Garden Centre Retail November 2023

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November 2023

Emma Poulton, Scotsdales The power of company culture in a workplace

The customer journey Does catering enhance customer interaction?

Issue 72

Recruitment challenges What’s the impact of the industry skills shortage?

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Confectionery, alcohol and toys this season

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elcome to the November issue of Garden Centre Retail. There have been a few issues in the news recently focusing on how retail has suffered over the past few months. One of these topics is theft, an issue that the entire retail sector has been grappling with, experiencing a recent surge. It’s fantastic to see that the HTA has joined forces with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and a host of leading retail brands to call on the government for urgent action on this. It will go towards rescuing the £16m loss that the HTA is estimating that has been lost to thieves from garden centres in the past year. The other topic that has seen a fair amount of coverage is staffing and recruitment. Often heralded as the biggest headache that business owners face, staffing, recruiting and employees is

an area that causes sleepless nights and stress for those running businesses. In this issue of Garden Centre Retail, this topic is tackled in a number of ways. We hear from Andrew Burton on building a staff culture and how that’s beneficial to customers of garden centres, as well as Emma Poulton, head of culture at Scotsdale’s, who features in our interview and discusses the issues and challenges that affect recruitment in horticulture. Finally, we’re approaching the busiest period on the retail calendar – Christmas. A time for celebration, final catch-up of the year, and of course, the general public’s visit to the wonderful Christmas displays that adorn the garden centres in this country. There’s no other industry that does it better in my opinion. We hope this period is successful for our readers. Thanks for all your support – we will see you next month!

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Garden Centre Retail November 2023


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Con ten


News A round-up of the latest industry news



A Time of Joy – Christmas Peter Burks on getting the most out of the festive period

12 14 17 22 27 30 34 39 43

Get Ahead with Garden Gifting GIMA members discuss their exciting gift products

Company Values & Customer Perception The benefits of building a strong team culture

Company Culture Emma Poulton, Scotsdales Garden Centres

Growing And Retaining Your Staff Advice from the industry

Staffing Challenges Thoughts from Natalie Smith, MorePeople

The M Word The secret to supercharging your workforce

Catering to Your Customers How catering is aiding centres to grow

Confectionery products The sweetest gifts for your customers

Toys Perfect gift ideas for Christmas 2023


Products – Alcohol Raise your spirits this Christmas with these great offerings

Garden Centre Retail November 2023



News D

Dobbies opens new Antrim store obbies has officially opened its largest ever store at The Junction Retail and Leisure Park. The 110,000sq ft flagship store is Dobbies’ second venture in Northern Ireland and has created 120 new jobs, making it one of the largest employers within the Antrim and Newtownabbey borough.

Television presenter Pamela Ballantine officially opened the doors and was joined by deputy mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Councillor Rosie Kinnear; Dobbies CEO, David Robinson; Dobbies Antrim general manager Ken Ferguson; as well as operations manager Jenny Campbell.

CJ Wildlife and Hillier Garden Centres creates new retail partnership


ildlife specialist brand CJ Wildlife has announced its partnership with Hillier Garden Centres. Visitors to Hillier Garden Centres are now able to browse and buy CJ Wildlife’s wide range of habitats, feeders and specialist food in-store, with product lines being rolled out across all 22 centres in the coming weeks. In what is the wildlife company’s first large-scale retail partnership, the garden centre giant will stock everything from nest boxes and bird feeders to insect hotels and bat boxes. Phil Kent, head of UK sales (B2B) at CJ Wildlife, comments: “We are delighted that Hillier Garden Centres has become an official CJ Wildlife retail partner. Our mission is to inspire consumers to care for the wildlife outside their own back door, and with Hillier’s extensive network of centres we hope that it will be even easier for people to do just that.” Rory Parkes, buyer at Hillier Garden Centres, adds: “CJ Wildlife offers naturelovers a wide variety of solutions to help them attract more wildlife to their outdoor space and care for all kinds of creatures. We’re thrilled to be partnering with such a passionate brand and are certain its products will be hugely popular with our customers.”


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

Dobbies CEO, David Robinson, said: “I’d like to share a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved. I’d also like to thank everyone from the local community who has been so helpful and made us feel so welcome. We hope visitors enjoy this fantastic Dobbies’ experience and we look forward to building on the strong relationships with our Junction neighbours and the wider Antrim community.”

HTA calls on Home Secretary for urgent action on retail crime


he HTA has joined forces with the BRC and other major retailers to call for action on the escalating crisis of retail crime. In 2022, the HTA estimated £16 million worth of garden centre turnover had been lost to retail crime over the last 12 months. Over 70% of garden centres reported crime as an issue. Fran Barnes, chief executive of the HTA, says: “The HTA’s retail members, the many and much-loved local garden centres across the UK, have been expressing increasing concern over the level and impact of theft from their premises. “We are more and more often hearing reports of an increased value of goods stolen, an increased threat to staff, or at worst, assault. Most disappointingly a postcode lottery of police responses to reports of these crimes. “It goes without saying the safety of staff comes first. That is one of the reasons we are joining with the BRC and others to make this call to the Home Secretary to create a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening, or abusing a retail worker. More needs to be done to recognise the impact these situations can have on workers and businesses.”


Laylocks Garden Centre expansion works underway


ork is underway at the expansion at Laylocks Garden Centre in Cotheridge near Worcester. The aim is to open the new development in March 2024. Hannah Warr, a director at the centre, says: “We are excited. Everyone has been telling us they are excited by the new expansion. It will put the centre on the map.” The Laylocks Garden Centre expansion will lead to the centre having more than 650sqm of retail space. This includes an expanded restaurant and a brand-new layout with an

entrance. There will also be a newly developed plant and landscape area. The centre is also promising a larger home and lifestyle department and a bigger Christmas department. This is “to make the festive season as magical as possible”. Warr said they were currently “quite small” on the retail side but once the expansion is complete, the centre will have “everything you can imagine for the garden” available to buy. Staff numbers will increase by five or 10 per cent when the new development opens.

Otley Garden Centre invests in renewable energy


tley Garden Centre has recently installed a 227-panel solar array which will save 91,715kWh of energy and will reduce the carbon footprint of the Pool Road site by 21.4 tonnes per annum. “We are pleased to be investing further at Otley with this solar scheme. Some of the panels will be on the new roof we installed in January, with the remainder on existing buildings. There have never been any solar panels at Otley, and this was always high on our list of priorities when we acquired the

business last year,” said Mark Farnsworth, Yorkshire Garden Centres’ MD. “We have an extensive network of over 2,100 solar panels throughout the group and it’s a vital part of our sustainability agenda. There have been times this summer when Tong and Tingley Garden Centres have been self-sufficient, which is great from an environmental and an economic perspective. The annual electricity generated from Otley alone would power an electric car for 367,000 miles.”

12,000 lost apprenticeship places in retail


etailers could have offered 12,000 more apprenticeships over the past year if it was not for the government’s failure to reform the Apprenticeship Levy, according to a survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The industry took on approximately 17,000 apprenticeships in that period, meaning Levy reform could boost this by 70%. A more flexible system would not cost the taxpayer a penny yet would both boost apprenticeship numbers and open up additional training opportunities for people in retail, equipping them with the skills that the economy needs to grow. If the Levy were more flexible, retailers would have been able to train over 20,000 more people including 7,000 in digital skills, helping the industry prepare for the huge technological transformation currently underway. The survey also revealed how vital reforms would be for ‘Levelling Up’. The North West, North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber are among the regions that would see the most significant rise in training if the Levy funding system was more flexible. As a result of the inflexible Levy scheme, over £200m of potential retail investment into the UK labour market has gone to waste over the past 12 months, equivalent to nearly £500,000 every single day. This is because the Apprenticeship Levy is a “use it or lose it” system requiring businesses to contribute hundreds of millions of pounds into a pot, but only allows funds to be spent in an overly restricted way. For example, retailers cannot use the money to fund any courses that are shorter than one year. Garden Centre Retail November 2023



Howard family completes purchase of Wellingborough Garden Centre


pecialist business property adviser, Christie & Co has completed the sale of Wellingborough Garden Centre in Great Doddington, Northamptonshire to the Howard Family. Albeit newcomers to the garden centre industry the family already operates successful construction, plant hire and building repairs businesses and hopes their wealth of experience in horticulture and landscaping will translate quickly into continued success at the soon-to-be-rebranded garden centre. This large, established plant and garden centre sits on a prime 3.49-acre site just off the A45. The site was sold by Christie & Co on behalf of Wyevale back in 2018, so it is one of the first former Wyevale sites that Christie & Co’s specialist garden centre retail team have sold for a second time. Tom Glanvill, director for garden centres and retail at Christie & Co, who brokered the deal, comments: “The sale of Wellingborough Garden Centre reinforces the appetite for the garden centre sector, with a diverse range of purchasers, many who are not currently operating a garden centre, keen to enter the market.”

The Howard family comments: “We are extremely excited in our acquisition of the garden centre and the possibilities for development that come with it. “We’ve visited the garden centre for many years and know the strong reputation for customer service and customer satisfaction that the team remaining in place have worked so hard to maintain. Our immediate efforts to refurbish and re-open the cafe sit central

to our plan to increase our offerings to those within Doddington Village, and the wider Wellingborough area. “We want the already successful business to continue to grow, whilst installing a community feel at the heart of the way we run the business. We will rebrand to reflect this, trading as Doddington Nurseries for the foreseeable future.”

The Gardens Group named in Planet Mark Awards finalists


he Gardens Group has been announced as one of the finalists at the Planet Mark Awards 2023, which is set to take place at The Royal Institution in London on Thursday 2 November. Shortlisted in the Employee Engagement category, the independent garden centre group has been recognised by the panel for engaging its teams in Sherborne, Yeovil and Poundbury at all levels, resulting in a 25.9% carbon reduction per employee over the past year. During its third year as voluntary members of Planet Mark, a sustainability certification scheme backed by the Eden Project, The Gardens Group once again engaged its 160-strong team at all stages of the process, from idea generation and target setting to measurement and review. Through hundreds of new initiatives, pushed forward by smaller groups of staff assigned to each task, they have managed to achieve a substantial reduction in carbon emissions in nearly all reported areas, which include Buildings, Travel, Waste, Water, Procurement and Homeworking.


Garden Centre Retail November 2023


Christmas time –



hristmas is a time of celebration, warmth, and joy, and garden centres have become an integral part of this festive season. They’re now the go-to destination for gifts, decorations, food and a range of winter and Christmas events. Garden centres benefit from having a lot of undercover space which can be converted from traditional gardening into amazing Christmas wonderlands. With the added benefits of large, free car parks and high-quality cafes and restaurants, it’s easy to see how trade has been ‘pinched’ from the high street. Garden centres, often synonymous with plants and gardening, undergo a remarkable transformation during the Christmas season. With innovative trends and a keen focus on providing a delightful experience for customers, Christmas at garden centres has evolved into a significant contributor to annual turnover. Most garden centres begin setting up their

DECEMBER IS A TERRIFIC PEAK FOR SELLING displays from early September with the critical date of being fully set up by the October school half term holiday. It certainly seems to be that this is the time our customers begin their Christmas plans in earnest. Most actual trade is done in December with the Garden Centre Association Barometer of Trade indicating that almost 10% of a garden centre’s total annual revenue comes from its Christmas department, only a few percentage points behind total gift sales for the year. December is a terrific peak for selling and, despite not selling much once Christmas day arrives, it’s the highest trading month for many larger garden centres nowadays, overtaking the spring gardening peak. The festive season is interesting in that it attracts many new and different customers to our member garden centres. Obviously, this is often young families and younger couples, which provides both a challenge and an opportunity to suitably impress them with products, ambience, ease of shopping and, of course, a centre’s food offering to tempt

them back at other times. Play areas that are available all year round certainly help here. In order to support our members, improve their standards, and offering at Christmas time, we run a Christmas competition for any centre that wants to join in, sponsored by Gisela Graham. One of our independent inspectors visits each category entry unannounced during November, with the winners both announced in time for them to celebrate prior to Christmas. The awards are then officially celebrated on stage at our annual conference in January. Our 2024 conference is now fully planned, and tickets can be accessed on our website, as well as full details of the programme, including speakers. We also look forward to a great couple of days seeing pictures of all the award-winning garden centres following their spring inspections and lively discussions with colleagues and peers at coffee and lunch breaks, and at our evening dinners. All in all, a great few weeks lie ahead. About Peter Burks Peter Burks, CEO of the GCA, is a fully trained horticulturalist and has worked in directorial and senior management roles for over 40 years. Peter helped set up/run the multi-award-winning Sanders Garden World in Somerset. He also became regional manager of the South West for Wyevale Garden Centres, and general manager for Trelawney’s in Cornwall, as well as managing Fermoy’s Garden Centre in Devon.

Garden Centre Retail November 2023


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WITH GARDEN GIFTING CHRISTMAS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER AND CONSUMERS HAVE ALREADY TURNED THEIR ATTENTION TO PRESENT BUYING. GIMA MEMBERS HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE BEST GARDENING LINES THAT CREATE GIFTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR RETAILERS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. Something different Planters are an ideal gift, particularly when customers can source something a bit different. A great example of this is Artevasi, whose handmade ceramic pots offer unparalleled authenticity, as no one pot is like another. “Handcrafting ceramic pots is a deep-rooted traditional art form in Portugal,” explains UK director Darren Boorman. “Artevasi ceramics come directly from the village of Oleiros in Barcelos. We work with local artisans and take an organic approach to each piece, making handmade ceramic pots the ideal choice as a considered gift.” Taylors Bulbs has seen a big uptick in demand for Bulb Added Value Gift and has launched several new versions to this popular collection for spring 2024. These include updated versions of firm favourites, agapanthus and dahlia gift bags and an updated version of its popular Indoor Flower Bulb trio. Also new for spring 2024 is an updated version of Taylors’ popular Ceramic Sausage


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

Dog planter. “This has been a big success for several years as a Christmas gift”, says Taylors’ Ian Clark, “so now a new version with Pink ranunculus has been launched for spring gift sales.” Grow-your-own continues to be a huge consumer trend, so what better gift this season than one of Elho’s new indoor innovations? The bouncy basil pot boasts an inner section that houses the herb plant and floats on the water contained by the outer pot, meaning roots can help themselves to water, without the risk of rot. Microgreens are the latest trend to take the GYO market by storm, so Elho’s magic microgreens pot is sure to be a popular gift. It provides the perfect moist conditions for microgreens to thrive, so loved ones can enjoy a constant supply in just a couple of weeks.

Practical presents For gardening enthusiasts, there’s nothing more thoughtful than a gift that will make their growing endeavours easier. “Southern Trident’s Coco & Coir Microgreen Kit, complete with a propagator, growing mats, and seeds, makes a bestselling Christmas gift for several reasons,” says CEO Steve Harper. “It offers a unique and eco-friendly present idea that aligns with the spirit of nurturing, plus it’s the gift that keeps on giving, as recipients

Tools to last a lifetime With consumers watching the pennies and seeking greater longevity from items, quality tools remain a perfect giftable line. Bulldog Tools has launched a number of gift-worthy ranges, including the new Pedigree V&A Collection; a hand trowel and fork manufactured in lightweight stainless steel with an FSC accredited Ash handle. Both tool designs bear beautifully-etched patterns from the V&A archive across their heads, which become even more prominent with use, as soil collects on the design. Packaged in sustainable, hardwearing gift boxes decorated with eye-catching heritage patterns that are designed to be retained and loved as much as the tools. Other lines include the Premier Mini Pruning Set and Premier Solid Forged Hand Trowel and Fork Gift Set, which all come with a lifetime guarantee. Burgon & Ball managing director, Rainer Schubert, says: “Due to the cost of living, in 2024, consumers will be looking for gifts that offer good value for money. To meet this need,

we’ve launched a series of limitededition gifting lines at accessible prices. Four Kneelo® kneeler and gardening glove bundles offer a saving on RRPs, while three different limitededition potting shed gift packs all retail at under £10.” He continues: “The changing climate is also affecting gardeners. The vibrant new RHS Gifts for Gardeners design collection ‘Asteraceae’, available November 2023, puts the spotlight on resilient blooms, which thrive in a longer summer. The new collection includes a mix of RHS Gifts favourites and exciting new products to extend the range’s appeal.” Creature comforts Fandango Fire Tools is looking forward to another busy Christmas with Kindling Cracker™. The patented, cast iron firewood splitter is a popular Christmas present, with 11,000-plus units sold in the build up to Christmas 2022. Safer and easier to use than an axe; the Kindling Cracker™ is beloved by wood burner owners, fire pit aficionados, grillers, pizza oven chefs and hot tub enthusiasts. Supported by a five-year warranty. Crafted with premium, ecofriendly materials, Panacea’s Symphony Wind Chimes deliver meticulously tuned melodies. A range of 24 high quality wind chimes is available at various price points, including promotional, midrange, and premium options. Each wind chime is sold with its own elegant packaging, ensuring both protection and a gift quality presentation. About GIMA Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) is a membership organisation of around 150 members representing the majority share of suppliers and manufacturers in the UK gardening industry. Formed in 1999, its goal is to promote commercial, trading and industrial interests of UK and EU based companies. GIMA is run by a small team of dedicated professionals and governed by a council of members.

Garden Centre Retail November 2023



can enjoy growing their own fresh and nutritious microgreens year-round, meaning retailers gain follow-up sales of mats and seeds.” Meanwhile, Pot-Mate poses another great gift line. Produced in the UK using 100% recycled polymer, it elevates containers, allowing precious plants to drain properly whilst eliminating nasty stains from patios or decking. Ideal all year round, especially in frosty winters. They are lightweight and strong, making postage easy and cheap. There are even opportunities in watering, with the Qwickhose range of universal WingLock connectors that offer quick and easy connection with greater hose grip, eliminating any unexpected pop offs, reducing water wastage. The Starter Set makes an impressive gift idea for any gardening enthusiast, containing two award-winning Wing-Lock connectors, one Original and one No-Flow, Tap Connector, Nozzle Spray End, plus a Wall-Mount to keep hose and accessories neat and tidy. “Gifts that keep on giving and that provide greater value are increasingly being embraced by shoppers,” says Autopot. “This description is perfectly apt for the AutoPot easy2grow kit, which is becoming more and more popular as a consumer gift.” The complete growing system enables users to raise flowers, fruit, and vegetables without the need for in-earth outdoor space. Simple to set up and easy to use, easy2grow requires no electricity or mains water, making it inexpensive to run, safe to leave unattended, and ecologically sustainable. It can be used repeatedly to help kitchen gardeners become self-sufficient. A gift that keeps on giving.




key part of my work with UK garden centres is to help them identify and clarify opportunities and to define specific areas of their business. The discussions I have with owners and managers cover a wide subject range, including commerciality, design, customer proposition, and their brand values and culture. The latter is often an unseen aspect, which customers don’t actually see in writing, but feel and appreciate. Whether it is in the quality of product, the range of goods, the depth of staff knowledge or the attitude of those serving them, the way the customers perceive their local garden centre matters and is therefore one of the most – if not the most – important factors for a business to understand and use in its favour. You can often walk into a garden centre and instantly feel what it is about. There could be


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

any number of factors that contribute to that ethos: amazing displays, an easy shopping experience, great service, an exceptional plants proposition, great catering facilities, a superb gift and leisure offering – the list is extensive. Throughout the sector, there are a variety of propositions, so we know that one size does not fit all, and I feel it is very important that each garden centre has a personality and message that meets its own goals and vision, which will in turn often lead to a strong strategy linked to its company values. However, some businesses deliver a mixed and confused messaging, sometimes when a centre hasn’t yet put its finger on its key strength or point of difference; something often reflected in its core values and customer messaging. We

have seen businesses such as Woolworths, Debenhams and, more recently, Wilko’s fail – something I find devastating to see as a retailer – and in all

WELL THOUGHT OUT VALUES OFTEN LEAD TO A GREAT CULTURE WITHIN A BUSINESS, AND THIS IS WHAT ATTRACTS BOTH EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS, AND RETAINS THEIR LOYALTY customers, they cannot take your identity or values. Sometimes the message and perception of a business can be diluted when there is a change to its format, such as a senior team shift or even the introduction of a new department that carries a lot of emphasis, so it is important to consider your values and brand message


of these cases, there were a combination of factors which led to their decline. Opinions on these vary; perhaps contributing issues were a lack of clear identity, incorrect positioning, or a failure to pinpoint a point of difference; but the challenge for all garden centres is to avoid falling into this trap and to create their own reasons for customers to visit them. In my experience, most garden centre owners have core values, which are often proudly displayed on their walls, website and within their marketing materials. However, if you talk to a member of staff and ask for a story to support those values, it’s fair to say that not every business could claim that its values run through the team at the depth they would like. Displaying signage may add atmosphere to the entrance or checkout area, but if they are not lived and breathed by the team, these values diminish and become somewhat redundant. I’m a strong believer that values help to determine business strategy and whilst other businesses might be able to take your staff, steal your ideas, sell the same products as you and even try to steal your

when diversifying or making changes to your business. Unless it is part of a strategic approach, any diversification or development should add to your existing brand, not deter from it. Well thought out values often lead to a great culture within a business, and this is what attracts both employees and customers, and retains their loyalty. I am lucky enough to work with some really exciting entrepreneurs within the garden centre trade, but I also look beyond our industry to see what other businesses are excelling and how they can influence the sector. While there are well known market-leading brands on the high street, there is a clear fusing of culture with farm shops, and as someone drawn to excellence within independent retail, I have to hold Yolk Farm Restaurant in Minskip, Yorkshire, up as a prime example of successfully leading by culture first. The owners of Yolk Farm, Emma and Ben Mosey, are very keen to endorse their brand throughout their team. They clearly love what they do – Emma’s email sign-off is “Curator of Happiness’, a title that suits her down to the ground. Throughout conversations with the team, Yolk Farm’s happy culture comes out in abundance and ultimately rubs off on their customers. A young, vibrant, high-welfare hen farm, Yolk Farm’s point of difference is its amazing eggs, but the business describes itself as a new generation of entrepreneurial farmers with a mission to change the face of farming, reconnecting the public with real food, fresh from the farm. The egg is a clear influence on the whole business model – even the toilet doors are

purposefully labelled as Vacant or Laying – and while people’s first visit is for the freshest of eggs, the culture of the business, with its happy, focused, committed, engaging and driven team; all of whom encompass Yolk Farm’s core values, is what has built up a loving and loyal customer base, ensuring the business moves from strength to strength. It is not always easy to create a culture like this; one supported by core values that not only do the team buy into but one that customers love, but it is something I’ve seen many garden centres achieve. These values are often led from the top, so owner and key stakeholder influence cannot be understated. Those that don’t consider brand values in line with their own personal values can struggle to connect with everyone around them, but those that do can successfully create a point of difference that will resonate with their teams and customers alike. I love the fact our garden centres thrive on their core values and are so committed to them; it’s just one of the reasons why the industry is so strong and so loved! About Andrew Burton Andrew works for garden centre and farm shop business strategy and rural planning specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants. He provides commercial, operational and business development experience and commercial advice to clients in the retail and catering sectors. Andrew now sits on the Farm Retail Association Council, having previously been on the Garden Centre Association Board.

Garden Centre Retail November 2023



The evolving landscape of our workforce



re we growing a culture where the workforce can thrive? Imagine being asked this question and think about the first thing that comes to your mind. Is it the benefits and perks that define a company’s culture, such as flexible working hours, discounted lunch, a rewards programme, private healthcare or free parking? Or is there more to it? Although these perks and benefits are nice to have and, sometimes, must-haves, can they alone grow a culture where the workforce can thrive? If we dig into it and reflect on our and others’ past experiences of workplaces, we find that what made the real difference was the people, the environment and the way we were treated and supported. These are what makes up the culture of a workplace – one of the most valuable commodities a business can have. Who can make an impact? A good manager is pivotal in helping grow and shape an organisation’s culture; guiding, supporting, and inspiring their teams to achieve their goals. So, what are the skills and qualities that make a good manager? • Empathy Understanding team members’ needs, concerns, and perspectives. Being attuned to the emotions of others to handle difficult conversations with empathy and make well-informed decisions. • Supportive and Trustworthy Good managers act as trusted advocates for their team, providing the resources, guidance, and support to enable them to thrive. • Mentorship and Development Good managers actively mentor their team members, offering guidance, feedback, and opportunities for learning and advancement. • Adaptability and Resilience Good managers are open to new ideas, flexible in their approach, and willing to


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

embrace change, demonstrating resilience in the face of challenges. • Appreciation and Recognition Good managers celebrate successes, acknowledge individual and team contributions, and provide constructive feedback, motivating and inspiring employees. • Effective Communication Good managers understand the importance of regular and transparent communication. They clearly articulate expectations, foster open and honest dialogue, and listen to their team members with empathy and compassion. How can company culture make a difference? Company culture plays a big part in how people feel in the workplace. When people feel safe, included and that they belong, you will see: • Enhanced employee engagement – when employees feel safe it’s easier for them to engage with their job, colleagues and customers. • Higher staff retention – employees that feel respected and valued are less likely to leave. • Improved employee wellbeing – mental health is a big contributor to wellbeing. Mentally healthy employees perform at an optimal level and avoid stressors. • An inclusive workplace – safe workplaces welcome diverse teams where everyone is included, united, connected and can contribute. • Enhanced creativity and innovation – a feeling of safety allows ‘out of the box’ thinking to flourish, encouraging open dialogue. • Boosted team performance – highly engaged employees and a collaborative and inclusive workplace culture boost team performance. • A culture of continuous learning – an environment where ideas can be tested allows individuals to learn through experience.

What can managers do? • Encourage shared work goals and open communication on how everyone’s role contributes to the business. • Demonstrate support through tangible and intangible resources for all employees. • Display trust, and empathy and show that they care. • Introduce more independence in decisionmaking for all involved. • Look to guarantee open and participative two-way communication. • Encourage information sharing. Your people are the heart of your business; they’re who your customers interact with, communicating your brand values every day. As a business, it’s important to strive to create an environment where everyone can thrive and learn, where career growth and upskilling opportunities are available and where managers and team leaders have the skills and knowledge to build and support successful and happy teams. The good news is that this is achievable through the right coaching and training programmes. Contact The Motivation Agency Get in touch with Siobhan at The Motivation Agency for tools to help your managers grow a culture where your workforce can thrive: 07944 140 938


An interview with

Emma Poulton



s anyone who has turned on the news – or even stepped outside their front door – in the past few years will know, the world would appear to be changing at an almost unprecedented rate. This could be in relation to the challenges that we’re now facing across the whole of society, such as climate change. It could also be – as no one will need reminding - the ongoing fall out from COVID-19, changing political situations and so on. At the same time, the world of work is also changing, particularly when it comes to how a business relates to its employees. In recent years for instance, many organisations have become far more accepting of what has come

to be known as the ‘hybrid working’ model, through which employees are able to spend a chunk of their working lives at home. At the same time, the majority of businesses are also now becoming increasingly aware of what might be regarded as the ‘softer’ aspect of employee relations, or in other words, how their people actually feel when they’re at work. Some of this has had to be legislated of course, but there is also a palpable broader move – at least in the workplace – towards what you might refer to as ‘decency’. With that in mind, in this issue’s ‘big interview’ we’re focussing on exactly that – best practice in the realm of human

resources. Our subject is Emma Poulton, who is people and culture manager for Scotsdales, which runs a chain of garden centres across Cambridgeshire. Customer, accountable, respect, team On its website, Scotsdales describes itself as a “family run collection of local garden centres in the Cambridge area.” These include sites in Great Shelford, Horningsea and Fordham. The website continues: “Gardening is our passion, and we welcome keen and novice gardeners alike into our stores. [We] promise that [customers] will always find the highest quality products, the happiest, healthiest plants and passionate knowledgeable staff

Garden Centre Retail November 2023


Features on hand to offer assistance no matter the question.” The business has been in operation since 1968, and has evolved considerably across the intervening half a decade. This includes the addition of areas such as pet food and accessories to go alongside its core plant offer, as well as garden furniture, barbecues and gifting.” Giving an overview of the business, Poulton said: “Great Shelford is the largest of our three centres, which employs between 230 and 250 people. At the moment, that site is undergoing quite a substantial redevelopment, as we’re looking to put a roof over the outdoor plants area. That in turn will make way for a new café, which we anticipate will quadruple the amount of seating that we currently have available.” She continues: “We also have Horningsea, which employs around 50 people. That was formerly a Notcutts centre that we took over ten years ago. In Horningsea, the main focus is on the café, while also obviously trying to 18

Garden Centre Retail November 2023

get people into the shop itself. Fordham – which has a similar headcount – focusses primarily on garden care and is particularly strong in that area. There is a high level of specialised knowledge in Fordham.” As mentioned, Scotsdales employs a sizeable number of people across its three sites, and as such its HR effort has to be at the cutting edge. Needless to say, this has become a real priority for the business in recent times, certainly since Poulton came on board just under two years ago. Discussing her history with the company, and how she’s taken things forward, she says: “Prior to my arrival, the business had an HR manager, but the role was fundamentally to do

with compliance. That is, contracts, people returning to work and so on. Since then, there’s been a real desire on the part of the family which owns the business to make sure that a welcoming feel is fostered throughout. At Scotsdales, the idea of family really does have some meaning behind it.” She elaborates on this by saying that in the first instance, in terms of the workforce, the priority is to “make everyone feel as welcome as possible”. That includes making people feel as if they’re “appreciated”, and at the same time, also that they’re growing in their career. In order to ratify this as part of company policy, it has also recently launched a new set of ‘core values,’ which going forward will be featured throughout “every aspect of

roles at management level. “So instead, we try to develop the people who are here to do the best that they possibly can in their role. And if that’s up and out, so be it.” She continues: “Frankly, we will provide people with as much training as they ask for, and our team training branding is ‘Grow with Scotsdales’. With that, we try to inspire people to want to improve their skills and progress within their own job. “And while that might not necessarily be a stepping stone into management, it also might be. There are certainly opportunities for the right people, and we will create opportunities where they don’t already exist.” Asked to define the ‘culture’ of a business,

meanwhile, she believes that it is exemplified by “how someone feels on a Monday morning.” If they don’t want to get out of bed, she says, something is wrong. “That could be because they don’t fit into the business,” she says. “But it could also be that they’re stagnant in their roll. You shouldn’t wake up on Monday morning hating your job.” Onboarding process As mentioned, the way in which businesses relate to their employees is undergoing a process of fundamental change. This is something that was tacitly admitted by Poulton earlier on in the interview, when she said that her predecessor was primarily concerned with


Garden Centre Retail November 2023



our people management”. These consist of ‘customer,’ ‘accountable,’ ‘respect,’ and ‘team’. Poulton continues: “These values are reflected throughout all of our [HR] processes, in order to make sure that we hire the right people who meet what we require within the business. At the same time, if they’re not right for the business, we’ll help them find an alternative place. We might even train people up and out of the business.” Staying on the subject of training, for Poulton availability within an organisation is absolutely key to keeping staff happy. There are a variety of reasons for this, not least that it offers the opportunity for advancement. That could be within the staff member’s current role, or in terms of progression within the company itself. Describing the situation at Scotsdales, she says: “We want to make people feel like they’re growing. The reality is, we are family-owned and family-run, so there’s only a certain amount of progression that anyone is going to see. We’re not a massive corporate, which could offer more

Features matters of “compliance.” That being the case, how exactly does the Scotsdales of today approach the ‘softer’ – but still vital – end of the HR story, for instance equality and diversity. Addressing the E&D piece in particular, Poulton admits that the company “don’t necessarily have the most diverse workforce.” The reason for this however, according to her, is entirely down to the business’s Cambridgeshire location. This is not to say, of course, that they don’t take equality incredibly seriously, with the business currently on the verge of rolling out ‘unconscious bias’ training as part of a revamp of its interview process. Discussing this, she says: “The new training will help us


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

ensure that everyone who applies is being given the right opportunities and the right amount of consideration. But the fact of the matter is, we’re based in Cambridge.” She illustrates Scotsdale’s avowed commitment to making everyone feel welcome through a discussion of its “onboarding process.” “Part and parcel of making everyone feel welcome is a strong onboarding process,” she says. “As mentioned, our interview structure is in the process of changing in order to reflect our values. With interviews we want it to be an open and friendly discussion.” At the same time, inductions into the company are tailored specifically to those coming in. So, while there is certainly an element of compliance around health and safety

and so on, it’s also very much about making people feel at home. Elaborating on this, Poulton says: “We make sure that everyone who comes into the business gets introduced to the managing director, the directors, and to me. That makes the new employee feel like they can speak to these people, and also that employees are important to the business right from the beginning. “Were also keen to make sure that everyone in the company has a voice. That’s something we achieve via team meetings, team events and so on.” Indeed, Poulton said she was on her way to a team event straight after the conclusion of our interview. In a rapidly changing world, it’s crucial that businesses go the extra mile to relate to – and therefore retain – their employees. When it comes to this, Scotsdales is clearly on the right track.

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Growing and retaining

your staff



uring the summer months in Britain, gardens of all sizes can be seen blooming in every direction. Gardening is a beloved hobby and leisure activity in the UK, with people enjoying visiting shows and historical gardens for a day out. Despite this, recruitment in the garden industry faces some significant challenges.


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

The challenges According to The RHS, 70% of businesses in the sector struggle to source skilled labour. But, why? Knowledge: One of the main reasons garden retail businesses experience difficulties in recruiting workers is that many school leavers need more understanding or appreciation of the industry, as it is not commonly studied at school. Actor Jim Carter even said in a recent Daily Telegraph interview that he wants to “push horticulture to be on the school curriculum.” The HTA also revealed that the most recent Youth Voice Census highlights that young people often feel they lack the necessary work experience and life skills, with only 34.4% of students in education believing they understand the skills sought by employers and 56.6% of job seekers identify the primary barrier to employment as a lack of experience in the sector.

Brexit: The UK’s exit from the European Union has significantly affected the current skills shortage. Approximately one-fifth of permanent unskilled and semi-skilled work in horticulture and agriculture, with more than 95% of those being seasonal and casual labour. The current immigration system often excludes horticultural workers from Skilled Worker Visas, and these occupations are not on the Shortage Occupation List, despite applications being made. Role perception: Many roles are perceived as physically challenging, unpleasant and poorly paid, making them unappealing. During the GIMA Day Conference in March, recruitment company MorePeople highlighted a “war for talent” in the competitive job market and stressed the importance of retaining staff. They suggested businesses should focus on motivating employees through a positive work

Solutions Addressing this issue requires collective effort from educational institutions, industry stakeholders, and government bodies. The Environmental Horticulture Group (EHG), aims to champion UK gardens, landscaping, arboriculture, and environmental horticulture and push the government for more significant support. Freshly launched in 2023, its purpose is to lobby the government and to demonstrate that the benefits and opportunities that arise from supporting the industry align with the government’s priorities. The Colegrave Seabrook Foundation is a charity that supports UK students studying horticulture. It aims to encourage commercial or production ornamental horticulture careers by providing scholarships to future horticulturists. Student applicants must be enrolled in a college, university, or similar educational institution and intend to seek permanent full-time employment in commercial or production ornamental horticulture upon course completion. Neil Gow of the foundation says: “ The industry needs to grasp the nettle when recruiting younger people into roles. There is a perception problem of the skills needed for horticulture. We must distinguish between gardening and horticulture, the latter being wellpaid and secure with career benefits. “The sub-30 age group presents a golden opportunity as they are the most plant-aware and environmentally conscious generation that we need to educate, along with their children. Primary schools do a reasonable job with gardening activities, and forest schools do too, but secondary schools needs to catch up. “The foundation is under no illusions that we need to encourage

committed, ambitious students who are passionate about horticulture as a career by facilitating them to apply for our bursaries to help nurture the next generation. MorePeople feel there needs to be more youngsters coming into the retail world to take over as planteria/ horticulture managers. “Many places are now looking to offer assistance with a horticulture course for retail managers looking to step across,” says Ben Woodward, recruitment consultant for garden centres. Andy Johnson from Wyevale Nurseries says: “Understanding the team is crucial. Some may be happy with their current role, but many want to progress, learn new skills, and develop their career, so even if there isn’t an immediate promotion gap, involvement with new ideas and projects can be rewarding. Very few horticulture students are coming through the education system, and we need to support them as much as possible. But the fact remains, we must develop staff and actively participate in horticulture career development. We are strongly committed to apprenticeships and graduate training schemes.”

David Chilvers at Bransford Webbs also shares these views: “While horticulture may not be seen as a ‘trendy’ industry, this could be changing. As sustainability and the environment are key topics and concerns for the younger demographics, horticulture is part of the solution. Retaining key team members is essential but can be difficult in a market where skilled people are hard to find. We are lucky at Bransford Webbs to have many team members who have worked for us for many years.” Frank P. Matthews echoes this with sales director Matthew Thomas, saying: “As an industry, I believe we have to recognise that individuals looking to join us may not be initially

WE MUST DISTINGUISH BETWEEN GARDENING AND HORTICULTURE interested in our products. As such, we need to not only promote our industry, but we have to make our workplaces into an environment that are attractive places to work irrespective of what we are producing. The love of horticulture often takes time to blossom amongst people new to the industry. We run a training programme focused on a core set of horticultural skills as well as a specialist range of tasks based on department, allowing individuals to move between different

Garden Centre Retail November 2023



culture, strong leadership, clear responsibilities, and opportunities for professional growth.

Features areas of the business, and we encourage and build our team system with more senior staff acting in a mentoring role for new staff.” Sue Taylor, HR manager at Taylors Bulbs comments: “For our agricultural operations, we have found a skills shortage for tractor drivers. We target students for our seasonal labour as we find their holiday periods fit in well with our seasonal peaks.” On retention, Sue adds: “We find many of our seasonal workers return year after year, and our full-time workers stay with us for the long term. We have high standards, and our staff takes pride in the fact that we have 30 RHS Chelsea Gold medals along with our many other accreditations. Retailers’ views Is the industry skills shortage still a concern from a retailer’s perspective? Peter Burks, chairman of the GCA, explains: “Historically, garden centres have never had a problem attracting staff for any role with the sector being seen as a nice place to work. A relaxed shopping environment, sensible hours, especially in the restaurants, and weekend work for youngsters or those wishing to supplement the wage they get Monday-Friday. It is a nice sector for second-career people to move into, and these often look for some further formal training. “Skilled plant people, however, have become harder to recruit recently. Generally, unskilled staff are still fairly plentiful, but plant people and restaurant staff are harder to find. The previous points do make attracting staff relatively easy though, and an additional point more recently is that we attract people keen to work in an industry that has so many green initiatives.” Looking after staff is another key aspect, as Katherine Bent, head of culture at Bents, explains: “One of the biggest challenges is finding the right people…but once you’ve found them, they can also be one of the biggest benefits. It’s not until they 24

Garden Centre Retail November 2023

get to somewhere like Bents and similar-sized garden centres that they realise exactly what’s involved and how extensive our operation is. It’s an exciting and professionally demanding environment, but I think many who see jobs advertised don’t realise what’s involved.” Hannah Powell, communications and HR director at Perrywood, says: “When it’s difficult to recruit into our more skilled roles, it’s essential to build the team from below and help individuals to gain skills ‘on the job.’ We have found that apprentices are a great way to bring people into the business. We see great potential for the horticulture and customer service apprentices that we’ve had in the company over the last two years and are excited to see how they progress.” Tim Armstrong, general manager at Highfield Garden World, shares: “Recruiting good staff has always been very difficult. I do feel that attracting people to horticulture is an ongoing problem. As an industry, we must look after the good people we already have. We do this through investment in our site, which helps with staff motivation, and carry out our training in-house, which helps to get to know your staff and their capabilities.” Creating a culture A positive workplace culture can help employees feel valued. It can also help to attract and retain top talent. Julie Murray, marketing

and customer care director at Notcutts, says: Last year, we held the first Brilliant Customer Experiences team events, focusing on individual strengths that all our colleagues bring to their teams. With fewer people joining the horticultural profession, developing and retaining our colleagues has been key to ensuring our success in the sector.” Tina Fox, group HR manager at British Garden Centres, has a six-point plan to create a more successful company culture: • Be transparent • Clearly define your values and mission • Leverage modern communication and collaboration tools • Ask for feedback • Prioritise continuous learning • And recognise wins and accomplishments. By taking steps like these, the sector could help to address the skills shortage and ensure there is a sufficient number of qualified workers to meet the needs of the garden centre industry.


• EPoS • Order Fulfilment • Advanced Customer Loyal ty • Apps • Webshops • Mobile

Call: 0 1 3 3 2 3 8 3 2 3 1 Em ail: in f o@dav r ic h.c o .u k



Welcome to



he journey began back in 1952, when Eric and Bill Matthews bought their first nursery in Great Wakering in Essex. They started growing gladioli, sweet peas, stocks, wallflowers and dahlias. After meeting a Dutch grower in 1959, they started to grow roses from stocks, grafting


Fays Flowers

Garden Centre Retail November 2023

on buds to produce rose plants which were eventually prepacked and sold to Woolworths, garden centres, nurseries and florist shops. Eric‘s wife Joan, a florist, opened shops which eventually expanded and developed into a wholesale flower and plant business. In 1978, a treasured granddaughter named Fay was born, and Fays Flowers became a reality. Due to the untimely death of Joan, Fays grandmother, the shops were sold but were never forgotten. In 2023, the opportunity has arisen to build Fays Flowers again as a direct supplier from the grower to the public throughout the whole of the United Kingdom. We have launched a national delivery service of our fresh flower bouquets, direct to retailers, garden centres and florists throughout Mainland UK. Using our sales depots spread throughout the UK means we can deliver extremely fresh packed bouquets, designed, and arranged by our wonderful in-house team.

All our freshly packed bouquets are kept fresher for longer using our chiller cabinets. The temperature-controlled cabinets which we happily supply, ensure our freshly cut flowers have the right environment to thrive in. Our drivers will look after these cabinets and take care of the bouquets, they will always be filled with our latest designs. We believe that by using our chiller cabinets, local depots and delivering direct to stores, we elevate wastage and maintain the cut flowers to the highest standards – we take care of every detail, so you don’t have to. We also love supplying higher-end locations such as hotels and holiday homes with great value luxury bouquets. We ensure the freshest seasonal stems are on display, awaiting any guest’s arrival. Contact Fays Flowers We are pleased to be able to offer our trade customers an exclusive discount. Contact our dedicated team for further details:


What are the

staffing challenges

garden centres face?



arden Centres are facing several challenges in 2023 as they try to adapt to the changing customer habits & expectations, competition from online retail, worker shortage, and environmental issues that have emerged since Covid and Brexit. As specialist recruiters for Garden Centres, we recently ran a poll with our LinkedIn networks on ‘What are the main challenges facing Garden Centres in 2023?’.

Worker shortage & skill gap topped the poll with 49% of voters choosing this. Garden centres rely on skilled and knowledgeable staff to provide quality service and care to their customers and plants. However, finding and retaining such staff can be challenging, especially in times of labour shortages, high turnover rates, and rising wages. During the pandemic, a lot of people who previously worked within Garden Retail went into alternative career paths due to retail operations closing.

Speaking as a recruiter for the industry, finding candidates with good horticultural knowledge can be very tricky! Changing habits & expectations came in second at 26%. There’s no doubt that since the coronavirus pandemic, garden centre’s have faced more challenges and are continuing to come up against several problems within the industry. As we well know, more people took up gardening as a hobby and a way to improve their well-being during the 2020 lockdowns

Garden Centre Retail November 2023



so it meant that Garden Centres had to stock a wider range of products. But, whilst confined to their homes, consumers were forced to find alternative shopping behaviours and as a result, there are now more options to buy plants and gardening products from other retailers such as supermarkets, online platforms, and discount stores. These can offer lower prices, wider selection, and convenience so Garden Centres have to differentiate themselves by providing value-added services like expert advice, workshops, and loyalty programmes. We’ve noticed an increase in the requirements for more

specialist roles within Garden Centres as a result of this diversification, we’re recruiting for the likes of Farm Shop Managers and Christmas and Seasonal Managers to name just a few. Further disruptions to Garden Centres this year is of course Brexit and the disruption of the supply chain. Some plant varieties have become scarce or unavailable due to plant health regulations and customs checks. The well-known cost of living crisis means some suppliers have increased their prices or reduced their discounts along with more environmental regulations with the upcoming ban of peat-based composts and reducing pesticides and plastics can all lead to additional costs. So, How can garden centres overcome these challenges? Despite these challenges, garden centres also have many opportunities to grow and thrive in 2023, as they can leverage their strengths and advantages in the market. They need to invest in digital technologies and AI, such as e-commerce, social media, and mobile apps, to reach more customers and improve their experience to keep them coming back. AI can hold lots of benefits if you’re able to understand how it works. For a lot of people like myself, it’s a minefield, but the potential benefits it could bring to Garden Retail could be immense and unlimited. Another point to make is centres need to continue diversifying their product offering and services to attract more customers and increase their spending. Customers want a lot more than just plants, people want to visit a garden centre and spend

a full day there. It’s now becoming the norm for garden centres to stock homeware such as candles, books, home appliances and artwork. Creating a unique and memorable experience for customers that can differentiate

CENTRES NEED TO CONTINUE DIVERSIFYING THEIR PRODUCT OFFERING AND SERVICES TO ATTRACT MORE CUSTOMERS AND INCREASE THEIR SPENDING them from other retailers. For example, garden centres can provide more than just shopping facilities, but also entertainment and leisure options for their customers, such as cafes or restaurants, farm shops, children’s attractions, seasonal events, workshops, demonstrations etc. By implementing these strategies, garden centres can attempt to overcome the challenges they face in 2023, and take advantage of the opportunities that have arisen. We’re speaking with professionals every day from the Garden Centre Industry on these challenges and recruitment strategies to make the most of new opportunities. Our Garden Centre team can help with your recruitment strategies and finding the perfect, skilled and experienced employees for your centre. About MorePeople MorePeople is a specialist recruitment business for the horticulture and garden industries, as well as fresh produce and agriculture. Working across the UK and internationally the majority of placements are for permanent, full-time professional roles ranging from Graduates to Senior Directors. The team comprises of exindustry professionals and professional recruiters who can advise on industry trends and the recruitment market. Get in touch to find your next opportunity and the best people for your business.


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

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erched between retail and hospitality – and capable of catering to the whole family – you’d be hard pressed to find a retail business as diverse as the British garden centre. No other operator boasts a staff with backgrounds as varied as horticulture and catering, and that’s before we’ve even tackled onboarding Santa and his elves in time for the festive season. Garden centres are destinations, and staff have a significant impact on guest experience. Customers expect a friendly greeting as well as specialists that can advise on what to plant and when. A happy, engaged workforce is a key component of commercial success. Managers make the world go round Last year was the first since records began that job vacancies in the UK outstripped unemployment, a labour shortage particularly acute in retail and hospitality. Workers have more choice than ever, and they vote with their feet, meaning staff satisfaction and retention are fast becoming critical. Both hospitality and retail operators have responded by focusing retention strategies on one key role: managers. A manager with the time to listen to and train staff, focus on operational improvements and get out on the floor has a meaningful, positive impact on staff. When it comes to boosting engagement and productivity, the ‘M’ word is the most


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

important tool in an operator’s arsenal. Yet, most managers spend huge portions of their days on administrative and office tasks; fiddling with schedules and balancing budgets.

The trick to supercharging the workforce, then, is to unburden them and give them the time to actually work with their teams. Embracing automation forms one half of that strategy.


Data, data, everywhere… The second half of a manager-focused retention strategy is analytics. We’ve seen hugely volatile demand this year – the surplus BBQ stock most are struggling to shift can attest to that. Retail and hospitality have been hit even harder, and that’s sparked a trend across both sectors towards leveraging data more efficiently. Understaffing is one of the main contributors to poor worker engagement and outlook, Fourth’s research shows that 42% of UK retail employees feel overworked and underappreciated as a result. Data provides the solution to actively manage this, and can be used to predict future trends, manage down labour spend and optimise inventory. Of course, unburdening managers from admin also means unburdening them from data analytics. “We have the ambition that our managers spend as much time on the shop floor, rather than back of house as data people. All the technology we adopt is designed to take

ALL THE TECHNOLOGY WE ADOPT IS DESIGNED TO TAKE AWAY AS MUCH HEAVY LIFTING FOR OUR MANAGERS AS POSSIBLE away as much heavy lifting for our managers as possible,” explains Matt Broom, director of restaurant technology & operations for Pizza Express. Forecasting – using historical data to predict future trends – can be easily integrated into scheduling and inventory automation. By leveraging data to accurately forecast demand, managers can make sure that each department has the right amount of staff to cover peaks throughout the day, and that staffing levels are sufficient to maximise sales without under or overstaffing key shifts.

Empowering teams Leveraging digital tools to automate labour intensive processes for managers also benefits the wider team. It gives managers sophisticated resources to optimise scheduling and inventory – and the time to focus on their teams’ wellbeing and development – and provides tools that empower employees. Garden centre chains British Garden Centres and Frosts use Fourth to automate scheduling, ensuring schedules are reliably available and accessible from a range of devices. Processes like requesting holiday or swapping shifts are automated to save manager’s time and can be completed directly by team members 24 hours a day, giving staff more flexibility and control. The trickle down effect By investing in technology to unburden managers, operators unlock a vital resource to support their teams; the managers themselves. This creates development opportunities for employees, ensures managers are approachable, can positively influence culture and wellbeing, and remain fully connected to what is going on in the team. The result is an engaged workforce with more opportunity and autonomy – and

a business optimised for growth that’s more resilient to market volatility. Strategies that work Freeing up managers: Thai Leisure unburdened its managers by automating analytics, scheduling and payroll so they could serve customers and upsell. The group reduced scheduling time from two hours to two minutes, and boosted sales by 71%. Understanding demand: The Four Seasons hotel uses demand forecasting to adjust its labour model in real-time, reducing labour costs without compromising service levels. Streamlining operations: By adopting workforce and inventory management tools, restaurant chain Comptoir reduced stock counting from five hours to one and now completes scheduling with the click of a button. About Fourth Fourth is a leading workforce and inventory management platform, we help customers optimise their workforce, increase staff wellbeing and reduce waste. Scan the QR code to discover how we could help you supercharge your workforce.

Garden Centre Retail November 2023




outside the box



stablished in 1985, A&A Packaging has provided the industry with a dependable source of high quality and innovative packaging products for over 37 years. It especially has extensive experience in finding custom solutions to fit customers’ needs. The environment has never needed ecofriendly packaging more than now – especially single-use postal packaging – so the company is offering green solutions to customers to protect the environment. The products are made from sustainable recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. Whether you are a small or large user, A&A has solutions for you. Its specialties lie in custom packaging – packing something with products made specifically to fit its customers’ needs. It also holds options from stock, but is best known for its top quality bespoke products. Whatever the requirement, A&A seems to have a solution. Its experienced team can also help you find just the right option to fit your needs. Get in touch to arrange a call or visit to discuss your packing challenges and requirements. A&A Packaging is committed to being the natural selection for a single source of packaging products based on its highest levels of service, quality, and competitiveness.


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

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Garden Centre Retail November 2023



Catering to your



arden centres’ F&B offering is now more important than ever, with catering sales up 21.63% year-on-year according to the Garden Centre Association’s Barometer of Trade figures for April 2023. Garden centres are no longer simply a place to pick up a few plants - people expect to spend more time there, and venues need to be providing their customers with great experiences when they visit. Amidst a cost-of-living crisis and pressures on operating costs impacting both businesses and customers, it is encouraging news that garden centre F&B outlets are popular. However, to maintain this momentum and continue to drive growth in 2023, operators need to consider how they can evolve their offering to keep up with everchanging consumer habits. The importance of hospitality EPoS Many centres use a retail POS to control their hospitality functions, but this presents multiple


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

challenges including; inaccuracies with stock, lack of visibility on product performance and inefficiencies in their restaurants. With garden centres becoming more of a leisure destination and in turn, their restaurants more popular, there is a need to ensure they are operating from databases which are fit for purpose. Implementing an EPoS system specifically built for hospitality which integrates technology from multiple touchpoints across the businesses is vital. This specialist technology is tailored to create a central control hub from which to manage F&B operations, enabling garden centre cafes and restaurants to have full oversight of their operations. From reducing waste and removing customer pain points through digital stock management to minimising pressure on staff by streamlining service, a hospitality EPoS system has the ability to not only improve operational efficiency and drive revenue but enhance the customer experience too.

Digital stock management can remove customer disappointment We know that another major bugbear for customers in hospitality is ordering things on a menu that are sold out already and therefore, unavailable to them. However, technology can help remove the risk of this happening before it has even occurred. With the right integrated tech in place, sales can be automatically updated in the stocks system, allowing staff to see in real-time the availability of products and only offer customers what they have available. This live availability can also be displayed on the POS, whether that’s at a till or on a handheld ordering device if the venue offers table service, so staff are always


Features kept in-the-know with regard to what is out of stock. Operators can also look at the reports that the stock system generates to help them easily identify stock levels and help to make better decisions on how much stock needs to be ordered, removing guesswork, and reducing holdings/over-ordering. Not only does this remove customer frustration, but it is

TYPICAL PAIN POINTS FOR CUSTOMERS INCLUDE HAVING TO WAIT TO ORDER OR PAY FOR THEIR BILL also key in reducing wastage and keeping costs down. A trend that is likely to stay and continue to grow is sustainability and eco-friendly practices. As customers become more environmentally conscious, they will be on the lookout for who are embedding these practices into their cafes and restaurants, and this is likely for garden centre cafes too. If food does end up being wasted, rather than simply throwing good stock away, operators can consider donating products to charity, a local food bank or another good cause. In fact, those that do will benefit from doing so, as according to our GO Technology report, 60% of consumers are more likely to use a brand that donates spare food to charity.

Mobile devices can speed up service For those offering table service in their restaurants or cafes, we know from our research that typical pain points for customers include having to wait to order or pay for their bill. We also know that 50% of people say speed is a main reason tech enhances their experience. Leveraging mobile payment technology, which offers customers a quick and easy way to order food and drink or pay for their bill will enhance their overall experience. EPoS and mobile ordering systems are optimised to increase speed of service, enabling servers to complete payment transactions at customers’ tables without returning to the POS terminal, or even put the entire ordering and payment process in the hands of the customer for those who prefer it, to enable staff to focus more on taking and fulfilling orders. This not only streamlines service, enables easy reconciliation and keeps queues to a minimum, but also provides front-of-house staff with greater flexibility and the time to deliver a seamless customer experience. In addition, implementing digital payment (via apps, QR codes or online) to allow customers the option to order and pay at the tables is particularly useful during busy trading periods. Our GO Technology report findings demonstrate this, with 79% of consumers stating they are happy with the ease and speed of payment when paying digitally. Consumers have become accustomed to the presence of such tech in venues, so offering this as an option helps to reduce pressure on staff to rush around taking orders and payments during busy times, allowing for a quicker, more efficient service, and improved customer

experiences, and making them a valuable addition to any garden centre restaurant or cafe. Leverage technology to assist with table management and bookings According to research completed alongside KAM Media, 55% of consumers stated that being forced to queue for a table when in a restaurant was a top frustration. Therefore, if your cafe or restaurant offers table service with advanced reservations there is a significant opportunity for garden centre’s F&B arms to eliminate a key customer pain point, by implementing a table management solution that allows for centralised management of real-time table bookings, wait lists, pre-orders, and deposits, to ensure they deliver a first-class experience at every stage of the customer journey. Having a table management system in place allows customers access to real time availability, so if booking during a busy period, they are immediately able to see whether their request can be accommodated. Not only is this a great way to manage customer expectations, but it is a good way for garden centres to manage their capacity by giving guests the opportunity Garden Centre Retail November 2023


Features to cancel or amend their bookings. Furthermore, utilising booking technology that allows customers to reserve a table, particularly during busy periods such as Christmas, is likely to be invaluable in improving the overall experience for customers. Alternatively, this technology can also enable customers to be added to a wait list and be alerted via a text when their table is available. This speeds up service, enabling customers to shop while they wait for their table rather than simply leaving to find an alternative, and allows staff to serve more people.

in the business. This will enable garden centre F&B operators to gather data, which can be used to create hyperpersonalised customer rewards, deals and promotions, as well as targeted marketing campaigns. Rewarding customers for their loyalty will not only encourage repeat visitors to the garden centre but encourage them to continuously engage with F&B facilities when they do and is something that can be rolled out across one or several sites.


Digital loyalty schemes can drive repeat footfall Now more than ever, customers are looking for personalised experiences – in fact, 80% of consumers are interested in some form of personalisation from the hospitality venues they visit, according to our research. Two of the most popular forms of personalisation amongst restaurant customers include personalised discounts and deals, as well as loyalty schemes. By implementing personalised deals and promotions as well as loyalty schemes, this can encourage repeat visits. With 78% of consumers either expecting or would like to receive personalised discounts and deals for food and drink, we recommend looking at a digital loyalty scheme for your F&B offering that integrates with all other tech 36

Garden Centre Retail November 2023

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Seasonal and festive decorations, florist supplies and garden decorations Experience the unique diversity of Christmasworld! Here you’ll fi nd the world’s largest selection of seasonal and festive decorations, florist supplies and garden decorations, as well as an outstanding event programme: Trends 24+ provide inspiration around the season’s colours, materials and designs, the special Decoration Unlimited presentation adds new dimensions to the PoS experience, and exciting lectures from industry experts offer practical insights. Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 84 Book your ticket now!

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DU: 17.10.2023



World of Sweets unveils



The iconic chocolate liqueurs are bottleshaped dark chocolate filled with famous liqueur. Among them are Cointreau, Famous Grouse, Drambuie, Remy Martin and Grand Marnier, with Southern Comfort being introduced for this Christmas. The chocolates are available in 4, 8, 12, 14, 16, 21 and 24-piece formats, with RRP starting from £3.79. The chocolate liqueurs also come in 21and 24-piece gifts. The Single Malt Scotch Collection is a popular Christmas gift with RRP starting at £4.99 for the fivepiece selection (10 and 15 pieces are also available).

he UK’s leading confectionery distributor World of Sweets has unveiled its exciting Christmas gifting range from Anthon Berg.

Premium Danish confectioner Anthon Berg, distributed in the UK by authorised partner supplier World of Sweets, has launched two advent calendars alongside its range of chocolate liqueurs and marzipan. The Anthon Berg chocolate liqueur 24-piece advent and marzipan 24-piece advent are luxurious calendars, each beautifully designed with 24 windows. In the chocolate liqueur advent, a premium chocolate liqueur bottle featuring a world-renowned spirit brand is sealed behind each day. The marzipan advent (RRP £21.99), designed in striking pink and gold, hides delicious, handcrafted Anthon Berg marzipan chocolates to enjoy. For customers looking for luxurious Christmas gifts, the Anthon Berg range has something for everyone. The high quality chocolate cocktails are a popular choice. Delicious premium dark chocolate bottles are filled with smooth liquid fillings including cosmopolitan, mojito, espresso martini, vodka mule, pina colada and lemon drop. 38

Garden Centre Retail November 2023

Other popular Anthon Berg Christmas gifts include: Fruits in Marzipan, Chocolate Liqueur Blocks and Pouches and Chocolate Gift Boxes. The tasty Bonds of London Christmas confectionery range includes award-winning Bonds Pun Boxes, Candy Cups and Vegan Gift Jars. Bonds Pun Gift Boxes are a fun Christmas gift, full of pick and mix products, produced with eye-catching boxes. Among the options are the Bonds ‘You’re One In A Melon’ and ‘You’re Eggstra Special’ Pun Boxes, which featured in the top 10 best sellers for Christmas in 2022.

Other tempting boxes include: ‘Beelieve in Yourself’, ‘Absolute Gem’ and ‘Froggin’ Awesome’. These retail at £2. Bonds Candy Cups are a popular choice among customers: For Christmas 2023, there’s the Bonds Winter Wonderland Candy Cup, packed with mallow poles, foam penguins, snowflakes and snowies. It’ll be joining the Bonds Festive Mix Candy Cup, Bonds Fizzy Trees and Bonds Reindeer Faces, both popular with retailers and customers last year. RRP is from £2.50. Chris Smith, partner brand manager at World of Sweets, says: “We’re delighted to be bringing Anthon Berg’s Christmas and Bonds confectionery ranges to retailers including garden centres across the UK. “Anthon Berg offers premium chocolates – they’re luxurious, beautifully packaged, taste delicious and are a perfect gifting option. “The Bonds range is about fun confectionery all the family will love with a competitive price point. “Despite the restraints on consumer budgets, customers do still want to enjoy Christmas and confectionery is the ideal way to do that.” About World of Sweets World of Sweets is the UK’s largest confectionery distributor, importer, and wholesaler, supplying thousands of customers across all retail channels. Offering a world of distribution solutions from e-commerce wholesale serving 55,000 customers per week to Hancocks wholesale stores with over 22,000 customers, a field sales team including a retailer app and website login covering 7,000 independent customers and a national accounts team covering all UK retail channels. +44 (0) 330 202 0903



Gourmet classic confectionery cartons 150g Bramble Foods Ltd The perfect all-year-round gift with a pick-up-line price point. Bramble has delivered a range of traditional timeless confectionery favourites, presented in beautiful, on-trend cartons that look simply fabulous on the shelves. This product is not available in the majors, and is available with its own label. Ideal for the independent retailer. RRP £3.99

3-pack liquorice Heritage Collection The Black Liquorice Co A collection of three Liquorice Heritage Boxes, with vintage inspired designs, packed perfectly into a plastic sleeve – made of 80% recycled materials: Perfected Pontefract Cakes, Black and White Mints and Liquorice Allsorts. RRP £8.95

Country Collection Stewart’s tins Featuring unique full-colour designs in a lightweight material with slide-up lid, these grab-sized treats make the perfect gift while on-the-go. RRP £4.99

British milk coconut macaroons Beech’s Fine Chocolates Beech’s has brought back these traditional favourites. Popular in the 80s and 90s, these delicious milk chocolate coconut macaroons are made in exactly the same way that Beech’s used to make them all those years ago. The company hand mixes natural shredded coconut with luxurious 35% cocoa milk chocolate to create the most perfect blend of delicious chocolate and crunchy coconut. RRP £4.99

Garden Centre Retail November 2023


Bark Avenue is the home of the ‘Hands-free Dog Walking Bag’ Designed to give all dog owners a pleasurable dog walking experience. You can easily clip your dog’s lead directly onto the bag or waist belt. Our iconic bag features a discrete poop bag dispenser, multiple clips to secure your dog to the bag or waist belt and wipeable pockets. We also provide luxury designer accessories, including matching collars, anti-tangle leads, heavyduty harnesses, warm jumpers and high quality waterproof coats.

Contact: 07460451978 or Use ‘BARKAVENUE5’ for 5% off Trade Prices


Confectionery Christmas bee-friendly gift box Holdsworth’s Chocolates A collection of handmade plant-based chocolates, enrobed in creamy oat milk and dark chocolate. They are infused with natural flavours and blended with fruit purees to create flavour sensations. They are hand-packed into our stunning ‘Festive Bee Friendly’ box, creating the perfect plant-based Christmas gift. 10p from every box purchased is donated to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. RRP £12

Embossed Cats in Jumpers tin Grandma Wild’s This beautifully embossed tin is illustrated with an adorable ‘cats in jumpers’ theme specially for all the cat lovers. This memento biscuit tin contains our very popular and delicious stem ginger and lemon cookies, an exquisite combination of spicy ginger and the subtle tang of lemon, and our chocolate chip and clotted cream shortbread biscuits, made with indulgent clotted cream, for extra creamy luxury and melt-in-yourmouth crumbliness, and scattered with real chocolate chips. RRP £6.60

Pablo Penguin Hot choc gift set Gnaw Chocolate A brrrr-illiant Christmas hot chocolate treat to make anyone’s heart melt. Meet Pablo the penguin, a fabulously fun, limited edition hot chocolate kit, with little sugar-coated milk chocolate beans and mini marshmallows to make a wondrous hot chocolate to cosy up and hibernate with this winter. Pablo is sure to bring a smile to a hot chocolate lover’s face this Christmas. Simply add Pablo to a mug then add hot milk. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Top with some whipped cream, then sprinkle on the mini marshmallows and sugar coated chocolate beans. Then it’s time to sit back, relax and most of all enjoy this little indulgence. Pablo is palm oil free and comes in recyclable packaging too. RRP £8

Dark chocolate hazelnut truffles (vegan) Love Cocoa These deliciously dark chocolate truffles have a smooth, rich hazelnut ganache centre encased in a shell of single-origin Ecuadorian dark chocolate. Nutty, heavenly and vegan-friendly, these were created for the cocoa connoisseur. RRP £15

Garden Centre Retail November 2023


The Nubian Princesses We want every black girl to embrace their heritage, feel proud of who they are, and navigate life’s journey with confidence.

+44 7462 602445


Products Toys


Polar Express Mini Train set Lionel The Polar Express licensed train set comes with a 24-piece track and a 4-piece train. The train has four pieces including a locomotive engine, engine tender, train carriage and observation carriage. It also features three movie announcements (‘All Aboard, this is The Polar Express’, ‘Tickets, Tickets please’ and ‘I am the King of the North Pole’. The engine has a working headlight and looping sounds (stream chuffing, whistle, and bell). RRP £59.99

Puzzle & Grow – Unicorn Garden Flair Leisure Products A 3D puzzle that’s perfect for little gardeners. Using the assembly tool, push out the puzzle pieces and build your own 3D Unicorn garden. Next, plant your seeds and watch your garden grow. Don’t forget to jot down notes in your Puzzle & Grow Diary either! This way you can keep track of what you have done and what you can see. Perfect size for windowsills and those without traditional gardens or outdoor spaces. RRP £17.99

Christmas Spirit 1000-Piece Limited Edition Jigsaw Puzzle Gibsons Celebrate the joy and warmth of Christmas with our 21st limited edition puzzle. This 1000-piece jigsaw showcases a picturesque English village adorned with twinkling fairy lights and bustling with classic holiday activities. Experience the charm of the season as you piece together this magical scene, perfect for bringing family and friends together this Christmas. This limited edition collectors item comes with a unique serial numbered certificate. RRP £18.99

Garden Centre Retail November 2023


Products Farmyard Heads & Tails Orchard Toys A fun, colourful, farmyard themed first matching activity that develops into a game as children grow in confidence and ability. Featuring 12 friendly farm characters and objects, it can be played as a single player pairing activity, or a memory game. Suitable for children from as young as 18 months, the large, wipe-clean cards are perfect for little hands. This award-winning game is a must-have for birthday and Christmas gifting. RRP £9.50

World’s Smallest Range Abgee Imagine your favourite 3D puzzle but in miniature size! The World’s smallest Rubiks Cube is fun, quite literally at your fingertips. Designed to be pocket-sized and fully functional, this is one of many in the ‘World’s Smallest’ range offering an exciting and licensed selection of classic, retro, and trendsetting famous toys in mini format. RRP £7.99

Specific, Difference Junior, Imagidice! Hachette Boardgames UK With minds turning to log stores, warmed mugs and overwintering, there is also no better time to think about the ideal winter gift that will ensure perennial fun for all during the long nights ahead. Hachette takes pride in the sustainability of these puzzles and games and ensures they make the perfect gift for spending quality time together and keep spirits and minds young at heart. RRP £10

Mighty Wheels / Mighty Man Smart Zone (HK) Limited The sales and marketing of MIGHTY WHEELS®, Smart Zone’s best-selling line of toy vehicles, are now supported by MIGHTY MAN™, a cartoon show that features MIGHTY WHEELS® trucks in dangerous situations fighting a host of “bad guys” in order to save the people of Motor City™ from environmental catastrophes. The highly successful Season 1 is now streaming on multiple platforms (Amazon Prime, Kartoon Channel, Roku, YouTube, etc.) and Season 2 will premiere in late 2023, early 2024. RRP POA (Range of different products)


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

Quoridor and Qawale Sustainable, aesthetic wooden designs. Simple rules explained on box. Wooden display units available on request.

In the Footsteps of Darwin Family friendly game design. Appendices included to aid learning. Plastic-free components.

Senior Sales Director Rory Kelly 07539 109 569



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Products Alcoholic Spirits LIFT SPIRITS THIS WINTER SEASON WITH SOME OF YOUR CUSTOMERS’ FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DRINKS... Penrhos Wonky Raspberry Gin Penrhos Spirits Introducing Penrhos ‘Wonky Raspberry’ gin. This deliciously colourful and fruity spirit helped to reduce food waste on Penrhos Farm in Herefordshire over the summer, as farmers struggled to shift berries and fresh fruit. Every bottle has 100g of raspberries. Perfectly paired with aromatic tonic, garnished with raspberries and mint. We are the first distillery to bottle into 100% recycled aluminium, with the bottle making the ideal water bottle once the gin has been drunk. RRP £38

Prohibition Spiced Rum Harley House Distillery An award-winning spiced rum like no other created by the runners. Featuring big hits of allspice, fennel seeds, and clove while also hinting at orange peel and cinnamon to ensure a wellrounded flavour, perfect for any border crossing. RRP £40

Sly London Dry Gin Haven Distillery Sly Gin is made in a cottage distillery deep in rural countryside in batches of just 100 bottles from a mixture of home-grown herbs and other botanicals using a combination of traditional and cold vacuum distillation. Described as ‘classic’, Sly Gin is exceptionally smooth with rich spruce like juniper and complex herbal spicy notes. The bespoke retro style recycled glass bottle is eye catching and has a huge shelf presence. RRP 20cl £18, 70cl £39 Rumbustian Golden Rumbustian rum Rumbustian Golden is a small batch, premium golden rum, crafted in the heart of old town Hastings, below the very hills and caves once used by smugglers, bootleggers and rum runners alike. This blend is crafted from Jamaican, Guyanese, and Dominican Republic rums that have been aged in oak for two to three years. Every bottle is crafted individually by hand at a premises in Sussex. RRP £35

Garden Centre Retail November 2023


Products Fresh Citrus Vodka WildJac A fresh and zesty vodka distilled with Worcestershire endeavour hops and lemon thyme. Crisp lemon and grapefruit infused with warm orange and elderflower form a beautifully smooth, citrus English vodka. This vodka loves to be mixed up. RRP £32.99

Toffee Apple Vodka Kin Vodka The Kin Toffee Apple Vodka was inspired by mixing its original Toffee Vodka with rosy apple flavours. It is blended with the sweetness of toffee and the freshness of apple. Reminiscent of a childhood fairground favourite, this blend of toffee and apple is fresh yet sumptuously comforting and is the perfect gift for birthdays, special occasions, or for cocktail lovers. Tasty when drank straight over ice, or can be enjoyed in cocktails. RRP £29

Honey Spiced Rum Eighty Six Friends Award-winning smooth honey sweetness, supported by a hit of orange zest, gently contrasted by cinnamon and ginger to add warmth with a rounded spice. Finished with subtle vanilla and maple syrup notes. RRP £38.50

Flowerbomb Gin Copper in the Clouds The super premium floral dry gin which draws inspiration from our local wild meadows in springtime. It is a true organic beauty, reflected in a spirit, distilled on a farm in Hertfordshire. Packed with floral botanicals for the most sophisticated palates, layers of floral flavour greets you with every sip. Attar of roses, geranium, lavender, calendula, rose petals, orange blossom and chamomile all feature in the botanical bill. RRP £42.99


Garden Centre Retail November 2023

Baytree Living Startup Package All Products Pictured – 18 In Total

TOTAL £556.30 EX. VAT! Tel – 07712676545 Email –

Baytree Living is a UK based wholesale company, who Baytree Living Baytree Living Startup Baytree Living Startup Package Baytree Living Startup Baytree Package Living Startup Package Baytree Living Startup Baytree Package Living Startup Baytree Package Living Startup Baytree Package Living Startup Baytree Package Living Startu Pac BaL offer a vastBaytree range of garden plant supports and planters. All Products All with Products All Pictured Products All Pictured Products – 18 All Pictured In Products – Total All 18 Pictured In Products – Total All 18 Pictured In Products –emphasize All Total 18 Pictured In Products –All Total 18 Pictured Products In – All 18 Total Pictured In Products –All Total 18 Pictured Produc In – 18 Tota Pict In – Working primarily UK manufacturers, we All P on quality so our products are created to last.

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With an aged look, they simply improve over time. www.baytreeliving www.baytreeliv www.baytre All Products Pictured – 18 In Total

Baytree Living Startup Package

TOTAL £556.30 EX. VAT!

All Products Pictured – 18 In Total

Tel – 07712676545 Email –

TOTAL £556.30 EX. VAT! Tel – 07712676545 Email –

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December 2023/ January 2024 Concessions Theft prevention Houseplants Pots & planters …and more!

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Garden Centre Retail November 2023


Manufactures and suppliers of high quality hand poured luxury scented candles and wax melts

Luxury Scented Wax Melts Collection Gift Sets available in Christmas, Floral, Tropical and Oriental & Woody range

Pack of 4 Scented Wax Melts available in 25 fragrances – Ideal for Retail Outlets

For trade enquiries, please contact on

Glasshouses supplied, erected, dismantled. Bespoke structures. Expert reroofing in polycarbonate and composite panels. All aspects of glasshouse work and refurbishments. Maintenance, cleaning. Gutter and door replacement.

Tel: 01724 734374 Fax: 01482 648032 Email: Web:

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 • •

Please contact us for our trade catalogue: Tel 01460 75686




Ben & Felicity are specialist recruiters for the garden centre industry, recruiting for roles that span the entire business space from senior managerial roles to hospitality roles.

WHY CHOOSE US ? We aim to break the mould of traditional recruiters. We regularly meet clients in person and even work in industry roles briefly to gain unique insights. Our approach prioritises creating meaningful connections between clients and candidates based on our experiences.

Contingent & Executive Search We work with our clients to figure out which search type best suits their needs. Wider Network Access We can offer you access to our extensive network which spans the entirety of the garden centre sector. Industry Insight We help you throughout the whole recruitment process, offering CV advice and interview preperation.


01780 480530

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