Page 1

Garden Centre Retail Issue 32 • July/August 2017


The interview...






Cover_JulyAug.indd 1

SUMMER CATERING Get ready for busy season

GATHERING NECTAR POINTS Are your plants bee friendly?



HOW TO SELL Uuni’s Portable Pizza Oven

p47 19/07/2017 10:40

PC_210x265_8_5_17:Layout 1 09/05/2017 14:18 Page 1

• No minimum order • Over 30 ranges • Weekly deliveries • 150,000 pots held in stock • Merchandising service • Friendly and knowledgeable sales team

01892 890 353

Advert template.indd 19

16/05/2017 16:41



Garden Centre Retail W

ith the school holidays starting up, the influx of young families during the week means footfall, profits and busy periods will be heightened over the next few months – let’s hope the weather holds! This time of year also means that Glee is just around the corner, with a theme of ‘For A Life Alive’ and brand new special events including the ‘Retail Lab @ Glee’. Be sure to look out for our Glee supplement in the next GCR, covering everything there is to see and do at the show. Our interview this issue is with Tony Airey, on pages 13-15. We took a look around the amazing Wentworth Garden Centre in Rotherham, including its maze, historic gardens and family farm, and discuss how the business and industry has evolved since Tony and his wife Sandra bought the centre back in 1984. As families flock to their local garden centre’s restaurant or café over the summer holidays, now is the time when any cracks in a catering team will show. MYA Consulting’s Carla McKenzie advises on how garden centres can keep their catering operations running efficiently through the peak season without dropping standards in food or customer service, on pages 22-24. Our Plant Focus examines the University of Sussex report which found a range of harmful pesticides on ‘bee friendly’ plants in garden centres on pages 26-28, and our product feature takes a look at display techniques for outdoor living and picnic and textiles products on pages 32-35. With the summer events season now upon us, businesses are increasingly using social media as an effective tool to market to the masses – and it helps that it’s fast and free. For best practice and top tips for publicising your garden centre event on Twitter and Facebook, go to pages 19 and 20, where we look at everything from hashtags to what – and how often – to post. That’s all from us this issue. If you have any feedback please contact the GCR team – we’d love to hear from you. Have a great read, see you in September.


Ash O’Mahony Features Editor Garden Centre Retail

With the summer events season upon us, businesses are turning to social media to market to the masses. Find out more on pages 19-20

Ash 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!

Garden Centre Retail

Leader_JulAug.indd 3

Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Features Editor – Ash O’Mahony Tel: 01903 777 585 Products Editor – Ashley Lampard Tel: 01903 777 570 Editorial Assistant – Olivia Eden-Brown Tel: 01903 777 570 Production Manager – Susie Duff Tel: 01903 777 578 Production Editor– Charlie Cook Tel: 01903 777 578 Subeditor– Kate Bennett Tel: 01903 777 578 ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 588 Sales Manager – Tina Savelle Tel: 01903 777 582 Horticulture Careers – Laura Harris Tel: 01903 777 580 PRODUCTION Design – Kara Thomas, Mandy Armstrong Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson MARKETING AND CIRCULATION Client relations – Amber Bernabe Tel: 01903 777 581 Subscription enquiries – Emily Maltby Tel: 01903 777 575 Garden Centre Retail is published bi-monthly by Eljays44 Ltd. 2017 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, noncommissioned photographs or manuscripts.

@GardenRetailUK Garden Centre Retail


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 July/August 2017


19/07/2017 10:48

FINE REPLICA FLOWERS & Foliage COME AND SEE OUR 2018 SPRING COLLECTION AT Autumn Fair The NEC, Birmingham 3 – 6 September 2017 Hall 5, Stand G40-H41 GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 1 Garden Centre Retail.indd 1

01778 425 205 19/07/2017 08:33 05/07/2017 12:23

Contents Garden Centre Retail Issue 32 • July/August 2017


The interview...






GATHERING NECTAR POINTS Are your plants bee friendly?



HOW TO SELL Uuni’s Portable Pizza Oven






Has the new National Living Wage affected your business thus far, and do you expect it to, moving forward?


A roundup of the latest news from the sector


Love Your Garden’s Katie Rushworth on the Business Heroes initiative




Tony Airey, co-owner of Wentworth Garden Centre


Advice from Gemma Murphy of View HR on dealing with sub-par staff


Two social media experts tell us how to spread the word about an event using Facebook and Twitter


Tips from Carla McKenzie on readying your catering offer for summer


GCR talks hidden pesticides with Friends of the Earth bee campaigner Nick Rau


Contents_JulAug.indd 5



How to display outdoor living, picnic and textiles products to show them off at their best


A look at some of the companies we can expect to see at Autumn Fair


Why it pays to incorporate barbecue demonstration events into your calendar


Lighting, pots and planters

47 ANATOMY OF A PRODUCT Uuni 3 portable pizza oven




Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017


19/07/2017 10:38

News Agenda


Director, Alton Garden Centre

There are some great ways to save money that we perhaps hadn’t fully explored before, which we can now focus on – such as collecting and recycling water with our reservoir We adjusted the wages we pay our staff accordingly after the announcement of the new National Living Wage; it’s actually helped us to realign certain members of staff. We’re a family business that employs 100 staff members, and have been working since 2015 to keep our younger members of staff and build them into our sales staff and management structures by 2020. The new NLW has enabled us to essentially kill two birds with one stone – we were able to upgrade staff and make them feel more respected by increasing their wages at the same time. I think with the NLW, as with Brexit, it’s all about turning something negative into something positive. We knew these increases in staff wages were coming, so were able to start planning for their effects – and the products we sell within our centre have enough margin to cover the increase. We’re fortunate in that we work in a profitable industry and have reasonable margins overall. We haven’t found the increase in the NLW to be a major issue; yes, it’s had an impact, but not one that has massively affected our business. We’ve just been getting on with it, looking at where we can be making changes to account for the deficit – examining which products aren’t selling and which we should stop stocking. There are some great ways to save money that we perhaps hadn’t fully explored before, which we can now focus on – such as collecting and recycling water with our reservoir, using LED lighting, and waste management. We aren’t suddenly going to increase our prices 10% to account for the money lost to the new NLW.


Agenda.indd 6

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

Lisa McCormick

Founder, Battersea Flower Station We pay our staff according to the Living Wage Foundation’s recommendations, which currently stands at £9.75 for every staff member. The Living Wage Foundation work out how much people need to live comfortably on; I chose to work with them and to raise my staff wage because I thought it was the right thing to do. London is an expensive place to live, and we want to be an ethical business for both customers and staff. We’ve been working with the Living Wage Foundation since we first started the business in 2012, and I think it has definitely had a positive effect on our staff retention and general staff wellbeing. It also cuts out any chatter between staff about what people are earning, because everyone gets paid the same. I hope our approach to wages shows that we want our staff to be happy – it helps to improve staff loyalty, and so our staff retention rate is very high. I’ve been unaffected by the increase in National Living Wage, but the Living Wage Foundation has also recently increased their recommended wage, which has made business a bit harde – particularly for a garden centre, as the weather wasn’t brilliant in May and we didn’t get that huge surge that we were hoping for. We will manage, however. I’ve chosen to not stick to the lower National Living Wage, as it is hard for staff members, particularly those working part time or juggling a couple of jobs. I’ve worked for a large corporate business before; I want to build a business that’s built on doing the right thing – for the customers, for the staff, for everybody.

I’ve chosen to not stick to the lower National Living Wage, as it is hard for staff members, particularly those working part time or juggling a couple of jobs

19/07/2017 10:25

Agenda News

G S T Chris Finney

Manager, Goonhavern Garden Centre

On the matter of trying to save money elsewhere to accommodate higher wage bills, I believe it is good practice to always be on the lookout for potential cost-saving measures I believe the new National Living Wage is a positive thing for employees – and for employer, because, in theory at least, it should mean a happier workforce. At Goonhavern Garden Centre we employ a relatively small number of staff (less than 20) and have always felt that by paying a better wage, we will get a better standard of employee. One thing that we might see in the industry is an increase in seasonal positions as opposed to permanent jobs, as some garden centres may not be able to justify the higher wage bill through the quieter periods. An area of potential concern would be if Mr. Corbyn had his way and increased the National Living Wage to £10 an hour – I just don’t think that could be made to work, but hopefully that will never become a reality! That isn’t to say that the Living Wage should stay at its current rate, more that we should be careful not to try and jump too far in a very short space of time – businesses should be allowed to adjust to the increases in smaller increments. On the matter of trying to save money elsewhere to accommodate higher wage bills, I believe it is good practice to always be on the lookout for potential cost-saving measures – reviewing utilities, waste collection services and so on. Providing costs are controlled and post-Brexit prices don’t spiral way out of control, then the National Living Wage is something to be embraced. After all, it’s not going away.  Agenda.indd 7

Dave Gillan

Director, Abercorn Plant and Garden Centre We’ve had to make adjustments at Abercorn for the new National Living Wage – we’ve had to really make sure we’re achieving the maximum margin that we can on our products to make up for the increase in money spent on wages. Following the increase, we need to focus on achieving a minimum of 50% margin, to balance the same net profit. Our overall wage bill has gone up by approximately 10%. We employ 16 staff members, seven or eight of whom were earning below the new NLW – but as those wages increased, we found we had to then pay our other staff members more, as our shop floor employees’ pay became similar to their supervisors’. My belief is that the NLW will reach £9 over the next few years; if that’s the case then it will really affect our top line product prices, as we can’t afford to just lose that net profit. We’re as tight as we can be in terms of staff wages while still keeping a manageable turnover, so there really isn’t anything we can do other than raise prices if the NLW increases again. We don’t want to start hiring unqualified workers because we would then lose the quality of our staff. A lot of businesses may choose to employ a higher percentage of younger people who don’t qualify for the NLW, but to me it isn’t worth the negative effect it would have on customer service. Retail in general was collared more than most when the new NLW was announced, because most front-end staff were being paid below what the living wage was increased to. Our part time and general staff were being paid £1 below the new NLW before it was announced, and I think that was fairly widespread throughout the retail sector. I agree with the NLW in principle, but if it continues to rise it will create a vicious circle where retailers have to drive their prices up each time the NLW is raised.

We’ve had to really make sure we’re achieving the maximum margin that we can on our products to make up for the increase in money spent on wages

Garden Centre Retail July/August 20177

19/07/2017 10:26


to celebrate 50th anniversary with open showroom event in September



onningtons, the Nottingham-based importer and distributor of gardening, home and leisure goods, will celebrate 50 years with an open showroom event from 5-14 September, taking place at the head office in Nottingham. In 2016 Bonningtons was named one of the UK’s fastest growing SMEs, and in 2017 was listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’.

Sales director Sergio Tartaglia said: “Bonningtons has achieved a great deal in 50 years, and continues to innovate and grow in a difficult climate. We wish to celebrate our success with all of our customers, old and new, and invite them to our special open showroom event. “All visitors will be given the VIP treatment and offered special promotional prices on any order placed on the day.”

GCA reports show that weather divided North and South in May


he GCA’s Barometer of Trade has shown that the weather played a major role in May sales for the almost 200 garden centres that they represent nationwide. Compared to the same month last year, sales in the southern part of the country were between 9% to 13% down, whereas the north fared better, with sales down by between 2% and 6%. Iain Wylie, GCA chief executive, explained: “The weather was a big factor in our member garden centres’ May sales figures, with the north having better weather than the south, contrary to the norm. However, all of our member garden centres had a tough job trying to top the figures from May 2016, which were the highlight of last spring. “Clothing sales were up 35.18% compared to the same month in 2016. Catering sales were up 7.4% and houseplants 2.95%.” Martin Cowell, director at Cowell’s Garden Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, said: “After a buoyant start in May, which included a bumper bank holiday weekend, the second week in May was a disaster. The daily average temperatures were 12-14ºC, which certainly hampered sales – although the last two weeks

did see the weather improve, and sales were flying again. “We ended May 1% down on 2016, which, considering the weather and the previous year’s record sales, we were very pleased with. It could have been much worse. Our top five performing departments in May were bedding, which was up 6%, perennials up 12%, shrubs up 6%, garden lighting up 88% and irrigation up 24%.” Member garden centre sales showed an average overall decrease of 4.64% during the month, and an average overall Year to Date increase of 6.4%. The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures, and provide an up-to-date trading position statement. They are made available mid-month following the end of the prior month, after all member garden centres have submitted their results.

WE INNOVATE FOR YOU Discover our innovations and merchandise solutions to grow your sales at Glee. We are happy to welcome you from 11 till 13 September 2017 at our stand 19G06. Elho adv garden Trade News 192x65.indd 1


Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

News_JulAug.indd 8

08-06-17 14:45

19/07/2017 10:58


Managed 24/7 reports IT-related productivity crisis in the UK

Primary school pupils learn about wildlife and Wyevale


T support service Managed 24/7 revealed in June that the average retail employee who uses IT loses more than 25 minutes of productive time each day due to technology issues. The report concluded that IT failure could cost UK plc £35bn per year if the average amount of time lost was applied to all full-time workers. The results show that the average employee who works in the retail sector and uses IT wastes 27.7 minutes each day due to IT issues. Forty three per cent of respondents thought they were not well-supported, while 52% said their systems were not up to date. John Pepper, CEO and founder of Managed 24/7, said: “It takes a German worker four days to produce what his or her UK counterpart does in five, and this is resulting in the UK lagging behind other developed nations. Considering outages such as those at British Airways and the NHS, it is time for the UK to address its IT issues, to ensure we aren’t left behind.”


yevale Garden Centres has invited schoolchildren to explore its centres, to help engage and educate them. Children aged seven to 11 discovered different plants, trees, flowers and garden tools, and were shown vegetables, herbs and fruit by the business’s expert horticulturists and staff. Pupils were encouraged to think about the journey that strawberries take from seed to fruit and decorated strawberry markers and plant pots, before planting their own seeds to take home. Pupils learned about the importance of garden wildlife, and the trees, plants and flowers that can be grown for food and shelter. www.wyevalegarden

Early results from Royal Horticultural Society study find ‘organic’ slug pellets perform as well as synthetic controls


nitial findings from the first year of a two-year scientific study to identify more effective ways of controlling slugs and snails has found that organic slug pellets perform almost as well as their market-leading nonorganic equivalent, across a range of plants. Researchers found that when used on

hostas, the organic pellets outperformed rivals, and that mulch increased slug damage on beans. Lead RHS scientist Dr Hayley Jones said: “The high levels of damage found on plants protected by mulch was unexpected. It is possible that the negative impact of the mulch affected the

effectiveness of the other control treatments. In the second year of the study we will try to answer some of the questions generated by these results. We will look at the treatments with and without mulch, so we can understand how the mulch interacts with pesticides and nematodes.”

23 - 26 August 2017 Boskoop/Holland

THEME: STORIES Garden Centre Retail 186x55 mm.indd 1

News_JulAug.indd 9

3-5-2017 13:32:37

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017


19/07/2017 10:58

News Extra



GCR caught up with ITV’s Love Your Garden presenter Katie Rushworth to discuss how garden centres can become ‘Business Heroes’, as part of a campaign to help community gardens across the UK out there that your business supports its community.

Where did the idea for the campaign come from?

Can you outline the Business Heroes campaign?

Business Heroes is a new initiative that was created this year as part of a wider Local Heroes campaign, and aims to inspire businesses to connect with their local community growing groups. Often you find that members of these groups are enthusiastic about improving their local areas, but won’t have a business background, which is where a local garden centre can help. A garden centre can donate money and expertise, as well as staff time, to local growing groups – you could offer to help with a growing group’s social media accounts, for example, or donate some plants. Volunteer work can help to improve the skills and team spirit of your staff; it’s also great for networking, and really gets the message


A charity called the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens realised that a lot of community growing groups all over the UK were struggling to make ends meet. Thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery, the charity was able to set up the Growing Together initiative, and started the Business Heroes campaign to encourage local business to get involved with growing groups in their area.

What are the benefits for garden centres that support the campaign?

It’s great for staff morale – getting together outside of

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

News Extra .indd 10

work to do something good for the community should have a really positive effect on them. It’s also a great marketing opportunity – garden centres can publicise their involvement and use growing projects to inspire the public to work on their own gardens, starting by visiting their local garden centre. If a garden centre offers a discount to local growers for a project, or sends its staff members to help for a few days, it becomes that group’s go-to garden centre and they’re likely to visit when they need to buy products for current and future projects. Word of mouth can also be a powerful thing for a business, and backing a local grower group is great for a garden centre’s reputation. Statistics have shown that consumers are more likely to buy from a company that engages with its local community, so it really is a win-win.

Statistics have shown that consumers are more likely to buy from a company that engages with its community, so it’s a win-win

How can a garden centre get involved with Business Heroes? The Business Heroes website has all the information a garden centre would need to get involved – we’ve made several videos and a toolkit, which should answer any and all questions.

How can a garden centre publicise its involvement in the scheme?

The community growing website has lots of hashtags that garden centres can use on their social media accounts; the Growing Together charity also has a big online presence. Garden centres can tweet about the work they are doing with Business Heroes via @gtcommunities and by using the hashtag #gtlocalheroes, or by linking to the Facebook page Growing Together. There are also downloadable assets and branding materials on the Business Heroes webpage, which garden centres can print out or put on their website to show they are supporting the campaign. ◗


www.growingtogether. community/businessheroes

19/07/2017 10:51

Greenhouses Garden rooms Wall Gardens cold Frames accessories Greenhouses Garden rooms Wall Gardens cold Frames accessories

Visit us at Glee

VitaVia Garden Products ltd t: 01473 218100



Visit us at Glee 11-13 september 2017 Hall 20 l50-M51

VitaVia Garden Products ltd t: 01473 218100

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 2


19/07/2017 08:35

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 3

19/07/2017 08:41

Tony Airey The Interview Colour is the key driving force behind plant sales nowadays. The industry has moved into an impulse regime geared around colour


Tony Airey, co-owner of Wentworth Garden Centre in South Yorkshire, talks about how the garden centre industry has changed in the 40 years he’s been in the business

Let'sHearItFrom.indd 13

What is your background in the industry? I’ve had a deep-seated love of horticulture since I was a young boy, but when it came to getting a job my parents felt I should take up something they considered to be more mainstream, so I moved into finance. Fortunately, having a background in finance has been great for our business at Wentworth Garden Centre. Looking for a way to get back into horticulture, I ran a traditional garden shop with my wife Sandra, starting in the

mid Seventies. We jumped when, 34 years ago, the opportunity arose to purchase Wentworth – we mortgaged everything we could to raise the money. This allowed us to fully gravitate back into the world of horticulture. Can you outline the history of Wentworth Garden Centre? The garden centre was originally created in 1976, within the ornamental and kitchen gardens that are è attached to Wentworth

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017


19/07/2017 11:29

The Interview Tony Airey Woodhouse. It’s now a 16acre site and is recognised by the RHS as a partner garden, which we’re very proud of. We acquired the centre in 1984; up until then it had had a bit of a chequered history – the owner seemed to have taken the business to a point and then lost interest, so it needed quite a bit of work. The centre you see today is totally unrecognisable compared to what it was when we bought it. When we started up there was no office, no forklifts and no machinery – everything had to be done manually, which our family was very hands-on with. Myself, my wife and our son David still work at Wentworth full-time. It really is a family business. How have you seen the industry change since you began? I think we’ve lost a whole generation of gardeners in the UK. When we opened back in 1984, customers would know many of the Latin names of the specific plants they wanted and they knew how to care for the plants they bought, but over time that has changed, and we’ve had to scale back and adjust our A-Z offering. A lot of young adults today are in properties that have little or no garden space, or are in rented accommodation and don’t want to invest in a garden that isn’t theirs. Colour is the key driving force behind plant sales nowadays – customers aren’t looking for specific plant species, and aren’t worried about only getting a season or two out of a plant. The industry seems to have moved into an impulse regime in its plant offerings, geared mainly around seasonal colour. Around what percentage of Wentworth Garden Centre’s turnover comes from plants and gardening products, compared to its restaurant? Plants and gardening products account for around 21% of our total turnover, whereas 35-36%


comes from our catering. The rest is made up of giftware and the extras in the business, such as entry to the maze and farm. What is your top management tip? Engage with your staff and build a relationship with them. You have to treat your staff the way you would want to be treated in their position; we make a real effort to talk to and understand our employees. If you have happy staff members, they’re going to work hard and treat your customers well. Have you felt the need to diversify your offering at Wentworth Garden Centre over the past few years? We’ve always had the product base of catering, giftware, horticulture and plants, but we’ve worked hard to target a younger audience over the years, with considerable funds put into children’s facilities such as the maze, farm and play area. Horticulture is very seasonal, and diversifying has meant we can afford to employ the 130 people we need to maintain our on-site nursery all year round. It also ensures that we’re busy out of season, and we have something to offer our customers that they can’t find anywhere else. What do you think is key to a garden centre’s success in the modern day? A brilliant staff-customer relationship. We’ve visited garden centres where staff aren’t willing to even smile or say “good morning” to customers, and I think that has a huge negative impact on a garden centre. Customers come to Wentworth because they want to be here – they feel welcome and comfortable, which is all down to our staff. Back when we owned a small seed shop, the man we employed to run it had a wonderful knowledge of horticulture, but he was terrible with people. He lost us customers hand over fist. Location is important, as is

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

Let'sHearItFrom.indd 14

19/07/2017 11:30

Tony Airey The Interview product range, cleanliness and continued investment, but excellent customer service is most critical in the success of a garden centre business. What’s next for Wentworth? We’re looking at adding a mini railway and an interactive water feature for the children, but we do need to be careful – we have to make sure we don’t alienate the section of our customer base that doesn’t have children. Do you use social media at Wentworth Garden Centre? It’s something we did resist for a while, but you can’t deny the power of social media, and its benefits for a business. The days when you could post an advert or some news about your garden centre in the local newspaper are long gone, and have been replaced by social media – which is essentially free, fast advertising. Our social media is run by three staff members, who check it and reply to questions regularly alongside their everyday role at Wentworth. It’s a good system for us, and all queries are responded to quickly. When we posted on Facebook about the opening of our Christmas room last year, we had 160,000 views in a couple of days – if even 1% of those people come and visit, that’s still a huge result. w


Wentworth Garden Centre, Hague Lane, Wentworth, South Yorkshire S62 7TF 01226 744842 www.wentworth  Let'sHearItFrom.indd 15

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201715

19/07/2017 11:32

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 4

19/07/2017 08:44

HR Business



Acting early is the key to dealing with underperforming staff, says Gemma Murphy, head of specialist HR consultancy View HR – but don’t be too quick to dismiss


ny business with employees will have to deal, at some point, with underperforming staff. Whether it’s poor performance due to ill health or simply lack of capability, underperforming staff can be a time-consuming and sensitive issue for employers, and one that is often handled incorrectly. It must, however, be tackled – for the sake of all employees.

Nip it in the bud

It is implied in every employment contract that an employee’s work will be up to a certain standard. It is beneficial to expressly set out the standards required of each particular employee as part of their job description, targets, appraisals and so on. It’s also beneficial for a business to have a capability procedure in place that sets out how underperforming employees will be managed. Dealing with performance issues at an early stage will save time and expense in the long run. If you tackle an issue early on, the employee is more likely to turn themselves around  HR_GemmaMurphy.indd 17

and improve. Employers should use probationary periods to their advantage, and either extend the period or terminate the contract (subject to the relevant notice provisions) if the employee is underperforming early on. Similarly, appraisals and other review processes are of great importance when dealing with poorly performing employees. They provide a good forum to reflect on an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and set realistic targets and expectations. Beware of giving an overly flattering performance review if it’s undeserved; if an employee can show they were scored highly in their appraisal, it will make it much harder for an employer to argue that they have been underperforming for a period of time.

Time to improve

Lack of capability is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but it is extremely unlikely that an employee would be dismissed over their first instance of poor performance.

Lack of capability is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but it is extremely unlikely that an employee would be dismissed over their first instance of poor performance. An employee should be given warnings and opportunities to improve

In line with the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) Code, an employee should be given warnings and opportunities to improve their performance before dismissal is contemplated. The business should also consider why the employee is underperforming – it could be that more training is required, or that the employee’s work is suffering due to an underlying health condition.

Give feedback

While poor performance is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, this will only be fair if a full and correct procedure is followed. As with all processes, record-keeping during a capability procedure is absolutely crucial. A business will need to show that it acted fairly and reasonably by providing the employee with support and sufficient opportunities to improve. When targets are set, they must be realistic and achievable within a set timeframe, and feedback should be given to the employee at the end of that period. If

sufficient improvement has not been made during the set period, failing to feed that back to the employee will make it difficult to progress the capability procedure further. Capability procedures and capability dismissals are commonly carried out in error by businesses, but when they are done right, they can be beneficial processes to tackle poor performance and keep the business running smoothly and productively. We can’t forget that tackling poor performance also helps other employees, who are often carrying the can for their underperforming colleague. Capability management is a good strategy to support your whole team. View HR works with many businesses to support them when faced with underperforming employees. If you require assistance, please get in touch for a discussion on how we can help. w CONTACT

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201717

19/07/2017 10:46

“Working with Fordingbridge has been an easy process from design to installation. As a direct result of the canopies recently installed by Fordingbridge, I have already seen an uplift in footfall and an increase in turnover in both plant sales and the restaurant. Due to the benefit of the canopies we are considering ordering another 2 bays. I would definitely recommend Fordingbridge as a company to work with to improve your business.� Alan Hampson, Owner, Hampsons Plant World

Canopies, walkways and inspiring buildings designed around you With over 50 years experience, Fordingbridge are passionate about helping garden centres transform their retail offerings to increase commercial potential and enhance the customer journey.

01243 55 44 55

We provide the in-house expertise and understanding to provide you with inspiring, durable and proven solutions. Contact us today to arrange a FREE site visit GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 5

19/07/2017 08:46

Social Media Business



Kimberley Ho rnby

After putting out a press release, taking out an advert in your local paper, and telling your core customers in person, what else can be done to get bodies through the door for an event? GCR speaks to Kimberley Hornby, managing director of Hornby Whitefoot PR, about how to use Twitter to drive publicity and attract a wider audience to your garden centre’s event



Timing is everything

Use a hashtag

Create a unique hashtag and use it on each tweet to save you from wasting characters on the event name or main details. Make it visible on your marketing materials, in-store, on posters and especially at the event itself. Perhaps you’re having a music event – find a creative way of making the hashtag part of the stage design (without confusing customers who don’t use Twitter).

All events are different, but the most successful ones manage to build up a frenzy of interest over a period of time. Always work backwards from the event – the day before, week leading up to that, the month before and so on. Twitter is the ideal medium to drip-feed information – so do just that. You may have sent out a press release or published a blog with the full lineup or itinerary, but with Twitter you can break it down into chunks, tease out each point and more accurately target audiences outside of your core garden centre customers.


Create a ‘tweet wall’

You may have already seen this at other events: a projected display shows tweets from attendees, saying how excited they are to be there, what they thought of the speakers or acts, what their favourite stalls are, etc. You can set up a tweet wall easily, either via a professional service such as TwitterBeam, or with a basic free service such as the Hootsuite’s ‘HootFeed’. Fully customise your scrolling display by ensuring your feed shows only your chosen hashtag and retweets from your account – and, of course, make sure you filter negative chat and bad language.


Get influencers to help promote your event

Perhaps you have a band performing, a speaker or celebrity guest – whoever it is, they will not want to play to an empty crowd, so don’t be afraid to ask them to get involved with promotion. You can also simply tweet at your guest using their Twitter handle, making it easy for them to respond. Perhaps you know of celebrities, experts, or organisations linked to your event who are based in the local area – instead of emailing or calling, try tweeting, which will open up a public dialogue.


Measuring your success

When it’s all over, analyse how well your campaign performed using Twitter’s own analytics tool. You will find data such as the number and percentage increase/decrease of retweets, followers and likes, mentions, profile visits – you can even see what the most popular tweet was, and how many feeds your tweets appeared on (your reach, measured in ‘tweet impressions’). This information can help you evaluate what kind of message or content works with your Twitter audience, and what doesn’t.



n Improve your website’s SEO by referring traffic to your blog post on the event n Images are essential to catch the eye – but as the event hasn’t happened yet, you may need to use either

generic shots from last year, or illustrations, logos and stock images from bands, companies or organisations that are booked to appear n Tweet quotes and images from acts and speakers during the event, not only to engage your online audience, but also to engage the performers and their fans. n Provide useful updates and up-to-date alterations so that your followers come to rely on your tweets for useful information, rather than just marketing messages n Find local Twitter influencers and bloggers who may be interested in reviewing your event – they will help provide a running commentary if you don’t have the time n Don’t forget that the traditional media uses Twitter too – tweet to your local TV station, radio station or newspaper.  Twitter.indd 19


Garden Centre Retail July/August 201719

19/07/2017 11:19

Business Social Media


Social media consultant Barrie Le Gall explains best practice for marketing your garden centre event on Facebook

Barrie Le Gall


acebook is a great platform for sharing information to large numbers of people quickly, easily and inexpensively, making it the ideal way to publicise an upcoming garden centre event. Twenty years ago, businesses were restricted in how they could publicise an event; a lot of the time it would be advertised in the local newspaper, which in today’s world of internet and social media seems as archaic as it is ineffective. Below are some tips on how best to market a garden centre event on Facebook – when, how often and what to post, as well as some potential errors to avoid.


The tone a garden centre uses in its Facebook posts should reflect the business and its customer base. Each garden centre will have its own tone and way of communicating with its customers, and this should remain consistent throughout everything it does – from social media posts and marketing, to events and face-to-face conversations.

Break it down

Publicise your event in stages. People on Facebook don’t like to read a lot of information all at once, so stagger the information over separate posts in the lead-up to the event. Nobody likes to see the same information posted again and again; breaking the event information down into bite-sized pieces means new information about the event will appear regularly on your customers’ news feed.


Grammar and spelling is very important. People can be very picky about a missed comma or misspelt word, and it can really undermine the event and your business if your posts include those kinds of mistakes.


If you can include images of your staff members in Facebook posts about the event (“Here’s Ben sorting the decorations for next week’s event”), people are more likely to connect with the post, and it gives them a better idea of what the event will involve and who will be there. ‘Behind the scenes’ Facebook posts are great in the lead-up to an event – people like to see what’s happening and how the event is shaping up. You could also include posts asking potential visitors what they’d like to see at the event – what type of music or child entertainment would they prefer? This encourages engagement with people viewing the post and makes it their own event; try to offer a few options, and give yourself enough time to take action on people’s preferences.


Facebook.indd 20

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

Consider paying

It’s a good idea for a garden centre to consider paying for Facebook advertisements to publicise an upcoming event. It guarantees that you will reach your target audience, and is a relatively inexpensive advertising tool, costing as little as £20. A lot of businesses don’t realise that their posts don’t reach everyone who has liked their page – they only appear on the news feed of people who actively engage on a company page regularly, which can result in disappointment when event posts or marketing efforts on Facebook don’t get the desired reaction. That’s where Facebook advertising can be really helpful. You can choose who you want to target with your Facebook post – for example, people within a 10-mile radius of the garden centre – and you can guarantee that they will see it on their Facebook news feed.

Timing and frequency

You don’t want to advertise your event so early that people forget about it, or get tired of seeing too many posts on their news feed for weeks on end. Equally, you want to avoid being so late that potential visitors have already made prior arrangements on that date. Start posting about your event on Facebook two weeks before it’s due to happen; from that point onwards, post about it either once a day or once every two days. ◗


19/07/2017 10:41

magrini high chairs The Magrini Breeze commercial high chair stacks up to 8 high for easy storage and comes in a choice of colours that will not fade or peel. The strong, sturdy design allows your smallest customers to feel safe and the chair pushes up to the table to create a relaxed family mealtime. The Breeze high chair is manufactured in the U.K. by Magrini.

tried & trusted by young professionals safe - strong - stacks Tel:t:01543• • w: 01543375311 375311 • •Email: e:

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 6

19/07/2017 08:48

Catering Summer

Spring into SUMMER Carla McKenzie tells you everything you need to know to prepare your catering offer for the busy summer season


he commercial success of a centre’s restaurant or café is critical over the summer months, and those that get their menu, organisation or customer service wrong are likely to discourage customers from returning. It’s imperative, therefore, that a garden centre ensures that its catering operations are running smoothly and to a high standard throughout the peak summer season.

TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR SUMMER CATERING STAFF TEAM • Provide pre-season training, and make this a condition of any post offered to new staff, temporary or otherwise. Training should be flexible and available in the evenings and Saturday mornings, so that your weekend staff are able to attend. • Be clear on your customer service expectations, and issue these in writing to seasonal staff before they begin. All new staff members should arrive for their first day at work with a clear understanding of their role, what it involves and how to behave. • When you get a new, young team coming together over one period of time, which tends to happen with seasonal staff, it’s useful to nominate an existing staff member to mentor and train up the new staff. The more your new staff members are coached, inspired and guided, the better the performance you will get out of them.

Carla in chef whites


Catering.indd 22

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

• Try to prepare as much as you can before the peak summer season – don’t leave it so late that you have to compact recruiting and training into too short a time.

19/07/2017 10:34

Summer Catering

Setting up a separate service pod operation that provides some of your main offer within a catering space is a great idea, and will be a big support in servicing higher volumes of customers over busy periods

Edible flowers make a great addition to summer salads

Remember that in most garden centres, the café or restaurant will be at either the beginning or end of the customer journey – so your catering staff will be delivering your customers’ first or last impression, each of which is critical. The peak season tends to bring with it a need for seasonal catering staff, which, due to its temporary nature, usually involves younger people and students. Garden centres will usually deploy temporary staff members on tills, counters and table clearing, with many being effectively trained on the job. A lot of temporary summer employees will work over the weekend, where supervision is often more stretched than it would be during the week. Garden centres need to consider that these staff members will be customer-  Catering.indd 23

facing, and often the first point of contact for visitors. Letting these interactions take place without formal training does pose a risk to a centre’s business, and they would be well advised to revise their temporary staff intake procedures to account for this.

that needs to be kept a very close eye on over summer – particularly when staff are rushing from one task to another. Some of the most basic disciplines of food safety, such as hand washing and cross-contamination, can be forgotten. An example would be a till operator who is handling cash, but then sees that the counter assistant is overloaded and goes straight over to assist without washing their hands. Commercially, the peak season risks increase in numerous ways: hefty queuing times, poorly replenished merchandise counters, unclean tables, longer waits for hot food, lack of seating capacity and increase dwell times as garden centres become more of a destination for families with children, to name a few. There’s also a risk of alienating regular customers, who can become irritated with the sudden influx of summer customers and their associated issues, such as noise and extended queue times.

Another risk is that equipment can let you down during peak times. This can arise from having insufficient equipment – typically, not enough cutlery or glassware – or from heavy equipment such as washers and fridges breaking down under the extra use and strain. Poorly serviced or badly maintained equipment is more likely to stop working, which can cause problems that affect the entire catering operation.

Combating issues

Setting up a separate service pod operation that provides some of your main offer within a catering space is a great idea, and will be a big support in servicing higher volumes of customers over busy periods. The pod with a separate till would draw a number of customers away from the main catering area, which frees up space and reduces queuing times for your other tills – a ‘divide and conquer’ approach. Putting a few of your popular items on the pod for a specific  time slot will make a big

Typical peak issues

High volumes of customers will inevitably place additional demands on a catering team, so any weaknesses that a garden centre’s café or restaurant has in its day-today operations will start to show over the peak period. Additionally, seasonal catering staff will be less familiar with catering and peak service, so a number of risks can quickly emerge, both legal and commercial. In terms of legal risks, food safety is something

Caesar salad

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201723

19/07/2017 10:34

Catering Summer Where possible, incorporate garden centre produce

QUICK SUMMER DISHES TO SPEED UP YOUR PRODUCTION LINE WARM SALADS are popular over summer, as well as being easy to produce quickly in high volumes.

Attractive garnishes can elevate a dish

difference to the level of space and pressure at your main catering counter – for example, from 11am to 2pm it could include your handcrafted sandwiches and salad range. Another key cause of extended queue times is the increase in families with children visiting over the school summer holidays. Families tend to take a lot longer to serve at the till, as the decision-making process is often a lot slower when it involves children. This can frustrate the queue behind, so consider creating a separate service point for families at your catering counter. Longer waiting times for food, and particularly hot food, is another issue that can be remedied by planning ahead. Look carefully at your menu and streamline the engineering of your dishes to ensure that preparations can be completed ahead of peak times, so the minimum amount of finishing is needed to execute the dish when it is ordered. Don’t try to conceive dishes from scratch in your peak season – it will slow your entire service down, which can irritate customers. Lack of seating can be a big issue in summer, and turnover can quickly be lost because a garden centre doesn’t have enough space to seat customers. Think about extending seats and


Catering.indd 24

table areas into your outdoor spaces, or whether a smart picnic takeaway option could be created, where customers can take their food to an outdoor section of your centre to eat it. If you can’t extend the seating capacity in your restaurant or café, think of ways you may be able to use other space within the centre. Consider your seasonal offer for children and families; dedicating some eating areas specifically for them can help to satisfy your regular customers’ desire for peace and quiet, as well as making your garden centre an attractive destination for families. Make sure you have sufficient light equipment. A lot of busy catering operations can get slowed up at the final point of service, where there is a shortage of things like cutlery and glasses. Those shortages will be the first to show over peak periods, and will cause delays as staff are forced to spend time finding clean cutlery quickly. Also, make sure you have your heavy duty equipment, such as fridges, serviced at the start of the season. It can be very costly if they break down, as well as being a nightmare for the safety and running of your operation. Often, garden centre insurance excesses will actually be higher than the value of the fridge’s

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

contents, so if it breaks down, a centre may not want to claim. Prevention is better than cure, and generally, well serviced equipment will reduce energy costs and some of the more ‘silent’ overhead costs.

Keeping standards high over summer

The key to maintaining the standard of your catering operation over peak periods comes down to planning, preparation and execution. Planning is essential – garden centres need to understand the pressures their business will come under, and where the key risks lie over the peak period, in order to consistently deliver high quality products. Monitoring and measurement is crucial, as is setting very clear objectives for service levels and standards. There is nothing better than a mystery shopper for keeping everyone on their toes, so think about employing one and making your staff aware of this – getting that feedback can be very useful. w

SUMMER PUDDING is relatively easy to make in bulk ahead of time, and is a delicious addition to a summer menu. ICE CREAM SUNDAES are great for summer: they have a long shelf life, are easy to construct and don’t require a high level of skill to create. HERITAGE TOMATOES are brilliant when used in tarts and open sandwiches; there is a great resurgence of interest in heritage fruit and vegetables. Putting three or four types of heritage tomato into a sandwich will really change the flavour, and adds commercial value – placing your product above competitors. FOCACCIA-BASED PIZZAS topped with great local ingredients look amazing and have great flavour – a great twist to include on a summer menu.


Carla McKenzie is managing director at MYA Consulting.

19/07/2017 10:34

Discover the Retail Lab @ Glee - an exciting new feature showcasing future product, in-store experience and merchandising trends from WGSN, as well as exploring how to engage with different consumer groups.

To find out more visit: 11-13 September 2017 NEC Birmingham

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 7 SS002149 GLEE GARDEN CENTRE ADVERT 210X265 AW.indd 1

Glee_Birmingham Glee.Birmingham1

Glee_Birmingham GleeBirmingham1

19/07/2017 08:50 05/07/2017 11:10

Plant Focus Bees




A recent study has claimed that a range of pesticides harmful to bees have been found in garden centre plants marked ‘bee friendly’. GCR talks to Friends of the Earth bee campaigner, Nick Rau, to find out how retailers can address the issue and support our pollinating pals



Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

Plant Focus.indd 26

19/07/2017 11:12

Bees Plant Focus


The report

A study by scientists at the University of Sussex, due to be published in Environmental Pollution in September 2017, has tested a range of ‘bee friendly’ plants from five different garden centres, and has discovered a range of pesticides, insecticides and fungicides within them. “It was a relatively small sample, but the results were surprising,” says Nick. “Only two of the plants tested were free of any pesticides. 70% of the plants tested contained neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been identified as harmful to bees, and nearly 50% had pesticides that are in fact banned across Europe because they have been found to pose an acute risk to honey bees.” Plants classified as ‘bee friendly’ are, in general, positive for a garden, due to their high levels of pollen or nectar; however, plants containing neonicotinoids could potentially be harmful to bees as it contributes to their pesticide exposure. Though the study didn’t investigate how the neonicotinoids got into the plants, Friends of the Earth’s position is that they can be traced back to the growers. “I think we have to presume that the the pesticides found in these plants came from the suppliers,” Nick states. “Retailers will be aware of what they are applying to their plants, and I very much doubt a plant would be marketed as  Plant Focus.indd 27

The industry needs to stop buying from plant suppliers that use neonicotinoids, for the good of bee populations in the UK, their customers and their reputation bee friendly by a garden centre that has knowingly applied a pesticide that is harmful to bees. For the most part, the garden centres we’ve spoken to following this report have relayed a lack of awareness on what the plants they stock are treated with before they reach the garden centre.” As well as the presence of neonicotinoids, a further concern raised in the report was the mixture of different pesticides, insecticides and fungicides. “We still don’t know the full effect on pollinators or the environment when those chemicals are mixed together, which is a worry,” Nick explains. “All we can say at the moment is that we don’t think it’s good for consumers to be sold ‘bee friendly’ plants that contain these chemicals.”

What do we know about neonicotinoids?

In 2013 the European Food Safety Authority studied all available evidence on neonicotinoids, and was able to state conclusively that three of the most widely used neonicotinoids posed a high risk to honey bees. This led to a vote in Europe that banned all three from crops

attractive to bees, though Nick explains that this ban was not entirely successful: “The issue with the ban is that, though it does include ornamental plants, it doesn’t include use in glasshouses, and is only applicable if the plant is sprayed with the pesticide in the year of flowering – so suppliers can get around it. Neonicotinoids are also systemic pesticides, which means they’re long-lived and spread throughout the plant – even if a plant is sprayed before the year of flowering, it can still pose a risk to bees and other pollinators.”


PUSSY WILLOW Much-needed early spring pollen source for queen bumblebees and mining bees

COMFREY Excellent spring nectar source for a variety of bumblebees

MARJORAM One of the most nectar-rich garden plants. Attracts a wide range of solitary bees, as well as bumblebees and honeybees

Bee decline in the UK

The UK is currently experiencing a decline in many bee species, both in their distribution areas and their abundance within those areas. “A lot of people are primarily worried about a lack of honey bees, but we actually have a lot of beekeepers in the UK, which is stemming the threat somewhat,” Nick clarifies. ”The decline in wild bee species is much more of a concern.”

Public reaction

Nick warns that the public response to the report findings has been dramatic: “People 

LAVENDER A magnet for bumblebees, honeybees, flower bees and mason bees

VIPER’S BUGLOSS Hums with bumblebees, honeybees and many solitary bees in late summer

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201727

19/07/2017 11:12

Plant Focus Bees are very aware of the decline in bee populations in the UK, and there has been widespread concern. A testament to the level of public involvement is that MPs are getting more correspondence about bees than any other issue.” The campaign to save Britain’s bees from further decline is one that has been taken up by many gardeners in recent years, Nick continues: “A lot of people are creating bee friendly gardens or attaching bee homes to their properties; the public has really responded to the message of urban oases being vital for bees. This new evidence about pesticides in bee friendly plants has shocked a lot of people. Not only do people feel misled, which could damage the relationships they have with their local garden centre, but there is also a risk that they will be put off from their efforts to encourage bee survival. We want consumers to have confidence in the products they’re buying, and this report will have an effect on that confidence if it is not addressed by garden centres.” In response to the report, Friends of the Earth set up an online action which quickly saw over 16,000 people taking up the cause, with large numbers writing to major garden centre

chains requesting that they ban all neonicotinoids on the plants they stock. “B&Q responded really quickly to the scientific evidence,” says Nick. “They’ve already banned all neonicotinoids on their plants from early 2018, and we’re hopeful that more retailers will follow suit.”

A lot of people are creating bee friendly gardens or attaching bee homes to their properties; the public has really responded to the message of urban oases being vital for bees

Finding the solution

At the root of this issue is a lack of communication between garden centres – and other retailers selling plants – and their plant suppliers, states Nick: “Retailers must make sure they are aware of what is being applied to the plants they’re buying, and ensuring their customers are also made aware.” As well as a clear understanding of whether any plants stocked contain harmful pesticides, garden centres should also encourage their suppliers that are using neonicotinoids to stop, Nick continues: “The industry as a whole needs to take up the challenge and stop buying from plant suppliers that continue to use neonicotinoids, for the good of bee populations in the UK, their customers and their reputation.” w






Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

Plant Focus.indd 28

It would be great for garden centres to provide their customers with information about bee friendly planting more generally – the need for more herbaceous perennials, for example. The ‘perfect for pollinators’ labels are great, but garden centres need to make sure these are only applied to neonicotinoid-free plants so that it isn’t misleading to customers. Bees need food sources all year round, and there are opportunities there for garden centres to educate customers on the range of plants that can provide food throughout the year in a garden. Nesting sites are also important for bees; areas like rough grass or products like bee hotels should also be encouraged to gardeners that are interested in the conservation of bees. There are so many ways that a garden centre can encourage customers to have bee friendly gardens, not just in flowers but also herbs, fruit and vegetables and trees. It’s a broad area that can encourage a variety of sales for garden centres.

19/07/2017 11:12



Growing Excellence


Hawkesmill Nurseries will be exhibiting at GLEE on stand NB20 and Four Oaks on stands B19 & 20

Garden Style is our range specifically curated in response to the demand from Garden Centres for “immediate purchase”. It consists of affordable natural stone and porcelain paving, setts, pavers and features, ideal for small DIY projects.

T: 01676 532334 F: 01676 535088 E:

Discover our full range at or call 0845 60 60 240 (Lo-call Rate)

Do you want exceptional growing results?

 Full product range  Nationwide delivery  From single pallet to full load  Experienced support team Bathgate_HalfPage_Ad_JulyAugust.indd 1

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 8


Bathgate Horticulture is a range of products from Bathgate Silica Sand.

For more information & ordering, email or call us on 01270 762 828 Visit 10/07/2017 11:09

19/07/2017 09:37


STV, the specialist home and garden pest control supplier, has re-launched its perennial Love Summer campaign with focus on The Buzz outdoor insect control and citronella range of products. Highlights of The Buzz range include colour-change candles which use heat-activated LED lights to alternate between 4 atmospheric colour themes. The candles burn for up to 15 hours. Alternatively, Citronella Candle Buckets are decorative steel candle buckets with wind-resistant wicks, burning for up to 18 hours. Other decorative enhancements to garden and patio ambiance include citronella diffusers supplied with 6 mosquito coil refill packs, Moroccan-style citronella candles or Citronella Tea Light Jars, supplied in a mixture of three colours, which can be hung or stood around the garden. Citronella Bamboo Torches are popular with consumers and well suited to borders, lawns and tubs. Supplied in a mix of three colours, each

torch has a burn time of 22 hours. STV is encouraging garden and hardware retailers to stock its core range of The Buzz products to become a Key Stockist. Product is supplied on one easy-to-shop merchandiser with supporting Love Summer signage to deliver high-impact displays in amongst garden furniture and BBQs. The Buzz range is available for immediate delivery through preferred wholesalers including Decco, Stax, and Home Hardware. To find out more about how to become an STV Key Stockist, call 01953 881580 or contact your local STV representative. STV are exhibiting at GLEE in 2017, visit us at stand 18L50-M51, Hall 18. 01953 881580

Tool Shed with Log Store

Available in 4 colours:

To see our full range visit our website • Friendly • Innovative • Reliable • From Stock •

Inspiration in the Garden

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 9

Call: 0131 335 5955


Fax: 0131 335 5960


19/07/2017 09:36

Spotlight Products





Expert advice on arranging tantalising outdoor home displays, plus our pick of the products


How to ace the merchandising of your picnic and textiles range – and a product roundup


A firepit-shaped burner that can be controlled manually or with remote control, with additional options for flame size regulation. Equipped with numerous safety sensors, and provides natural, golden flames.




Product Opener.indd 31

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017


19/07/2017 11:17

Products Outdoor Living



Rachel Bent, head of visual merchandising at Bents Garden and Home, explains why putting some effort into your outdoor living displays will pay off – and talks us through Bents’ approach


hen we go on our buying trips at Bents, we look at the ranges available and consider what will fit in with our colour themes and the creative ideas we’re running throughout the centre. We always make sure our outdoor living products, such as furniture, match up with our theme in store – this year we have an industriallook with yellows and greens, which we’ve made look really lush. We always run a nautical theme in outdoor living, too, because it sits so well with link products; we also have an African theme with tropical trees, and linked kitchen and gift products such as lanterns and candles. Those extra accessories really help to build up a look that is attractive and encourages sales. In particular we use a lot of pictures, which would typically be in the home section, but they work so well setting a scene with our outdoor living displays – it really brings them to life.

We will usually have three or four themes that run through the whole centre and are adapted to each department; as such a large area of the centre at this time of year, outdoor living is a big part of that

time of year, outdoor living is a big part of that. We find that our outdoor living products sell best when displayed in a lifestyle look that our customers can visualise in their own garden. Customers feel inspired, and want to recreate the looks we put together by buying the accessories we place on the outdoor living displays. This includes items such as indoor cushions – we get a lot of link sales from those when we place them on outdoor furniture displays.

Themes and schemes

Our display ideas come largely from our buying trips – if we see a great theme or colour scheme we’ll look at how we can interpret it throughout the store and make it a basis for each department. We will usually have three or four themes that run through the whole centre and are adapted to each department; as such a large area of the centre at this


Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

Outdoor_products.indd 32


19/07/2017 12:00

Outdoor Living Products




Matrix Chimenea

Aluminium Rattan Corner Set

Company: Besp-Oak Furniture Made with the latest polyethylene material, using UV- and water-resistant materials to withstand extremes of heat and cold. The powder-coated aluminium frame is designed to have both strength and durability. RRP £979

Heat Beads 10kg BBQ Briquettes

Company: Hilton Banks Ltd An odourless and smokeless fuel labelled. Heat beads require less fuel than coal as they burn hotter and for longer, reaching a minimum temperature of 180ºC, with a five-hour cooking time in a kettle barbecue. RRP £17.49

Outdoor_products.indd 33

Kamado Joe Classic II

Company: Grakka A dome-shaped charcoal grill, made from ceramic to reach a high thermal capacity. The food rests above a ceramic disc, providing an indirectly heated cooking space. Able to maintain chosen temperatures for extended periods of time for slow cooking. RRP £1,398

Company: La Hacienda Part of La Hacienda’s Contemporary range, made from durable steel. Designed to look at home in any environment, thanks to its minimalist design. Available in medium, large and extra-large, the Matrix comes finished in black high-temperature paint with a stainless-steel flue cap, and will be launched at SOLEX in July 2017. RRP £119.99 (large)


Company: Muztag Outdoor Fires Ltd Available with 360º viewing screen and folding side table options. Powered by a concealed gas cylinder, with a slide tray for easy installation and valve safety key, it is usable with propane or butane. RRP £799-£899 www.muztagoutdoor

Choose the right materials It’s easy to pick the cheapest or the most attractive finish when designing units, but permanent PoS should last between three and five years. Make sure outside units are durable and can withstand the elements. Consider unit usage Often, outdoor units will be required to take significant weight from products such as plants and candles. Units should be designed to bear the weight of the intended purpose, and be tested accordingly. Keep it simple Outdoor space is not the best environment for technology. Lighting, screens and projection can be white elephants if used badly, and can be difficult to implement outdoors. Issues such as power supply and sun glare should be properly considered before such a display is created. Let the product sell itself Shopping for outdoor living, picnic and textiles products should be a fun and aspirational experience. Permanent POS should be highlight the product without being the centrepiece of the display. Strike the balance between education and aspiration Units need to supply an education about the product while keeping the customer engaged.

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017


19/07/2017 11:00

Products Picnic and Textiles



Picnicware is a crucial component of any garden centre’s summer repertoire. We speak to David Parsons, gift supervisor at Garsons Titchfield, about how best to merchandise your picnic product offer, and why it’s never too early to start planning for summer

It’s important to pull inspiration from your wider team. What starts as a good idea can evolve into something really fantastic, and staff can feel proud knowing they’ve had a part to play in the display

opportunity to sell, and our displays have unquestionably played a big role in the success of our picnic and textiles department – every central product within the display has had to be reordered as they’ve sold out, and surrounding products are also selling at a high rate.

Democratic decisions


e started the buying process for our picnic and textiles section very early this year, which we always try to do so that we can plan the displays well ahead of time. You have to keep in mind the space and products you have to work with, and we find putting together an early plan really helps with that.


Run with your theme

The products within a display very much set your theme; this year we selected a beachstyle range with the concept ‘Feel Free’. We ran with that idea throughout the planning process. Usually we find that our suppliers already do a good job of displaying their ranges within their catalogues,

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

Picnic_products.indd 34

which helps us to come up with ideas, as does looking at Pinterest – we just put our own spin on it. Our picnic and textiles sales have been great this year; we’ve made some changes, such as selecting two new suppliers and having another tapered off, which is going very well. Displays are an

It’s important to pull inspiration from your wider team – great ideas can come from the most surprising places, so make sure everyone is involved and feels comfortable voicing their opinion. What starts as a good idea can evolve into something really fantastic, and staff can feel proud knowing they’ve had a part to play in the display.


19/07/2017 11:03

Picnic and Textiles Products




Design an element of updateability Permanent PoS is an investment that should last a number of years – however, trends and fashions change. Ensure that your units and displays are adaptable and can be changed.

Four-Person Fitted Picnic Hamper Allotment Vegetable Napkins

Company: Lottie Day Handmade in Norwich as part of her ‘Norfolk Wildlife’ collection, textile artist Lottie Day’s original illustrations are screen-printed by hand to create a unique set of napkins. RRP £28

Company: Gadsby Fully cotton-lined and with a beach-inspired starfish design, this hamper is finished with beige straps and a handle, suitable for family days spent at the beach. RRP £88.50

Hotspot new arrivals Make sure that displays have space to promote seasonal or new arrivals. Changing this from time to time will keep customers interested. Colours This can be simple, or bright and bold. Your display should complement and not clash with the colours of your products. Permanent displays are best kept in neutral colours so they can be reused in future. Place products together A display can help customers to visualise how products will look in their home, or even inspire them to try a something new.

Buttercup Picnic Blanket Company: Atlantic Blankets Features leather straps, waterproof backing and fringe detailing, this blanket is made using pure British wool and a beehive weave. RRP from £30.80

Picnic_products.indd 35

Cactus Zipper Lunch Bag

Company: Green Pioneer A reusable lunch bag made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, with a water-resistant and food-safe polyester lining. Features interior pouch pocket, zip closure, and a colourful cactus design that is printed with low impact, azo-free dyes. RRP £26

Floral Paper Plates

Company: Peach Blossom Floral-print paper plates add a touch of spring to picnics or garden parties. Features a soft pastel design with green, yellow and peach flowers, and the choice of green stripe or yellow stripe straws. Contains enough items for a party of eight people. RRP £6

Keep the customer in mind When making a decision, always consider your customer, and what they want to see at a given time. You should conduct customer research to get a glimpse of what their preferences are, as well as researching new trends.


Kesslers +44 (0) 20 8522 3000

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017


19/07/2017 11:03

When it’s time to reap…

…what you’ve sown. You’ve put the work in, dug deep and grown your business. While everything is rosy, it could be the perfect time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. If you’re considering selling your business now or in the future, Alexander Mackie Associates are ready to help bring your sale to fruition. Contact us now; we’ll be delighted to discuss the possibilities. 01732 522222








fax: +44 (0)1666 505320 email:

GCR - half-page advert - July17.indd 1

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 10

18/07/2017 16:17:56

19/07/2017 09:39

Autumn Fair Show Preview



FLORALSILK LTD HALL 5, STAND G40-H41 Floralsilk is a UK-based family business, with customers and employees at the heart of its operation. It supplies the finest silk flowers, plants and seasonal decorations. What: Launch of the 2018 Spring collection, including silk flowers, plants, trees and arrangements.



Fairyglass Ltd is the European distributor for Fiddlehead, the market-leading miniature garden range. It is a family-run business based near Bath, established in 2004 and specialising in whimsical giftware and garden products. Supplying a over 500 retailers with a wide range of unusual products, with next day delivery and no minimum order. Customer support is key to Fairyglass’s continuing success, and it offers free catalogues, information sheets, plant stakes and plenty of friendly advice.

Every season, Kaemingk’s team presents innovative collections of home décor, water pieces, garden furniture and solar and garden lighting. It is also a leading importer and exporter of seasonal decorations for Christmas, spring and summer. What: Garden furniture, water features, garden statues.

What: The Fiddlehead Fairy Garden – the USA’s leading range of miniature garden products. Finely detailed, well priced and featuring opening doors on the houses.



Internationally renowned walking stick specialists Classic Canes stocks over 700 quality traditional and contemporary walking sticks, folding canes, seat sticks and umbrellas across a wide range of prices. The family business is based in Somerset, England and manufactures many of its rustic walking sticks on site.

ABitQuackers has a broad range of products for both indoors and outdoors, with a range extending to over 250 items. Its larger statement pieces have proved a hit this season, and the range will be expanding for 2018. The current brochure and price list can be accessed with the password nothingventured from, and the 2018 brochure will be available online from 01/09/2017.

What: The full range will be on display including the new National Gallery Collection and new collectors’ sticks and folding canes suitable for Christmas presents.  AutumnFair_GoSee.indd 37

What: Launch of ABitQuackers’ new ranges for 2018, which include a range of bright, fresh and fun garden sculptures with solar lighting to enliven the evening garden.

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201737

19/07/2017 10:28

w Ne

PowerGearX_GC Retail AD_186x118_v2.indd 1

28/04/2017 09:42

The Award Winning Barbecue & Firebowl In One ‘Designed in England ~ Handmade in India’


See us at

GLEE & SPOGA 01803 428260 PO Box 318, Torquay, TQ1 9HR

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 11

Tel: 01694 771800

19/07/2017 09:42

Barbecues Demos

BARBECUE demonstrations IN-HOUSE

GCR examines how in-house barbecue demonstrations can dramatically increase sales and looks at their effect on customer support


n the last couple of years, barbecue retailers have become much more established in the garden centre industry, with the realisation that barbecues fit in well with the lifestyle that garden centres promote. Richard Holden BBQ Ltd hosts around 30 live product demonstrations each year in garden centres across the UK, mainly in the summer. Explaining how demonstrations by industry experts help improve sales, founder Richard Holden tells us: “You are bringing the product to life. Instore demonstrations with knowledgeable industry professionals enable customers to feel confident with their purchase, because somebody is putting a story to a product and showing them how it can fit into their lifestyle.”  BBQ_demos.indd 39

Richard Holden BBQ demonstrations cover everyday cooking, as well as techniques such as pulling, roasting, smoking and baking – and the all-important barbecue cleaning. The company also offers tasters and a Q&A session, and has done themed weekends in the past. “The marketing team at the centre have to really get behind it and they have to push it, because demonstrations are all about sales,” says Richard. “If you have a small group of customers watching, you’re not going to get the same energy and the same conversion rate as you would if you have a large group. When a large group watches a product demonstration, a few customers purchasing the product will likely spur others to do the same.”

Around 70% of customers will buy a product after watching a demonstration, Richard tells us. The company’s successes include a garden centre that sold 400% more of a barbecue product over one demonstration weekend than it had in the same weekend the year before. Richard recommends that garden centres run a discount alongside the product for a minimum of two weeks after the event, as customers become the brand’s ambassadors. Running a discount allows potential buyers to go home and think about the product rather than panic buy, and they may bring back family and friends. “My advice would be to market the demonstrations the same way you market gardening events, because most people don’t realise

It’s important to ensure the event is signposted and advertised on social media, in store and locally, as this increases the likelihood of customers returning for future demonstrations

what a demonstration consists of,” says Richard. “With barbecue demonstrations we aim to do something a bit different, which retailers should be made aware of beforehand. We’ve cooked half a rib of beef, sea trout and chocolate brownies – retailers need to know what to expect, and then market the demonstration accordingly.” Richard advises that demonstrations should be positioned in an area of the centre that customers will have to seek out, so that only people who are genuinely interested in the product will attend. It’s also important to ensure that the event is wellsignposted and advertised online on social media, in store and locally, as this will increase the likelihood of customers returning for future demonstrations. 

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201739

19/07/2017 10:29

Demos Barbecues TOP TIPS

Paul Thomas from Retail Remedy gives us his top tips for garden centre demonstrations about why you’re 1 Think holding it and what

your target audience is.

the time of 2 Consider year, month, week and day that you’ll run the demonstration, and how many you will do in one day.

sure the 3 Make person running the

demonstration is knowledgeable and professional, and has the right platform and equipment.

Case Study:St Peter’s Case Study:Hayes Garden World St Peter’s Garden Centre in Worcester held a barbecue event in June, and saw around a 20% increase in product sales as a result of the demonstration. “We have held a few demonstrations recently; one was a free event that saw 40 people attend two sessions, and the other was a paid class,” says William Blake, general manager of the centre. “It was £40 per head and we sold out very quickly. In the local area, we are now regarded as an expert on barbecues, and people are registering their interest prior to events and asking when our next one will be.” William tells us that, while St Peter’s does sell other products that are technical enough to need demonstrations, such as drip irrigation, these don’t provide as much turnover in sales or product value. In the past, the centre has held workshops on container planting, hanging baskets and herbs, as well as talks on orchids and roses.


Hayes Garden World in Cumbria has used Richard Holden BBQ’s services, with the centre’s sales manager Ian Hodgett commenting that the centre has seen a huge benefit from using the company. “From Richard’s very first demonstration here at Hayes over three years ago, we knew we had to do them regularly,” Ian tells us. “During Richard’s first demo he talked about the need to have an instant-read thermometer, and we sold 16 at £16.99 each immediately after he finished.” Since Richard’s first visit, Hayes has become a Weber World Store, and it now has one of the largest year-round barbecue shops in the country. “Our sales in barbecues have increased by over 200% since we became a Weber World stockist and started to hold demonstrations every two weeks,” he says. Ian has learned from experience when the best times to hold different types of demonstration are, and recommends experimenting with different times depending on your target audience. In addition to its barbecue masterclasses, Hayes offers flower arranging demonstrations. “Other than increasing sales, we see demonstrations as a way to help our customers get the most out of what they’ve bought,” says Richard. “We also encourage them to come to our other events to learn more skills. One thing we have tried to do this year at Hayes is make YouTube videos of the dishes made during the barbecue masterclasses, so that viewers can recreate what they have just watched and get the recipe.” Ian advises any garden centre that is considering holding a demonstration to plan ahead and communicate well with the demonstrator, to avoid issues such as stock shortages. “Don’t be alarmed if you don’t sell everything while the demo is taking place,” Ian says. “A lot of customers will come back to purchase a product after they’ve had time to think about it.”

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

BBQ_demos.indd 40

you calculate 4 Before how much stock you’ll need, look at your sales run rate for the past few weeks, and think about how long you will push the product for after the demonstration.

forget to market 5 Don’t the demonstration online and in store.



19/07/2017 10:30


Following on from the highly successful unveiling of its Zero Threshold™ range at GLEE 2015, in what was the first design breakthrough in aluminium greenhouses for more than 25 years, Eden Halls has since launched a series of accessories launches under the Eden Greenhouses brand, the latest of which is a greenhouse roller blinds offer. Designed to provide neat and effective shading to protect young plants from harsh sunlight. The Eden-branded roller blinds are supplied in packs of two with an rrp of £34.99 home delivered. The blinds are easy to fit with suction pads top and bottom if seasonal removal / re-application is required. The blinds are easily retracted to make use of all possible sunlight. The Eden blinds range can also be fitted to other brands of greenhouse with similar glazing panel sizes using the suction pads. The launch of the Eden roller blinds makes the Eden greenhouse accessories collection one of the most comprehensive ranges in the market. The other products in the range are a purpose designed shelving and staging system, a selection of ventilation accessories and a 100L water butt, made from recycled materials and available in grey and black. The butt comes complete with a water butt stand and a hosepipe compatible tap. A gutter connecting kit and additional fittings are available to allow the end user to create a custom water harvesting set up. Interested retailers should contact their Eden representative or call the company on 01242 676625.

Newbuild, refurbishment

or maintenance?

More information: +31 174 638 000










Imaginative, whimsical products for creative gardeners of all ages! Finely detailed, weatherproof miniature garden houses, accessories and figurines, offering great value and a decent margin, with full retailer support and advice from the longest established brand in the UK. Our FREE 24 page A4 brochure is now availablecontact us for a copy!

For further information, advice and prices, please contact: Fairyglass Ltd, Units 33-35, Leafield Indusrtrial Estate, Corsham SN13 9RS Tel. +44 (0) 1225 812101 e.

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 13

19/07/2017 09:47

Lighting GIMA

GIMA buyer’s guide

Martini Stake Light

Company: Smart Garden Part of the Super Bright Solar Lighting range, these high-performance stake lights are built for customers who are serious about their solar. Classed as ‘higher lumen’, these new models are significantly brighter than regular solar lights. The actual brightness stretches from 3-500 lumens, with the lumen rating clearly shown on the packaging so customers can easily identify the brightness of each product. RRP £7.99

LIGHTING Did you know that a ‘lumen’ is the internationally recognised unit of brightness? The higher the number, the brighter the light. Whether or not you’re up to date with the latest technology in solar lighting and torches, rest assured that with all the styles of traditional lighting and lanterns available, the future for garden centres is brighter than ever.

Green Aged Metal Lantern

CHT+100 BatteryLock

Company: Coleman Headtorches don’t come much more high-tech than the new CHT+100. Made by leading camping equipment supplier Coleman, this 100 lumen LED torch has a reach of 40m, and an improved 6hr+ battery life, with a simple disengagement mechanism that saves battery wastage when stored for long periods of time. Weighing only 90g including battery, this gardening and DIY essential features a branded purple, lilac and navy strap and a hinged bracket to angle the beam. RRP £12.99

Company: Fallen Fruits Traditional rustic style remains as popular as ever, exemplified by Fallen Fruits’ Green Aged Metal Lanterns, made of weathered mild steel and glass. To use, just move the handle, open the top and place a candle or tealight. The lantern can be placed on the ground or suspended by the handle in any desired location, both inside and outside. RRP £29.99 (pack of four)

LED colour change garden lights

Company: Paroh Leading UK leisure and lifestyle supplier Paroh has a range of attractive LED colour change garden lights, ideal for adding a fresh, contemporary look to outdoor living displays. The lights are remote controlled, powered by AA batteries and come in five different shapes, including plant pot and wine cooler. Made of PE material, the lights are IP44-rated, waterproof and feature an on/off switch. RRP £29.99-£49.99  GIMA_Lighting_Planters.indd 43

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201743

19/07/2017 10:44

GIMA Pots & planters

GIMA buyer’s guide


With so many pots and planters to choose from, buyers looking for something to add that point of difference can be faced with quite a job. GIMA’s top manufacturers, suppliers and distributors have come together to highlight their top picks for your centre. CONTACT

Potato Pot

Indoor Pots

Elegant Vase Planter

Algarve Planter

RRP £21.99 (pack of three)

RRP £9.99-£14.99

RRP £49.99

RRP £2.59-£28.49

Magna Pot

Groove Planters

Pantry Planters

Marford Hexagonal Planter

Company: Agralan Designed for the patio or balcony, the Potato Pot is a portable, easy to use and easy to harvest container growing solution – with the added bonus of being able to check on tubers’ progress by lifting out the inner pot.

Company: Pots of Distinction Simple, strong and handmade from natural clay by craftsmen in Southeast Asia. Rustic and frost-proof, the pot is made to withstand all seasons, and is Pots of Distinction’s most popular pot. RRP £269.99 www.potsof


Company: Burgon & Ball These indoor pots are made from glazed stoneware and will hold most popular house plant sizes. The range also includes weatheredlooking terracotta pots and a host of other colours and designs.

Company: Terrastyle Suitable for indoor and outdoor use and available in a variety of sizes and colours, Terrastyle’s Groove contemporary range is lightweight but sturdy, with the ability to resist frost and UV rays. RRP £20-£250

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

GIMA_Lighting_Planters.indd 44

Company: Cadix Designed for indoor and outdoor use, the 47cm-tall, 36cm-diameter Elegant Vase Planter features two layers, providing plants with optimum insulation in hot and cold weather. Durable, lightweight and recyclable.

Company: Woodlodge The unique shape of these planters is intended to be reminiscent of vintage farm jugs, which inspired the unique decorative unglazed details that adorn each of the four designs in the range. RRP £6.99-£34.99

Company: Elho Elho’s Algarve planter is designed to create a Mediterranean atmosphere. Perfect for specimen plants or potting on, the wheels allow consumers to reposition trees and large perennials with ease.

Company: Zest 4 Leisure Made from solid, carefully planed FSC timber and guaranteed against rot for 10 years. The Marford Hexagonal Planter is an eye-catching feature for any garden or patio. RRP £64.99

19/07/2017 10:45

CREATIVE PRODUCTS INTRODUCES NO RISK RETAIL TO GLEE VISITORS Creative products will be showcasing its new range of products and packaging on stand 18N30-P31 at this year’s Glee. The company, which offers a wide range of kitchen and housewares utensils and gadgets on a fully sale or return basis, will be unveiling a host of additions to its product range as well as its new heritage inspired packaging. New products include the Chefs Basket, a versatile flexible basket that lets you cook, boil and deep fry foods with ease. Made from tough stainless steel, the fold flat, easy store, compact design, quickly expands into a multi-function utensil, which can also act as a free-standing colander when removed from the pan. Easy Salad provides a fast, simple, mess free way to prepare salad. Combining salad bowl and

strainer with built in cutting board and integral knife guide slots, this product pulls together all the steps in salad preparation in one clever product. Heritage Ceramic Frying Pans feature a PTFE (Teflon) free non-stick ceramic cooking surface and forged alloy base for better heat distribution. Ideal for use on all halogen, electric, gas and ceramic hobs and most induction hobs, the stainless steel handle means that the pan can also be used in the oven. The heritage pans feature on trend colours of heritage grey, powder blue and heritage red. Available in 20cm 24cm, 28cm Heritage pans will appeal to a broad range of garden centre buyers and independent retailers. Managing director of Creative Products, Mark Hall commented, “Over the past year, we have

built up a real reputation for product innovation and trend-setting and the time is now right for us to demonstrate this to Glee visitors in September. Combining our advances in new product development with our ‘no risk’ sale or return approach to retail means we have a fantastic offering to share with our customers and we look forward to discussing this further with interested buyers at the exhibition.” The Creative Products offer is ideal for independents, garden centres, cookshops, large retail chains and department stores alike. Its products are all innovative and inspirational and presented to consumers in an explanatory and experiential manner in fully serviced merchandising systems, inclusive of instore TV promotion.

Interested retailers can find out more by visiting Creative Products on stand 18N30-P31 at Glee or can contact the company on 01476 564 230 or


£59 EACH + VAT. FREE DELIVERY FOR ORDERS OF 10 OR MORE* *For mainland England, Wales and Southern Scotland. Heavy Duty Galvanised frame, solid wheels. In stock for immediate delivery. MAE Trading Ltd, The Stables, Cockshut Lane, Melbourne, Derbys, DE73 8DG. Tel: 01332 694569 email:

Come visit us at Stand 20Q02

“Our webshop with Garden Connect drives in store sales too!� - Fernhill Garden Centre

Order early to secure winter-season supply Great deals available through selected wholesalers Up to 6 months sell-through* * New regulations will take effect from March 1st 2018, reducing rodenticide concentrations and restricting retail pack sizes

Stock up now! Contact The Big Cheese sales rep in your area for more information, or call STV on 01953 881580 |

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 15

19/07/2017 09:54


Uuni 3 Products All you need to know to sell...

UUNI 3 PORTABLE PIZZA OVEN In 2012, Kristian Tapaninaho launched the world’s first portable pizza oven, Uuni, on Kickstarter, and achieved more than 220% of his initial goal. Uuni creates authentic wood-fired pizza using energy-dense wood-burning pellets. Based in Edinburgh and shipping to over 60 countries around the world, Uuni grew 235% in 2015 and 340% in 2016, with the team aiming to be one of the top five global outdoor cooking brands by 2020. The Uuni 3 launched on 1 March 2017, and has an RRP of £199. It reaches temperatures of up to 500ºC within 10 minutes of lighting, and cooks pizza in less than 60 seconds. New features include an insulated top shell to maintain heat, a clip-on clip-off chimney for easy portability, and three legs instead of four to improve stability.


Remove items from the packaging and splay the legs. Clip the chimney in and place the chimney cap on top. Place the flame guard under the stone and slide it into the oven, then place the flame keeper at the top, just inside the door. Attach the door handle bracket to the door, with the door handle bolted onto it, screwing the wooden handle to the bracket with a hex key. The burner slips together and attaches to the back of the oven. Make sure to keep the pellet slide at an angle to allow the pellets to slide down. Place the wooden handled top of the burner onto it, and slide it into the back of the pizza oven.


Pour the pellets into the hopper, and put a firelighter at the front of the burner tray to help light the pellets. Once lit, add more pellets into the top of the hopper, making sure to keep them topped up. Before each pizza is put into the oven, check it is topped up with pellets but not overfull. Wait 10 minutes for the oven to heat up, making sure the door is on and the chimney cap is off. The grates in the back of the hopper draw air in, with the chimney drawing it forward and heating up the base.  Anatomy.indd 47


Create a pizza dough with toppings and place onto a well-floured pizza peel. Remove the door, slide the pizza off the peel onto the hot pizza stone and leave for 20 seconds, placing the door back onto the front of the oven. Turn the pizza every 20 seconds to ensure it is well cooked. The pizza should be ready within 60 seconds. Recipes can be found on Uuni’s blog,, including garlic and herb chicken, ultimate breakfast pizza, Turkish mixed kofta and their classic pizza dough recipe. Uuni’s YouTube channel, simply titled Uuni, has a series of ‘Uuniversity’ videos teaching customers how to make pizzas and pizza dough, such as ‘How To Shape & Stretch Pizza’, ‘60 Second Pizza Sauce’ and ‘How To Make Pizza Dough’.

Garden Centre Retail July/August 201747

19/07/2017 10:27

The Walking Stick Specialists

Dirt-trapping doormats from Turtle Mat

The gardener’s friend for over 20 years

Introducing our new range of 12 walking sticks and folding canes based on paintings by Bosschaert, Van Gogh and Stubbs.


Autumn Fair: Hall 4, Stand M25


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


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

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 16

19/07/2017 10:00

Gardena Trading With

Paul Simpson


GCR caught up with UK Gardena account manager Paul Simpson to discuss the company’s new focus on the UK market and its recently opened ambassador store at Gordale Garden and Home Centre How did the company start up? Gardena started in 1961 and focused on gardening tools and watering products. We now have an extensive product range that covers watering, lawn care, robotic lawnmowers and tools. Our offer is particularly diverse. What is the company’s ethos? Gardena is all about innovating while keeping the consumer in mind. We’re always looking at potential and existing trends worldwide. City gardening is on the rise as more and more people live in cities, so we’re looking at how we can innovate and create new products for that market. What are the company’s plans for future growth? Gardena is a big European player in watering products and tools, but our UK

We have high quality PoS with great displays and we offer full, free staff training for our stockists

TradingWith.indd 49

presence is relatively small, so our next step is to grow our UK business. We’ll be strengthening our brand in Britain and generating better distribution. Part of that is our new ambassador stores, the first of which launched at Gordale in April this year. Gordale is a long-time Gardena stockist, and we felt that its catchment area and reputation made it the perfect fit to be our first ambassador store. So far the reception has been fantastic. Can you tell me about Gardena’s staff training programme? We’ve rolled out a full training programme for Gordale staff to ensure they know our products inside out and are confident selling them. We’re looking to offer that training for free to any of our garden

centre stockists next year. We’ve also invested in some new key account managers who are entirely focused on garden centres in the UK. What are your latest products? We currently have a TV media campaign that includes our new frostproof watering nozzles, and in the past eight months we’ve released our smart robotic system for the garden and our new secateurs and pruners range. So far all of those products have sold excellently – it’s a real credit to our product teams, who work hard to make sure our products connect with people who love gardening. What are Gardena’s ambitions for the future? I think expansion will be a big part of Gardena’s future. We’re a strong European brand, but our ambition is to grow in the UK and outside the EU. We’ll also be working to strengthen the brand and focus on new garden areas. We want to become a brand that covers the whole garden, not just watering and cutting. Multichannel distribution is another key focus for us moving forward; we’ll be tackling the online world, and

Gordale Garden and Home Centre

will continue rolling out our ambassador stores in garden centres and making our unique products. What does Gardena do to support garden centres that stock its products? We have high quality PoS with great displays and we offer full, free staff training for our stockists. We also supply brochures, and our media campaign should be a huge driver for sales. ◗


Garden centres wishing to discuss becoming ambassador stores for Gardena can contact UK account manager Gary Fisher on: Gary.Fisher@

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017


19/07/2017 11:18


For full details on all jobs, please go to

Call 01903 777 580 or email with your vacancy



A large independent garden centre, renowned for its extensive range of products and excellent customer service, is currently seeking a garden centre manager to work closely with the owner and take on a good level of autonomy for daily operations. Duties will include driving sales and maximising profits, identifying trends in sales and profit opportunities, merchandising and arranging displays to promote linked sales, leading and inspiring a team of staff, stock management, health and safety, personnel matters and ensuring outstanding customer service is achieved. The appointed person will possess strong leadership skills with a proven track record at this level of management, in return for a competitive salary and excellent career prospects.

Exciting opportunities have arisen to join prestigious garden centre businesses in the South West and home counties. You should be a strong commercial manager who is able to lead from the front, meet sales budgets, monitor cost control, ensure pricing is correct, control health and safety, and oversee the recruitment, training and appraisals of all staff. You will be responsible for the marketing and merchandising of the site and for overseeing purchasing and liasing with buyers. You will ideally come from a similar business and have strong commercial and financial acumen, understanding seasonality. Horticultural knowledge would be helpful, but is not essential.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to



Our client is a prestigious group of garden centres with out of town sites. They require a department manager with entrepreneurial flair. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who can be involved with the development of the site and run their department as their own business. You must have both garden centre and sundries experience, along with excellent man management, customer service and merchandising ability.

Blue Diamond is one of the UK’s largest garden centre groups, with 19 centres across the UK and Channel Islands. We are always on the lookout for highly motivated, customer-focused staff with a keen interest in plants and gardening and a creative eye for detail, to join our plant area and gardening sundries teams. You must have a confident, outgoing and energetic personality, understand what it takes to deliver excellent customer service, have great communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team, have a willingness to learn and develop, and possess a can-do attitude.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to



We have an exciting opportunity to work as a horticultural plant buyer within an ambitious and forward thinking charity. If you have a true passion and drive for horticulture then this is the role for you. We are looking for someone who fully understands and can manage the complexities of our peat-free offer, and implement quality control throughout the supply chain. You will play a key role in sourcing, assessing and developing the whole supply base, both internally and externally. You will have sound knowledge of the market and competition, and be able to negotiate cost prices and evaluate product performance against KPIs. You will tailor packages and manage the critical path to ensure on-time delivery of a constantly changing range.

An expanding group of destination garden centres is currently seeking EPOS managers for their sites (Essex/Staffordshire/Cambridge). Responsibilities will include overseeing the smooth intake of goods and entering them onto the system with accuracy and speed, with up to date information being passed through all departments. The appointed person will possess good computer and Excel skills, have a head for numbers and be confident to manage an administration team while supporting the garden centre manager in line with the business needs.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to





Jobs.indd 50

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017

TAYLOR2RECRUITMENT LTD South West and home counties


HORTICRUITMENT Essex/Staffordshire/Cambridge

19/07/2017 10:47

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


Mole catching made easy

Endorsed by Master Mole Catchers in the UK

EasySet Mole Trap only £24.50 each RRP or call us on 01223 927216 With over 45 years experience we pride ourselves on customer service.

Glasshouses bought, sold and refurbished. Venlo specialists. Structures for Garden Centres. All aspects of glasshouse work including poly roofs, snow damage and Composite panels. From initial design concept through to full installation, Clovis Canopies can take care of your canopy and walkway needs. 01622 873 907

01724 734374

01482 648032

Tel: 01724 734374 Fax: 01482 648032 Email:

IT WORKS 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 • •

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 17

OVER 450 cvs online to browse

OVER 48,000 emails are sent to candidates monthly


i Tr

Phone | 01730 895182

& d d he ble fte is ila ra fin ava dc ly rs an ul de H utif e or a ad be al tr

Antiqued ornamental stoneware from Hampshire Gardencraft


official job board:

visit the website at call AMBER today on 01903 777581

19/07/2017 11:09










12,000+ PRODUCTS









Trilanco Ltd | Coronation Way | Mill Farm Sports Village | Wesham | Preston | PR4 3JZ

GCR_Ads_julaug.indd 18

19/07/2017 10:03

Profile for Eljays44

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017  

Garden Centre Retail July/August 2017  

Profile for eljays44