__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 54

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

February/March 2021

PLANT SPECIAL

Burst of Colour WHICH PLANTS BEST SUIT COTTAGE GARDENS?

AN INTERVIEW WITH ALLEYN PARK

GARDEN CENTRE UPSKILLING SHOPFLOOR STAFF WHAT TRAINING IS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR TEAM?

17 Cover.indd 1

OPTIMISE YOUR ONLINE OFFERING

HOW JOY OF PLANTS CAN IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE

20

UP YOUR INFLUENCE

INSTAGRAM AND ITS INFLUENCERS CAN BOOST SALES

22 04/02/2021 17:40


date: w e N

– y a 30 M 021 2 e n u 1J

HAPPY TO MEET

@SPOGA+GAFA We are looking forward to finally bringing supply and demand together again. At the end of May, the product lines that will impress your customers will be on display at spoga+gafa, the world’s biggest trade fair for outdoor furniture and decoration, barbecues, grills, plants and technology. Get set to discover a host of inspiring ideas for boosting your sales, exciting presentations and the sustainable gardening trend. Together we will take our industry back into the green in every sense of the term – safely and with social distancing. We are prepared: #B-SAFE4business.

More info at www.spogagafa.com

Advert template.indd 1

04/02/2021 12:38


W el c o m e

WELCOME TO...

Garden Centre Retail T

his year started the way we all feared it would – with a third national lockdown. And whilst in previous lockdowns, we had summer in our sights or the countdown to Christmas, a lockdown in January – with the infamous Blue Monday – is hardly welcome. But let’s not let the January blues distract us from feeling hopeful. The rollout of the vaccine has been stepped up and, most importantly for this industry, garden centres continue to be deemed essential. We’re starting to see some divisiveness around the latter, though. Whilst some garden centres remain open with safety measures in place, others are closing their doors and asking the rest of the industry to do the same, unless they are selling essential items such as pet food, until infection rates drop It’s a difficult decision, to shut down at a time when so many businesses are struggling. So, while we’re eager to stress that we do not fall on either side of this argument we sit firmly on the fence – what we at Garden Centre Retail are asking for is understanding and togetherness. In 2020, gardening experienced a boom – let’s focus on ways to maintain this newfound love of the outdoors, creating vegetable patches and homes looking more like jungles. This issue focuses on the bread and butter of garden centres – plants. So, leaf (sorry) through our pages. You’ll meet some of the new gardeners (page 29) and discover ways to pass on your knowledge to them (page 19). As always, we hope you enjoy the read.

Subeditor – Sam Seaton sam.seaton@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570 ADVERTISING Head of sales – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 587 Sales manager – Tina Savelle tina.savelle@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 584

Nina Mason Head of content, Garden Centre Retail nina.mason@eljays44.com

Horticulture Careers – Alex Olley Tel: 01903 777 570 alex.olley@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek

The rollout of the vaccine has been stepped up and, most importantly for this industry, garden centres continue to be deemed essential

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson MARKETING AND CIRCUL ATION Client relations – Millie Genner millie.genner@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 582 Subscription enquiries – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 587 Garden Centre Retail is published bimonthly by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2021 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, non-commissioned photographs or manuscripts.

@GardenRetailUK Garden Centre Retail Garden Centre Retail www.gardencentreretail.com

Leader-8.indd 3

EDITORIAL Head of content – Nina Mason nina.mason@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

Subeditor – Katrina Roy katrina.roy@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

GCR APP

www.gardencentreretail.com

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

Deputy head of content – Rachael Forsyth rachael.forsyth@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

Nina and the GCR team

Garden Centre Retail is available FREE on your mobile device. Simply go to the App Store, search for ‘Garden Centre Retail’ and download the app!

CONTACT

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

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

3

04/02/2021 17:32


C E L E B R AT I N G 7 0 Y E A R S O F B A B Y B I O ®

Gfk GB Panelmarket excl. Ironmongers, Houseplant Care Oct 2019-Sep 2020. Baby Bio® is a registered trademark of SBM Life Science LTD, Hyperion House, Fordham Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7XN. Advisory Line: 0800 345 4100

Advert template.indd 2

@BABYBIOPL ANTFOOD

04/02/2021 12:39


C o n t en t s

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 54

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

February/March 2021

PLANT SPECIAL

CO NTE NT S BUSINESS

NEWS

06 NEWS

A round-up of the latest news from the sector

WHICH PLANTS BEST SUIT COTTAGE GARDENS?

AN INTERVIEW WITH ALLEYN PARK

GARDEN CENTRE UPSKILLING SHOPFLOOR STAFF WHAT TRAINING IS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR TEAM?

17

OPTIMISE YOUR ONLINE OFFERING

HOW JOY OF PLANTS CAN IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE

04/02/2021 17:40

PRODUCTS

29 GIMA

Tips and the benefits of upskilling staff

22

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

16 MAXIMISE YOUR PLANTERIA 17 STAFF TRAINING

INSTAGRAM AND ITS INFLUENCERS CAN BOOST SALES

Cover.indd 1

28 ANATOMY OF A PRODUCT

Alleyn Park

UP YOUR INFLUENCE

20

11 INTERVIEW With Andrew Burton, Malcolm Scott Consultants

42

Burst of Colour

Sustainable fire logs, HOTMAX

Products to kickstart the new season

30 PLANT FOCUS

Nurseries reveal their favourite bountiful, colourful planting

19 WASTING WATER?

32 BUSINESS PROFILE

20 JOY OF PLANTS

34 PLANT DISPLAYS

22 INSTA GARDENS

36 SELLING GARDENING BASICS

Sustainable solution for irrigation A focus on optimising online offerings Interesting ways to engage with followers

25 CATERING FOCUS

Thinking outside the box during the pandemic

28

Handy Distribution

Key considerations for plant benches Tips from Hozelock’s Rachel Box

37 LATEST PRODUCTS Gardening basics

38 LATEST PRODUCTS Grow you own

41 MEET THE RANGE

Green Protect’s eco-friendly products

42 OVER 70 YEARS OF HERITAGE An interview with Janssens Greenhouses from Belgium

34

www.gardencentreretail.com

Contents-6.indd 5

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

5

04/02/2021 17:42


News

NEWS CENTRE Garden centre boss urges sector to close

A

garden centre boss is urging the industry to close until retail restrictions are lifted, unless they are offering essential items. Chris Bonnett, who runs Bonnetts Garden Village in Brentwood, has voluntarily shut his doors ‘to keep staff and customers safe’ as the latest wave of COVID-19 infections spread across the country. He believes garden centres should only open if they’re selling essentials like pet food and fuel. He also says he is concerned that “lockdown fatigue” will force shoppers to browse the aisles of any retailer allowed to remain open rather than stay at home. The gardening sector was hit hard last year when the first lockdown was announced with outlets being forced to shut their doors to the public. During the November lockdown, garden centres were given essential status which has been retained this time round. Chris, who also runs GardeningExpress.

6

News-3.indd 6

co.uk, said: “For me this is about being a responsible retailer and employer. I do not want to put my staff or customers at risk and while infections remain at a high level, so the right thing to do is remain closed. “I have no issue with truly essential retail – in fact, I applaud retailers who are supporting their local communities and getting food, fuel and other essentials they need to them. What does concern me is that as lockdown fatigue begins to set in again, people will head to garden centres just for something to do and to get out of the house. Not only does it put them and other customers at risk, but also staff who have worked tirelessly to serve the community safely.” bonnettsgardenvillage.co.uk

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Garsons’ new building supports footfall between farm shop and garden centre

A

contemporary link building created at Garsons Esher to connect its farm shop and garden centre has been hailed an immediate success. The development, which was launched in September 2020, has resulted in an improved customer ow, supporting undercover and safe distance shopping, according to centre chairman Ian Richardson. The business worked alongside garden centre and farm shop retail specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants to develop proposals for the site as part of its business development strategy.

While previously, the two aspects of the business had been separated, the resulting walkway has encouraged customers to shop all areas of the garden centre and farm shop, thereby increasing footfall throughout the site and increasing turnover and average transaction values. Andrew Burton of MSC said: “We are so pleased for Ian Richardson and his team...The aim of this development was to create a uid link between the farm shop and the garden centre and the building has done this spectacularly.” www.garsons.co.uk

GCA announces virtual regional meetings

M

embers of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) will still be able to get together for their regional meetings in a virtual capacity this year. Iain Wylie, GCA chief executive, said: “We’re thrilled to announce our area meetings will still go ahead this year online. All our members are welcome to participate. They may be slightly different in style to our normal faceto-face meetings and may cover different topics, but most importantly, they offer members the chance to air their views and discuss them with peers in the industry.

“Just some of the topics on the agenda to discuss include current trading, plans for 2021, issues surrounding import challenges, Brexit and phytosanitary legislation.” Iain added e held our first online meeting in November 2020 and more meetings will take place later in the year. Now we’re all meeting online, it’s become easier for members to get together again. “Anyone wishing to attend their local area meeting, should email their area chairman or the G A office on info@gca.org.uk.” www.gca.org.uk

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:36


News

Speakers announced for Spring Fair @Home

T

his year, Hyve Group’s UK portfolio will be going virtual, including Spring Fair @Home which will be taking place from 8 to 10 February. Spring Fair @Home will provide a key hub for industry professionals in the UK and around the world. The line-up will feature a keynote appearance from business mogul Theo Paphitis. In an exclusive interview, Theo Paphitis will discuss his experiences with the BBC’s Sasha Qadri, offering an insight into his experience, his views on the future of retail, and sharing advice for other entrepreneurs and small businesses. Spring Fair @Home will also be joined by Beth Horn, head of industry, retail & e-commerce at Facebook who will share her insights into the role social media will play in the future of retail, one of the biggest opportunities for retailers to harness. Trend insights will also make up a key portion of the Spring Fair @Home line-up. Colour Hive’s creative director, Sam Donnachie, will share the latest trends in colours, materials and finishes, helping buyers

to inform and refine their purchasing decisions. Trend forecaster Owen Wright, from Trend Bible, will also share the macro-trends informing the more niche product aesthetics. Alongside this line-up, attendees can expect even more panel sessions and practical business advice on social media, marketing and more. Spring Fair @Home will also provide buyers with an easy and accessible way to discover new brands and see what their current partners have to offer via the Virtual Showroom. The return of the Product Showcase concept will also see brands taking buyers on showroom tours, or simply talk through their latest collections during a sectorspecific time slot throughout the three-day forum. Spring Fair @Home is open to all buyers and takes place from 8 to 10 February 2021. springfair.com/spring-fair-home

HTA Market Update shows impact of rollercoaster year in 2020

L

ast year saw the ornamental horticulture industry cope with a year of extraordinary crisis and change amidst tough coronavirus restrictions. In its Market Update for January, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) reports a 13% drop in overall sales in December 2019 nationally, and the 2020 calendar year finished down overall in 2019. It looks forward to a year in which it seems safe to predict consumers will once again be looking for ways to improve their living and outdoor spaces at home. In December, garden and gardening categories performed strongly whilst catering sales were 57% down for the year 2020 vs 2019. Despite the closure of garden centres and eight weeks fewer trading time in 2020, garden and gardening category sales finished the year up on 2019 as a whole and 21% up when comparing December 2020 with December 2019. There was standout growth in sales of plant care products in December, for which sales were 45% higher than the same month in 2019.

Petition launched for Minister of Horticulture

A

petition has been launched calling for a Minister of Horticulture to be instated by the government. Lewis Normand, garden designer and sales manager at Bernhard’s Nurseries, set up the change.org petition and is now seeking the signatures of those both inside and outside of the industry who recognise the benefit of having a dedicated minister in

www.gardencentreretail.com

News-3.indd 7

parliament to UK horticulture. Lewis says: “This is something I have been thinking about for some time now. It came up a couple of times during FutureScape VIRTUAL discussion panels and I felt that the time was right, and I should try this to see how receptive people are to the idea. “So far, it has been well received. We’ll see if it leads

to anything or not, but I think it is worth doing, especially in light of how ill-prepared the government is proving to be to support horticulture through and post-Brexit. Recent talks have shown that they have done very little research to understand how much import and export horticulture undertakes annually across UK businesses. We need better representation in Parliament

The average garden store transaction value was up by 33% in December 2020 to £25.98, compared with December 2019. The huge interest in gardening since the previous lockdown shows how engaged consumers are with plants and gardens – since May sales are up every month in 2020 against corresponding 2019 months and December shows a promising rise in consumer confidence The HTA Member Business onfidence Index showed member confidence dropped significantly at the beginning of 2020 as the impact of COVID-19 began to take effect. However, both short and longer-term business outlook steadily increased throughout the year with this confidence wa ering at the end of the year due to uncertainty around EU Exit and the pandemic. www.hta.org.uk

than we can possibly get being part of a Defra minister’s role.”

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

7

04/02/2021 15:36


What is Strulch Strulch © is a light and easy to use garden mulch made from wheat straw for organic gardening. A patented process is used to ‘preserve’ the straw so that it lasts for up to two years and gives an earthy brown colour. Strulch has a neutral pH and can be used throughout the garden on borders, raised beds, around cultivated fruit and on vegetable plots. • Spend less time weeding Strulch reduces weed growth by up to 95% • Save water Strulch helps retain moisture around plants • Improve your soil Strulch enriches soil and its structure • Use all around the garden Strulch is suitable around flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables • Save time and money Strulch, the straw garden mulch, lasts up to two years, spreading the cost, saving water and fertiliser, making your plants grow healthier and stronger and giving you more time to relax. • Slug and Snail deterrent The physical properties of Strulch together with the embedded minerals deters slugs and snails

Want to stock Strulch - The Straw Mulch with Slug and Snail Deterrent? Visit our website to see how we advertise our stockists. Our extensive advertising campaign generates ‘hits’ on our site. Each bag covers 3 x 1sqm. Minimum order 1 pallet x 48 bags delivered within 3 working days. Discounts for multiple pallets. Call for a quotation: 01943 863610

www.strulch.co.uk 01943 863610 info@strulch.co.uk

Advert strulch.indd template.indd 1 3

04/02/2021 27/08/2019 12:39 12:33


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

BUSINESS 11

INTERVIEW with Alleyn Park Garden Centre, London

16

MAXIMISE YOUR PLANTERIA Malcolm Scott Consultants

17

STAFF TRAINING Tips and the beneďŹ ts of upskilling staff

19

WASTING WATER? A sustainable solution for irrigation

20

JOY OF PLANTS A focus on optimising online offerings

22

INSTA GARDENS New ways to engage with Instagram users

25

CATERING FOCUS Thinking outside the box during the pandemic

Business Cover.indd 11

04/02/2021 17:39


Order online with our new webshop (order any time 24/7)

Join over 500 Garden Centres that are using Johnsons

Extensive range available from 2L - 10L throughout the year

01423 332309

paull@nurserymen.co.uk

www.nurserymen.co.uk

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

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

Advert template.indd 4

Products can be delivered nationwide.

bathgatehorticulture.co.uk sales@bathgatesilica.co.uk 01270 762828

04/02/2021 12:40


I n t er v i ew B u si n ess

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ALLEYN PARK

GCR speaks to Alleyn Park Garden Centre in London about its famous plant offer, alongside its strategy during COVID-19

T

hroughout the course of their history, garden centres have become an integral part of the British economy, accounting for many millions of pounds of consumer spending on an annual basis. One reason for this success is the nature of the sector itself, which continues to straddle the line between ‘shopping’ and

www.gardencentreretail.com

Interview.indd 11

‘leisure’. Or to put it another way, time spent at a garden centre is generally pleasurable, in a way that a trip to the supermarket just isn’t. Another reason, meanwhile, is the sheer scope of what’s on offer, which these days is likely to include anything from traditional garden supplies to pet food, wet weather gear and much more. 

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

11

04/02/2021 15:00


B u si n ess I n t er v i ew

This makes them not just enjoyable but extraordinary convenient. But, arguably, the single most pleasurable aspect of any garden centre offer is its plants. This is, after all, where the sector truly differentiates itself (while also showing off decades’ worth of hardwon expertise). At the same time, the buying of plants is also a quintessentially aspirational activity, providing an all but guaranteed way for customers to improve their living space. Alleyn Park can be found in West Dulwich, in London. A quintessential example of ‘boutique,’ hyper-local retail, the site has built its two-decade reputation on furnishing an extraordinarily loyal customer base with exactly what they want when it comes to plants. Not only in terms of the quality and variety of stock, but also the dedication of its staff.

Central to the offer

As mentioned, Alleyn Park is situated in West Dulwich, deep in the heart of Greater London. To its north lies Brixton, Herne Hill and Peckham, while Norwood and rystal Palace ank it to the south ike much of that part of the world, its location

12

Interview.indd 12

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:00


I n t er v i ew B u si n ess

mixes the bustle traditionally associated with the capital, with a much leafier feel at the point where ondon is ust starting to transform into Kent. In terms of its retail area, it would be fair to describe the garden centre as small but perfectly formed, with the space consisting pretty much entirely of a plant area, shop and houseplant shed. Taken as a whole, the site takes up around 6,800 square feet of real estate. Valerie Heron is the plant area manager, and as such is central to Alleyn Park’s core offer – alongside managing director and owner Robby Ward, who has been with the garden centre right from the beginning. Giving an overview of the site’s history, Robby says: “The whole thing started in December 2004, following the shutting of what was then Dulwich Garden Centre. What people see now was a derelict builder’s yard when we first came across it, and there was a huge amount of work to do to get it up to scratch. We had to take down several old barns, in order to transform the space into the shop and orist area, for instance rom that point, we’ve gone from strength to strength, across the course of the last 16 years.”

www.gardencentreretail.com

Interview.indd 13

Discussing the plant offer in particular – and why it’s still such a focus of Alleyn Park – Valerie says: “I would say that around 60% of our turnover is from the plants we sell. We don’t have a café or anything like that, so it really is quite important. “The reason that we’ve continued to showcase plants in the way that we have is that the original owners were really into them. They built up enormous expertise and we’ve ultimately just carried it on. It really differentiates us from other garden centres operating in the area.” Continuing on this point, she says: “Part of that differentiation comes from the ‘curated’ nature of our offer. Because of our size, we obviously can’t include everything, unlike, say, somewhere like Coolings, which can have miles and miles of plants, with everything listed A-Z. “We can’t do that, so instead we get to pick and choose. A lot of what we stock comes from what we’ve seen trending on social media, or even on recent episodes of Gardeners’ World. But really, we all just love plants, so a lot of the time we just stock what we like.” The Alleyn Park plant offer is divided into two broad sections, split across ‘upper’ and

‘lower’ sections of the facility. According to Valerie, the latter – which is where “most of the customers tend to mill around” – is dedicated to providing a ‘wow factor’ for those coming in off the street. This is done through the use of very colourful, permanently changing, table displays. Behind that, meanwhile, can be found the herbaceous offer, alongside a small sub-section dedicated to plants for shade. Finally, right at the back, customers can find trees and shrubs of all sizes As mentioned, alongside the plant area, Alleyn Park also boasts a shop containing its gift section, chemicals and tools, and so on. There are also compost and pots located around the site.

London goes leafy

Returning again to the subject of location, Alleyn Park is situated not only in one of the leafier parts of ondon, but also one of the more well off. This is, needless to say, re ected in its clientele, both in terms of what they’re willing to spend, as well as what they’ve got the space for when it comes to plants. Elaborating on this, Robbie says: I would say it’s uite an af uent area, 

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

13

04/02/2021 15:01


B u si n ess I n t er v i ew

certainly. There are quite a lot of big houses around here, which in turn have sizeable gardens. “At the same time, we also see a lot of people who li e in ats, meaning they might only have a tiny little backyard or a balcony. With that in mind, container gardening is something which has become hugely popular in the area, because people just don’t have the space.” He continues: “That being the case, we therefore have to amend our offer accordingly. If there’s one thing that’s absolutely essential across all forms of retail, it’s to understand your customer.” Regarding the plant offer itself, this naturally means providing plenty of house plants as well as stock which does well in the shade. At the same time, the aforementioned ‘customer knowledge’ also has to manifest in the way that staff conduct themselves. According to Valerie, the latter goes far beyond simply being helpful to the point where employees are aiming to develop a genuine relationship with the centre’s quintessentially local customer base. This is achieved in any number of ways,

Discussing this, she says: “We go out of our way to build relationships with the people who come in, absolutely. Obviously, you don’t want to smother them, but we do try at the very least to welcome people personally. “A huge reason for us being able to build those relationships is the specialist knowledge which I mentioned earlier. Houseplants are very important to the business, for instance, and we try and find unusual stock, something which really appeals to our younger couples, who might be looking for something for their at She continues: “I can actually vouch for that myself, as a customer back in the day. I always used to come in here to

buy plants years ago, ultimately doing an RHS course after being made redundant from a fashion agency. I got in contact with Alleyn Park, and ended up with a job.” With the interview drawing to a close, it’s necessary to finally bring up that most tedious of subjects – COVID-19. What specific effect has it had, for instance, on turnover? How agile has it been necessary to be, specifically in relation to things like buying strategy? It has been uite difficult, says alerie “One of the disadvantages of being the size we are is that when we did open back up, we couldn’t have too many people in. In the summer months, there’s usually a queue out the door. Naturally, we’ve put in measures such as a one-way system, sanitiser points, plus we all wear masks when on premises. But we’ve still had to limit people.” She continues: “Regarding turnover, we were closed for so many months last year, we just haven’t been able to make it up. We’re currently trying new strategies such as home deliveries, particularly if people are shielding or self-isolating. “Going forward, we’ve tried not to commit to too large ‘pre-season’ advance ordering. We are working on a ‘little and often’ principle, slowly building our stock up again, getting ready for the time when we can be busy again.” Alleyn Park is a true jewel of a garden centre run by extremely dedicated staff – highlighted by the fact that it was listed by Time Out in 2018 as number two on its list of best plant retailers in the capital. COVID or no COVID, we predict a bright future ahead. w

If there’s one thing that’s absolutely essential across all forms of retail, it’s to understand your customer from offering specialist knowledge about what plants might be suitable, to helping visitors carry their purchases out to the car.

14

Interview.indd 14

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:02


100% recyclable packaging

01458 442688 www.durstongardenproducts.co.uk

DURSTON GARDEN PRODUCTS LTD, AVALON FARM, SHARPHAM, SOMERSET BA16 9SE

THE FIRST EVER

#readmeseedme

PLANTABLE

CHILDREN’S BOOKS As well as seeds, we use recycled paper from postconsumer waste, instead of glue or metal staples, we use 100% natural cotton to bind our books. This means that our books are eco-friendly and fully biodegradable.

MADE FROM FULLY RECYCLED AND BIODEGRADABLE MATERIALS

willsow.com

Advert template.indd 5

We can all do more to help create a more sustainable planet, Willsow books help educate our future generations on the magic that our natural environment has to offer. We have made sustainability and recycling fun. Please do get in contact for wholesale enquries via

letschat@willsow.com

04/02/2021 12:41


B u si n ess A n d r ew B u r t o n

MAXIMISE YOUR

PLANTERIA

Andrew Burton of Malcolm Scott Consultants tells us how to maximise the design and layout of a planteria to capitalise on potential opportunities

G

arden centres often believe that they know their customers and their shopping habits, leading to assumptions that the layout of their centre is fine As an o er iew, each garden centre has its own personality and layout, and the industry is constantly e ol ing An centre’s strength and history will often dictate space and layout, but there is still a consistent standard that could be seen in all centres that could generate stronger a erage transactions Throughout 2020, the UK garden centre market has reported a new, larger and more di erse customer base Successful garden centre retailers tailor their displays and designs to showcase seasonal and frequently changing garden products that appeal to loyal repeat customers, whilst also enticing new customers – an impact demonstrated through increased average transaction alues o er the past year With a majority of sales in a strong planteria coming from impulse herbaceous

16

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Andrew Burton.indd 16

and bedding plants, a planteria should offer exibility for seasonal displays in high footfall areas, ensuring there is also space for link-sale products It is no coincidence that garden centres have seen seasonal plants turnover increase for a number of years now, with more non-gardeners visiting centres, and plant departments becoming more creative and reactive to seasonality By positioning seasonal displays prominently alongside the linkselling products required to help plants thrive, business owners have seen an increase in their turno er It is also essential that destination, nonimpulse’ plants, which are a planned and considered purchase, are established and placed where customers have to walk to them ideally through the impulse areas Many centres understand that having core destination’ products like roses, trees, rhododendrons or climbing plants at the back of their plant department can help drive customer footfall throughout

To potentially improve your sales, consider the layout and customer flow of a garden centre and planteria their plant department Howe er, sometimes it is taken for granted that customers know where they are going or what they are looking for nsuring that customers understand where they need to go for the plant they are looking for, and drawing them to it via the impulsepurchase plants section requires careful consideration and clear directional signage with defined sections to act as a silent salesperson in highlighting additional items of interest To potentially improve your sales, consider the layout and customer ow of a garden centre and planteria The Malcolm Scott onsultants team ha e extensi e experience of working with clients operationally to develop centre layouts, including planterias, and are big belie ers in generating return business The team is confident that established and newbie gardeners alike will be planning to continue where they left off last year: making the most of, and in esting in, their outdoor spaces By maximising layout, businesses are sure to open the potential to increase sales from both the loyal and new-found customers w

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 14:28


S t a f f T r a i n i n g B u si n ess

UPSKILLING

STAFF

With a growing customer base as a result of lockdown, it’s arguably more important than ever to ensure staff are able to answer questions on the gardening basics

T

here have to be silver linings from the ongoing pandemic, and one of these is undoubtedly the gardening boom. The HTA’s market update in January shows that, despite garden centres being forced to close for eight weeks at the start of the first lockdown, garden and gardening category sales were 3% up on 2019 as a whole. In December, sales of plant care products were up an impressive 45% on the previous year, and the average garden store transaction value was up 33%. A rise in gardeners undoubtedly means a thirst for gardening knowledge, and customers are bound to need answers from those whom they’re buying the plants and accompanying products; from which compost to use, to the best spot to plant their begonias, to sustainable methods of controlling pests and diseases.

What differentiates a garden centre from anyone else selling plants or gardening products is that they have an in-depth knowledge of the subject, and that knowledge base is available to customers

www.gardencentreretail.com

Staff training.indd 17

“What differentiates a garden centre from anyone else selling plants or gardening products is that they have an indepth knowledge of the subject, and that knowledge base is available to customers – that’s why customers come to garden centres,” says Iain Wylie, chief executive of the Garden Centre Association. “They want to shop with confidence that they’re buying the right item at the right time for the right place, and you wouldn’t get that in a supermarket.” Before the surge in interest, Tong Garden Centre recognised how important knowledgeable staff are for customers. “We pride ourselves on providing a great experience for all our customers, so our team is always

happy to provide advice and support to our customers,” says Tong’s head of people and culture, Neil BarwiseCarr. “Customers who have very little experience with plants are always keen and eager to hear some helpful hints and tips when it comes to looking after their plants. “Prior to COVID-19, we would typically host potting events, where one of our team would host a session on how best to ‘pot up’ a hanging basket, passing on their knowledge and expert advice in the process.” The garden centre also partnered with TV gardener Katie Rushworth, who would come to the garden centre on various days throughout the year to answer questions and share her knowledge, not just to customers but to the team at Tong as well. Staff can refer to a plant encyclopaedia on a daily basis, which Neil says comes in handy when a new species of plant comes in, and morning huddles – which were introduced last year – typically include

We pride ourselves on providing a great experience for all our customers, so our team is always happy to provide advice and support to our customers a member of the plants team sharing their knowledge on a particular plant or product, such as its care. There is an array of experience amongst those on the plants team, which includes an apprentice who Neil says had very little experience when he joined. When it comes to recruitment, Tong puts its six core values at the forefront of this, underpinned by a set of behaviours. “Experience is great, and that will go 

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

17

04/02/2021 14:45


B u si n ess S t a f f T r a i n i n g some way towards securing a job with us; however, the most important thing is that people demonstrate that they are positive in their outlook, are accountable and strive for excellence in their work, that they are honest and respectful with others and are a team player – it’s these that will help them have a successful career with us. “Those with experience pass on their knowledge to their colleagues and customers, while others who are a less experienced learn through a variety of methods. “Three of our team of 11 have recently (or are currently) attending Shipley College to obtain horticultural ualifications So, the knowledge they are gaining externally, as we all work alongside more experienced members of the team, means that they are learning all the time. This transfer of knowledge can also work full circle, in that our experienced team are learning from those attending college as they are picking up new advice and techniques.” There is another way for garden centre staff to bulk up their knowledge, too – the GCA’s e-learning platform GROW. Available to GCA and Horticultural Trade Association members on subscription, GROW has around 100 short modules

18

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Staff training.indd 18

available to all levels of staff. It covers health and safety, for instance, and food safety. There are also modules covering product categories such as outdoor furniture and barbecues. And, of course, there are numerous modules dedicated to customer care. Those subscribed to GROW can also put their staff on courses for ‘basic’ plant knowledge, watering and soil types. “Those who subscribe can enrol their staff who can take every module that’s on there, or within each centre they can manage which modules they want staff to take,” explains Iain Wylie. “There’s an initial joining fee for GROW – so, if you’re a GCA member you can choose to subscribe to GROW – then each year, there will be a significantly smaller fee for annual maintenance, hosting, etc. This is based on a centre’s turnover…there is inevitably a correlation between your turnover and your staff headcount. We decided, when we set up GROW, to make it as available and as cheap as possible to members, and this seems to be a straightforward system that’s worked well for us.” Three levels are available for those undertaking the modules – Basic,

Intermediate and Advanced – so they can complete the appropriate modules for their existing level of training. Even if it’s ensuring all checkout staff have basic

Even if it’s ensuring all checkout staff have basic plant or product knowledge, or know who can provide this, there is something for all members of staff on GROW plant or product knowledge, or know who can provide this, there is something for all members of staff on GROW to ensure garden centres are offering the best possible service. And conveniently, considering the current UK lockdown, all of the learning is virtual and accessible 365 days of the year. Whether it’s in-house training, college courses or subscribing to GROW, it’s worth looking into ways your staff are able to answer customer queries and ensure garden centres continue to stand out from the crowd. w

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 14:46


I r r i g a t i o n B u si n ess

WASTING WATER? Rainwater harvesting is a sustainable solution for irrigation – one of the reasons Plantorama has chosen it for its largest garden centre to date

W

e might have published an entire Green Issue, but ‘green’ topics will continue to feature in editions throughout the year. This includes taking a look at irrigation. It goes without saying that it takes a lot of water to maintain the plants sold at garden centres, but there are environmentally friendly options available, such as rainwater harvesting. Smiemans Projecten, which specialises in constructing glass structures, is close to completing a 12,000m2 garden centre in Tilst, Denmark, for large Danish chain Plantorama. It features wide rain gutters designed to collect rainwater and prevent potential issues from heavy rainfall. All the water collected from this into an outside water reservoir will be pumped into a reservoir inside the building, Smiemans Projecten tells us. It will

Garden centre Plantorama build by Smiemans Projecten

be filtered then stored for using to water the plants and shrubs. “Due to increasing regulations and sustainable demands, these rainwater collection units are now a standard and integral part of our modern designed buildings,” says a spokeswoman for Smiemans Projecten. “For Plantorama, it will cover the main required needs. Additionally, in

www.gardencentreretail.com

Irrigation.indd 19

the summer, there will be an extra tab water supply to the reservoir, for exceptional water request. “Like Plantorama, we have a shared responsibility towards society, people and the environment in which we are a part and which surrounds us. That is why sustainability comes first in new developments. In addition, it prevents nuisance during heavy rainfall, which is increasingly common.” The Old Railway Line Garden Centre in Powys has become known for its sustainability, which includes the capacity to store 40,000L of recycled water. It says this has reduced its mains water consumption by a whopping 60%. Grimsby Garden Centre is also

Like Plantorama, we have a shared responsibility towards society, people and the environment in which we are a part and which surrounds us incorporating rainwater harvesting into its ongoing development – its new solarpowered timber barn will feature wool insultation and composting toilets to further boost its green credentials. And whilst you’re doing your part, don’t forget to encourage customers to do the same. Display products which can help them to collect rainwater and to water their gardens more sustainably, with information on the water (and money) this could save them. w

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

19

04/02/2021 15:22


B u si n ess J o y o f P l a n t s

OPTIMISE ONLINE Terri Jones tells us how Joy of Plants has developed its online offering for garden centres, and why now is the best time to focus on your website

I

t’ll come as no surprise that lockdown drastically changed our shopping habits last year. While footfall dropped to the lowest level on record, online shopping soared, according to recent research by Springboard. In 2020, online spending was up by , a figure few would have predicted the year before, when it dropped by three percent. And while garden centres are able to stay open under the latest lockdown restrictions, consumers are still being encouraged to stay at home and only shop for the essentials, making an online offering more of a ‘must’ than a ‘nice to have’. This doesn’t necessarily mean having an e-commerce site though, says Terri Jones, managing director of Joy of Plants, which provides on online Plant Finder for retailers. “Garden centres need an online offering in two differing capacities. They have actual web sales via their webshops and click & collect, or delivery; but also, customers have become far more used

20

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Joy of plants.indd 20

to browsing online the products that retailers sell at their locations, whether the products are also sold online or not. So, people can browse at home and make decisions about what they want to buy before they get there because people want to get in and out as quickly as possible. It’s a better solution for retailers too, because in-store occupancy is limited.” Throughout the pandemic, Joy of Plants has experienced a demand for its online services, which include a Plant Finder for websites and, more recently, an image and text library for e-commerce sites. Beforehand, the higher demand was for its in-store range, which includes bed card printing and Plant Finder touchscreen kiosks. “Lots of new customers have signed up for our services,” says Terri. “There has been more of a focus on adding the Plant Finder to websites, because that’s the quickest way to get details of plants on to your website; it takes a day or so to get however many plants you want from the library onto your website. There has been an increased demand for using our photos in webshops as well.” Adapting its Plant Finder for e-commerce was one of Joy of Plants’ biggest focuses last

year, following customer demand for this service. It developed the capability to add its library of more than 14,000 plants, as a Plant Finder or just as photos, as a plug-in to three of the largest e-commerce platforms – WooCommerce, Shopify and

People can browse at home and make decisions about what they want to buy before they get there because people want to get in and out as quickly as possible. It’s a better solution for retailers too, because in-store occupancy is limited Bluepark – as well as a generic system for other e-commerce solutions. “This year is really all about helping customers set up their webshops, including ‘click & collect’ systems,” says Terri. Building an offering based on client demand is how Joy of Plants has developed since it was founded in 2011. Terri met her fellow co-founder Susan Tindall while exhibiting her work as an artist at an exhibition. Susan

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:43


J o y o f P l a n t s B u si n ess

commissioned Terri to draw a portrait of her cat, and the two became friends from there. Former garden designer Susan had spent 25 years creating plant encyclopaedias for computer disks, and she lent a copy of one to Terri, who is a keen gardener. With a background in the software industry, Terri spotted an opportunity to put this encyclopaedia onto an app. “We batted ideas around, but nothing really happened until, in 2010, Susan’s publisher retired, so she wondered what to do with this enormous plant library – so we decided to create the app, and that’s what oy of Plants did first From here, the owner of a local garden centre who Terri and Susan had become friendly with said that while they thought the app was great, they wanted this library available on their website for customers to use. So, Joy of Plants developed its Plant Finder for garden centre websites, with Longacres in Bagshot being one of the first to sign up Garsons became a client and they asked us for an online tool for printing bed cards as and when they’re needed, and which could be personalised to the garden centre.

www.gardencentreretail.com

Joy of plants.indd 21

That’s how it’s been for us – we’ve developed services in response to customers asking us for things “That’s how it’s been for us – we respond to the industry. We talked to Evergreen and Westland, and now plants in our Plant Finder recommend their products. And we spoke with Review Systems Digital Signage at a trade show, about putting the Plant Finder into their touchscreen kiosks for in-store use, and garden centres loved it, and our kiosk was born.” Nationwide chain Blue Diamond already has the kiosk in six of its stores, Klondyke have 22 waiting to be installed, and Hillier is the most recent garden centre to sign up to have the kiosks in three of its stores, which are due to be installed in February. With a national lockdown still in place, rather than going to the stores and showing staff how to use the kiosks, Joy of Plants is creating online training for all its tools. With its Plant Finder across so many platforms, Terri says that nurseries and growers which supply the garden centres are more interested in adding their new plants into Joy of Plants’ tools. “We realised around fi e years ago that, with all the new plant introductions each year, we would struggle to keep up with adding details for all of them. So, we upgraded our system to allow the rest of the industry to add new plant data.” One of the UK’s largest grower of roses, Whartons Nurseries, has partnered with Joy of Plants to enable its customers to view its full range of roses through the company’s Plant Finder. This enables any garden centre using Joy of Plants’ Plant Finder on their website or webshop to be able to add Whartons Nurseries’ range and (if they wish) to print bed cards from this. “That’s the growth area for us,” says Terri. “For nurseries and growers, sending out images and data to their customers to help them sell plants is time consuming and they can’t supply all the services that we provide. And even sending out

images to each of the retailers is timeconsuming and inefficient So, we’re starting to see more growers and nurseries realise that integrating into our services helps everyone sell more plants.” As Joy of Plants continues to respond to client demands created by lockdown, there are likely to be far more growth areas for the plant information company, and a growing market for its services too. w

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

21

04/02/2021 15:45


B u si n ess I n st a G a r d en er s

UP YOUR

INFLUENCE

I

Instagram can bring in business, not just by posting your own content but by engaging gardeners with accounts on the social media platform too

nstagram boasts more than one billion users worldwide. A staggering 30.6 million of these users are in the UK as of December 2020, according to data provider Statista, and 30.1% are aged between 25 and 30 years’ old. These statistics might put off local, independent garden centres from taking advantage of the platform – surely, it’s the nationwide chains that can benefit the most from this scattered and phone-absorbed generation? Not quite. There’s a more local, personal side of Instagram which can be tapped into and which independent garden centres may want to consider for pulling in a growing number of greenfingered enthusiasts You will hopefully have experienced for yourselves the gardening boom of 2020. It was the ninth most popular physical activity of the year, according to a YouGov poll, and ‘How to start a

vegetable garden’ was Googled twice as much as the previous year. Lockdown also saw the introduction of a raft of new gardening-orientated Instagram accounts, such as that of Joy Kaur, or @joyofgrowing. Racking up more than 8,000 followers since starting her account in June, Joy’s feed focuses mostly on organically growing her own fruit and vegetables; for her first post, she planted seeds from cherry tomatoes and sought to follow their progress. “There’s a really large sector of Instagram gardeners who do grow organic,” says Joy. “It’s probably not as big as those who don’t grow organically, but it’s a really good lifestyle choice; and the beauty of growing your own produce and owers is that you can choose

@view fromt he

©Ink Drop/Shutterstock.com

it’s a really good lifestyle choice; and the beauty of growing your own rod ce and flower that you can choose how you grow it

pottingbenc h

@viewfromthepot tingbenc

h

@joyofgr owing

@joyofg

row ing

@ view from

@joyofgr owing

22

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Insta gardens.indd 22

thepot tin

gbench

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 17:16


I n st a G a r d en er s B u si n ess

@rac he

ls .allotm

ent

how you grow it, why wouldn’t you want to choose the best methods possible?” Joy also posts ‘Eco-Living Edits’, showcasing sustainable products, and raises awareness of a different charity each month – her February charity is Fare Share, which Garden Centre Retail spoke to in our last issue. Also new to the scene last year was Rachel Greenhill under the handle @rachels.allotment. The PhD student started her account towards the beginning of the first lockdown last year, when universities closed. She started to monitor the progress of her allotment and began posting on Instagram, looking for tips and inspiration whilst sharing her own, and it turns out there were plenty of Instagrammers doing the same; Rachel’s page now has more than 20K followers. She puts the rapid growth of the account down to it being a more personal feed. “It’s easier to talk to someone when you know their face, you can build more of a rapport with them That’s definitely one of the main drivers for people wanting to interact with me.” With the largest share of Instagrammers being in their twenties and thirties, it’s unsurprising that most of Rachel’s and Joy’s followers fall into this age range. There is definitely a rising trend in young gardeners, and a lot of these accounts tend to be houseplant accounts; tropical plants, for example, are becoming really popular. I think this is a gateway into gardening and growing your own fruit and vegetables as well; you start off with a houseplant indoors, and then you want to grow your own things from scratch.” Recognising this, Joy started a series on growing food indoors, starting with windowsill herbs. “It’s important because a lot of people might not have a garden, or they might have very limited indoor space It’s also a lot more efficient, you’re saving so much money in the long term.”

www.gardencentreretail.com

Insta gardens.indd 23

@ rachel s.

allotment @rachels.allotment

There could also be a mass millennial exodus from cities, as the pandemic puts proximity to the workplace lower on the list of priorities when looking to buy. A study by Credit Karma found that nearly half (49%) of those aged between 18-34 are leaning towards renting or buying outside of the town or city in which they work. “As the new age range is coming up and people are buying their own homes and getting their own gardens, [garden centres] need to listen to the younger

As the new age range is coming up and people are buying their own homes and getting their own gardens, [garden centres] need to listen to the younger generation too and nd o t w at t e re looking for generation too and find out what they’re looking for,” says Rachel. And these in uencers’ could help you do this. Many of them are already working with gardening brands. Homeware supplier Green Tones is running a series, ‘Meet the #InstaGardeners’, for which it’s asking in uencers to re iew its plant pots, but it is also interviewing the gardeners for its own online blog. Both Joy and Rachel are taking part, as are Claire Crawford – @sowing_at_the_stoop – and Adam Kirtland, @viewfromthepottingbench. Building a relationship with local

@rachels.allotment

in uencers can be beneficial when they are asked where they sourced their seeds, for example, or where they purchased the Monstera deliciosa in their living room. “Bloomin’ Amazing sent me some products to try and I’ve had so many people ask me where they can get it from,” says Rachel. “Garden centres can work out what people are interested in – one of my friends who works at a garden centre has said they’re interested in maybe stocking Bloomin’ Amazing because there was so much interest in it when I posted about it. I’ve certainly signposted a few people towards some of the garden centres that I’ e been to in Sheffield not paid promotions, just recommendations.” And if they have more than 10K followers like Rachel then they can share a link to your website on their stories using the option to ‘Swipe Up’. Most in uencers are decidedly choosy about who they work with, though. “I would only post things that I would actually want to use or, if it’s something completely new to me and it’s a paid promotion, I’d give as honest feedback as possible,” says Rachel. “You have to be selective.” Should your efforts on Instagram pull in the followers, Claire Crawford – who has built up a whopping following of 41K since she started her account in 2017 – says you need to keep them engaged. Claire began posting on Instagram to hold herself “accountable” and maintain her interest in gardening, with a goal of reaching just 100 followers. “I thought, if it makes one person put a pot on the window and grow some cress, then that’s a good thing. So, that’s how it started – me, every day, 

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

23

04/02/2021 16:51


B u si n ess I n st a G a r d en er s

@sowing_at_the_stoop

What’s hot on Instagram?

Whatever the trend, it probably started on Instagram. What have our four in uencers come across recently?

@ sow in

g _ at_th

e _ stoo

1 Peat-free compost

Unsurprisingly, with consumers searching for sustainable alternatives, followers are asking where they can find peat-free compost and it seems there’s not a lot of it out there. Use the hashtag #peatfree or #peatfreecompost to promote your own stock if you have any.

2 Organic

The hashtag #organic has 48.8m million posts linked to it, and #organicgardening 2.1 million. Are you using these when posting about organic products or organic gardening methods? Have you asked an in uencer promoting organic gardening to take o er’ your stories?

3 Grow Your Own kits

In particular, mushrooms Selling a kit that fits the bill ou could film a i e’, showing customers what’s in the kit and how to use it Or you could ask an in uencer if they’d be willing to produce this for you.

4 No dig

This method is racking up the posts nodiggarden has 32.1K and #nodiggardening 12.7K. Got tips for those looking to ‘no dig’ gardening? Create a special post for your feed, or interview a ‘no dig’ gardener on your Stories. Use ‘polls’ to engage with those watching would they consider opting for a no dig’ approach

5 Tropical houseplants

We don’t have to tell you how popular houseplants are, but are you making customers aware of your offering on Instagram? And which plants work best for which en ironments Our in uencers tell us that tropical houseplants are the ‘must-have’, so why not put together a post on the top fi e tropical houseplants available at your garden centre and how to care for them? What products should they buy alongside them?

24

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Insta gardens.indd 24

p

posting something to make me do something outside.” One of the reasons for Claire’s following is that she always responds to comments, and suggests garden centres do the same, rather than simply posting aesthetically pleasing images and obviously trying to bolster sales. Garden centres could provide more information about the growing process, and they could engage in uencers such as laire herself to do this, with Instagram Lives or Stories. Adam Kirtland, who started his account last year, encourages garden centres to not be deterred by the amount of work that goes into a successful account, either. “Most garden centres have probably got a Facebook page but, to a garden centre owner or manager, Instagram is probably completely alien. But Instagram is entirely visual, and gardening is nothing if not visual, they go perfectly together…You need to put some effort into Instagram, and not just how the pictures look, although that’s important; you need to post regularly and make sure you’re replying to comments and commenting on other people’s posts. With Instagram, you could easily build a shop into your profile, it’s worth spending the time on.” The ‘Shopping’ function allows users to purchase from e-commerce websites through the app. Artist Adam has incorporated his own

store into his account, which has recently surpassed the 3K mark. @viewfromthepottingbench began when he was furloughed and ended up spending more time in the garden, using a journal to document his progress before setting up an Instagram profile He says it’s “organically grown” from there; he now offers monthly giveaways with brands such as Thompson & Morgan. Adam turned his hand to watercolours in November and is selling items on Etsy, which can be accessed through links on his Instagram profile It became a small business, which I never intended it to be. I’ve also got a partnership with an eco-centric online garden supplier.” So, with plenty of ways to use Instagram to promote your business posts, Stories’, ‘Lives’ and ‘Shopping’, as well as engaging with the gardeners of Instagram, each with loyal followings what are you waiting for? w

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 16:54


C a t er i n g F o c u s B u si n ess

THINK OUTSIDE

THE BOX

Cafes and restaurants might be shut for the time being, but some garden centres are finding alternative ways to offer their restaurant’s food and drink to customers

I

t’s been nearly a year since the first lockdown began. Since 23 March 2020, bars and restaurants have either been closed or operating under new rules and restrictions. Needless to say, it’s been a difficult few months for the catering industry. And despite garden centres being deemed essential stores in this latest lockdown (the third and hopefully final one , their restaurants and cafes have had to close, bar providing takeaway options. Even this, though, has a few ca eats This time around, no alcohol can be ser ed for customers collecting food and drink – it can only be served with orders being delivered. So, those hoping to grab a magnolia and a mulled wine at their local garden centre will be thoroughly disappointed. That isn’t all. As the COVID-19 infection rates remain high, and an ongoing debate around whether garden centres not selling essential items should remain open continues, many are taking the decision to no longer offer a takeaway option from their restaurants to avoid queues (and a backlash Don’t throw in the ‘trowel’ just yet, though Restaurants and cafes might be closed but, as usual, with adversity comes inno ation Petersham urseries,

www.gardencentreretail.com

Catering focus.indd 25

for instance, has launched its own ‘dine at home’ boxes in time for alentine’s Day The restaurant at the Richmondbased centre is as popular if not more so as its plants, and these new meal kits bring the seasonal taste of the cafe’s menu into customers’ homes Petersham urseries’ alentine’s Box’ for two costs £135, with a vegetarian option available. Three upmarket courses are included, along with two rustic candles to provide the ambience An extra gi es an additional taste of luxury, with chocolate truf es and Prosecco with rose petals Wentworth Garden Centre is also offering one of its restaurant favourites as a Valentine’s Day treat. Its ‘afternoon tea for two’ – with a selection of sandwiches and pastries, along with a bottle of Prosecco is per person and is available for collection at the store, with time slots a ailable from am One garden centre in Tamworth is also offering its normal afternoon tea, as well as a Valentine’s Day special, through a ring and collect ser ice Planters Garden entre also kicked off a competition to win its Valentine’s Day afternoon tea and a bottle of Prosecco on its acebook page Valentine’s Day is just one event for which garden centres can cater. Whilst

we’re all hoping that coronavirus cases drop and lockdown restrictions will be lifted soon, allowing cafes and restaurants to open, it’s worth considering how to also cater for Mother’s Day and Easter in a O ID-safe way Perhaps offering an aster themed afternoon tea, or chocolate treat box for the family to en oy through deli ery or a click collect system Or an option for customers to order a special meal to be deli ered to their mother on March ith no hints as to when lockdown will be lifted, it’s time to start thinking outside the box w

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

25

04/02/2021 14:53


CREATING PEOPLE INSPIRED SPACES Providing turnkey urniture and fit out solutions to the hospitality industry since 1989 • • • • • •

Restaurant Furniture Banquette Seating Bespoke Joinery Carpets and Flooring Curtains and Blinds Lighting

01242 263444 | sales@abbeybusinessinteriors.co.uk | www.abbeybusinessinteriors.co.uk

RENT ONE OF OUR RELOCATABLE, WEATHERPROOF & ROBUST TEMPORARY STRUCTURES TO INCREASE YOUR BUSINESS CAPACITY VARIOUS SIZES AND CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE TO FIT AROUND YOUR EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE

READY FOR YOU TO USE IN JUST A FEW DAYS

WHETHER YOU REQUIRE ADDITIONAL RETAIL SPACE OR INCREASED CAFÉ CAPACITY WE CAN PROVIDE THE COMPLETE SOLUTION

IF EXPERIENCE, CAPABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY ARE VITAL TO YOU, YOU’D BE MUCH BETTER OFF LOOKING WORLDWIDE... T: +44 (0) 1672 565 060 M: +44 (0) 7875 027 369 E: enquiries@w-sl.com W: worldwide-structures.com

Advert template.indd 6

04/02/2021 12:41


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

PRODUCTS 28

ANATOMY OF A PRODUCT ustainable ďŹ re logs

29

GIMA New products to kickstart the spring season

30

PLANT FOCUS Nurseries share their fa ourite bountiful planting

32

BUSINESS PROFILE

34

PLANT DISPLAYS

36

SELLING GARDENING BASICS Tips from

37

LATEST PRODUCTS

ardening basics

38

LATEST PRODUCTS

row your own

41

MEET THE RANGE

42

OVER 70 YEARS OF HERITAGE Inter iew with anssens

Products cover.indd 33

andy

T A

istribution

onsiderations for plant benches Timber

isplays

o elock s achel ox

reen rotect s eco friendly products reenhouses

04/02/2021 17:07


A d v er t o r i a l

HOTMAX

Performance In comparison to the most widely used form of solid carbon fuel, seasoned firewood, HOTMAX offers significantly better and more consistent performance in the key measurements of moisture content and energy output HOTMAX is also easier and less bulky to handle, offers lower emissions, and meets the increasingly stringent regulations of environmental performance.

Production and distribution HOTMAX fuel logs are made from a by-product of British, natural, renewable timber. They are produced at three manufacturing plants in Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, and Hampshire, and are distributed direct to either retailer premises or distribution centres from the nearest production plant. This minimises transport costs, reduces our carbon footprint and offers retailers a regional supply chain. Smokeless heat HOTMAX wood bri uettes are an ideal source of smokeless heat for a home in winter and for outdoor use in summer They’re denser, drier and burn cleaner than even the best kiln dried or seasoned hardwood logs. The bri uettes are ery easy to light and gi e a high energy heat ery uickly, with ery low emissions and minimal ash residue.

28

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Anatomy of a Product.indd 28

Eco-friendly option HOTMAX logs are made of 100% natural, recycled, compacted softwood dust They contain absolutely no additives or contaminants. For those looking for a truly eco-friendly alternati e to imported bri uettes or hardwood logs, HOTMAX offers a uni uely sustainable British fuel log, now in a fully recyclable, compostable or burnable paper sack.

Kind to the planet Due to their higher burning temperature than traditional firewood, HOTMAX heat logs offer significantly better and more consistent performance in the key measurements of moisture content and energy This ensures lower carbon emissions are produced compared to seasoned wood or traditional fuels Additionally, the eco-friendly paper sack can be fully composted, burned or recycled, and a OODS R accreditation assures you that HOTMAX offers a sustainably sourced fuel for your firepit or BB

Product HOTMAX Manufacturer B DMAX td Launch date October RRP IRO Tel Email info@hotmax.co.uk Web www.hotmax.co.uk

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 17:04


S p r i n g S ea so n G I M A

STEPPING INTO SPRING GIMA members reveal their bestsellers that will help kickstart the spring season

W

suitable for applying different garden ith spring starting to show, chemicals, offering an economical solution now is the time gardeners to treating large areas. head back into stores to Elsewhere, the classic watering can has source products that help been given an update for 2021 with Spear them get ahead of the season. Here, GIMA & Jackson’s new Fresh Style Watering members highlight those products which Cans (4.5L and 9L capacity) in classic will kickstart the gardening year. racing green with a burnished copperOne key job at the start of spring is coloured handle with a matching watering planning vegetable and allotments for rose, perfect for capitalising on the trend the growing season. Part of this will be for vintage and traditional garden tools. ensuring gardeners are armed with the The all-metal construction has right plant feeds for optimum growth fully sealed seams and rivets and yield, such as Vitax’s newly launched and an innovative hinged organic All-Purpose Plant Food. Mark handle ensuring optimum Butler, national sales manager at Vitax, balance as the can says: “The trend for organic products empties. The handle continues to grow. Purchasers are making can also be folded down. quicker decisions as to which product Fallen Fruits is offering is right for them. Both new products the new Olla watering have informational packaging that solution, designed to is recognisable and easy grow plants with less to understand, making the water. The ceramic Olla sale easier.” is ideal for use throughout Echoing this is LAVA-LITE, the garden, vegetable patch, which is bringing to market window box and raised beds. Placed a collection of seven 100% into the ground or soil around the natural products, earmarked plant, the Olla uses soil-moisture as the most ecological and tensions to deliver water to the sustainable choice for today’s plants’ roots. gardeners. The range includes Organic tomato LECHUZA – a new player in the pot toppers, pest controls and food and all UK garden retail market – is building growing media. purpose plant food more profile around its self-watering With growing comes planters. Made from recycled and fully watering, and this year retailers have many recyclable plastic, each planter benefits new innovations to boost their offering, from an innovative irrigation system, whilst starting with GARDENA’s range of pumps also tapping into trends. and pressure sprayers from 0.45L to 12L Spring also marks the time when capacity This includes an insertable filter, gardeners get out into the garden to clear second opening for 3-in-1 functionality up the ravages of winter. Recognising and an EasyPump Battery solution. this, Azpects has launched the EASYCare Hozelock also launches a range of range. This includes Ornament & Statue sprayers compatible with a variety of Cleaner, Algae Remover, Patio & Deck different treatments. These sprayers – Cleaner, Porcelain Cleaner & Sanitiser including the Pulsar range of pressures and the best-selling Black Spot Remover, sprayers and the Multi-Nozzle – are

Burgon and Ball Miracle block paving brush

www.gardencentreretail.com

GIMA.indd 29

LAVA-LITE

Fallen Fruits Olla

all supported by eye-catching FSDU and product-specific billboards Cleaning is one area where there have been great steps to offer consumers a range of chemical and non-chemical solutions, as Rainer Schubert, managing director at Burgon & Ball, explains: “We’re seeing that a key concern for consumers is how environmentally-friendly their product choices are. Garden retailers looking for chemicalfree cleaning solutions to stock will find that our Miracle Brush range is a consistent top-seller. Highquality spring steel wire bristles bounce back to shape rather than staying bent, meaning zero returns Spear & Jackson’s watering can for a hassle-free option.” Charles Bentley is bringing a new range of brushware – CHARNWOOD. It is made with the finest materials and finished by hand, with a distinctive burnt branded logo inspired by the iconic Leicestershire fox. Steve Law, sales director at Charles Bentley, said: “Working in partnership with our retail partners to deliver an unprecedented level of marketing support and bespoke in-store point of sale, the CHARNWOOD range will help drive incremental revenue.” Reliance on chemical-free alternatives can also be seen in the new range of Coco & Coir™ branded compressed highquality coir compost. For spring lawn care, New Lawn Boost from DJ Turfcare is an organic-based feed, providing the ideal solution for lawns. The product has been designed for use throughout spring and summer, kickstarting the lawn following winter. w

Bassine Bruch from CHARNWOOD by Charles Bentley

BALCERONA Cottage from LECHUZA

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

29

04/02/2021 15:09


P r o d u c ts P la n t F o c u s

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Rozanne was awarded RHS Plant of the entenary at the helsea lower Show This long- owering perennial provides masses of saucer-shaped violetblue owers from May to September and is loved by pollinators.

The cottage garden is synonymous with bountiful, colourful anting e find out rom our nurseries ic ants are best suited to achieve a garden bursting at the seams

• Prices start from £3.95 • Available in a 3L pot

JOHNSONS OF WHIXLEY Digitalis purpurea ‘Dalmatian Rose’

Salvia ‘Caradonna’

Foxgloves are a classic cottage garden favourite. This beautiful Digitalis is one out of four that Johnsons of Whixley supplies from the Dalmatian collection. This pink Digitalis pro ides bell-like owers from June to August and prefers partial shade. Great for adding height to cottage garden borders and ower beds

A long owering perennial with dark purple stems and iolet-purple owers against aromatic grey-green foliage. This well-lo ed Sal ia prefers full sun and combines beautifully with plants such as Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ and Achillea owering from une to October It will make a great addition to a cottage garden border.

• Prices start from £3.20 • Available in a 2L pot

• Prices start from £3.85 • Available in a 3L pot

WYEVALE

Geum ‘Fiery Tempest’

A new ariation of Scarlet Tempest’ with deeper red owers and long lasting A ery oriferous ariety with bright scarletred blooms from April onwards and repeat owering in autumn These compact, mound forming plants are deciduous to semi-evergreen. • 2L, £11.99 RRP • Available from April 2021

30

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

plant focus.indd 30

Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’

Striking white ower spikes, tower o er a cottage garden at the back of the border lowering throughout summer, this gorgeous foxglo e has white trumpet shaped owers with red blotches inside It also has great clumping basal foliage in deep green. • 3L, £10.99 RRP A ailable March

Perovskia ‘Little Spire’

A compact, low growing ariety with panicles of small, vibrant violet-blue spires and aromatic sil er-grey lea es Spire’ prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil and owers from uly-September • Prices start from £3.95 • Available in a 3L pot

Agapanthus ‘Ever Sapphire’ and Agapanthus ‘Ever White’

This dynamic duo of blue and white add colour and shape to a border or make perfect potted plants. These start owering earlier than a erage and rebloom throughout the year. They are fast growing and drought tolerant • 2L, £12.99 RRP • Available April 2021

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 17:01


P la n t F o c u s P r o d u c ts

SEIONT NURSERIES LTD Heuchera ‘Frilly’

A brand-new UK-bred launch for garden centres in early 2021, ‘Frilly’ gives interest throughout the year as the colours change from caramel through to red. • Available to the trade from Lovania Nurseries and Garden Centre Plants

Geranium ‘Azure Skies’

FARPLANTS

Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’®

This pretty perennial has masses of la ender blue owers from April to November above neat, compact foliage. It prefers full or partial sun in fertile, well-drained soil. • Height 40cm, spread 30cm Thri es on chalky and limy soil

This is a fully double, pale blue owered ariety with mounds of finely cut, foliage Double owered geraniums are popular, easy to grow, pest resistant and low maintenance. • Available to the trade from Lovania Nurseries

Parahebe ‘Pink Avalanche’

Parahebe ‘Pink Avalanche’ is a new, compact, strong growing form with masses of lilac-pink owers from late May to first frost This will look great front of border in a cottage garden setting. • Available to the trade from Wyevale Nurseries and Darby Nurseries

Wildflowers

ild owers are a perfect match for the informal nature of cottage gardens They are also wonderful for attracting wildlife. Farplants offers 21 varieties in total. • Range comes in 9cm pots • Available from February to April

Salvia ‘Caradonna’ Pink Inspiration

This Salvia ‘Caradonna’ takes on a new pink form with pink owers set off by the darker colour stems It grows to cm tall, owering from May to uly A great plant for bees and other beneficial insects Loves full sun and well-drained soil conditions. A ailable from Garden entre Plants TD

Salvia nemorosa SallyrosaTM ‘April Night’

Nepeta ‘Purrsian Blue’

Deep blue purple owers attract a host of beneficial pollinators once these are owering, the owers stay for up to four months. April Night offers a huge amount of early ower power on chunky plants to create a very impulsive display.

A new and compact variety with deep iolet-blue owers in late spring and through summer. Mint-scented foliage gives fragrance while staying compact. At 30cm tall, this is an ideal plant for patio containers or borders.

• 2L, £10.99 RRP • Available April 2021

• 3L £10.99 RRP • Available May 2021

Omphalodes ‘Cherry Ingram’

ith rich blue owers appear e ery March and April, its short stature makes it ideal for the front of borders. It is a hardy non-evergreen perennial. • Height 20cm, spread 30cm • RHS AGM award winner

Spiraea japonica ‘Walplum’

Amazing plum-coloured shoots emerge in spring, followed by vibrant cerise owers that open in une and a rich burgundy colour in autumn. • Height 60cm, spread 60cm Thri es in fertile well-drained soil

www.gardencentreretail.com

plant focus.indd 31

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

31

04/02/2021 17:01


A d v er t o r i a l

HANDY DISTRIBUTION The Handy one-stop shop supplier for all your garden machinery

e belie e e eryone should be able to access the right garden machinery e uipment to keep a well-maintained garden and that’s what Handy Distribution stri es to deli er Gardening should be pleasurable, not a chore, and the right machines are essential for making light work of gardening chores ith more than years’ experience, Handy Distribution has grown to be one of the ’s largest garden machinery specialist distributors supplying many leading brands including lymo, Bosch, ebb, Greenworks, Mc ulloch and archer The Handy brand pro ides customers with access to a range of affordable machinery and always has the solution, whether it be for tilling, mo ing, clearing, logging, cutting, shredding, spraying or e en rolling Handy’s strong relationship with its brand partners coupled

with its expertise in product sourcing and its experienced and knowledgeable staff ensures its retail partners and customer needs are always met and that the latest inno ation is always on offer e can react to support the needs of our customers hether it is for a smaller garden machinery display or a larger national retailer, we take time to understand our customers’ needs and look to pro ide a full category solution, on time and in full explains Mark Moseley, Handy’s sales marketing director Our channel approach ensures our customers go to market with the knowledge they ha e the right products at the right price In addition to pro iding more than items of branded machinery, o er , spare part lines are a ailable through an online portal to ensure customers it can pro ide that all important

after sales ser ice and peace of mind Today, Handy supports many of the ’s leading garden centres including Dobbies, The British Garden entre Group, The an Hage Garden ompany, Burston Rose, Olrids, Alton, illoglen and many more Our garden centre partners rely on us to deli er the best proposition in store including a strong machinery presentation Mark explains, e work with our customers to create uni ue and often bespoke display and point of sale solutions to make the product stand out and make it easier for customers to shop ooking ahead, cordless machinery is by far becoming more desirable and taking a larger share of the market ordless appeals to your

first-time gardeners for whom looking after the en ironment is a key factor and the older traditional gardening generation who look for a lightweight, powerful con enient product Handy Distribution is the ’s sole distributor for the

Greenworks brand which is one of the world’s largest cordless manufacturers ith o er products across , , and platforms, there is a product and power option for e ery customer need If you would like to discuss your garden machinery needs and how Handy can help maximise your sales opportunities, contact Handy Distribution

CONTACT

Handy Distribution Murdock Road Dorcan Ind Est Swindon SN3 5HY 01793 333 220 sales@handydistribution.co.uk

32

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Business profile - Handy distribution.indd 32

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 14:25


The Garden Equipment Wholesaler

HUGE CHOICE. LEADING BRANDS. HIGH PROFITABILITY. www.handyonline.co.uk

YOUR HANDY ONE STOP SHOP

99+

NEW PRODU CT for 202 S 1

For garden machinery and accessories With a choice of over 800 garden equipment products we offer one of the widest ranges in the industry, from light domestic to fully commercial. Whatever you need for your showroom we have the right product at the right price. Our range includes leading consumer brands such as Greenworks, Webb, The Handy, Solo, Karcher, Flymo, Bosch and many more. Available from stock with minimum commitment and with full spare parts backup. Free carriage on all machine orders over ÂŁ150 and parts orders over ÂŁ35.

Call now to become a stockist or arrange a visit from your sales representative Call 01793 333220 or email sales@handydistribution.co.uk

The Garden Equipment Wholesaler Advert template.indd 7

Murdock Road, Dorcan, Swindon , Wiltshire , SN3 5HY

04/02/2021 12:42


P r o d u c t s P l a n t D i sp l a y s

DECIDING ON

DISPLAYS

Jo Kemp of Timber Displays explains some of the key things to consider when buying plant benches

M

ore and more now garden centre teams are creating some superb displays with their plants and associated products and our timber displays very much provide a foundation for those displays. Timber Displays has developed over the years its range of products that are multi-functional for any product.

Key things

One key thing to consider when buying a display stand for plants is the amount of sales space on the stand and the position in the plant area of the stand, along with the ability to add signage or promotional information. There also needs to be room around it for customers to move freely and shop if it’s is not purely for display. It is also worth bearing in mind if the new display is to fit with existing displays or to be a bit different to draw attention to the promotion ill you want extra space for any associated products or example, plinths for potted displays and compost or units for canes and netting?

Options

Garden centres can choose from a range of different sizes, shapes and style units to fit the space a ailable, the product that is being displayed and to fit in with their

34

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Plant displays.indd 34

existing theme There are products that are made to suit tray products better than pot products and benches with ood trays to help with watering along with options of trellis backs and POS products to help get your sales message across.

e si e ts all

Timber displays offer a full range of standard displays that suit most products found in a plantarea; although there is the option for garden centres to have bespoke items made to suit a specific product or specific way they want to display their items; they may have a theme in mind that needs something very specific which we are happy to work with our customers on to ensure the displays reach their full potential and maximise the product sales.

It is also a consideration to the plants’ health that they may need a ood tray or capillary matting to help with the watering or the ability to have your own irrigation system fitted to the benches If the plants are particularly tall, some pot grids to help keep the plants upright would help and a trellis back panel could also help as a windbreak as well as decoration. These are just some ideas we have for our benches but have built our business over the years with our customers who are the end users and best placed to know what works for their products. Our products are forever evolving, and we look forward to growing our future with our new and existing customers

o sideratio s or la ts

When choosing the plants for the benches it is best to choose a bench that fits the trays or pots without overcrowding or having gaps or overhanging trays. You want the customers to be able to shop the product without damaging other items on the bench.

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:25


A d v er t o r i a l

Great roofing products for the garden makeover boom Britain’s gardens are set for a makeover boom in 2021, with DIY enthusiasts putting garden sheds, summer houses and other timber outbuildings high on their agendas for a spruce up in the coming months. A number of independent sur eys ha e confirmed the trend for spending time and money on making the most of our personal green oases shows no sign of letting up. Onduline Building Products, a global leader in the manufacture of eco-friendly bituminous corrugated sheeting, has a wide range of lightweight roofing products that are perfect for garden projects.

asy roo

A popular choice for consumers is ONDULINE EASYLINE, which is available to garden centre retailers in a branded standalone pallet, complete with accessories and fixings ONDULINE EASYLINE has been designed specifically for DIY projects, such as renovations of garden sheds, leisure houses, play houses, wood shelters, carports and many other outbuildings. Perfect for small canopy roofs, these roofing sheets are ery compact only x 0.76 m²). They can be easily transported in any car and due to their light weight and size they can be easily handled on the roof and are easy to install. Available in seven bright colours, it can be cut with a standard cutter or roofer knife, and it comes with a 10-year guarantee.

lay tile alter ati e

Available in retail friendly packs, Onduline’s ‘clay tile’

www.gardencentreretail.com

Onduline.indd 35

alternative, ONDUVILLA, is the ideal roofing solution to cover a variety of garden buildings and garden-based timber structures. With these corrugated roofing tiles, DIY enthusiasts can cover a building’s roof quickly and efficiently O D I A has a 15-year weatherproof guarantee and contains no hazardous substances. Available in shaded tones of red, green, black and brown, it is comprised of 50% to 60% of recycled fibres In addition, ONDUVILLA has the advantage of being suitable for shallow pitched roofs, down to an angle of 9°. With a weight of only 1.27kg per tile and a thickness of 3mm, these tiles give a lightweight, robust roof requiring minimum maintenance.

lassic s i

les

Roof shingles provide one of the most popular and attractive forms of roof covering, with the BARDOLINE CLASSIC range perfect for any type of roof. These roof shingles are guaranteed for years and are AA fire rated, pro iding extra peace of mind The lightweight shingles are quick and easy to install and are manufactured using specially formulated bitumen asphalt, reinforced with glass fibres They cut easily and require only standard DIY tools. As soon as they are installed, BARDOLINE CLASSIC shingles ensure that the roof is watertight and require very little maintenance.

i

er or a ce

The ONDULINE CLASSIC is the original ‘high performance’

ONDULINE CLASSIC bitumen corrugated roofing panel These lightweight roofing sheets are suitable for both renovation and new construction projects. It is an extremely tough corrugated roofing system and is BBA certified, and comes with a 15-year guarantee. The bitumen roof panels and related accessories are quick and easy to install. The panels are extremely light (only 3 kg/m²) and exible, making them easy to carry. To install these corrugated roofing sheets is simple. No specialist tools are required. Managing director Paul Duffy said: “Sales of our range of lightweight roofing solutions rose significantly across the summer and autumn, and we’re confident that trend will continue from the coming spring and onwards.

www o duli e co u

ONDUVILLA tiles

B

s i

les

ONDULINE CLASSIC

S

s eets co

lete wit

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

i

s

35

04/02/2021 14:18


P r o d u c t s G a r d en i n g B a si c s

HOW TO SELL

GARDENING BASICS

Hozelock category manager Rachel Box explains the best options for displaying the basics, in particular watering products What are the options for a garden centre when it comes to showcasing gardening basics? To help the shopper understand what watering equipment they require to water their garden, we recommend brandfocused displays that work for the size and ow of the garden centre For watering, it is always best to place this category as close to the plant area as possible This will not only trigger the need for watering products when shoppers visit the garden centre to buy their plants, but it will also entice them to buy plants when visiting the store to buy watering e uipment Garden centres should also consider what space is a ailable to them To display the watering basics a 1m Hozelock Hokon Bay would be required, but additional bays can be added to offer greater choice If space is limited, or if the garden centre would like to place these items next to other categories, the Hozelock Mini Centre of Excellence would work perfectly and allows you to merchandise a range of products efficiently in a small area x cm of oor space with this effecti e metal display

Basic watering Hokon bays

36

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Gardening basics.indd 36

What are the key things a garden centre should consider when deciding how to display them? What should be placed together? It is recommended to place the key items needed to water your garden together to help the shopper understand what is required to get started hoose your Hose a traditional PVC option, like Hozelock Starter Hose, is a staple of any gardening basics section Alternati ely, Superhoze and Tuffhoze are two textile hose alternatives that can bring fun to a shopper’s watering experience and come with the connectors ready to connect to the tap and start watering onnect to your tap with a Tap onnector offer both outdoor and indoor tap options; Hose nd onnector to connect your hose to the tap; A uaStop onnector which stops the water ow when you disconnect your watering accessory hoose your hose end accessory offer nozzles, spray guns and sprinklers to suit different watering needs A Hozelock Interacti e Connector Unit can help shoppers understand how these products work together Attaching lea ets nearby will help the shopper understand what they need to buy to water their garden

Aquasolo for houseplants

Mini Centre of Excellence

How can a garden centre inspire customers to buy more products in this category? Create needs-based solutions, so shoppers can relate to a specific seasonal garden activity, presented as cross-category displays or example, to target those Interactive shoppers looking to Connector Unit grow tomatoes, place all items required together to encourage not only the purchase of tomato plants, but also compost, growbag waterers and fertiliser Offer a solution for indoor watering by placing Hozelock A uasolo products by houseplants, particularly in the summer, to drive sales and encourage impulse purchases What are the pitfalls of displaying gardening basics? It can encourage people to buy just that the basics It’s important to encourage seeing the value in investing in high uality e uipment If a garden centre can offer items that can help to fulfil a shopper’s dream garden, so that not only will their basic needs and expectations be met, they will be exceeded too, a return isit will be encouraged w

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 17:26


G a r d en i n g B a si c s L a t est P r o d u c t s

GARDENING BASICS Clear ‘N’ Collect Multi-Purpose Rake Clear ‘N’ Collect

Half Brite range Greenman Garden Tools

Clear ‘N’ Collect Multi-Purpose Garden Rake is made in the UK from recycled car dashboards and waste electrical goods. It comprises a large-hinged rake with large internal ‘scoop’ so that leaves and garden debris can be raked and scooped in one swift and easy motion. Each Clear ‘N’ Collect rake is supported with dedicated point of sale which outlines the product’s USPs to consumers. Each display unit can house up to rakes, pro iding retailers with a profit margin within a footprint of just 0.4m2, with further discounts available on volume orders.

Greenman offers high quality, well-priced tools with heritage, proven functionality and strength. The Half Brite range features the unique Greenman lipped socket, ash YD handle and Half Brite carbon steel head. Carbon steel tools are hard-wearing with continuous use; a metal patina develops which confers a layer of protection from harmful elements. ‘Half Brite’ refers to the polished section of the blade which shows off the quality of the metal. RRP From £34.99 www.greenmangardentools.com

RRP £22.99 www.clearncollect.com

Kew Gardens Collection French Style Watering Can Spear & Jackson Classically styled watering cans in racing green enamel with burnished copper-coloured handles and matching, fully detachable watering rose. All metal construction with sealed seams and rivets, and an innovative hinged handle. The handle may also be folded down. Designed to capitalise on the trend for vintage and traditional garden tools, available now in 4.5L and 9L capacity.

Draper Tools Electric Weed Burner Draper Tools

Hozelock has redesigned its Micro Reel to give budding gardeners a simple and lightweight watering system. The Micro Reel includes a m hose and fittings and weighs a little over 1kg, making it perfect for quickly and easily watering plants in smaller spaces. The updated product now includes a unique ‘Click & Go’ design and users need to simply ‘click’ the connector onto the tap and let the rotating drum unwind the hose as they walk.

The new Draper Electric Weed Burner is a precise and handy way to tackle weeds. The weed burner works by transmitting bursts of thermal heat which result in the plant cells dying from root to tip, without the use of dangerous ames Gardeners simply plug in the 5m power cord (no need for expensive gas canisters) and keep the burner over the weeds for three seconds to effectively clear them. It’s a great alternative to weed killer and much better for the environment, leaving gardens clear of weeds and safe for children and pets.

RRP £32.99 www.hozelock.com

RRP £29.99 www.drapertools.com

RRP £26.49 for 4.5L £37.49 for 9L www.spear-and-jackson.com Micro Reel Hozelock

www.gardencentreretail.com

LP Gardening basics.indd 37

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

37

04/02/2021 14:32


L a t est P r o d u c t s G r o w Y o u r O wn

GROW YOUR OWN Strulch – The Mineralised Straw Mulch for Organic Gardening Strulch Ltd

Multi-Purpose Compost Durston Garden Products Ltd

Strulch is a long-lasting mulch which stops weeds germinating, retains moisture in the soil, and deters slugs and snails. It has a neutral pH so can be used anywhere in the garden. Now is the ideal time to mulch when tidying for winter. Strulch – The Mineralised Straw Mulch for Organic Gardening is available in bulk 12, 25 or 48 x 150L bags and in 100L bags from its stockists.

This multi-purpose compost contains essential plant nutrients. A wetting agent is blended for water absorption, aeration and drainage. It is available in 10L or 60L bags and can be supplied to garden centres in full 20 pallet loads or as part of a mixed pallet. RRP £4.99, 60L bags Launch date Available now www.durstongardenproducts.co.uk

RRP POA Launch date Available now www.strulch.co.uk

Bee Friends® Flower Seed Bombs G Plants Ltd Following the success of Bee Friends® ECO Seed Shakers, 2021 is the year for fun and easy to grow seed bombs. Bee Friends® Flower Seed Bombs are made in the UK and packed using 100% recyclable packaging. G Plants says it “is more important than ever that we encourage wild ower spaces to help increase pollinator numbers, so the easier we make it for everyone, the better”. Available in video display units for increased sales. RRP £4.99 Launch date Available now www.gplants.com

Frame & Cover Multiset Range VegTrug Ltd

These unique natural plant foods are made using byproducts from anaerobic digesters which create renewable energy on EcoGro’s farms. They work naturally to ensure the long term health of both plants and the soil, satisfying a customer demand for ecofriendly products. The EcoGro family comprises: EcoGro Booster, for fruit and egetables coGro Bloomer for owering plants coGro Ericaceous for acid-loving plants; and EcoMyst for houseplants.

VegTrug is due to launch the new and re-developed Frame & Cover Multi Sets in spring 2021. The sets will be available for all core VegTrug planters: • Medium 1.8m Classic • Small 1m Classic • Medium 1.8m Wallhugger • Small 1m Wallhugger The new version is taller (90cm) to give room for more growth and taller plants. It incorporates both a PE greenhouse cover and a micromesh cover in one, eliminating the need to change these seasonally, and the metal frame is encased within the cover with added plugs to limit moisture exposure.

RRP £9.99, 2L plant foods. £7.99, 250ml indoor plant food Launch date Available now www.ecogro.co.uk

RRP From £49.99 to £79.99 Launch date Feb/March 2021 www.vegtrug.com

The EcoGro Family EcoGro

38

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

LP Grow your own.indd 38

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:29


G r o w Y o u r O wn L a t est P r o d u c t s

Peat-free range Bathgate

The Fruit Collector Harvesting Nets Fruitcollector.net

Bathgate is helping gardeners to grow greener with the launch of new peat-free and peat reduced products. The company already offers a Champions Blend 50L peat-free compost, which contains a blend of natural certified ingredients and is manufactured to the Soil Association’s strictest standards. The premium Champions Blend range has now been increased with the addition of a Champions Blend peat-free, extra-large planter. The further new offerings for retailers and professional growers include a peat-free version of the Bathgate 50L multi-purpose compost and also a 50L peat-reduced multi-purpose compost.

This clever net does all the work and makes harvest time easy. The Original Fruit Collector Net catches the ripen and windfall apples, pears or plums softly without bruises and keeps them away from the lawn. You can keep it working for weeks, it lets the rain and wind through, and doesn’t spoil the grass below. The net is made of durable and washable mesh fabric and the support sticks are rustproof metal. RRP From £45.99 Launch date Available now www.fruitcollector.net

RRP POA Launch date Available now www.bathgatesilica.co.uk

Provanto® Smart Bug Killer SBM Life Science Ltd Following decades of research and development, SBM Life Science has announced the launch of Provanto® Smart Bug Killer, the new innovative solution to plant protection, ready for season 2021. An insecticide that offers a new 3-in-1 action, it provides longer lasting protection for up to eight weeks on a range of ornamental and edible plants. Pests also stop feeding in one hour, with results becoming visible within 24 hours. RRP £6.99 Launch date Available now www.protect-garden.co.uk

www.gardencentreretail.com

LP Grow your own.indd 39

Solar Powered Mole Repeller Pest-Stop The Pest-Stop Solar Mole Repeller features a high quality solar powered, rechargeable battery to emit a frequency of varied sonic pulses into the ground to deter moles from the garden. One full charge provides up to 25 days of use. The IP67 rated waterproof Solar Powered Mole Repeller provides a coverage area of up to 650m², offering consumers an effective solution to protecting their plants and lawn from mole damage without the use of harmful chemicals or traps. RRP £17.99 Launch date July 2021 www.pest-stop.co.uk

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

39

04/02/2021 15:29


P r o d u c t s T o p so i l

NOT ALL TOPSOILS ARE CREATED EQUAL!

The Real Soil Company outlines why retailers should be asking more about what is in the bag & why it matters

standards for topsoil health when it comes to quality. A typical bag of “Topsoil” purchased from a garden centre can have a high sand content and include wood fibre, peat and other en ironmentally damaging products which can impact the overall long-term health of soil and the surrounding environment. Plastic and

T

opsoil forms a huge part of growing media sales every year, but very few topsoils deliver when it comes to organic matter or environmental protection, according to the creators of the new organic topsoil, The Real Soil Company. “Consumers know that they need topsoil and are aware of its role in gardening projects, but what they may not be aware of is the production of most topsoil and why much of what they are buying will do little to boost their plant or crop growth, and in fact do little to protect the planet in these greater environmentally-aware times, says Simon Hedley, managing director of Boughton Loam Ltd, which has brought to market SuperSoil from The Real Soil Company. “Topsoil can be best divided into three quality grades – premium, general purpose and economy – though the uality is not always clearly defined on the packaging, which means consumers are often buying product that is not fit for purpose. As there are no industry

40

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Real soil company.indd 40

even glass from green waste sources can complete the overall composition, which can prove harmful to both man and beast. “On a good day, many of the bestselling topsoils are little more than sand and compost, a combination of which offers little additional nutritional and buffering value for plants and will lack body so plants will also not receive the necessary support for optimum growth,” added Simon. “It is this knowledge that led to the development of The Real Soil Company and SuperSoil. This is not another ‘me too’ product but one that

has been designed to breathe some new life into this product category, whilst also increasing consumer buy-in through the strong eco messaging.” The Real Soil Company’s SuperSoil benefits from being super-charged with the inclusion of natural and organic single-source plant derived amendment, which when blended with natural topsoil meets higher environmental, physical and nutritional standards than is currently specified in BS ach batch of SuperSoil benefits from the finest natural topsoil as the main ingredient and is then blended according to a stringent formula set out by the company’s in-house soil analyst to ensure consistency and optimum characteristics. The resulting improved biology of the soil means that The Real Soil Company’s SuperSoil consistently outperforms current market-leading topsoils in key areas including phosphorous (required for plant respiration and growth), potassium (essential for respiration and photosynthesis), magnesium (creates brighter colours), organic matter (improves oil structure, water retention and drought tolerance) and sand/silt/clay content. Simon added: “Topsoil plays such a significant role in growing media sales but for so long the focus has been on compost and the great peat debate. There will inevitably be a shift of focus to topsoil, with consumers expecting the same ecocredentials. With The Real Soil Company SuperSoil it is possible to stock a brand which holds these credentials at its heart, without compromising on results.” To find out more about The Real Soil Company please visit the website at www.therealsoilcompany.co.uk or email info@therealsoilcompany.co.uk w

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:47


A d v er t o r i a l

MEET THE RANGE GREEN PROTECT

All Green Protect’s products have packaging made from recycled material and are completely insecticide free, making them eco-friendly

Pot Plant Insect Traps The Green Protect Pot Plant Insect Trap is designed to protect the home and plants from plant-feeding insects, without the use of insecticide.

Wasp and Flying Insect Trap The Green Protect asp and lying Insect Trap uses a non-toxic solution to draw wasps and ies away from areas in the garden where they are not wanted • The non-toxic solution contains an ingredient which does not attract bees ser-friendly trap designed for garden use • Contains 1 x pot and 1 x 500ml refill bottle Reusable refill can be purchased separately to allow re-use of the trap

• Designed for pot plant use in the home, conservatories and greenhouses • Attracts a wide range of insects including Aphids, hite y, Fungus Gnats and Miner Flies ffecti e dry-touch adhesi e • Yellow colour optimised to attract insects • Contains 10 traps and 5 metal stakes RRP: £5.99

RRP: £13.99

Slug & Snail Barrier Pellets The Green Protect Slug & Snail Barrier Pellets offer consumers a chemical free and effective solution to protecting garden plants from slug and snail damage. • Waterproof pellets act as a barrier to protect plants • Biodegradable pellets can be turned into the soil at the end of the season • Safe for use around children, pets and garden wildlife including hedgehogs • Covers up to 30m with the barrier of 1.5 to 2cm in width ser-friendly, simply scatter a barrier around plants RRP: £9.99

www.gardencentreretail.com

Meet the range Green protect.indd 41

Codling Moth Trap Plum Moth Trap The Green Protect Plum Moth Trap and Codling Moth Trap are effective pheromone traps used to protect fruit tree produce from being damaged by the pest’s lar ae uickly indicates the presence of moth acti ity • Waterproof and able to withstand harsh weather conditions • Each trap covers 500 to 700m² • Effective for up to two months • Contains: one trap and two glueboards, to allow for re-use RRP: £8.99

Contact Tel: 0800 988 5359 Email: market@pelsis.com Website: www.green-protect.com

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

41

04/02/2021 14:55


A d v er t o r i a l

JANSSENS GREENHOUSES OVER 70 YEARS OF HERITAGE

Vitavia Greenhouses is the proud UK distributor for Janssens Greenhouses from Belgium. Andrea Wells, marketing manager for Vitavia interviews Peter Janssens, Janssens owner and CEO What made your grandfather start Janssens?

My grandfather Constant Janssens founded the company in 1946. He was a carpenter and started a construction company. He established a strong reputation in building sports and factory halls, using traditional wood and laminated wooden arches. There were no glass greenhouses at the start. A few years later, the link came through by building storage space at horticulturalists and so, slowly, a shift came to professional greenhouse constructions.

Your father then joined the business years later; what were his visions when he joined?

My father strengthened the business in the 1970s and made the switch from wood to aluminium. Professional greenhouses became the main business. There was an increasing demand for hobby and cultivation greenhouses outside the professional environment.

42

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021

Glasshouses.indd 42

The development of an extensive range of hobby greenhouses became his main motivation. In the 1980s, the focus shifted to this B2B story and exports became the most important pillar within the company. I suspect this has certainly exceeded many of his expectations before.

When did you join the business?

After finishing school I started working in the family business. At the start I supported sales; afterwards I moved to the technical department. I worked closely with my father – a few years down the line we managed the company together. In recent years, there has been an organic shift in which he has passed the torch.

What makes Janssens stand out from its competitors?

Janssens distinguishes itself from others in quality and trust. When it comes to developments, we will always start from a certain need or demand for a product to

which we try to provide the best possible technical solution.

What made you choose Vitavia to become Janssens’ UK distributor?

The collaboration with Vitavia has been a choice to be complementary. Vitavia has an existing distribution network and its own greenhouse range. We strongly believe that both products and ranges can be complementary and offers a full range.

In what ways would you like to grow the business in the future?

The company has grown strong in recent years! A further continuation of this will be felt in a further spread of the distributors and the opening of new markets, such as Australia and Russia. For more information on Janssens Greenhouses and Vitavia Greenhouses, please visit vitavia.co.uk w

www.gardencentreretail.com

04/02/2021 15:51


INDEPENDENT IMPARTIAL INVALUABLE

EAST SUSSEX INTERNET BUSINESS, NURSERY & PLANT CENTRE FREEHOLD FOR SALE Circa 4.22 Acres 1.4 Acres of Glass Planning for Warehouse 4 Bed Tied Dwelling

REF: 0299 quintonedwards.co.uk sales@quintons.co.uk

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 • info@valeka.nl • www.valeka.nl

Glasshouses sourced, refurbished and erected. Venlo specialists. Bespoke structures. All aspects of glasshouse work including reroofing, maintenance, cleaning, gutters and refurbishment Tel: 01724 734374 Fax: 01482 648032 Email: ken@newcenturyglass.co.uk Web: www.newcenturyglasshouses.com

Advert template.indd 8

04/02/2021 12:50


GREENHOUSES UK

WALL GARDENS

DIS TR

IBU

TO R

COLD FRAMES ACCESSORIES

GREENHOUSES GARDEN ROOMS ORANGERIES

For more information on Vitavia or Janssens Greenhouses, contact your nearest retailer or visit vitavia.co.uk @VitaviaLtd Advert template.indd 9

01473 218100

info@vitavia.co.uk 04/02/2021 12:52

Profile for Eljays44

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021  

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2021  

Profile for eljays44
Advertisement