re not a le to nd sta ro orti lt re t en e need to loo at ot er ali ned se tors e est la e to o is ot er retailers ere sta are li el to e ell trained ood alit eo le rin t e in and

I was asked once in a horticultural conference meeting: what happens if I train these people and they leave? I replied: what happens if you don’t train them and they stay? train t e in orti lt re no atter at t eir role is in t e entre nd on ersel orti lt rists it in arden entres s o ld a e at least asi retail trainin to ens re o r sto ers et t e est ser i e ossi le is is at arden entres need to o s on i ro in w


Guy Moreton is director of MorePeople. 01780 480 530

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:12

features Loyalty


Haskins chief executive lian infield and managing director o ighfield arden World i een ay e plain hy they elie e their loyalty schemes or lack thereo are right for their centres



“We introduced a loyalty card back in 2000 because we wanted to start giving an incentive for more visits. e rrentl stand at e ers and e no our loyalty card scheme increases footfall. We also know that our restaurant is a er o lar la e or t e lo alt ards to e sed and e nd a lot o e ers are re lar isitors e see a e s i e in sales e er ti e t e lo alt ne sletter and o ers o o t to e ers

“We inherited a loyalty scheme when we bought our Snowhill facility in 2003. We continued it because once you’ve got a s e e it s di lt to sto it so e losed t e s e e to ne e ers and o er a n er o ears t e er enta e o t rno er ent do n ent all a o t t o ears a o it ot to about 5% so we decided it was time to knock it on the head. o a e to i e so et in to en o ra e eo le to e o e members of the scheme. We’ve never been convinced that en o i e a dis o nt it a t all leads to oosted ro ts

i een ay i hfiel Gar en orl

“Centres need to really look at the logistics of the scheme. o e eit er ot to ar it o t or anot er o an to ana e or you’ve got to run it yourself – and if you’re going to run it yourself you have to have somebody in your team who is dedicated and focused on it. Whatever you do with your loyalty s e e t ere ill e a ost in ol ed

e ently stand at e be s and e no o loyalty a d s e e in eases oot all Highfield Garden World 01452 741 444


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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lian infield as ins Gar en Centres

e do et sto ers o as a o t a lo alt s e e t t e e t in is t e still ee o in a e est a o de elo in lo al sto ers is to i e t e at t e ant e e ot o r airl i entres it lar e resta rants i in an a s are o r lo alt s e e e a se t e ee eo le coming back on a weekly basis – sometimes more than that. e re on ood road net or s and are lose to t e o lation so or s it s not ne essar or ot er sinesses t at er a s aren t so ell ositioned a lo alt s e e a e a reall el l tool to ee sto ers o in a

e do et sto e s o as abo t a loyalty s e e b t t e ey t in is t ey still ee o in ba Haskins Head Office 01202 593 355

08/12/2016 11:12

Cat Deterrents

A great sales opportunity Complement this winter’s bird feed sales with our range of welfare-friendly animal repellents Contact your sales representative today or call 01953 881580 for more details |

Dec Advert template.indd 27

06/12/2016 11:41

features Pet displays



The pet section of a garden centre faces a unique set of challenges, with competition from specialised stores as well as other departments. We spoke to Matt Ashcroft, pet section manager at Notcutts St Albans, about how he gets the most from his displays


ike a lot of garden centres, the pet section at Notcutts St Albans takes a relatively small proportion of the centre’s sales (9.5-10%), with the majority of customers visiting the centre primarily for plants and garden products (approx. 70%) or the restaurant (approx. 20%). Eye-catching and interesting displays are therefore essential tools to draw in customers, and are critical to success. Consider the position A key consideration for organising pet section displays is position, Matt says: “Wherever your footfall is, that’s where your displays should be prominent. Levels are another factor – putting your newer stock and key products at eye level or ‘buy level’ ensures that the section is looking its best, and draws customers to those products.” If products aren’t positioned correctly, this will have a direct effect on sales, explains Matt: “One example of the importance of positioning products appropriately is our poppy product, which we have on offer, with a percentage of sales going to charity. We were bottom of the Notcutts list in poppy sales because we had them in a remote area of the centre where footfall wasn’t particularly high. When we realised this, we moved the poppies next to the till counter, and sales have shot up; they’ve become easily visible and are placed prominently at a point in the customer journey where


impulse buys are high – we’ve actually completely run out of the product.” Switch it up Matt also recommends that pet section managers should keep changing their displays to ensure their section is always looking fresh: “Obviously this depends on the stock you have coming in and what promotions you have, but displays and product ranges should be moved around at least every month or so to make sure your

Products from different sections of the garden centre can be used within your pet displays to enhance them

Garden Centre Retail December 2016

Pet DisplaysV2.indd 26

returning customers don’t become bored. It also ensures your promotional items are always at the forefront of your customer’s view, increasing the likelihood of sales.” Changing around stock and displays also means that sto ers loo in or a s e i product will be required to browse, Matt advises: “Whilst it may not be possible to move t e ani als irds and s themselves around, products and displays can be changed with relatively little hassle. If

nothing changes, customers that come in every week for their dog food will go straight to where they know the product is, not looking around or noticing any other products. If they aren’t sure where the product is they’ll have to browse through products to nd it and a o e a ross something else they want to purchase in the meantime.” Get creative Alongside correct positioning and changing your pet section periodically, Matt states that managers should focus on creativity. Keeping pet displays interesting will attract passing customers that may not have intended to come in, and being within a garden centre gives pet sections endless opportunities for creative displays. “Products from

08/12/2016 11:14

Pet displays features

The reality is that pet sections are competing with pet stores, the majority of which are able to buy in and sell products cheaper

different sections of the garden centre, for example plants, water features or ceramic animals, can be used within your displays to enhance them. For example, we put a water fountain a few months ago into one of our pet displays with promotional products around it; while the fountain itself didn’t sell we found it attracted a lot of attention from customers and the promotional products sold very well. If you’ve got a hutch on offer you can put some plants inside or on it, and maybe a ceramic rabbit inside to make it more eye-catching and fun, which will draw more customers.”

Know your customers Success in a pet section is also dependent on knowing your customer base, states Matt, and tailoring your product ranges around this: “You’ve got to work out where your customers sit, whether the lower priced items or premium ranges are more likely to be of interest. At our centre for example, customers that shop or browse in the pet section don’t tend to buy the lower range products, so putting them on display at eye level is a waste of space and is going to negatively impact sales. Obviously you should have a range of products at different

price points, but pet sections should have the appropriate and more popular products at the forefront of their displays.” Staff knowledge on products is a critical factor in any section of a garden centre, adds Matt, with the pet section being no exception: “There’s nothing worse than a customer wanting to know more about a product they’re considering r asin and ndin t at t e staff don’t know anything about it. It brings down sales and the reputation of the section; similar to having someone with horticulture knowledge in your plant section, staff in the pet section should ensure t e a es ient no led e to l l t eir role and ans er questions from customers.” Finally, pet sections should always be aware of their competitors within the area, and aim to provide something that can’t be found elsewhere, Matt advises: “Our pet section has birds, which none of the surrounding pet centres have.

This gives us a niche that brings in customers, and as a result we sell a lot of birds and bird products. Pet sections should cater their product range where possible to ensure they’re offering something a bit different.” In summary of what makes a good pet display, Matt concluded: “It needs to be prominent and easily visible in a high footfall area, appropriately placed and eye-catching. It should have all the information about the relevant offer or product clearly stated, and should stand out as something worth a second glance. The reality is that the pet sections in garden centres are competing with pet stores in the area, the majority of which are able to buy in and sell products cheaper, so making sure your displays and layout are interesting and appropriate is really important. If your pet section isn’t done well, your customers will go elsewhere.” w


Matt Ashcroft is pet section manager at Notcutts St Albans. 01727 853 224

Pet DisplaysV2.indd 27

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


08/12/2016 11:15

features Sales


STOCKING MAGAZINES Garden Centre Retail spoke to Barry Allaway, managing director of Worldwide Magazine Distributors (WWMD) about how offering magazines can enhance the shopper’s experience


he magazine market is a ro ta le one it over 80m magazines sold in the UK every month – 88% of which are sold through retail outlets rather than via subscriptions. With a market worth of £1.3bn every year, magazines have been proven to stimulate impulse purchases, and can boost average basket spend by up to 25%. Bespoke selection For the garden centre industry, with departments ranging from cafes to toy shops, to gifts and pet supplies, magazines can complement, diversify and enhance existing product ranges, and with over 3,200 different titles published in the UK every year, there’s sure to be a magazine to suit every department. Offering customers a bespoke range creation service, WWMD uses market knowledge to pinpoint a mix of titles which would best suit a garden centre’s particular customer base. Getting the selection of titles right for a garden centre is paramount to the success and sale of magazines, and a balance is needed between displaying big names and rarer, specialist titles, to ensure a broader group of customers is reached.


Impulse purchases When a garden centre decides it wants to start offering magazines, factors such as location, whether it’s an upmarket or downmarket area, department sizes and more are all taken into consideration. Once WWMD has been distributing and recording unsold copies with a garden centre over a few months, a much clearer, more s e i idea o t at entre s needs and customer base becomes apparent. Records are continually updated – adjustments are made to suit the centre based on this information, for example providing more or cutting back copies depending on how many are sold. It is also worth tweaking the offering as new titles come out and seasons and trends change. It’s necessary to alternate the magazines every six to twelve months. “Magazines are very much an impulse purchase, particularly in niche and specialist outlets. Most garden centres display their magazines around the till points, which are ideal places to have the product due to the high footfall around this area,” explains arr lla a sto ers don’t purposefully travel to a garden centre to pick up a

Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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Unlike unhealthy snacks or more expensive impulse buys, customers see buying a magazine as a cheap, guilt-free, low risk treat magazine; they’re more likely to stumble across a magazine display and decide to buy one on a whim.” Barry continues: “Research has found that magazines are one of the top feel-good purchases for people who want to treat themselves – unlike unhealthy snacks or more expensive impulse

buys, customers see buying a magazine as a cheap, guiltfree, low risk treat.” There are a number of options available when it comes to stocking magazines. For larger ranges in the bigger garden centres, a merchandiser would come into the store and arrange the magazines on a display on t e s o floor ll t e nsold copies are noted, and their value is then credited into the garden centre’s account. Smaller garden centres go through the same process, although would not have a merchandiser to record unsold copies and put out the displays – smaller centres would self-manage this. w CONTACT

Barry Allaway is managing director of Worldwide Magazine Distributors. 0121 405 0260

06/12/2016 16:18

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06/12/2016 11:42

features Candle theft


SPOTLIGHT Security and theft protection are issues garden centres face on a daily basis. Rating highly among the most stolen products within garden centres are candles, with the brand Yankee Candles in particular being popular targets

andle theft in garden centres is on the rise both during open hours and through break-ins, with thieves reportedly stealing hundreds of pounds worth of Yankee Candles from Rosebank Garden Centre, Stourport Garden Centre, Wyevale Hyde Road and many more in the past 18 months. A notable peak in candle theft came from Sunnydale Garden Centre in April 2015, which saw £23,000 worth of Yankee Candles stolen from the centre in an overnight raid. In July 2016, a worker from Newbank Garden Centre broke a hip after being run over by thieves making off with over £200 worth of Yankee Candles. With demand for – and thus theft of – candles showing no signs of waning in garden centres, it’s fair to say the industry has a task on its hands keeping its products safe. Garden Centre Retail spoke to Jeremy Davies, managing director of GCS, designer and brand owner of Jarloc, the winner of this year’s Most Innovative In-store Product at the Retail Fraud Awards, and asked: how can garden centres protect themselves from theft?


On the frequency of theft in garden centres, Jeremy estimates: “I would say theft happens every day in every garden centre – in fact it’s at least that common. If you’re in a garden centre for an hour the likelihood is that somebody has already stolen something. Customer theft will relate to around 5% of a garden centre’s turnover, so if you’re turning over a million pounds a year, approximately £50,000 of retail sale value is being stolen.”

Why candles?

Yankee Candles are increasingly popular among thieves due to t eir ro ta ilit states Jeremy: “Just like other leading brands in separate markets – for example in sports retail outlets Nike trainers are the most stolen product – Yankee Candle is the premium brand of candle. Once stolen, a premium candle can be sold at nearly the full RRP, which makes them very attractive to thieves.” This presents a dilemma all garden centres have to contend with, continues Jeremy: “It’s a bit of a double-edged sword – stocking premium brands does bring customers in, but simultaneously it will attract a higher level of theft, which then needs to be managed. “The natural response when a garden centre knows a product is more likely to be stolen is to limit the range on display, or keep it behind the counter, which automatically and drastically reduces sales. Customers want to pick up products and inspect them – in the case of candles, smell them – before purchasing, and with the products either less available or out of reach behind the counter, their opportunity to do this, and the likelihood of sales, is greatly impacted.”


GCS, the company behind Jarloc, provides free advice over the phone for any garden centre experiencing security


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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06/12/2016 16:24

Candle theft features problems, and for those with more serious issues there is the option to have a GCS member visit the centre, says Jeremy: “We initially look for solutions that are free or inexpensive for the retailer – beyond that we offer security audits, where we visit the centre and look at all aspects of security.” Garden centres also have the option of purchasing Jarloc, created by GCS in response to the rise in candle theft. “I looked at security product manufacturers worldwide for something that could help reduce candle theft and o ldn t nd an t in explains Jeremy. “So I decided to design something bespoke that tackles this problem, which became Jarloc.” Describing Jarloc’s practical uses, Jeremy explains: “In the security world Jarloc is classed as a ene t denial rod t – if you were to steal a candle with Jarloc attached to it, you wouldn’t be able to light it because Jarloc sits over the wick. Jarloc also has a security tag within it that will activate the tagging system within the garden centre as the thief tries to leave with the product, which will alert members of staff to the situation and give them the opportunity to do something about it. Jarloc can be reused and is simple to attach and remove from various candle products.”


Following tests with both Dobbies and Clintons Cards after incorporating Jarloc, Jeremy says the results were extremely positive, with surprising upshots: “When used in outlets that have a security tagging system, Jarloc cuts candle theft by 75%. But one of the most interesting things we found in these tests is that at Dobbies, Jarloc actually increased sales of candles by 14%.” On the link between Jarloc and sale numbers, Jeremy explains: “Sales increased because the retailer was on dent to dis la a ller

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range of their candle products without the worry that they’ll be stolen. More of the products are being displayed and aren’t being stolen, meaning there is more for customers to browse.” Incorporating Jarloc can however come with negative side effects for surrounding retail outlets and garden centres, Jeremy advises: “We found when we rolled out to garden centres and Clintons Cards that it displaced theft levels – someone who had been stealing candles from a garden centre has moved to the next retail outlet down the road and continued to steal the same products. “A retailer that may not have suffered from high theft e ore a nd t e a e a s dden infl i a near centre implements Jarloc. Our genuine advice as security experts would be to stock Jarloc to ensure you don’t become targeted. If there’s a garden centre or outlet down the road that is using Jarloc, then it’s a good bet that people looking to steal candles will be entering your garden centre to see if your products are easier to take.”

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword – stocking premium brands does bring customers in, but simultaneously it will attract a higher level of theft, which then needs to be managed

Jarloc prevents use of the candle while still allowing customers to smell them


Alongside Jarloc and GCS s ort a nal oint o consideration for garden centres should be what the candle companies themselves have in place for support with candle theft. In general, candle companies are increasingly becoming more involved in preventing the theft of their products, states Jeremy: “I’ve seen a huge turnaround with companies like Yankee Candle in their security awareness. Years ago candle companies were seen as being quite impartial and perhaps even disinterested in the theft of their products, but some have really improved since then. Yankee Candle for example has appointed Glen Goodwin, who is responsible for their loss

Klondyke Garden Centre has incorporated the GCS tagging system

prevention in retail outlets, which is a new role that’s been created to help improve the security of their products and reduce theft. At the end of the day, if a retailer is suffering great losses with the products there is a likelihood that they’ll stop stocking them, which a lot of candle companies are starting to wake up and respond to in the last few years.” w


Jeremy Davies is managing director of GCS. For further security advice GCS can be contacted at: 01892 300 878

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:25



Classic, Hand-Tuned Wind Chimes Made in the USA

24” Silver 33” Bronze 42” Forest Green

07851 075944

W W WoodWick


crackles as it burns™

AWARD WINNING Sparkling Orange A sparkling citrus blend mingled with nuances of goji berries, poppy blossoms, golden musk and vanilla.


Flame & Fragrance • Bath & Body The UK’s No.1 Home Fragrance Supplier to the Gift Industry

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For more info, contact our Customer Service Team Email: or Tel: +44(0)191 499 1570

The award winning Jarloc candle tag is proven to increase sales by up to 20% through improved availability, whilst managing the risk of stock loss and cutting theft by over 70%* Enquiries:

01892 300878

*ask for more details.

25/11/2016 11:13:41

06/12/2016 11:43

News products

PRODUCT NEWS All the latest news from leading product providers in the horticultural and garden retail sector

Andy McIndoe becomes the voice of Vitax Garden World

Gardman donates poppy bird feeder kits to Royal British Legion care homes



ell-known practical horticulturist and author Andy McIndoe has teamed up with Vitax to become its gardening expert for the new Vitax Garden World website. Launched this autumn, Vitax Garden World will contain a host of information for the experienced and knowledgeable gardener, with the aim of driving them into local garden centres to purchase Vitax products. Andy said: “Vitax is a trusted brand and known for formulating products that work. The new Vitax Garden

Tetra relaunches FreshDelica


etra lo al s rod t manufacturer, has refreshed its popular FreshDelica gel food in a newly developed 80g tube for an easier feeding experience. Offering high quality food which is preserved for up to four weeks after opening without the need to refrigerate, the new tube packaging is quick to use and mess-free. Tetra FreshDelica brine shrimps and bloodworms make an ideal addition to a complete and balanced diet. Brine shrimps help to enhance a s s ri t olo rs t an s to their high carotenoid content, whilst bloodworms support healthy growth. Packed together in a nutritious gel, Tetra FreshDelica tubes offer a convenient alternative to frozen or live food.

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World website provides enthusiastic growers with crucial information at the touch of a button and I am thrilled to be working with them.”

fter donating over £2,500 worth of bird care kits to the Royal British Legion services, including its poppy bird feeders, Gardman dropped into Care Home of the Year 2015, Galanos House in Warwickshire, on 31 October to meet residents and ear o t e e een enjoying feeding the birds in their garden. Craig Edsey, activities manager at Galanos House care home, said: “Feeding birds is such a great activity for our residents, especially those suffering from dementia. We have found

that by feeding the birds, it has often broken down the arrier or residents o nd it di lt to o o tside t is a lovely concept of having birds return to the feeders each day and our residents treat them like their own pets.”

Natures Menu launch Raw Expert course for retailers


atures Menu has launched a course for retailers wanting to further their understanding of raw feeding. Designed to provide in-depth information about nutrition and raw pet food, the Raw Expert course aims to enable stockists to become specialists in raw pet foods.

Created by the Natures Menu Veterinary Division, the course compiles four modules: • Principles of nutrition • Food production and legislation • Natures Menu product range • Nutrition and health. e o in a erti ed a ert ill ro ide sto ists

of Natures Menu raw pet foods with a professional understanding of raw feeding, the information to provide inde t ad i e and on den e to answer a wider variety of customer queries on raw feeding and the Natures Menu range of foods.

Kent and Stowe introduces new range of 12 traditional weeding tools


n response to consumer demand for alternative methods of weed removal, Kent and Stowe has returned to tried and tested traditional tools of a bygone era. Kent and Stowe is bringing to the market a range of specialist weeding equipment that allows gardeners to remove weeds effectively in a

safe and environmentally friendly manner. The full range of 12 traditional stainless steel weeding tools covers everything from intricate hand weeding to long handled multi-functional weeding and traditional hoes. The designs of the hand weeding knife and the

long handled two in one weeder make them particularly versatile tools.

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:27

products News

PACKS & PROMOTIONS The latest television and advertising campaigns from in and around the sector Bord na Móna Growise’s new fertiliser range paves way to unique PoS concept Modelled on a consumer-friendly matrix style of shelf barker, the Bord na Móna Growise Product Picker enables the consumer to select the most appropriate fertiliser for their individual plant, crop, or garden project. Innovative and eye-catching, the Product Picker is eas or t e ons er to fli t ro at the point of sale, while being compact, convenient and moisture proof to meet the needs of the garden retailer. Charles Farmer, UK head of sales at Bord na Móna, said: “We believe t is o or at is a rst or t is se tor of the market and it complements the consumer-friendly pack sizes and innovative formats we have also developed to make this fertiliser range the most progressive in garden retail.” Bord na Móna is focused on the marketing and sales of growing media and other horticultural products to UK and Irish retail markets, and also professional markets primarily in the UK, Ireland and Europe, where it provides innovative product and supply solutions to meet customer needs. The business exports growing media products to over 30 countries and its goal is to become the leading supplier in the markets that it serves.


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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G Plants relaunch heritage ‘Bees Seeds’ brand This year will see one of the original seed packet brands, Bees Seeds, return to the industry. G Plants, specialist in quality seed, bulb and growing gifts, will launch a brand new Bees Seeds range to retailers or t e rst ti e in de ades as ell as revealing plenty of growing gift product innovations to help retailers maximise sales of the range. Die-hard seed collectors and heritage gardening fans will remember Bees Seeds fondly. Dating back to the early 1900s, the company developed a reputation for quality vegetable and flo er seeds and el ed ool ort s become the number one garden products supplier in the Thirties. The range’s heritage packaging has been given an updated old-English style, with hand drawn illustrations that will appeal to buyers looking for premium seeds and gardening gifts for the core garden centre audience. G Plants director Alex Reihl said: “By resurrecting the Bees Seeds brand, we have created a range of products that although do not display the G Plants logo, are all produced it t e i est s e i ations with seeds and bulbs coming from European stock, and packaged in our own factories to ensure quality and quantity.”

Outback UK cooks up promotional videos to boost sales Leading barbecue supplier Outback UK is producing a series of four short videos for use in garden centres to boost next year’s sales of the topselling Jupiter range. The company is currently working on ways to provide new in-store LCD displays to run the videos in a range of PoS material for Jupiter stockists in 2017. Links on the homepage and in the product description boxes for the Jupiter Stainless Steel 4 and 6 burner and the Jupiter 4 burner gas models on the Outback website take viewers to the videos on the site or on YouTube. Each video lasts about 45 seconds, and shows ingredients, temperatures and herbs used to cook a pancake, tuna, stir fry and pizza on the Jupiter range’s grill, griddle, wok and pizza stone accessories. The Jupiter Stainless Steel 4 and 6 burner gas models are new to the Outback 2017 range and are included in the company’s current product guide for next year as well as on the website. They follow the success of the Jupiter 2, 3 and 4 burner models designed in ‘meteor red’ and which played a major part in Outback’s sell-out year in 2016.

07/12/2016 08:38

Trends products



From LED glass globes to colourful aggregates, GIMA says these are the stand-out products enefiting rom recent and emerging trends Think Outside has added some creative garden features t at ontin e to ene t from the upcycled trend. The company has spotted a certain type of customer that its products appeal to – the ‘Occasional Group Gift Buyer’ and is seeing an increase in consumers coming together to maximise their buying power for more expensive gifts.

Forest Garden’s new decorative garden structures, the Whitby Arch and Whitby r o r ot ene t ro a link to trends in domestic to ris e ent res from VisitEngland show that millions more are staying in the UK for ‘staycations’, which means more time spent in the garden enjoying products like these.

Yorkshire based decorative aggregates specialist Deco-Pak’s latest addition to its range, the Cushion Stepping Stone, is an original product from Deco-Pak that links to a very current trend for bringing the indoors outside.

Home2Garden is also supporting the inside out trend with its new LED glass globes. Company spokesperson Heidi Weeks said: “We are close to completing a solar-powered version. The items are water and frost proof and can be installed wirelessly outside. The mood is simple, elegant and innovatively unique.”

Lancashire-based G Plants made a huge leap forward in the garden ornaments category at Glee this year with a new range of Disney garden products, including Frozen, Mickey Mouse and Disney Princesses statuettes and potsticks. The trend for Disney is ideal for getting younger garden centre visitors involved in the shopping experience.

Kelkay is also banking on 2017 indoor decor trends to spread out into the garden with its new and exciting range of aggregates in bright new shades. The new Kelkay Rockincolour range includes a cool Azure Blue, a hot Chilli Red and a soothing Lime Green as well as a shiny Midnight Black.


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Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:30

products Candles


CANDLES GCR rounds up a selection of candle options to stock your shelves and entice customers

Landon Tyler WINTER WOODS 200G CANDLE • High quality candle at affordable price • Lxurious evergreen scent combining ine r s r e moss and cardamom • 40 hours burn time • Frosted glass design • Part of a new range with 12 fragrances, reed diffusers and coordinated gifts RRP £8

Noble Isle CANDLE AND SNUFFER • Bittersweet fragrance • Cleansing extract of ‘forced’ rhubarb, notes of juniper berry and rosemary • Coloured glass to match the product • Black metal embossed snuffer lid • Between 35 to 45 hours burn time RRP £39

Ashleigh & Burwood CANDLES • Ideal gift • Three fragrances: peony, lavender, garden mint • e ned ineral a with low melting point • Eye-catching gift packaging, topped with a ribbon • Corresponding gift sets available RRP £18


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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Beauty Scents BEAUTY SCENTS HANDMADE SOY WAX CANDLE • Handmade • Soy wax • Natural decorative elements • Strong room scent • Christmas mood lighting

RRP £18

Bolsius FADING METALLIC CANDLE • Fashionable rustic candle • Muted shades with metallic accents • Designed to accessorise and illuminate • Shot through with a pearlescent sheen • Also available in a smaller size RRP £4.49 (pack of 6)

06/12/2016 16:33

Candles products Beefayre SPICED ORANGE KITCHEN CANDLE • Jar can be re-used for storage • 40 hours burn time • Natural wax for long clean burning • Made in the UK with o ro ts to ee conservation • Botanical designs by artist and founder Sharon Jervis RRP £19.95

Price’s Patent Candles HERITAGE CANDLE JAR • Designed and produced by Price’s • Part of the Heritage range • Long clean burn time • Value for money • Fragranced to suit any home or space

RRP £5.75

Root Candles SPARKLING CHAMPAGNE • All natural beeswax blend • Made with essential oil fragrances • Coloured with vegetable based dyes • Custom made natural cotton wicks • Longer, cleaner burning candle

RRP £14.99

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St Eval Candle Company GLAZED POT • New for autumn / winter 2016 • Three scents: bay and rosemary, sea salt and tuberose • Three colours: white, blue and red • Also available as tea light holders • Hand poured in Cornwall RRP £15.60

WoodWick HEARTHWICK FIRESIDE • Soothing crackle • on dan in fla e • Cosy comfort of a lo in re la e • Wooden lid doubles as heat proof mat • Approx. 50 to 80 hours burn time

RRP £25.99

Cire Trudond BETHLÉEM SCENTED CANDLE • Captures the essence of Christmas • Attractive glass cylinder lined with gold foil • Art Deco inspired boxes • Available in a gift set format • Limited edition

RRP £70 www.

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


07/12/2016 08:49


value for money seasonal benching Why not give your plant area a kick start this season with some great displays to enhance your merchandising and add an attractive feature to your centre? 3 TIER DEAL PALLET T SE R LA AL DU T DE O E M LL PA


For details on more of our value for money pallet deals please download the Pallet Deals Brochure from our website: or to place an order please call 01323 831888 or email

Download the FREE Garden Centre Retail app today

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Go to the App Store


Search ‘Garden Centre Retail’


Download the free app


Choose and download your issue

06/12/2016 13:15

Wood stains products



A roundup of wood stain products to revitalise your offering

Owatrol UK Ltd Coatings Ltd SHED AND FENCE PAINT • 15 year guarantee • Available in 34 colours • orti ed it a ni e ondin primer • ellent ad esion no eelin or fla in • er e t or s eds en es la o ses and ore RRP £78.90


Barrettine Products Ltd PROTECTIVE TREATMENT

ater ased and i dr in • o odo r • ood sa e • i es i protection • as i e on nat ral nis

RRP from £11.66

RRP £24.99

il sol ent lo odo r or la it ade resistant colour pigments • Harmless to insects and lants en dr • or ro sa n or s oot ti er • Water repellent resins • aila le in ei t colours

AkzoNobel Industrial Coatings Ltd SIKKENS CETOL WF 771EXTERIOR


• One pot coating system • i l rote ti e • oes not fla e • Especially suitable or e osed ood surfaces • as to a l d ra le tro le ree maintenance

• sed lan it ars in s o e o r arden • ater ased lon lasting coating • Over 50 colours • ttra ti e o and er andisin stands • o ini order

RRP from £7

RRP from £13.99

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Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:35

products Ornaments and statues


ORNAMENTS AND STATUES GCR’s roundup of decorative statues and ornaments to lift your offering

DECO-PAK EASTERN STONE BUDDHA HEAD • Winner of the Retailer’s Choice Award at Glee 2015 • A statement piece • Handmade from rainbow sandstone • Creates stand-out retail theatre • Adds instant inspiration to plant displays RRP £2,899.99



• Ornamental metal rooster • Rustic effect, handainted nis • Creates a dashing display in gardens and patios • 59cm in height • Includes stake to secure into the ground

• Produced using the best materials and techniques • Cast in the popular Cotswold colour with others available • Treated to improve resistance to frost, mould and more • Designed to maximise sales • Most popular bird bath in the collection

RRP £19.99

RRP £49.99



• Unique and exclusive • A classical statement piece • Affordable and desirable • Authentic stone appearance • Manufactured to last – will not deteriorate like resin

• Unique design by sculptor Susan Robinson • Made in the UK • Good size and price for an impulse purchase • Antique, weathered nis • Ideal present for a gardening golfer

RRP £249.00

RRP £29.99


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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06/12/2016 16:36

Inspiration in the Garden


with GreenWall vertical planting system




Now your customers can create a vertical planting space where there wasn’t one! Grow plants, herbs and evergreens on a deck, balcony or hard standing or even in a garden or allotment. SELL MORE COMPOST

Scotts of Thrapston has an enviable reputation for manufacturing quality timber summerhouses and bespoke garden buildings to enhance any garden setting.



We are actively seeking new show centres to display and sell our range of summerhouses. We offer favourable commercial terms along with sales and marketing support. For more details please email: or call 01832 732366.

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For more information visit

0131 335 5955

28/11/2016 13:56

05/12/2016 11:06

06/12/2016 13:21

Pets Dog products



A range of year-round and seasonal dog products to stock your shelves

PETLIFE INTERNATIONAL NON-SLIP VETBED • Strength and durability with luxurious feel • High bulk and heat retention • Non-slip backing ideal for use on polished floors and tiles • Machine washable • Hygienic, non-irritant, non-allergenic RRP from £16.89



• Rolls up and fastens for easy storage • Can use your dog’s favourite treats • Has a bone marker to keep track of the days • Can be used year after year • Fabulously festive

• Cradles tick body without compressing the abdomen • Favoured by professionals • Removes ticks safely • Suitable for removal of ticks from both humans and animals • Minimises the transfer of tick-borne infections

RRP £10

RRP £5.26



• Waterproof • Sold with guarantee • Bright 360° LED lights • Sold in four colours allowing you to colour code your dogs • Powered by and sold with AAA battery RRP £19.50


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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• Made from cotton tape, protects against irritation • Durable for extended use • Easy to connect loop attachment • Available in multiple sizes and colours to suit all dogs • Three year warranty RRP £4.99

06/12/2016 16:37

Products Pets



The latest in products to stock in your pet department and inspire your customers


LOGIC EASEBALL • Tasty, veterinary strength s le ent • Reduces hairballs in cats • ontains nat ral s oils to lubricate the digestive tract and help the passage of fur • One to four chews daily • Available in packs of 28 sal on fla o red RRP £14


CAT STOCKING GIFT SET • All the hard work is done for you • Includes loop ready to hang up • Contains two fun and unique cat toys • Cat wand for interactive play and exercise • atni lled rist as tree with ribbon tassels RRP £19.99


LAFEBER NUTRIBERRIES • Vegetarian • e o ended avian vets, contains 40 nutrients all parrots need • n l des e a • Available in cases or single quantities • enero s ar s RRP from £8.99



• Made in the UK • astest ro in o e flea rand • Professional standard products approved for a ate r se • er rod ts sold • Manufactured to high standards in accordance with all legislation

• Easy to set up and si le to aintain • ade ro a r li • ilt in e sta e ltration • Free aftercare • Everything you need to start o r a ari is included


RRP £10 - £40

PetProductsV2.indd 43


RRP £149.99 - £344.99

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


06/12/2016 16:38

BORD NA MÓNA GROWISE PRO 5: THE FIRST PREMIUM RANGE TO COMBINE BOTH COMPOST AND FERTILISER Bord na Móna UK has launched an all-purpose premium range called Pro 5 which includes both high quality fertiliser and specialist growing media. Pro 5 is a professional quality range consisting of a 50 litre bag of all-purpose compost, a 7kg tub of all-purpose fertiliser together with two smaller boxes of all-purpose fertiliser sized at 2.5kg and 900g. Pro 5 All-purpose Fertiliser is premium grade slow release and works for up to 20 weeks. It contains a unique set of ten essential nutrients plus humic acid and seaweed to improve plant growth. It is perfect for all round garden use.

performance for up to seven weeks. It also contains vermiculite to improve air / water balance and ensure strong roots. Perfect for seeds and cuttings it is also ideal for tubs and baskets, but can be used with great results all around the garden. Retailers interested in working with the Bord na Móna Growise brand should contact 0800 973 555, email or visit thewebsite

Pro 5 All-purpose Compost has a high quality peat content blended with sustainable alternative ingredients and fertilisers to give superior BordNaMona_Dec.indd 1

30/11/2016 08:44

INDEPENDENT IMPARTIAL INVALUABLE View the entire range of simply great selling

Christmas Products


See what’s NEW FOR 2017


and find out about our fantastic PRE-SEASON OFFER

Exciting Opportunity Bee & Wildlife Friendly Products Biological Control Products Able to Relocate Anywhere


REF: 0253

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06/12/2016 13:35

Harrogate Show preview


HARROGATE Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair is back for 2017, taking place from 8 to 11 January. GCR rounds up exhibitors you should see during your visit

PREMIER DECORATIONS LTD HALL H, STAND H1 Premier Decorations is the UK’s leading Christmas product s lier a one sto s o or li tin and trees to floristr i tin is a re ier stren t it t e est s e i ation li t sets on the UK market and there is a new collection of themes that introduce the Theatre Of Christmas across tree trims, glass orna ents and ta le de orations

Exhibiting: Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, lights, garden, gift and home, Halloween



ot s orts is a an a t rer o sil flo ers ases and giftware designed in its own in-house arrangements, o ets and o e ra ran es ot s as een esta lis ed or o er ears

s a a il r n siness loralsil s relations i it its sto ers is at t e eart o e er t in it does and it nderstands t e i ortan e o s l in ori inal e e at in rod ts ollo in last ear s s ess l la n o its and nis ed and de orated lass a les t e rist as ran e as een e anded to in l de ne olo rs nis es and s a es

Exhibiting: reat s arlands Christmas oils and pot pourri

Exhibiting: Christmas trees, decorations, lights, wreaths, garlands, table top ornaments

rist as flo ers

ases and

BONNINGTONS HALL B, STAND B4 Bonningtons is one of the UK’s leading importers of home, arden and leis re rod ts s l in national i street chains, wholesalers, garden centres, independent retailers and internet retailers e o an re randed d rin and ill ret rn to arro ate it its ne in s er esti e ran e

Exhibiting: e in s er esti e ran e o r ore t e ed offers in Christmas plush décor

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JVL HOMEWARE SOLUTIONS HALL B, STAND B18 it al ost ears e erien e toda is a leadin lier and distri tor o o se old rod ts in t e ased in t ol ro d est or s ire t e o erate ro a lar e distri tion are o se and s l a ide arra o sto ers ro inde endents t ro to national retailers s

Exhibiting: New collection of Christmas mats, Christmas hampers Garden Centre Retail December 2016


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products Business



Garden Centre Retail spoke to Neil Taylor, managing director at range encing to find out a out hat the company can o er garden centre stockists

What’s the history of the company? Grange goes back to the 19th century. It used to be a family dynasty, the Hill dynasty, and in the early days the business made wood barrels for wine and ammunition boxes. Around about the Seventies, the company was divided into several operations, one being Grange Fencing which was taken on by Duncan Hill. Duncan developed the business and has built up a tremendous customer base including a number of major retailers. Over the years,

What is your target audience? At the moment, the trade customer is very much our priority, with builders’ merchants, timber merchants and garden centres being our strongest channels. However, we also understand the importance of the consumer and are constantly striving to ensure that we’ve got a product, design or concept that works for our end users. How important are garden centres to your business? What percentage of turnover is sold through them? Although the garden centre sector currently counts for a more modest percentage of our overall turnover, we see this as an important area and a great opportunity for growth and product development. In order to succeed within this industry you’ve got to have an aesthetic design, it has to be presented well and it’s

Grange has gradually spread its wings and certainly for garden fence panels, we are now the number one manufacturer in the UK. In 2014 the business was purchased by a company called Stelmet, a long established family business quoted on the Polish stock exchange. With the support of Stelmet, Grange has evolved from a company that was a manufacturer of traditional la anels to ards de nin gardens with stylish decorative products.

We have a passion for ongoing development and have radically improved the s e ifi ation o o od ts o e t e last t ee to fi e yea s 46

Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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Business products got to be different. We’ve recently launched our garden collections, incorporating a trio of decorative ranges of timber structures and garden accessories. It’s these more decorative ranges that we’ve seen do very well in the garden centre sector, as retailers are able to present products in ways which inspire consumers. What PoS and marketing material do you supply? Alongside the usual shelf racking systems, we offer a space-saving step displaying system, which we invested quite heavily in. Providing retailers with the ability to display up to four panels or gates within a compact area, the step display is supported with weatherproof PoS boards and can be used indoors or outside. When it comes to marketing, retailers are provided with a detailed company and stockist brochure and can also access a selection of ‘how to’ and product information videos via our website. Do you see there being a move away from the traditional style fencing that people are used to? Our research indicates a move towards compartmentalisation in gardens, with people looking for functionality from different areas, using panels and garden str t res to de ne these spaces rather than fencing the garden as a whole. There is also the urban phenomenon whereby those with smaller city gardens and balconies are keen to maximise the space they have. In order to address current trends and consumer demands, it’s important for Grange to provide options for all customers, hence our extensive range.

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What are your bestselling products via garden centres? Currently our fence panels remain the leading product for all our stockists but, as previously mentioned, the popularity of our more decorative ranges is increasing steadily within the garden centre sector. Products such as arches, arbours, pergolas and planters are proving to be a real hit with retailers now that trends such as ‘outdoor living’ and ‘alfresco dining’ are coming to light. These changes in consumer lifestyle habits are exciting not only for Grange but also for the garden centre industry as a whole. Where are you on price in comparison to competitors? We’re competitively priced, and if you look at the relationship between the aterial s e i ation and t e products, it’s well positioned. It represents good value for the product. What’s the unique selling point of the company? Quality service, new product development and, above all, continuous improvement. Grange endeavours to always stay one step ahead of the game and our newest ‘Ultimate Panel’ is testament to this. We’ve taken the tradition lap panel desi n a ste it rst to-market features such as a mortise and tenon joint and a strong, rebated frame for a more durable, longer lasting panel. Another point that helps us stand out from the crowd is our ‘one stop shop’ offering; from fence panels and posts to bolts and Metcrete, we’re the only manufacturer to provide everything needed to erect a fence in one place. Is there a warranty to your products? Yes, we offer a 10-year guarantee on all our pressure treated products above ground. On posts, it’s 15

years. We like to be realistic on our guarantees. What are your lead times? We offer a ‘d-day’ service with set order and delivery days so that the customer knows exactly when to expect their order. It’s a simple but effective system which proves to be very popular among our customers. Do you do any consumer or TV advertising? How do you drive potential clients into the stores? We have recently invested heavily into our print and digital advertising strategy. We work with both trade and consumer publications, including wellknown gardening and lifestyle

titles, and have also been involved in the most recent ITV Love Your Garden series. What is different about Grange? Why would a garden centre stock a Grange product over a competitor? We have a passion for ongoing development and have radically improved the s e i ation o o r rod ts o er t e last t ree to e years. We’re continuously introducing new products and undertaking research on our customers’ buying patterns. We organise focus groups and tr to nd o t at t e customer of tomorrow wants to buy. w

It’s our more decorative ranges that we’ve seen do very well in the garden centre sector, as retailers are able to present products in ways which inspire consumers


Grange Fencing Ltd, Halesfield 21, Telford, Shropshire TF7 4PA 01952 588 088

Garden Centre Retail December 2016


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products Kikka Digga



Kikka Digga is a digging attachment for garden forks and spades. A pivot footplate hich can e fitted to any si e tool ikka igga is designed to impro e posture and relieve back pain – a modern gadget for a classic tool Designed and made in the UK, rigorously tested in all conditions to obtain maximum digging power using Archimedes’ law of levers, accommodating all strengths and sizes.

Made from high quality steel – won’t bend or break. Rust protected, lightweight and ergonomically designed to alleviate foot strain, the clamp section has knurled adjuster knobs to adjust to any fork or spade shaft diameter.

A universal digging attachment for all garden digging forks and s ades retro ts a i oted footplate to help drive the fork or spade into any terrain – even compacted ground or clay soil.

Eases leverage and spares any physical strain, especially the back and arms and helps maintain good posture in order to prevent in ries i a i a ill ene t all types of people, gardeners and professional landscapers, young or mature. Parents who wish to get their kids into gardening or those it a ro le s ill nd t e Kikka Digga ideal.

Comes in either a handy carry-box or can be provided bagged and tagged, in a vacuum formed bag with Euro slot to be placed near digging tools in your garden centre, and comes with a tablet showing fun demonstration videos which capture customers’ attention.


Garden Centre Retail December 2016

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To learn more, contact Kikka Digga or visit the website: 07737 745 011

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OVER 450 cvs online to browse

OVER emails are sent to candidates monthly


on average there are strong candidate applications per job


Weekly jobs mailer

Feature jobs inside relevant print magazine

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Different solutions to secure quality applicants

official job board:

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Call 01903 777 574 or email with your vacancy



Experienced head gardener required to manage 15 acres of gardens surrounding family estate. The walled gardens include the longest range of glasshouses in Hampshire, containing grapes, peaches, nectarines, orchids and more. A productive and plantsman’s garden is ready for regeneration and the owners require professional knowledge to expand the cutting garden, kitchen garden (including bees) and flowerbeds. The applicant should have a relevant horticultural qualification, an interest in growing organic produce, and hands-on experience as a senior gardener on a private estate with craft skills in propagation. The clients are ideally looking for someone local although rented accommodation within the estate can be made available.

As deputy retail manager you will be critical in continuing to implement our retail sales development programme and build on our ongoing success across the centre with specific responsibilities for dry goods, stock control and merchandising. You will be focused on maximising the whole customer shopping experience, making sure that every customer feels welcomed by colleagues and support the retail manager with the day to day running of the centre. We are looking for someone willing to be a leader of people, able to demonstrate engagement and motivation to build great relationships, maximise sales potential and performance working with colleagues on the shop floor.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to



The Glasshouse Specialists.

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

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

Endorsed by Master Mole Catchers in the UK

Tel: 01262 608831 Fax: 01262 409004 Email: Website:

Antiqued ornamental stoneware from Hampshire Gardencraft

& d d he fte is ra fin dc ly an ul H utif a be

l One-click arming l Highly efficient l Fully reuseable l Made in Britain


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Glasshouses bought and sold. Venlo specialists. Structures for Garden Centres. All aspects of glasshouse work including poly roofs snow damage and Composite panels.

EasySet Mole Trap only £17.50 each RRP or call us on 01223 927216


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Garden Centre Retail December 2016

Phone | 01730 895182

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All our artificial Christmas trees are sourced from one single factory, allowing you to create a mixed container from our range of 40 trees‌

A A comprehensive choice of 40 artificial trees Ten stunning styles in five finishes; standard, frosted, berry, pine cone or pre-lit with twinkling white lights High quality construction and finish High Retail ready display packaging complete with carry handles Hinged branches and robust metal base Hinged Market leading RRPs Clear range hierarchy that meets all core consumer needs; Standard, Premium and Luxury

Packaged in an eye-catching full colour box

Come to our showroom and see our Christmas Emporium from 3rd January 2017 onwards. Dec Advert template.indd 34

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the bestselling corten steel fire pit Available in 5 sizes from 60-150cm to suit any space and any budget! The perfect low maintenance garden feature!

No minimum order - over 30 material ranges - rapid despatch 01892 890 353

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