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Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 58

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

October/November 2021

AN INTERVIEW WITH

B U S I N E SS S PE C I A L

OLD RAILWAY LINE

Mental health

MATTERS

HOW DOES THE INDUSTRY MEASURE UP?

INTRODUCING NATASHA’S LAW

FOOD ALLERGY AWARE ON THE IMPENDING CHANGES

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STAFF SAFETY

HOW CAN GARDEN CENTRES HELP TO PROTECT THEIR STAFF AND PREVENT ABUSE?

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TROPICAL IS TRENDING

THE HYPE AROUND HOUSEPLANTS IS HERE TO STAY

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W elc o m e

WELCOME TO...

Garden Centre Retail S

eptember was a big month for the garden retail sector, and for all the right reasons. It marked the return of Glee, one of the biggest trade events for the industry, as an in-person event. That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy the virtual show last year – in fact, events, associations and garden centres have made an impressive impact online over the last year or so and it has arguably made it easier to communicate and share ideas on a more regular basis. But I’m sure you’ll agree, nothing beats physically attending a trade show to talk to exhibitors and discuss the sector with your peers over a cup of coffee. There has been a wealth of product launches over the last few months which exhibitors were keen to showcase, and we were eager to see in person. Autumn Fair also returned in September. Here, Theo Paphitis championed ‘hybrid retailing’, where stores have both a physical and an online presence. This might come as a surprise, with the high street struggling, but Theo said his businesses are looking to open more bricks and mortar stores and he urged would-be retailers to do the same. The need for e-commerce continues, though, to offer customers choice and meet different expectations. Another big event to make a comeback was the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where retailers and growers showcased their ranges and expertise to a global audience, thanks to TV coverage of the six-day show. None of this is to say there have not been challenges in the sector over the last two months. Most of us will have sat in, if not seen, the lengthy queues for fuel. The HGV driver shortage is, of course, a cause for concern, as are ongoing material shortages. But we’re celebrating the wins this month and we’re looking ahead to the GIMA Awards where the talent of manufacturers and producers can be applauded too.

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

Nothing beats physically attending a trade show to talk to exhibitors and discuss the sector with your peers over a cup of coffee

Sales Manager – Millie Genner Millie Genner@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 584 Horticulture Careers – Daniel Riley Tel: 01903 777 570 daniel.riley@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson MARKETING AND CIRCUL ATION Client relations – Millie Genner millie.genner@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 584 Subscription enquiries – Jake Collett jake.collett@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570 Garden Centre Retail is published bimonthly by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2021 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, non-commissioned photographs or manuscripts.

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

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Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

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What is Strulch? A garden mulch made entirely from wheat straw with added minerals. Which acts as a deterrent to slugs and snails Packed in recyclable bags

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

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C o n t en t s

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 58

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

October/November 2021

AN INTERVIEW WITH

BUSINESS SPECIAL

CO NTE NT S BUSINESS

NEWS

06 NEWS

A round-up of the latest news from the sector Natasha’s Law – PPDS labelling

11 GLEE COVERAGE

Old Railway Line

INTRODUCING NATASHA’S LAW

FOOD ALLERGY AWARE ON THE IMPENDING CHANGES

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STAFF SAFETY

HOW CAN GARDEN CENTRES HELP TO PROTECT THEIR STAFF AND PREVENT ABUSE?

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TROPICAL IS TRENDING

THE HYPE AROUND HOUSEPLANTS IS HERE TO STAY

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2021

40 GIMA

20 THE VALUE OF DATA

42 TROPICAL HOUSE PLANTS

21 ADD VALUE WITH MAGAZINES

44 PLANT FOCUS

22 STAFF SAFETY

45 LATEST PRODUCTS

27 PET CARE

47 MEET THE RANGE

29 MENTAL HEALTH

48 CATERING

33 STORE DISPLAY SHOWCASE

51 LATEST PRODUCTS

A look at products showcased at Glee

Fran Quilty, CEO of Conjura

Tropical is trending!

Three businesses share bestsellers

Avoiding abuse in the retail sector

12 INTERVIEW

MATTERS

HOW DOES THE INDUSTRY MEASURE UP?

19 CONTROL THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Routes to Retail explains the benefits

16-18 September saw the long-awaited return of Glee

Mental health

PRODUCTS

Andrew Burton

08 NEWS EXTRA

OLD RAILWAY LINE

EPoS systems for garden centres

A growing area for garden centre sales What can be done to help staff?

Toynamics

The Bothy, Wentworth Garden Centre

Tribe Creative London

Stylish, purposeful packaging options

36 FORDINGBRIDGE

Simpsons Garden Centre’s new canopy

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37 GARDEN CONNECT An innovative app for garden centres

19 45 www.gardencentreretail.com

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News

Revamped Klondyke Garden Centre in Polmont opens its doors

NEWS CENTRE Dobbies secures five stars at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

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obbies has been presented with a fivestar award for its trade stand at September’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The Dobbies stand featured an impactful living wall, an area dedicated to promoting the benefits of pollinators and sustainable gardening practices, as well as a grow-your-own area. There were a range of plants including Delphinium, Echinacea, Heuchera and Rudbeckia, as well as houseplants including Monstera, Nephrolepsis, Calathea and Adiantum. The creation of the garden involved a range

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of sustainable products including new ranges that landed in-store at Dobbies in September, such as peat-free compost products for young to mature plants. Marcus Eyles, horticultural director at Dobbies, commented: “Five stars is a brilliant accolade for our team and all the suppliers who have worked together to bring our vision to life. We’ve had such a positive response to the garden so far and it’s been great to share details of our sustainable practices as well as our team expertise. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.” www.dobbies.com

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

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he redevelopment of Klondyke Garden Centre at Polmont has been completed. A new, large extension has transformed the centre and the customer journey, from core gardening and garden lifestyle through to the new houseplant department and gifts and indoor living displays. The second retail space is home to seasonal products, with Klondyke’s Christmas experience currently in situ. his then flows through to cookshop and food hall. Adjacent to its houseplant zone is the entrance to anew 300-seater restaurant and separate coffee bar. The restaurant is full table service

with a menu featuring regional produce and Klondyke’s signature home baking. Several new concession partners have joined the centre too: Pavers Shoes, Klass Clothing, Outdoor Lifestyles Garden Rooms & Hot Tubs and Handy Andy Car Wash. A Changing Places facility is also offered at the centre. The project was carried out by R H Irving Construction Ltd. www.klondyke.co.uk

Blue Diamond garden centres partners with Critizr

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arden centre group Blue Diamond has announced a new partnership with customer interaction management (CIM) specialists Critizr, to drive an improved customer experience across its fast-growing portfolio of outlets. Blue Diamond, which operates 37 garden centres in the South of England and the Channel Islands, has implemented the Critizr Connection platform in each centre to give regional teams the feedback and insights they need to take action and quickly make improvements on behalf of customers. Encouraging early results have seen Blue Diamond’s

average monthly customer relationship score rise to 4.28 out of 5 (June 2021), with a higher-than-average NPS score also recorded. Peter Gibbons, group operations at Blue Diamond Group, said he is delighted with results from using the Critizr Connection platform so far: “I had been looking for a next-level tool to help us secure an intelligent, 360° view of customer interactions, all in one place, which is an imperative across both the retail and hospitality sides of our business. “All our store managers are now daily Critizr Connection users, making in-store changes from the insights it provides. The centres which have embraced the platform the most are the ones that are at the top of the customer satisfaction leaderboards, which shows how well Critizr Connection is working!” www.bluediamond.gg

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07/10/2021 11:54


News

New director announced for Langlands Garden Centres

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anglands Nurseries Ltd has announced the appointment of Daniel Lawton as director. Dan started his new role on the 1 August 2021 and is bringing more than 18 years of industry experience into the business. e first started working for the company in 2012 before acquiring an extensive range of skills and knowledge in other garden centres. “My garden centre career began at the age of 15 in Heighley Gate Garden Centre where my role involved loading cars with compost and pushing trolleys,” says Daniel. “Developing a deeper interest then I went on to study horticulture for three years whilst working in the centre. Over the last 18 years I have gained a huge amount of experience being employed by a number of other businesses within this field. “I feel honoured and privileged to be joining ames and Robert ucker as a director of Langlands and I would like to thank them for this fantastic opportunity. Langlands has had a tough 18 months, but I am proud to say that the team have done an amazing job providing a great service to our

customers. We will continue to focus on investing in the team and making improvements within the centres.” ames ucker, managing director of Langlands Nurseries Ltd adds: “It is with great pleasure that I am announcing the appointment of Dan as a director of Langlands Nurseries Ltd. He has been a crucial part in steering the company through the COVID pandemic and with Dan now on board as a director, I am certain Langlands will continue to thrive.” langlandsgardencentre.co.uk

Event updates Winners of Glee Buyers Power List 2021 revealed The winners of the Glee Buyers Power List for 2021 have been announced from he Stage content theatre at Glee, which took place at the NEC, Birmingham from 14-16 September. The Glee Buyers Power List is designed to recognise the individual buyers and buying teams who have gone above and beyond to make a difference within the garden retail industry. Speaking at the Glee Buyers Power List awards ceremony, which was well attended by retailers and suppliers alike, Glee’s event director Matthew Mein said: “We are particularly proud to announce this year’s winners, who’ve done so much to keep trade buoyant and in good shape as we carve out a new normal. The biggest possible congratulations are due to all the very worthy winners and the many excellent shortlisted nominees.” See the full list of winners here: www.gardencentreretail. com/winners-of-glee-buyers-power-list-2021-revealed

Theo Paphitis discusses ‘hybrid retailing’ at Autumn Fair Retail entrepreneur and small business advocate Theo Paphitis has championed hybrid retail – the mix of physical and online retailing. Speaking at Autumn air in September, he said “ ow is the time... with lower rental costs and lower business rates, I can only see opportunities for physical retail to grow again.” On the impact of O I , he said “It’s been the most ama ing retail experiment. We’ve had so many conversations in the Board about closing stores over the years, but COVID has been a forced experiment that has allowed us to just focus on online. Millions of pounds worth of business was generated during the last four days at home, gift and fashion trade show Autumn air, co-located with Moda, which took place from 5-8 September at the NEC Birmingham. www.autumnfair.com

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Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

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News E x t r a

PPDS LABELLING –

WILL IT AFFECT YOUR SERVICE? Caroline Benjamin of Food Allergy Aware explains the impact of Natasha’s Law

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any people consider going to a garden centre an opportunity to not only stock up on necessary items for their home and gardens but also take an opportunity to enjoy some of the delicious food available. If customers are unable to find menu items suitable for their diets, then research has shown that they will depart the centre without purchasing; however, satisfied customers from the restaurant will be more inclined to purchase after dining. Providing for the FreeFrom customer can be seen as a unique selling point. Providing a good choice will encourage your customer to return on a regular basis, bringing with them friends and family as they can be reassured it is a safe place to eat; in turn they are likely to make purchases within the centre. The process of ensuring that foods are safe for allergy sufferers to consume falls to the catering team. It is as essential that all team members have food allergy training, which is tailored to their role, as it is to have food safety training. Staff need to be aware of the 14 major food allergens and

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the requirements of those working in the catering and hospitality industry to ensure the safety of the food allergy customer. Under the changes from 1 October, full ingredient labelling including allergen information will be a legal requirement for pre-packaged foods prepared on the same site where they are sold. So, what will this mean for your business? Natasha’s Law (Pre-Packed for Direct Sale (PPDS) From 1 October 2021, the UK Food Information Amendment 2019 will apply in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland to ALL businesses selling Prepacked for Direct Sale Foods (PPDS). What is PPDS food? PPDS food is any food item that is packed before being offered for sale by the same food business to the final consumer. This could be on the same premises, on the same site, such as a railway station with multiple outlets, or on other premises if food is offered for sale from a moveable or temporary premises but offered for sale by the same business who packed it; for example, a ‘sandwich van’ doing

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

deliveries from a local bakery. All PPDS foods must state on the packaging the name of the food and a FULL ingredient list, and if any of the 14 major allergens are contained within, they must be clearly highlighted in BOLD, underlined or in any contrasting colour. All the ingredients of the food must be stated in descending order of weight as recorded at the time of their use in the manufacture of the product. The allergens within the food must be emphasised every time they appear in the ingredients list and all component parts of the food product such as the bread and filling in a packed sandwich or the dressing with a boxed salad must be detailed. ‘Contains’ statements will not be permitted; however, ‘may contain’ statements are acceptable as appropriate to manufacture information (ingredients) or after a thorough risk assessment due to in-house preparation. The only exception to this is if the item is in packaging less than 10cm2 (such as sauce sachets). In this instance, the ingredients can be omitted provided this information is available to the consumer via some other form if requested. In such cases the presence of Annex II ingredients in the food must be indicated by the words ‘contains’ followed by the name

of the substance/product, for example ontains celery, fish. Packed children’s meals Pre-ordered packed lunches or sandwiches where the allergens have been clearly stated in advance and the customer has made a choice based on that information, may state the name of the item and the allergens present as best practice on the label. If it is a random choice, then full ingredient labelling must be applied to ALL products in the bag. A good guide is this tool available from the FSA: 1. Is the food presented to the customer in packaging*? Yes

No

Non-prepacked food

2. Is it packaged before the customer selects or orders it? Yes

No

Non-prepacked food

3. Is it packaged at the same place it is sold? Yes

No

Prepacked food

If all three answers are “Yes”, food will require PPDS labelling. Labelling – how to? There are many software options available for printed labels which are usually linked to major brands through the main distributors, but there is also the option of handwritten labels. However, this must be

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E x t r a News done correctly, and there is detailed guidance on the size of the label and the print on the FSA website. It is essential to determine if any of the food that you produce falls into the PPDS category as local authorities will be checking that labelling standards comply with the new legislation. Ignorance of the law is no defence and noncompliance is an offence. There is some very helpful information and advice for caterers on the Food Allergy Aware website and the FSA website which includes the PPDS checker and recorded webinars with detailed information (www.food.gov.uk/ppds). Examples of items that will require PPDS labelling (in a sleeve completely sealed):

Examples of items that will not require PPDS labelling (not pre-wrapped):

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Current allergen information In 2014, The Food Information for Consumers (FIC) Regulations 1169/2011 introduced major changes for the catering industry, notably the provision of accurate allergy information which must be provided for loose foods. It does seem that most caterers are aware of their obligations under the FIC but, unfortunately due to lockdown, over the last year there have been instances of some businesses supplying food with little or essentially no information on the packaging and not being registered with their local authority. This is dangerous for the allergy sufferer and extremely challenging and difficult for any local authority to police. The risks to the food allergy sufferer are very high, not only from a food safety (microbiological) point of view but also the fact that unknown or hidden allergens may be present in the food on offer – be aware of where you are purchasing your products. Four key areas within food business operations which require close scrutiny when providing for the food allergy customer are: • Suppliers • Stock • Training • Production It is essential that a supplier provides accurate ingredient and allergen information for all the food items they provide. There should be clear communication to the caterer when there are recipe changes, or an alternative product brand is supplied. It is a legal requirement to provide accurate and verifiable food allergy information at every stage of the food supply chain. You should also be aware of Manufacturers ‘Precautionary Allergy Labelling’ (PAL) – ‘May Contains’ – and ensure information is available and transferred to data sheets where necessary.

Allergens are classed as a Food Safety Hazard (i.e. “something with the potential to cause harm”) and the risk factor is the likelihood of allergenic contamination. Caterers must do everything possible to reduce the risk of allergenic cross-contamination. This is fundamental to allergen management and should be a priority in dedicated allergen awareness training which is essential for all involved in food production and service. Allergen management should be treated just like any other risk management process in a business, and it is essential that all employees understand the risks posed by

Allergen management should be treated just like any other risk management process in a business allergenic contamination within their establishment. Food Allergy Aware provides, training, auditing, mystery dining and consultancy services for all sectors of the food service industry. Get in contact to see how they can help you. Contact Caroline Benjamin via marketing@fatc.co.uk or call 07732 637 292 ◗

About Caroline Benjamin Food Allergy Aware is an award-winning business which was founded in 2013 by Caroline Benjamin to enable food service businesses to understand and embrace the FreeFrom customer. It develops solutions to give businesses the tools, knowledge and expertise to not only manage the regulations, but go the extra mile to the next level and offer a positive customer journey to the FreeFrom diner. It offers bespoke auditing services which assist with compliance for your company policies and raising your standards. www.foodallergyaware.co.uk

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07/10/2021 11:17


Glee News

LOOKING BACK

AT GLEE

The hotly anticipated return of the garden retail trade event took place from 16-18 September

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fter a two-year hiatus, the garden retail sector was able to come together once again at Glee in the NEC, Birmingham, this September. Buyers flocked to the event, which hosted more than 300 brands, 125 of which were new to the show this year. Amongst the exhibitors were Pot-mate™, which scooped the GIMA Innovator’s Seed Corn Fun, and 19 new garden and pet products named as winners of the Glee New Product Showcase. First-time exhibitors Hill Plants won the Best Glee Green Hear Display Award, using the show to promote its range of British grown houseplants. In the Buyer’s Power List Awards, British Garden Centres won Garden Retailer Buying Team of the Year whilst Aylett Nurseries was named Overall Independent Garden Centre Buying Team of the Year.

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Event director Matthew Mein said: “I am truly delighted with how this year’s show went. It has exceeded all of our expectations and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our loyal customers and retailers who turned out to support Glee after such a challenging time. I really don’t think it could have gone any better and we are now looking forward to Glee 2022, when our biggest-ever change will come, with a different June date for the show. “We are confident that this new date will be better aligned with buying cycles for the garden retail sector and can’t wait to unveil the new event when the time comes. Rebooking has gone very well and 65% of next year’s plan has already been booked, so this is already looking like a really welcome move.” Glee 2022 will take place from Tuesday 28 June to Thursday 30 June. ◗

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

AN INTERVIEW WITH

OLD RAILWAY LINE

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We speak to Old Railway Line about how it has grown over the years, how it has handled the pandemic, and its new ventures into development of a new customer engagement app

ver the past few articles in this series, we’ve focused on the ways in which certain UK garden centres are improving their offer through a concerted process of modernisation. Two issues ago, for instance, we visited ong to find out about its increasing focus on ‘lifestyle,’ as demonstrated by its cutting-edge outdoor living offer. We’ve also spoken to Trevisker in Cornwall, which is building strong connections with its community via an ongoing, modern commitment to helping solve local environmental problems. With that in mind, we’re continuing the theme and focusing in particular on Old Railway Line’s recent development

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of a new customer engagement app. The business has always had a strong media presence, but this new initiative is anticipated to provide a powerful new weapon in its digital marketing arsenal. Plants at the centre Old Railway Line is situated near Hay-onWye, just north of the Brecon Beacons national park in Wales. It was opened in 1990 by the parents of the current operations director, who – as is the case with many small to medium-sized garden centres – grew it up from humble beginnings as a single greenhouse. For those who were wondering about the name, its origin is exactly as you might

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

predict – the original site was indeed built on a disused railway line. The aforementioned operations director Katie Eckley says: “The site originally began as a pig farm run by my grandad, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year. My parents installed a little six by eight greenhouse on the site, growing bits and pieces of veg and a few beds, and selling them near the layby.” She continues: “We’ve developed it step-by-step since then, with the biggest step forward being in 2012, when we opened our shop and put in a restaurant. More recently, we’ve added another catering outlet, which I’d describe as being more of a takeaway. That came out

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I n t er v i ew B u si n ess of COVID-19, but it was so successful we decided to make it a permanent thing. It started off as just a few Danish trolleys and a little deli counter.” Naturally enough, as the scale of the business increased, so did the range of items which Old Railway Line made available to its customers. Current key areas include food and drink via the shop, as well as outdoor living, pets, and gifts and home. According to Katie, however, the main offer continues to be centred around plants: “That’s certainly been the case over the last 18 months, with people paying so much more attention to their gardens. We try to link back to plants in everything that we do and make that the real focus. “When it comes to selling on the plants side, we tend to be much less formal than a lot of garden centres. We don’t employ an A-to-Z set-up but try and theme the displays in a useful way which people will understand. There are a lot of gardeners out there who don’t necessarily know the Latin names for everything, so we try to simplify as much as possible. “We work very much on impulse and arrange by theme. So, we’ve highlighted plants for shaded areas, hedging for living screens and so on. With the perennials, we just colour block things.” According to Katie, that emphasis on ‘usefulness’ and ‘theme’ also extends to the garden centre’s in-store visual marketing effort. hat in turn is reflected

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across every department, seemingly building a coherent narrative in relation to the buying experience. Drilling deeper into this, Katie says: “The strategy for our in-store marketing always relates back to the time of year, particularly when it comes to plants. For instance, over the summer we went very big on wildlife and eco-friendly products. “So, for instance, during that time, as you walked in through the main entrance, there was a focus on bee habitats and peat free. Centring, in other words, on current topics which are intended to catch people’s eye if they’ve seen snippets

The strategy for our instore marketing always relates back to the time of year, particularly when it comes to plants on the news. Then, in the farm shop, we pushed our fantastic local honey suppliers. The idea essentially was to link all these stories together.” Over the summer, they also focused on the beach. Like Trevisker in Padstow, that effort in was very much centred around plastics and litter, again linking back some major issues that customers may have seen covered in the media. It also ties in with a longer-term plan for the business,

through which it aims to become more environmentally friendly. Katie picks up the story: “We started thinking about having a five-year plan just before COVID-19 started to kick off. Obviously, that put things back a bit. But those considerations are certainly in place now and are a core factor when it comes to our buying. We always ask the question now: what is a particular supplier doing to play their part in improving the environment? Are they removing plastics from their packaging, and so on?” Building customer relationships As readers who have visited the Hay-onWye area will know, it is an extremely pleasant area. his is reflected in Old Railway Line’s clientele, which includes some of the ’s more affluent citi ens, though Old Railway Line makes sure to cater to customers of all budgets. However, there are also certain drawbacks to living in a predominantly rural area, particularly at the height of a global pandemic. One of these is how difficult it suddenly becomes to get the groceries in, particularly as some supermarkets were refusing to deliver to a few of the more remote areas. This leads us neatly back to topic of marketing/relationship building, via Old Railway Line’s provision of what Katie refers to as ‘essential hampers’ during the first flush of O I - . hese contained a variety of basics including bread, eggs, 

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B u si n ess I n t er v i ew milk, bacon and fruit and veg. She says: “We’ve developed an incredibly good relationship with the local community, something which was demonstrated at the

There are also certain drawbacks to living in a predominantly rural area, particularly at the height of a global pandemic

as bread themselves, so we could get something of everything. We had three or four vans a day going out on deliveries at one point.” The most recent manifestation of this relationship-building effort is the development and launch of a new customer app, linked into the Old Railway Line’s CRM system. Explaining the core idea behind the application and how it works, Katie says: “All our reward card customers automatically have an account with us, which they can now log into

via the app. They can access their sales history, look at how many points they’ve got, as well as seeing what special offers we have on. “At the same time, they can also access our gardening blog, which is written by a chap called Keith who used to work in store but is now retired. He’s got a good following and does regular updates throughout the season.” According to Katie, there is a multifaceted business case for the app, not least the way in which it helps

height of COVID-19. Our farm shop worked hard to keep serving people, despite the fact that we couldn’t open the doors. “Because we already had our website up and running, we were able to sell food as click and collect. We did nearly 1,000 hampers, and people still mention how they feel like we supported them. Of course, they were supporting us as well.” She continues: “The whole thing really wasn’t part of any kind of grand plan, so much as just a snap decision. Our supply chain was fine, consisting as it does of local businesses, all of whom had plenty of stock. They were making things such

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I n t er v i ew B u si n ess customers keep in touch with Old Railway Line. At the same time, it also shows – in the increasingly digital post-COVID era – that the business is very much on the ball. “Because of the pandemic, everything seems to have pushed forward really fast in terms of communications and technology. People are so savvy now, and we want to show that we’re up to speed with that side of things. We want to show people that we’re as slick as we can be. “We did a social media launch, and a launch email went out as well. In the first

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week, we had around 500 signups, which was incredibly positive because at that point we still didn’t have the footfall in store.” Katie says that the primary method of engagement is via Instagram and Facebook, with the business taking advantage of the ‘visual’ potential of both. They have also recently established a TikTok account for similar reasons. Discussing this aspect of the operation, she says: “Regarding social media, we have input from all over the business. For

instance, the heads of department will feed back to the digital marketing team, as they know what’s coming in and what’s on trend. Behind that, there is always a plan, and generally a theme – for instance, national pie week. “The one social media platform that we haven’t been particularly successful with yet is Twitter, again because I don’t think it is a particularly visual medium which has held it back in value for garden centres. When it comes to photos, cake in particular seems to get plenty of engagement. You can get a long way with cake.” Old Railway Line is a great example of a garden centre maintaining traditional, plant-focused values while still operating very much in the modern world. ◗

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

15

07/10/2021 09:42


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07/10/2021 16:06


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2021

BUSINESS 19

CONTROL THE SUPPLY CHAIN Andrew Burton

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THE VALUE OF DATA Fran Quilty, CEO of Conjura

21

ADD VALUE WITH MAGAZINES Routes to Retail

22

STAFF SAFETY Avoiding abuse in the retail sector

27

PET CARE A growing area for garden centre sales

29

MENTAL HEALTH What can be done to help staff?

33

STORE DISPLAY SHOWCASE Tribe Creative London

36

FORDINGBRIDGE Simpsons Garden Centre’s new canopy

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GARDEN CONNECT An innovative app for garden centres

Business Cover.indd 15

07/10/2021 15:42


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07/10/2021 11:18


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

TAKING CONTROL

OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN

A

Andrew Burton talks about how garden centres can overcome the current supply issues to boost business

sk any garden centre what the biggest threat to their business has been over the past 2 months, and chances are the reply won’t be lockdowns’, it will be supply issues’. hat’s why the past six months have seen a rise in garden centres seeking warehouse space to improve their customer service and processes, and ultimately to develop their business. he Malcolm Scott onsultants team has witnessed the massive impact that supply issues have had on the garden centre sector over the past year first hand, and is working with a number of centres to put steps in place to ensure such problems do not arise again. Savvy businesses are investing in warehousing to take the responsibility of availability into their own hands not simply by providing additional space for storage, but to support productivity and operational needs for a garden centre, such as online purchase and click and collect ones, supplier returns, goods in checking areas and customer deliveries. A warehouse needs as much consideration as a shop floor layout for

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Andrew Burton.indd 19

optimum efficiency It needs to work hard for its investment and support the garden centre in productive working and help in

Savvy businesses are investing in warehousing to take the responsibility of availability into their own hands managing cleanliness of product. A strong layout needs to be linear space effective, with specific racking to support storage needs, with attention given to the si e and type of racking, forklift truck choice and aisle widths, storage ones and layout. I have been working with a number of businesses this past month in designing their layouts, and while each one has its own challenges, it is essential to factor in future re uirements to ensure a warehouse is planned effectively to support investment costs if a facility is over-specified or too large, a centre’s bottom line will take the hit. It is a fine

balance, but one that is achievable if considered well. Our planners have seen a surge in garden centres seeking support in applying for planning permission to build new warehouses, or to convert existing buildings. We know from extensive research that customers want to buy from their local centre where they can, however online shoppers nationwide are also something to watch. Whatever the audience is, the key is having stock available and processes in place to be efficient. or many, time is of the essence in respect to fulfilling warehousing needs. Often planning the layout and then going through the planning application process can take between eight and thirteen weeks, and if a business has set its sights on constructing a larger warehouse for 2022, I would encourage them to start work as soon as they can. Businesses such as Malcolm Scott onsultants can help garden centres, and as operational and town planning experts we will be well placed to advance such applications to identify if they could be a viable option. ◗

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

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07/10/2021 10:43


B u si n ess D a t a

THE VALUE OF DATA

T

he hashtag #plantparent trended during the pandemic with millions of hits on social networks such as TikTok; UK plant sales increased by over 80% during lockdown and 18-34 year olds were the driving force behind a market that is set to top £4bn this year. Garden centres catering to this growth market, such as East Anglia’s Urban Jungle has been able to expand using social media platforms like Pinterest, and notably Instagram, to position itself as a lifestyle brand. Selfridges has got in on the act by launching in-store garden centres accompanied by a themed clothing range from Prada to appeal to this new generation of gardeners. While it might be premature to declare that gardening is the new rock ‘n’ roll, it is at least Insta-cool. As we know, a trowel is for life not just for lockdown, so there’s a real opportunity to gain new customers for the long term. However, digital native audiences think online-first so reaching them will re uire a change in approach. This may take some upfront investment, but the inherent value of customer data makes this very worthwhile. Knowing where to start in digital can seem daunting, but actually there are just three fundamental factors at play when starting out:

1. Capture the right data

It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed, so start with one uestion what data do

20

Fran Quilty, CEO and co-founder of Conjura, explains why customer data is so valuable I actually need to meet my particular business needs? Start with your most pressing concern and build out with additional insights that will give you a helicopter view of performance from sales and marketing through to operations. ypically, the first priority is to ac uire new customers. This means being able to pinpoint what channels bring in the most or most valuable customers and which campaigns perform best.

2. Make the most of omnichannel thinking

Younger people use a host of digital channels when making purchase decisions, an e-commerce website is often just one point in a much wider journey. Selfridges understands this and factors in social channels. Each serves a particular role that works to its particular strengths and builds into a broader brand story. It supplements this with original content that will give novice gardeners the confidence to grow into their hobby: for instance, beginners’ guides from its green-fingered mascot Gary the gnome; ‘The Potting Shed’, an advice section written by horticulturalist Angela Maynard; and one of the most popular approaches of the last 0 years a podcast. This joined up strategy will be beyond the means of smaller businesses, but it’s still worth choosing a limited selection of channels and building a brand around this. For instance, Urban Jungle only has two

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Fran Quilty.indd 20

gardening centres but boasts over 21,000 Instagram followers. It uses Instagram and Twitter to drive engagement at a targeted, local level.

3. Propagate a growth mindset

Looking beyond short-term engagement and ac uisition, it will pay to give loyal customers more attention in preparation for a post-cookie world. What this will look like is yet unclear but reaching new audiences could become harder within the next couple of years. onse uently, now is the right time to start interrogating the data you already own to identify growth opportunities within your existing audience. In a digital-first world it is those that embrace data and analytics that will be positioned to grow at pace. Failing to do so could mean it’s new digitally-minded entrants like Selfridges that ultimately reap the benefits. ◗ ABOUT Fran is a self-confessed data nerd who studied statistics as part of his pharmacy Phd. After an early career in pharmacy, statistics won out and Fran joined Accenture’s analytics team. From there, he set up Conjura in 2018; its mission is to make data analytics accessible to companies of all sizes. Conjura’s client base includes some of the fastest-growing ecommerce businesses in the UK.

www.gardencentreretail.com

07/10/2021 16:32


Magazines Business

ADD VALUE WITH…

A

MAGAZINES Considering the next category for your store? Magazines could be an opportunity not to be missed

t around £5 per issue, you’d be forgiven for thinking of introducing magazines as adding little value to your business. But could you be missing a trick? Choosing the right publications and placing them in the right area of the store could bring bigger benefits than some might expect. “The category will provide incremental sales with only a small amount of floor space re uired,” explains Paul Sadler, business unit director at Routes to Retail. “It is also a risk-free operation for the retailer an EPoS-based sales process, minimal store colleague labour required, all in all making it a net-net margin opportunity for retailers.” No risk sounds too good to be true, but garden centres with robust EPoS systems would be invoiced based on weekly EPoS reports from the retailer to the distributor. The traditional model of ‘sale or return’ would be adopted for other retailers, whereby the retailers are invoiced up front for the copies they receive, less the agreed discount, with credit supplied for any copies not sold. This comes with ‘shrink risk’, though, as items which go missing or are stolen, for example, cannot be returned and therefore credited.

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Independent garden centres without suitable EPoS systems would likely need to stock magazines using this model instead. “We sell in good quantities, though, in independent garden centres,” says Paul. “ here’s a demand for maga ines in these stores and if an independent was interested in stocking magazines, we’d discuss the most suitable model.” Choosing titles Routes to Retail will also discuss the best magazines for your store. “The obvious category is gardening; in particular, the likes of BBC Gardeners’ World perform strongly nationwide and in the garden centres we supply. “The key point here is to focus on the customer, who will have numerous interests. It is about recognising and capturing this in a small, tailored range of magazines. The main categories, alongside gardening, would be children’s, food, lifestyle and home interest. There are also numerous specials across the year that boost sales of all categories.” Merchandising the magazines Routes to Retail can be involved as much as necessary in merchandising the magazines. This includes: liaising with publishers on

the appropriate range; managing the goods in process; working with the retailer on store level allocations; and providing an efficient data process for sharing title information and all forms of reporting. The retailer can then focus on placing the maga ines on the unit of fixture, locating it as close to the till area as possible or in another high footfall area, and ensuring the stock is tidy and replenished regularly. Having said that, a merchandiser can visit the store to carry out these tasks for the garden centre. For those selling a small selection of magazines, there is a QR code which can be displayed next to the stand encouraging customers to visit an e-commerce site for a wider range of titles which can be purchased direct to consumer. A percentage of the profits would then be shared with the garden centre. Paul is eager to trial garden centres stocking newspapers too. “Newspapers are unlikely to sell in enough volume from Monday to Friday, but customer feedback indicates they would buy from garden centres on Saturday and Sunday. It could be a real opportunity.” Contact Routes to Retail via: 01895 433 800 or econtact@routestoretail.co.uk

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07/10/2021 09:36


Business Staff Safety

AVOIDING ABUSE

Abuse towards retail workers is on the up. GCS’s Jeremy Davies speaks to Garden Centre Retail about how stores can help to protect their staff

V

iolence and abuse against retail workers is rising year on year. That’s just one of the disconcerting headlines from the British Retail Consortium’s latest annual Crime Survey. In 2019/20, there were 455 incidents reported every day, a 7% spike from the previous year. The BRC is calling on the government to better protect retail workers by passing legislation that would make assaulting or abusing a retail worker a specific offence, along with introducing tougher sentences. The trade body, which represents more than 5,000 businesses, argues this could act as a deterrent and increase visibility of incidents in order for appropriate police resources to be allocated and an adequate response provided. Scotland’s government has already taken action, with the new Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) Act 2021 coming into force in August which gives retail workers in Scotland better protection than those in other parts of Britain. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, says: “We need legislation in England and Wales to protect our hard-working retail colleagues. It

22

makes no sense nor is it remotely fair that people who work in retail are better protected in Dundee than they are in Doncaster.” So, how big a problem is abusive behaviour towards those working in the retail sector? What are the reasons behind the rise in reports? And what can stores do to help protect their staff? In the last year, an overwhelming majority (92%) of retail staff experienced verbal abuse, according to a recent survey by trade union Usdaw. An astonishing 70% reported being threatened by a customer and around a sixth (14%) said they had been physically assaulted. Despite this, one in five victims did not report an incident to their employer. The BRC’s Crime Survey revealed just over half (54%) of incidents are reported to the police, sparking the association to call for a single online reporting tool to help bolster this figure. Seven in 10 retailers now put violence and abuse against staff as the biggest

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Staff Safety.indd 22

issue, according to the BRC’s Crime Survey, with the two most common causes or flashpoints’ being challenging shoplifters or asking a customer for their ID when purchasing age-restricted items. A third flashpoint was added over the last 18 months, with COVID-19 restrictions coming into effect and being enforced by retailers. Incidents have soared over the last year as a result, says Jeremy Davies of national security company GCS. “Before the restrictions were lifted, there were longer queues to get into garden centres where the number of those allowed inside the store was limited. So, customers were getting frustrated waiting,” explains Jeremy. “It created more abuse against centre staff, as they were seen as a representative of the business.” And where high street stores were closed during the various lockdowns, garden centres – which took on ‘essential’ status and were able to remain open – had to bear the brunt. Those who would typically visit high street stores headed to garden centres instead and soon realised they were perhaps easier targets for theft. “High street retailers have security measures in place already: high quality CCTV, security tagging systems, and their staff would have received some form of anti-conflict training on how to deal with an irate shoplifter or a disgruntled

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07/10/2021 10:39


Staff Safety Business shopper. So, the high street is more hardened to that sort of situation. A garden centre, on the other hand, is a softer environment and it’s unlikely staff would have been through loss prevention or anti-conflict training. “So, we’re now seeing more aggressive behaviour and verbal abuse towards garden centre staff, which is not helped by customers being able to wear face masks; they’re anonymous, so whether they’re criminals or genuine customers, it seems more acceptable for them to behave badly and be more confrontational.” Restrictions might have been lifted, but some stores have kept COVID-19 measures in place, and the usual

We’re now seeing more aggressive behaviour and verbal abuse towards garden centre staff, which is not helped by customers being able to wear face masks flashpoints of confronting shoplifters and asking for proof of age remain. A record £1.2bn was invested in safety measures such as body-worn cameras, more security personnel and panic alarms, the BRC’s Crime Survey reported. “Abuse towards staff is generally uite difficult to solve it’s not as straightforward as, say, trying to reduce customer theft,” says Jeremy. “It’s sometimes a consequence of having a lower level of security. It’s about trying to make the environment more secure generally so that thieves or other criminals don’t come to the garden centre because it’s not an easy target. By making it tougher to steal, there should be less contact with criminals and fewer attacks on staff.” One potential deterrent are CCTV Customer Awareness Monitors, which allow customers to see themselves on a screen as they walk into the store and at other high-risk areas around the garden centre, such as the tills or a customer service desk. “The customer can immediately see that they are being recorded and it makes the environment more secure. “They register that their behaviour is being recorded, and if they behave badly or are abusive, the footage can be reviewed and used by management. It could lead to the individual being banned from the store, so if they come to the store

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in future, it’s trespassing, and the police can intervene.” Jeremy says preventative measures such as CCTV Customer Awareness Monitors can help to avert the flashpoint rather than CCTV being used simply as a way to review footage once a crime has taken place; but he advises against garden centres displaying all of their cameras on one monitor. “Criminals can then see which parts of the store are not covered by CCTV. It’s a really bad practice and is far less impactful than customer awareness monitors which only shows one image.” Better customer service and engagement can also prove useful in avoiding conflict. “Improving customer service can help to reduce flashpoints. For instance, if someone is returning an

Preventative measures such as CCTV Customer Awareness Monitors can help to avert the flashpoint item, a member of staff should handle that process in a polite manner and engage with the customer, more than it simply being transactional. If a customer being verbally or physically abusive, the member of staff needs to back away and call for assistance and try to defuse the situation rather than being aggressive back.” When this type of situation arises, panic buttons at the tills are an effective reactive measure. “The panic button is there to draw attention and call members of staff to support that individual. Take a holistic approach – putting security and safety on the business agenda is a best practice.

Garden centre owners or managers should be asking themselves: How are we dealing with security and the safety of our staff? Are we putting our staff at risk? For example, when removing cash from the tills, some stores may only send one individual to collect it, but sending two individuals might dissuade theft, removing a flashpoint. It’s about being preventative as well as reactive or responsive.” Businesses should have a procedure in place for reporting abuse to the senior member of management and consider ways to mitigate risk, says Jeremy. “Garden centres are growing their ranges of high value alcoholic drinks, for instance, which can put more staff at risk, so they should consider how they are going to mitigate this. This could be with agerelated signage or with a short training session on asking for ID and how best to handle situations which can arise.” Whilst the legislation proposed by the BRC may help to deter abuse towards retail workers, there are measures which can be taken by stores to avoid flashpoints and perhaps help combat the biggest issue faced by retailers today. ◗ ABOUT Established in 2013, the team at GCS focus on helping Garden Centres to tackle customer theft and reduce shrinkage. GCS offer loss prevention training, security tagging systems and CCTV. Their clients include most of the biggest names in the industry. GCS is also the provider of the HTA’s Security Advice Line. GCS can be contacted at 01892 300 878 or via its website. www.gcsgb.com

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07/10/2021 10:40


PHOSTROGEN PLANS A GROWTH SPURT FOR SEASON 2022 WITH A REBRAND AND SIGNIFICANT EXPANSION OF ITS PRODUCT RANGE FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS, British brand Phostrogen has been delivering the performance that people need to get the most from what they grow, making them proud of what they have created. Despite many changes in gardening habits through the decades, one thing has remained the same – Phostrogen’s purpose: to enable British gardeners to reap more from their endeavours.

As part of the next stage in the brand’s history, Phostrogen has unveiled a rebrand and significant expansion of its product range. Until now the brand has been famed for having one hero product – it’s All Purpose Plant Food. However, throughout 2022 the range will expand to 11 different products with the key introductions of new liquid feeds as well as organic options too, to offer a full range of products under one brand name. All of the organic range is certified by Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G). The refreshed appearance blends heritage, provenance and modernism, with clear signposting making it easy for the customer to see why the product is right for them, whilst providing the reassurance that the Phostrogen name brings.

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Phase one of the relaunch consists of 11 products, including the introduction of liquids and organic feeds: ALL PURPOSE PLANT FOOD Soluble, available in 400g, 800g and 2kg ALL PURPOSE PLANT FOOD Liquid, available in 1L ORGANIC ALL PURPOSE PLANT FOOD Granules, available in 800g ORGANIC ALL PURPOSE PLANT FOOD Liquid, available in 1L ORGANIC LAWN FEED Granules, available in 88sqm and 375sqm ORGANIC TOMATO FOOD Liquid, available in 1L ERICACEOUS PLANT FOOD Granules, available in 800g

The hero product, Phostrogen All Purpose Plant Food, has been the tried and tested go-to plant feed for generations because it works by providing all of the important nutrients that plants need in one balanced feed, in a pure form, and with no wastage. Everything within the formulation is a plant nutrient, so consumers are paying for only what they need. It promotes healthy green foliage, abundant flowers and fruit and can be used on all ornamental and edible plants indoors and out, including seedlings and lawns. New to the range is an organic version of the All Purpose Plant Food, which promotes the same healthy, strong growth and is enriched with seaweed, for organically bigger plants, better blooms and more vegetables - engaging with an organic-conscious customer base which increased in value by 96% in 2020.* Both products are available in liquid and soluble options. Three further organic products complete the range, including Liquid Tomato Food, Ericaceous Plant Food and Lawn Food, providing a complete package for all gardeners.

For more information about the new Phostrogen® collection please contact uk.marketing@sbm-company.com * Source: GfK Oct 19 - Sept 20

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07/10/2021 11:19


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07/10/2021 11:19


S elli n g s P et s B u si n ess

PET CARE

With pet sales on the rise, we take a look at how garden centres can best take care of the nation’s furry friends both while under their roof and as they become a family’s new pet

O

ver the months since we were first plunged into lockdown, a whopping .2 million households in the have ac uired a pet, according to the Pet ood Manufacturers Association’s pet population data. hough the top pets remain dogs and cats with 2 million across the the pets typically seen within our garden centres still feature highly with .2 million small mammals, .5 million reptiles and 5 million a uaria. Indeed, if we take a look at our own poll 00% of participants that sold pets said their sales had increased in the past year. So, while pet sales are on the rise, how can we best look after the nation’s furry friends irst and foremost, anyone selling pets must of course have a licence to do so and this needs to be clearly displayed both on the premises and on any website.

Anyone selling pets must of course have a licence to do so and this needs to be clearly displayed ext, you must have a sufficient number of staff who have a suitable level of competency in order to provide a level of care that ensures their welfare needs are met. his can come in many forms, though. According to government guidance it can be demonstrated by “holding or being registered for an O AL regulated

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Level 2 ualification that is appropriate to the species kept, by having undertaken relevant industry recognised training or an in-store training programme or based on experience”. hese staff will then need to use this training to ensure the animals’ welfare needs are met. According to the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, the first of these needs is a suitable environment taking into account their behavioural needs, their situation, space, air uality, cleanliness, temperature, the water uality where relevant , noise levels, light levels and ventilation. ext is a suitable diet. he staff will also need to ensure the animals are able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, are housed with, or apart from, other animals, and are protected from pain, suffering, in ury and disease. hese are, as of 2006, the legal re uirements which must be met by any owner or person in charge of an animal. But what else should garden centres bear in mind Pets at ome only works with carefully selected breeders chosen for their proximity to limit travel time and inspected uarterly by its pet team. his care continues when pets arrive in store, where they enter a purpose-built uiet room so they can settle in. Alongside a health check once they arrive in store, minimum twice a day health checks are then carried out for the rest of their time. As Pets at ome always does, it’s important that garden centres look beyond the pets’ care while in store, too. According to icole Paley from the Pet ood Manufacturers Association, it’s worth considering that even selling pet care provisions “presents the perfect opportunity to enhance to the customer service and promote animal welfare by providing uality education resources.” Indeed, icole emphasises how important it is to provide credible, uality resources. “Welfare

organisations such as the RSP A and P SA, and veterinary bodies such as the British eterinary Association and British Small Animal Association have excellent ranges,” she says.

Even selling pet care provisions: “presents the perfect opportunity to enhance to the customer service and promote animal welfare” “At P MA our area of expertise is pet food nutrition, and we have a range of educational fact sheets to help owners on what is best to feed their pets. he factsheets cover the range of pet species, from guinea pigs and rabbits to fish and pet birds.” hese can be found on the P MA website and are free to download. With pets clearly brining so much oy to owners across the , the sales of these animals aren’t likely to slow down. But, as icole from P MA states, it provides garden centres with the perfect opportunity to ensure they are receiving the correct care from day one and promote best care to their owners after. ◗ 

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07/10/2021 09:08


B u si n ess S elli n g s P et s

POLL RESULTS Do you sell pets?

Of those who said no: Have you ever sold pets?

Is your pet offering a concession or an in house offering? 20%

Concession

22%

28%

In house 80%

72%

Do you provide staff training?

78%

25%

Yes

No

Yes

75%

What pets do you sell? Rabbits

100%

Hamsters

60%

Guinea pigs

80%

Rats

Have pets sales increased in the past year? Yes

60%

Ferrets

20%

Other

20%

Is information provided to the customer for the care of the pet? Yes

How long have you sold pets? Less than one year One to three years

20% 40%

hree to five years 0% Over five years

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

selling pets.indd 28

No

40%

Gerbils

28

Yes

No

Do you suggest certain products which should be bought to care for the pet? Yes

40%

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07/10/2021 09:09


M en t a l H ea lt h B u si n ess

MENTAL HEALTH

MATTERS

O

The discussion around mental health issues has certainly grown over the years, but how does this industry measure up? What is being done to help staff’s mental health, and what more could we be doing?

ne in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. One in six in every given week. One in five people have suicidal thoughts. Males aged 5- continue to have the highest suicide rate. hese are statistics you may or may not be aware of, but it’s fair to say the conversation around mental health has got louder, and there’s no silencing it now. But how loudly is our industry speaking about it What’s being done to support

staff’s mental wellbeing and what more could be done According to he Retail rust’s ealth of Retail Report, retail employee’s mental wellbeing is actually among the lowest of any occupational group in the UK. or annah Powell, current R manager at Perrywood, it took severe body spasms to realise there was something very wrong with her mental health. “I was diagnosed in 200 with a unctional eurological isorder which is where you get physical symptoms but there’s nothing structurally wrong,” explains annah. “My limbs

and my torso would twitch and spasm in response to touch and sound. At it’s worse, picking up a piece of paper would set it off. “I describe it as burnout. My nervous system got stuck on high alert with too much ongoing stress and adrenaline. I was off work for six months. I had suffered with depression previously after some bereavement and during this time

In our 200-year history we have never been as relevant as we have over the past year my mental health was bad again. Back then, there wasn’t really any support from employers. I’ve always sought help myself and getting out into nature gave me a necessary break from the thoughts that can swirl in your head.” It was certainly a lifeline for many during the pandemic, a time that undoubtedly impacted or increased mental health issues worldwide. “ he Retail rust looks after the health and wellbeing of those working within the sector. In our 200-year history we have never been as relevant as we have over the past year,” explains Amy Prendergast at he Retail rust. In fact, it’s report further indicated that % of retail staff said their mental health had deteriorated due to the pandemic, and a further third have gone on to develop long-lasting symptoms. Grimsby Garden entre certainly noticed an impact on its staff’s mental wellbeing. “We had to balance massively increased customer demand with staff absences due to sickness, shielding and isolating whilst finding new ways of 

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B u si n ess M en t a l H ea lt h

30

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M en t a l H ea lt h B u si n ess uses occupational health working to improve staff providers if someone’s and customer safety,” physical or mental health explains Joanne Keen, Support is impacting work. “They head of employment Samaritans help the employee and commercial services Open 24/7, 365 days a year to understand what at NAViGO. “Our team Call: 116 123 for free they could do next, have been resilient and Email: jo@samaritans.org particularly if they’ve really banded together not been someone who but understandably has sought out help before the uncertainty around and they don’t know what to whether we could open, do next. They get next steps, increased workloads due to and we get a sense of if they’re well restrictions and hygiene procedures enough to work or if they need to take have had an impact on our staff.” some time off, adjusted hours or changes It’s always been important to care for in what they’re doing day to day.” staff’s mental wellbeing, but now more At Grimsby Garden Centre, it’s vitally than ever before it is something employers important that the stigma around mental can’t ignore. Of those we interviewed for health is banished. “We’re not shy our mental health survey, 100% said the about starting the conversation,” importance of staff’s mental health has explains Joanne. “During the height of become more prominent in the last three the pandemic, we included signposting years, with many citing COVID-19 as a information about how to access mental reason. So, how’s our industry responding? health support on all of our marketing Unsurprisingly, Hannah ensures that emails and leaflets.” Perrywood goes above and beyond when But The Retail Trust’s Health of it comes to its staff’s mental wellbeing. Retail Report also discovered an “I’ve always been open about my interesting finding that although struggles, and I’ve tried to use that for 83% of managers agreed that they had a force for good. If you open up as access to all the tools they needed to a leader and show your vulnerability, support their teams, this actually led to other people are much more likely to managers feeling under pressure. “They come forward.” This is a sentiment that’s don’t feel like they themselves have got echoed in her book The Cactus Surgeon, appropriate support and instead feel Using Nature to Fix a Faulty Brain and in they are taking on a significant amount the policies Perrywood has in place. of burden. We’re now in this kind of Its employer’s assistance programme vicious cycle,” explains Amy. offers a 24/7 helpline for counselling but “Employees need to invest in more also legal advice. “Mental health issues managers training and to take a much can come from a variety of sources, so if more strategic approach to the health you can seek advice and minimise some and wellbeing of their employees. This of those worries that can help,” explains is a key role for The Retail Trust. Our Hannah. “Alongside this, if an employee philosophy is that line managers are calls in sick due to mental health or stress the conduit between a team members distress and professional support. We help managers recognise the signs that During the height of the someone needs help and then how pandemic, we included they can signpost individuals to experts to remove this risk of those managers signposting information becoming accidental counsellors.” about how to access Another resource available which could take this pressure off even mental health support on more is Perennial. It’s a charity which all of our marketing emails is dedicated to helping everyone in the horticulture industry, including an eaflets their families, and can provide free and confidential advice, support and related issues, with their permission, we’ll financial assistance. arrange a call with a mental health clinician “Perennial gives people support so they can explore the triggers. We’ll do when they need it most, in a gentle and our part to then help change this.” caring way. They step in when the going Alongside this, Perrywood has mental gets tough with bespoke, practical health first aiders within the company help,” explains Squire’s chairman Sarah – a point of contact for an employee who Squire. “We are passionate about plants is experiencing a mental health issue – and

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and gardening and, through Perennial, want to support those who have shared that passion through their work in any part of our industry.” Grimsby Garden Centre’s employees benefit from it being part of A iGO, a provider of mental health services across Northeast Lincolnshire. “There are a lot of ways in which being owned and run by A iGO benefits our team but the approach to staff wellbeing is one of the biggest advantages,” explains Joanne. “Throughout the pandemic, our staff have been offered priority access to 24/7 professional mental health support as well as continued access to a 2 onfidential Careline, an in-house occupational health service and use of holistic therapies.” 

Prevention is key

Tackling mental health issues is as much about prevention as it is dealing with them when they arise. With this in mind, many organisations and companies are exploring some of the key causes of mental health problems. According to Mental Health Foundation: “People from minority groups who are exposed to discrimination and social exclusion based on race, gender and sexual orientation are also at greater risk.” Alongside this, it has been found that there are key links between mental health problems and the hormones changes that come hand in hand with menopause. These are all issues that our industry is addressing. Hannah Powell from Perrywood explains: “A lot of people who go through the menopause can have mental health problems so we’re raising awareness. By raising the issue and offering resources we’re hoping someone will be able to understand what they’re going through and we can stop some of those mental health issues escalating.” The Retail Trust is also working to remove the taboo around menopause and will be discussing the topic alongside Davina McCall at an upcoming event for HR leaders or employees. A selection of studies promoted in conjunction with this event include The Menopause Survey 2018 where 76% of respondents felt their symptoms had been problematic in the workplace and 20% said they had considered quitting their job as a result, and the 2018 STUC Women’s Committee survey where 32% of respondents felt the menopause was treated negatively at work. The stakes are high then, if employers don’t tackle root causes and only deal with the mental health of staff when it’s a problem.

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07/10/2021 10:15


B u si n ess M en t a l H ea lt h Looking after staff’s wellbeing is clearly the right thing to do, but the benefits can also go beyond happy and healthy staff. “A businesses bottom line will benefit by looking after staff’s mental health,” explains Stuart homas from yve Group. “We support our customers to run their businesses, and at the heart of a successful business is the wellbeing of employees. he businesses that we see becoming hugely successful are those that put that first it’s clear to see.” ltimately, it’s of course about caring for employees, and this is more important than ever. “Our health system is struggling. Referrals for mental health have enormously long waits. Employers need to pick up this up, because if they don’t people are either going to leave or go off sick,” explains annah. here’s certainly always room for improvement. “ hings have improved over the years, but it would be great to see more workplaces adopt a culture where staff are comfortable opening up about their feelings,” explains oanne. “It’s also crucial that the industry invest time and effort in training staff in mental health awareness not only to reduce stigma but also to allow staff to recognise the signs of mental health problems in themselves and colleagues and how to access support.” “ he national stats say one in four will experience a mental health issue at some point. But actually, we’re here for the four,” explains Amy. Indeed, everyone will at some point have a period of mental health challenges whether that’s low mood or feelings of anxiety, or something more long term. Because of this, it’s so important that employees don’t ust react. Prevention is key. Put measures into place so that they’re there for the four, whenever or however they may need them. ◗

Of those surveyed: Number of staff 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1 to 5

6 to 20

21 to 50

Do you have any mental health policies in place?

51 to 100

100+

80%

Of those who answered no: Are you planning on putting some in place?

70%

70%

60%

60%

50%

50%

40%

40%

30%

30%

20%

20%

10%

10%

0%

0% Yes

No

Yes

No

Of those who answered yes: How long have you had these in place? 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2 Years

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3 years

4 years

5+ years

www.gardencentreretail.com

07/10/2021 10:16


S t o r e S h o wc a se B u si n ess

STORE SHOWCASE Sunshine Garden Centre, Christmas ‘shop in shop’ set-up

sual esign and vi an, retail d h e e e h ib S Tr ri f e o K ant ing consult e merchandis ins how sh la p x e , n o d n o L en rd ve a ine G Creati alls of Sunsh h e as. th m d st e ri deck for Ch ansform it tr to e tr n e C

Brief

Christmas overarching e me To create an the four Christmas th e nify m u e th to g e n m hi e th he overarc T . yet s re e o m st e in rooms the four th f o e n op o n sh o hristmas must focus the whole C ms must g n ri b w o h some me roo er. The the story togeth ndola provided.  l go use the wal

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07/10/2021 11:12


B u si n ess S t o r e S h o wc a se How did you make it happen?

After reviewing the themes that the store team and I had bought from their suppliers it was clear that “Showtime” was going to be the one I could have the most fun with and use to pull the whole Christmas shop look and feel together. In July, I set about designing and creating “The Christmas Show”. This would become the overarching theme and it would be reflected and incorporated into the point of sale (POS) and all areas in store to create the Christmas “shop in shop” experience. The centre entrance and walkways would be clad and transformed into a plush art deco style theatre themed space, giving customers the feeling of arriving at a theatre foyer that immediately showcased the four Christmas themes instore in the same way that a film theatre would showcase the movies that they were currently screening.

This was the key to pulling the themes in-store together into one Christmas show story and a great way to set the scene and introduce them to what they were going to find beyond the hristmas Show shop entrance. Then the next part of the brief: “improving and incorporating the standard garden centre style wall gondola”. Painting the gondola was a uick fix. Other options are to M over the panels and then apply any print over the top – from logs to bricks or traditional. You can still work with the wall if you use the M to secure fixtures onto. If you want to update the wall gondola and retail from it rather than use it as a focal point, keep the uprights between each gondola panel uncovered and you can still use flat bars, pegs and shelves for stock. www.tribecreative.london ◗

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S t o r e S h o wc a se B u si n ess

Top tips

The key thing is that there is an overarching theme that ties the areas together. Secondly, hristmas does not start and finish in the Christmas shop. It starts the moment the customer arrives at the centre and continues through all departments outside of the dedicated seasonal space. A ‘wow’ entrance followed by illuminated Christmas trees or branches, some wrapped presents and a gifting idea is a simple way to create this exciting environment plus additional pick-up sales instore. It will work from wild bird food through to sundries and food. When it comes to the main Christmas shop in shop, inspiring the customers is the number one goal. There are so many decorations, floral stems, garlands and wreaths in centres across multiple themes, it can become overwhelming, and customers will tend to arrive with a clear shopping mission in mind. This will normally be based on a colour and around what they already have from previous years. It is the role of the centre display teams to excite the customers. Consumers need new ideas, and we must give them the inspiration. his can be done by introducing floral stems and garlands into the theme trees. Use wreaths as ceiling features suspended from walkways and dress with hanging baubles and small deco items and lights. Use the scented bags of dried orange and cinnamon to dress a tree or a wreath. You also need to bear in mind a customer’s living situation. Not everyone has space for a tree, so maybe show how a vase full of soft snow with some dressed twigs and lights could become their version of a tree. When creating these displays, think how you could engage customers with workshops to recreate these looks at home, or hold weekend live demonstrations.

www.gardencentreretail.com

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Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

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07/10/2021 11:14


A d v er t o r i a l

SIMPSON’S

“STRIKING” STRUCTURE

Fordingbridge recently built its widest ‘glulam’ canopy to date

F

ordingbridge is continuously creating striking structures, and its latest might be the most impressive one yet. The contractor has built a 14,000 sq. ft canopy for Simpsons Garden Centre in Inverness to cover its retail space. But as well as needing to have the “wow factor”, the cover needed to be practical, says Fordingbridge’s technical sales manager Garry Summerfield. “The canopy features a hybrid roof, using both our Opal 60 tensioned membrane and a polycarbonate roof lantern. This means that the entire space is flooded with natural light, creating a bright and fresh shopping environment. With sustainability always in mind, the canopy was also futureproofed in its design, meaning that it has the ability to be converted into a fully insulated building at a later date.” Insulated roof conversions are another service Fordingbridge provides, alongside its canopies, covered walkways and statement building provision. Fordingbridge has been working with horticultural retailers for more than five decades, initially manufacturing polytunnel frames and potting benches

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as well as designing, manufacturing and installing automated ventilation solutions in the late 1960s. It continues to manufacture hectares worth of polytunnels but has also evolved into full construction. Fordingbridge’s in-house ability has continued to develop with the company’s offering; it designs, structurally engineers, manufactures, pre-fabricates and installs. “Manufacturing in-house we see as key for delivering structures which are built to last. All of our canopies are covered by industry leading guarantees and one of the reasons our clients choose us is for that quality. Designing and engineering under one roof allows us to ensure that quality is always on point and that our clients receive an installation everyone can be proud of.” For Simpsons Garden Centre, a series of feasibility, planning and design meetings led the store to choose a contemporary mix of black finished steel with Fordingbridge’s glulaminated (‘glulam’) timber arches along with steel trusses, all manufactured at Fordingbridge’s

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purpose-built factory in West Sussex. It replicates the original structure the contractor created for the garden centre. “We first visited Simpsons Garden centre in Inverness some years ago, as we were approached to design and build a canopy to form the main entrance for their new store. Being invited back for the latest addition, the 25m span hybrid, was excellent and something the whole team here are very proud of. “One of our largest timber canopies to date, it is a hugely impressive structure and the feedback we have had, both from Simpsons, their clients, and even architects and contractors has been excellent. Along with being built using sustainable materials, it is a real architectural spectacle and enforces the centre as a true retail destination.” Its latest structure for Simpsons is the widest glulam canopy Fordingbridge has created, but there’s a broad range of work the contractor can provide for garden centres. “Whether you need a polytunnel for commercial growing, a large plant area canopy for retail sales, or a sustainably built, statement garden centre building, Fordingbridge can help.” ◗

www.gardencentreretail.com

07/10/2021 09:38


Ga r d en C o n n ec t B u si n ess

IS THERE

AN APP FOR THAT?

Looking for a way to further engage customers? An app might be the answer, says Garden Connect

H

ow many times have you gotten to the shop and realised you’ve forgotten your voucher? Or your debit card? Ever wanted to skip the queue at the café counter? If you’ve thought it, your customers might have too. Fortunately, one item you rarely leave home without is your phone, and Garden Connect allows customers to carry vouchers, pay for their shopping and order food all from an app which can be created to suit your garden centre. It’s one of a few technology services which Garden Connect can offer garden centres, such as online marketing, e-commerce and website creation. The latter is the first service it provided, starting out in 2001 as three friends voluntarily building a website for their local football club in the Netherlands when they were 18 years old. They were then approached by another local company for a website. Not long after, a garden centre asked them to create a website, and nearly 20 years later, Garden Connect focuses solely on garden centres, with more than 300 across seven countries using its services. Apps are the latest technology which Garden Connect is encouraging garden centres to embrace. aving first tried creating apps which replicated websites, and finding this unsuccessful, Garden Connect now offers apps which utilise garden centres’ loyalty schemes. “We developed the app in partnership with [EPoS system provider] Davidson Richards about 18 months ago,” explains founder and managing director Edwin Meijer. “We tried to save time for both the customer and the retailer. Customers can download the garden centre’s app and log

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into their loyalty card account. When they go to the store, they can scan items and pay using Apple Pay, Google Pay or at the till. They can view their transactions on the app. That’s the Scan & Go function, which works really well. Scotsdale was the first to introduce it and we now have several garden centres launching it soon.” As well as Scan & Go, garden centres can upload vouchers to customers’ accounts to use in-store and use push notifications to flag promotions and sales. They can also utilise the app in their café or restaurant, enabling the customer to place their order on their phone. “All the important touch points for the garden centre are available on the customer’s mobile, so it helps to create a better customer experience. We do have figures reflecting that around 0% of loyalty card holders use it,” says Edwin.

“We work with a lot of the large garden centres in the Netherlands, the UK and other countries, but we also try to help smaller to mid-size garden centres to have the ability to use this technology as well. It can be complicated and expensive for them to introduce, so we try to help them to embrace technology. It’s important to be successful in the years to come.” As a younger generation begins to adopt gardening, offering an app tailored to your garden centre could appeal to this new audience whilst also appealing to a post-COVID Britain where social distancing might no longer be mandatory but is still present. Scan & Go, for instance, limits contact required in store, says Edwin, whilst also engaging with customers through the loyalty scheme. It might be the right time for garden centres to embrace such technology. ◗

All the important touch points for the garden centre are available on the customer’s mobile, so it helps to create a better customer experience

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

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07/10/2021 10:45


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07/10/2021 11:20


OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2021

PRODUCTS 40

GIMA A look at GIMA member’s products showcased at Glee

42

TROPICAL HOUSE PLANTS Tropical is trending!

44

PLANT FOCUS Three businesses share bestsellers

45

LATEST PRODUCTS EPoS systems for garden centres

47

MEET THE RANGE Toynamics

48

CATERING The Bothy, Wentworth Garden Centre

51

LATEST PRODUCTS Packaging options for garden centres

Products cover.indd 23

07/10/2021 15:45


G I M A Sustainab il ity

ADAPTING AND INNOVATING

S

This year’s Glee was a hotbed for sustainable innovation – Vicky Nuttall, GIMA director, explores how GIMA members highlighted their eco-friendly products

ustainability was the word on everyone’s lips at Glee this year and I was proud to see the UK garden industry’s first Plastic Packaging Pledge launched by GIMA earlier this year bear fruit at the show. his is a crucial issue for businesses, not only for reasons of sustainability, but also because a new Plastic Packaging ax is due to take effect from April 2022. his tax will apply to any plastic packaging that does not contain at least a minimum of 0% recycled content.

Leon Boots wellingtons

I was also delighted to see many GIMA members showcasing sustainable products and solutions at Glee as the pandemic has accelerated demand for environmentally conscious articles for home and garden. ere are ust a few of the highlights from our own sustainability trail at the show. It began when I opened Honeyfield’s Wild Bird eed stand shortly after Glee opened on the uesday. Part of the W M Pet Group, oneyfield’s has really taken on board our advice and recommendations and is advancing the principles of recyclable packaging. With its new 00% recycled, recyclable and biodegradable wild bird food packaging, oneyfield’s will now be exempt from Plastic Packaging ax. Neudorff, the recipient of this year’s German Sustainability Award, launched its new sulphur-based Mildew lear for Edibles. or two decades eudorff has been repurposing wastepaper for its packaging and strives to use renewable, local raw materials wherever possible. Its 250ml concentrate bottles are now being converted to 0% recycled plastic and all its bottles are 00% recyclable. Hygeia is a company committed to developing and delivering excellent products with environmental responsibility

Deco-Pak’s Eco Stone

40

GIMA.indd 40

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

at the forefront. he ature Safe range of fertilisers and lawn care is made from 00% plant based organic materials which are all child, pet and bee friendly. At the heart of its ature Safe range is the use of cold-pressed seaweed, sustainably sourced from the onnemara coast of Ireland. It is also continually reviewing packaging alternatives and is currently trialling a number of refill solutions in centres within the . Elsewhere at the show, Deco-Pak had a fabulous six-hole cra y golf course on its stand. he first hole was themed around sustainability, creating the perfect showcase for its EcoStone garden landscaping range. EcoStone transforms waste materials once destined for landfill into decorative aggregates that meet the latest design trends. EcoStone Sea Shells, sourced from a whelk processing factory, transform pots and terrariums when used as a dressing, also provide natural slug control in borders. eco-Pak has introduced uplifted colour tones and a new logo for the EcoStone range to represent the eco-nature of the product and packaging, which is made with up to 60% of recycled material. Made from 50% to 60% recycled fibres, Onduline’s corrugated bituminous

Pot-mate™

www.gardencentreretail.com

07/10/2021 15:12


Sustainab il ity G I M A

Neudorff Mildew Clear for Edibles

roofing sheets and tiles are ideal for I enthusiasts looking to give their sheds and other garden buildings an eco-friendly upgrade. or all those finishing touches to garden I , Thorndown offers a broad range of high performing eco-paints with minimal O s. Outdoor furniture specialist Ekju has strong respect and appreciation for nature, supporting responsible wood sourcing and forest management and being certified by the orest Stewardship ouncil. If well maintained, Ek u furniture can last for 0 to 0 years, exceeding the growth of a new tree. All wood leftovers are reused for heating its own facilities and timber drying kilns. Its E O Linseed oil and stains use high uality natural pigments and binders to provide higher resistance to water, with protection. Sipcam Home & Garden’s Refills’ range provides effective solutions to common gardening problems without negatively impacting the environment. Its pesticidefree products and bee-friendly formulas are better for garden wildlife, whilst all its bottles are made from 00% recycled materials and are fully recyclable. Its triggers, cardboard boxes and plastic pouches are also recyclable. Primeur’s multi-award-winning Eco Garden range has been helping to repurpose millions of rubber tyres since its launch in 20 , with more than five million being recycled in 202 alone. Eco Garden has won over countless consumers who en oy the range’s virtually indestructible stepping-stones, garden borders, decking

www.gardencentreretail.com

GIMA.indd 41

Pot-mate™ receiving its Seed Corn Fund award

tiles and the flagship self-watering ierra erde planters. here were excellent offerings in the Growing Media category, including Carbon Gold, which launched its S and Soil Association approved range of organic biochar-based products and Dalefoot Composts with its premium peat-free composts made from sheep’s wool and bracken, sourced from the Lake istrict ational Park. ew GIMA member Leon Boots is also working hard on the issue of sustainability, looking at more practical ideas to help combat single-use plastics. Every pair of its ltralight wellingtons arrives in a recyclable cardboard box with no plastic in any part of the manufacturing process. Last but certainly not least, this year’s Glee saw our announcement of the seventh GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund winner, which for 202 is Pot-mate . Made from recycled material with design and manufacturing aspects, Pot-mate is

The pledge uniquely establishes a set of achievable targets for all GIMA members to reduce their reliance on singleuse plastic packaging and to improve the rates of recycling and reuse

a truly worthy winner of the award and will receive 6,000 of support and help with development and marketing.

The GIMA Plastic Packaging Pledge

Recognising that many of its members rely on plastic packaging for the safe storage and transportation of their products, the GIMA Plastic Packaging Pledge has been developed with the ob ective of minimising any adverse impact from all types of plastic packaging used in the garden products supply chain. he pledge uni uely establishes a set of achievable targets for all GIMA members to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic packaging and to improve the rates of recycling and reuse, including targets which align with the government’s proposed plastic tax. o support GIMA members in meeting the pledge targets, the trade association has put in place a range of resources and access to specialist expertise. he programme will kick off with a series of online training webinars in anuary, whilst a dedicated webpage providing support and advice has also been made available. he GIMA Plastic Packaging Pledge states that, by 2025, member companies will Remove identified problem plastics’ Eliminate unnecessary plastic packaging Ensure 00% of all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable See 0% of all plastic packaging be effectively recycled or composted Reach 0% average recycled content across all plastic packaging. ◗

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

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07/10/2021 15:13


P r o d u c t s T r o p i c a l H o u sep la n t s

TROPICAL IS

TRENDING

The houseplant trend skyrocketed during lockdown – tropical houseplants are among the most popular

I

n a recent survey (conducted by Stoneside) to investigate how plant purchases changed during 2020, it was discovered that 12% of people who had purchased plants since March were first-time plant buyers. Paul olt, creative director at , has noticed the same spike in the popularity of houseplants over

It’s important that we try and connect to nature however we can and that has grown in popularity over the last few years lockdown “Since opened more than 20 years ago, we have seen a steady rise in the popularity of houseplants but more so in the last 5 years, and a big spike then over lockdown when

42

people wanted to bring more greenery inside their homes. “With so many people in London living with balcony space or indoor space only, it’s important that we try and connect to nature however we can and that has grown in popularity over the last few years,” he explains. “Shoppers are looking for new and exciting ways to update their surroundings and with quality houseplants you can bring life into any space.” Stoneside’s survey also gained an insight into who is pushing this rise in popularity. The average respondent said they now have ust over plants, with 5 - 5 year olds reporting the most, closely followed by those aged -56. Indeed, Iain Wylie Garden entre Association G A chief executive puts the rise in houseplant sales down, in part, to the younger generation “Our members are still seeing a good number of newer, younger gardeners as they continue to participate in their new pastime, which they took up during lockdowns. hey’re proud plant parents, keen to add to their floral

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

tropical houseplants.indd 42

and foliage families, whether they have a windowsill or something bigger to fill.” This popularity is showing no signs of slowing down according to data from

Exotic plants take more time and attention to look after but with people working from home and generally spending more time indoors it means they have become more popular G A houseplants sales were up by 60. 2% in uly. And 202 has marked a rise in the rare when it comes to houseplants. According to omeedit.com, tropical houseplants are among those frequently seen within people’s homes whatever the price.

www.gardencentreretail.com

07/10/2021 09:21


T r o p i c a l H o u sep la n t s P r o d u c t s

Tropical Britain’s top five tropical houseplants Billbergia nutans

Billbergia nutans – Queen’s-tears or friendship plant – is a South American bromeliad that forms numerous offsets to create a elegant clump and rewards in the spring with exquisite ewel-like pendant flowers flecked with yellow and metallic-blue. £9.99

Aeonium undulatum

Among these species is the variegated Monstera adansonii, with some selling in online stores at around £1,500. “Exotic plants take more time and attention to look after but with people working from home and generally spending more time indoors it means they have become more popular with shoppers,” explains Paul. This aligns with findings from the Stoneside survey which found that 45% of respondents chose plants based on their appearance and only 19% on the conditions they required. So, what plants in particular are catching shoppers’ attention? “At the moment the Philodendron melanochrysum and Philodendron gloriosum are both proving popular with shoppers as climbing plants, as well as Begonia ferox, with its vividly patterned leaves,” explains Paul. “The Monstera dubia was also a huge hit in our RHS Chelsea Flower Show houseplant display.

If RHS Chelsea Flower Show is anything to go by, its container gardens, balcony gardens and N1’s houseplant studios demonstrate that the nations love of plants is going nowhere. “It’s obvious to see that the way people garden and surround themselves with plants is changing,” explains Paul. “Whilst people may have slowed down over the last 18 months, we will continue to see exotic plants and house plant sales in general continue to grow.” So, if you haven’t already, now is certainly the time to jump aboard the tropical houseplant trend while it’s still on the rise. ◗

Aeonium undulatum, saucer plant, is the largest of the Aeoniums and produces an enormous rosette atop a tall woody stem creating a magnificent specimen. £11.99

Orbea variegata

Orbea variegata, starfish plant, is a weird and wonderful South African succulent whose finger-like foliage turns pale pink in the sun and produce gorgeous flowers. £8.99

Aspidistra daibuensis ‘Totally Dotty’

Aspidistra daibuensis ‘Totally Dotty’, a variegated cast iron plant from Taiwan with foliage maculated with random yellowish spots and streaks. £24.99

www.tropicalbritain.co.uk Images ©Tropical Britain

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

Plant Focus A closer look at some of the bestselling plants right now

Wyevale

Plant: Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ Price: £7.45 Size: 3L (pot size) A real favourite with our customers, this fantastic evergreen plant is suitable for any garden irrespective of size. With its dramatic leaf shape and colour, it is a great statement plant with yearround interest which deserves a place in the modern door space or the more traditional garden. www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk

Dobbies

Plant: Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Bellini’ Price: £6.99 Size: 13cm Dobbies’ top seller in indoor plants is Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Bellini’ (peace lily). It’s great in lower light locations and likes to have a good amount of water. The lush shiny dark green foliage and beautiful white flowers will easily lighten a dark corner. www.dobbies.com

Tropical Britain

Plant: Aloe aristate Price: £7.99 Aloe aristate (lace aloe) is arguably the perfect houseplant. Impossible to kill (unless you overwater it), it has gorgeous coral-coloured flowers in une and is hardy enough to grow outside in a well-drained soil. www.tropicalbritain.co.uk

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E P o S L a t est P r o d u c t s

EPOS

Vector Garden Centre System CSY Retail Systems With a 33-year pedigree, CSY has worked with more than 140 garden centres to perfect its system and all the tailored features. From its huge reporting suite and plant passports to loyalty cards and ecommerce integration, CSY’s EPoS makes running a busy garden centre easier. Alongside its huge range of features, CSY’s customers also have access to its seven-days-a-week helpdesk, a dedicated account manager and project manager and its monthly EPoS training sessions. www.csy.co.uk

Zettle by PayPal Zettle by PayPal

“We have designed our system so it can be used throughout your garden centre, whether you are a small nursery or a multi-site centre with restaurants.”

OpSuite Davidson Richards OpSuite helps garden centres provide a connected customer experience and manage their entire operation from a single cloud-based solution, with EPoS in-store, stock management, order fulfilment, mobile and webshop integration. The OpSuite Apps, powered by Garden Connect, include Loyalty Scan & Go where customers create a digital basket and pay on their phone or at the tills. Customer orders are streamlined using OpSuite’s order fulfilment providing delivery status, driver visibility updates, and proof-of-delivery photos. www.davrich.co.uk “As EPoS specialists for garden centres, our team includes ex-garden centre retailers to bring their real-life experience. We have a proven track record helping garden centres including Barton Grange, Bents, Creative Gardens, Frosts, Garsons, Groves, Longacres, Orchard and Scotsdales.”

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With the Zettle point-of-sale (POS) app, you can easily take payments, track sales and manage your stock – all in one place. It’s quick to set up and easy to use. Accept fast, secure payments with a mobile card reader, the Zettle Reader 2, and connect it with the Zettle POS app to gain all the features you need to run your business with ease. This enables you to accept card payments in whatever way customers prefer to pay – whether that’s by cash, chip and pin, contactless or wearable tech. www.zettle.com “The Zettle POS and mobile card reader are suitable for both retail and food & drinks businesses and offers small business owners innovative, easy-to-use, and affordable business tools.”

Multi Retail Open Retail Solutions Open Retail Solution’s system is designed to provide you with actionable information to aid making better decisions for your business. Whether that is buying new stock, identifying low or old stock, overdue credit accounts, the list is endless, all presented in a simple way, but with sophisticated process in the background. www.openretailsolutions.co.uk “We are setting ourselves apart from the rest. We do things properly, not cutting corners just to win business. When you work with us, we give honest answers coupled with a hard work ethic. We are aiming to provide a great product, with superlative customer service, and our users would agree we are delivering on that aim.”

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A d v er t o r i a l

MEET THE RANGE

TOYNAMICS Hape Railway Bucket Set Launch date: 2020 RRP: £59.99 • 50 wooden pieces included. • Unpack everything from the box and use the lid to create a hillside town. • Compatible with other railway sets. Shortlis ted Junior D in the es Awards ign 2021

Hape Metro Police Dept Playset Launch date: 2021 RRP: £75.99 • Wooden construction for longer product life. • Roleplay toy which helps children build their imagination skills. • Lockable cell and working alarm button for when the prisoner escapes.

Discover the latest offerings from Toynamics, from education puzzles to fun roleplay toys Beleduc 5-in-1 Body Puzzle Launch date: 2021 RRP: £25.00 • Available as boy or girl, this puzzle shows the set-up of the human body in a descriptive and childfriendly way. • Educational depicting the skeleton to the organs and muscles, and blood circulation. • The 5-in-1 body puzzle helps develop language skills as well as a varied range of scientific educational knowledge.

Beleduc Hand Puppets Launch date: 2021 RRP: £9.99 • Allows children to actively participate in creating a story. • Hand puppets are an effective tool to hold children´s attention and perfectly suited for setting up communication. • They help develop linguistic skills, social skills, and fine motor skills.

Skip Hop Rock-a-mole Guitar Launch date: 2021 RRP: £20 • For ages 6 months and older. • Press buttons for six songs, six guitar riffs and colourful lights. elps develop fine motor skills and stimulates sight and hearing.

Skip Hop Pod Squad Car Launch date: 2021 RRP: £12 • For ages 0+. • Perfect size for little hands to grab and roll. elps develop fine motor skills.

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Contact

Toynamics Tel: 0116 478 5230 Email: sales@toynamics.co.uk Website: www.toynamics.co.uk

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P r o d u c t s C a t er i n g

CASE STUDY

THE BOTHY AT WENTWORTH GARDEN CENTRE & HISTORIC WALLED GARDENS

V

ision Commercial Kitchens provided the food service facilities at the newly completed The Bothy restaurant located at Wentworth Garden Centre. The brief was to provide the catering facilities for a new, purpose-built restaurant. The new table service restaurant was to offer a seasonal menu using the finest and freshest locally sourced ingredients.

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Vision Commercial Kitchens designed the foodservice facilities using Revit, which allowed the client to fully understand and visualise the designs in 3D. This was particularly helpful as it allowed the client to run through the designs with their chefs for their input as they could fully visualise the working area and different sections within the kitchen. Vision presented the client with several variations of designs so that they could review different options, liaise with their chefs, and consider all options thoroughly before deciding on a final layout. The kitchen design included a dedicated, well-equipped bakery section, main island

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2021

with plenty of preparation space, main cookline, walk-in refrigeration, storage, and a new extraction system. Vision Commercial Kitchens also worked with its interior design partner on the customerfacing coffee counter area including the whole fit out wall finishes, floor finishes, lights, high quality counter, countertop, and equipment. As the project was within a new building, the installation involved all trades working on site at once, coordinating with other trades and working within a programme. Vision’s work included the kitchen installation; extract systems; services distribution unit; coldroom and freezer room; cooking equipment; service counters and upright cabinets; pot wash machine; bespoke fabrication and dry stores.

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C a t er i n g P r o d u c t s

ision also worked with its shop fitting contractors to provide the restaurant tables, chairs and banquet seating for the restaurant which were of a very high quality to match the interiors of the restaurant. The completed restaurant is visually stunning and completed to an extremely high standard. It has received fantastic reviews from customers and is proving to be a very successful endeavour. Vision Commercial Kitchens use Revit and AutoCAD which enables it to use 3D-model-based design tools and construct drawings with a more visual, real-life representation of the finished product. Vision Commercial Kitchens work to BIM level 2 working to PASS 2 standards and protocols. ◗

MEIKO Bottle Wash System MEIKO MEIKO’s bottle wash system is a fast and efficient solution for washing and sanitizing all standard bottle sizes and shapes. RRP , 65 www.meiko-uk.co.uk

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Charvet Pro 800 Series – heavy duty ranges Charvet

Fracino Bambino 2 Group Commercial Espresso Coffee Machine Café/Restaurant Bundle Sourced Coffee

An out-front cooking area provides theatre for customers and extra cooking firepower to cope with the busiest of lunchtimes.

This start-up kit includes the Fracino Bambino 2 Group Electronic machine and free barista kit, knock out drawer, ondemand grinder, machine installation, initial filter plus 2 months parts and labour warranty.

RRP POA www.charvet.co.uk

RRP Currently on offer for £3,088.00 (inc. VAT) www.sourcedcoffee.co.uk

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Tel: 01778 4

Tel:01778 01778422700 422700 Tel:

Email:sales@timberdisplays.co.uk sales@timberdisplays.co.uk Email:

Tel: 01778 422700

Email: sales

www.timberdisplays.co.uk

www.timber

www.timberdisplays.co.uk www.timberdisplays.co.uk

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

centre andWe nursery industries. have spent a lot of time this year

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

Timber Displa set up to introducing some new productscompany to our range www.timberdisplays.co.uk and these can now be found on our website. display products t We have continued to ensure our products are made to a high specification from pressure treated Timber Displays is an established nurser designed company set up totimber provideand treated timberto increase your turnover by showing your merchandise to its full potential Tel:

to increase your turnover by

For further information please call 01778 422700 or Email: sales@timberdisplays.co.uk We have a lot of showing your spent merchandise to time this year

email us at sales@timberdisplays.co.uk or its full potential. visit our website www.timberdisplays.co.uk

For further information please display products to the garden and and tocentre add an attractive feature to your outlet while remaining competitively priced. call 01778 422700 or email us nursery industries. at sales@timberdisplays.co.uk For further information please call 01778 422700 or visit our website We have spent a lot of time this year www.timberdisplays.co.uk email us at sales@timberdisplays.co.uk or

or We have spent introducing some new products to our range and these can now be found on our website.visit our website www.timberdisplays.co.uk introducing some n sure our products are made to a high specification from pressure treated ncrease your turnover by showing your merchandise to its full potential and these can now

active feature to your outlet while remaining competitively priced.

further information please call 01778 422700 or eemail continued us at sales@timberdisplays.co.uk or to ensure our products are isit our website www.timberdisplays.co.uk nd designed to increase your turnov Specialist water-based eco paint makers nd to add an attractive feature to you for the home and garden

Create beautiful spaces with Thorndown’s Wood Paint architectural grade VOC free colour pigments one wood paint for all timber applications 70 range colours plus 1000s of RAL colours

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Fixed, Semi rolling, mobile and sales benches.

T: 01458 258588 E: studio@thorndown.co.uk www.thorndown.co.uk

VALEKA BV • Heliniumweg 14 • 3133 AX Vlaardingen, The Netherlands Tel: +31-10 599 74 02 • info@valeka.nl • www.valeka.nl

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: info@newcenturyglass.co.uk Web: www.newcenturyglasshouses.com

07/10/2021 11:21


P a c k a g i n g L a t est P r o d u c t s

PACKAGING Nest Acopia

Adbags Tri-Star Packaging

Is e-commerce packaging causing you challenges? You’re not alone. It’s a big juggling act between protecting your goods, cost, sustainability and making the package to look great. Enter Nest, a 100% eco-friendly ecommerce range that is fully recyclable and has FSC accreditations. Ideal for garden retailers, Nest has a wide variety of mailing solutions and protective wrapping that’ll work for all ranges – from gifts to fashion to plants.

Adbags, from Tri-Star Packaging, make your garden centre stand out from the crowd. A finalist in the product showcase at Glee, these high-quality digitally printed paper carrier bags feature photographic quality images. Recyclable and compostable, the customisable design can be updated throughout the year. The digital print technology can be applied to production runs as low as 250 pieces, making Adbags ideal for seasonal promotions, special offers, or to promote loyalty cards.

Launch date Available now RRP From £2p shop.acopia.co.uk/nest

Launch date Available now RRP From £0.59 www.tri-star.co.uk

Handmade by Martha Koen Pack This series of plant sleeves called ‘Handmade by Martha’, available from mid-October, comes in three colours: green, grey and natural. This size of the product is 27.5 x 31 x 14cm, and it comes with a customisable message card attached to the sleeve. The sleeves themselves are made of nonwoven material and are suitable for ES12 pots. Launch date October 2021 RRP POA www.koenpack.com

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Helping garden centre retailers grow for over 55 years We are incredibly proud of our canopy installations within the Garden Centre industry. If you are looking to refurbish your existing site, expand your customer offering or weatherproof your business, we would be delighted to work with you.

www.fordingbridge.co.uk info@fordingbridge.co.uk 01243 55 44 55 Advert template.indd 12

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