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gtn APRIL 2018

Advice and information for garden centre professionals


‘Spores’ for thought

After a long winter gardeners are ‘under pressure’ to wash their patios and pathways in the hope that they look as good as new for a great summer ourdoors. But in their desire to improve the overall look of their brick and stone work, they damage it further by intensive pressure washing. All stone, whether natural or composite, is made up of a combination of minerals; once garden stonework is laid it is susceptible to millions of microspores carried by the rain from surrounding trees, which then feed off the minerals, germinating after two years and

eventually blooming on the surface as ‘patio black spots’. At this point the ‘black spots’ are almost impossible to remove, as they continue to react to the minerals in the stone like spores on steroids, growing both across the surface, but more importantly putting down fibrous roots and anchoring themselves like a limpet. Most proprietary patio cleaners will remove green algae, but can take weeks to work, and they rely on dry weather. Equally they have no obvious effect on the black lichen. But help is at hand. The Patio Black Spot Remover and Preventer system doesn’t just

remove those hideous patio black spots but completely cleans and restores the original colour to all garden stonework, plus prevents their return! The system works on any type, or age of stone, completely restoring the original colours and saving the average gardener thousands of pounds in replacement costs. Patio Black Spot Remover challenges common perceptions towards the performance and success of patio cleaners, giving instant results, at a better than professional standard.

New for 2018

The Patio Black Spot Removal Company is excited to introduce, fully branded Point of Sale stands which are supplied to authorised distributors free of charge. They incorporate a 22-inch TV monitor with customer demonstration video and are designed to hold the full product range for the Patio Black Spot Remover System.

The Patio Black Spot Removal Company – The UK’s premier patio cleaning system!

Contact: 01252 702123 www.patioblackspotremoval.com

It’s all about plants

All-year-round wins

Pet extravaganza

Picture spotlights on the major nursery open days p14-15

Suki is for life...not just for Christmas. Spotlight on a creative firm p4-5

Find out what caught our eye at the big PATS exhibition p26


Advice and information for garden centre professionals

APRIL 2018


THE TOP INTERVIEWS People in the news

Special interview with LOFA Chairman Mark Osborne, of Outback....

Are you LOFAssured?

Picture Special from Garden Re-Leaf Day


Be LOFAssured! LOFAssured is coming to garden furniture this summer so GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer met with LOFA Chairman and Wyevale Garden Centres Supplier of the Year, Mark Osborne of Outback UK, to find out more about the initiative and talk about the prospects for summer 2018. LOFA has invested over £200k into setting up the scheme, which assures cushions on garden furniture meet the UK fire regulations. “The scheme covers anything that can be considered as potentially brought indoors,” explained LOFA Chairman Mark Osborne. “With a lot of the improvements in cushion designs it’s not inconceivable that some may be brought indoors, particularly into conservatories and therefore has to be covered by fire regulations that have been in place since 1988. “Retailers should have been aware of this for the past 30 years and now the LOFAssured scheme is saying that all our members who make and sell garden soft furnishings have passed a FIRA based audit on the administration, traceability and testing of the product. “Consumers will be guaranteed that LOFAssured scheme products, sold with the LOFAssured swing tag attached, are fully covered by the current safety regulations.

2 April 2018

“LOFAssured is only available to LOFA members so if a garden centre sources its own product from China or wherever, their furniture won’t be part of the scheme. LOFA members now have to fully comply with the LOFAssured scheme as a pre-requisite of membership.” Following a successful launch to the media at The Garden Press Event in February, Mark added that they are already seeing good coverage for the scheme. “Out of 36 members relevant for LOFAssured, over half have already completed their audits and the rest are ongoing so customers will see the swing tags in store soon plus further information for customers and retailers.” Mark Osborne started working in the UK garden industry at PBI, now Bayer/SBM, at Waltham Cross when Doc Hessayon was running the business. “I worked there as a territory manager and national account manager selling Baby Bio, Slug Pellets, Top Lawn, Top Rose.


My career started with garden centres and then I moved into national accounts, predominantly looking after B&Q and Tesco. “I remember clearly, calling on Cadbury Garden Centre, run by Ken and Jackie Lloyd. They were a massive player in those days.” Then after eight years at Fiskars selling Wilkinson Sword garden hand tools, predominatly looking after B&Q, including the majority of B&Q own label, he went to work for the Chinese Factory TPA in 2002 which bought the Outback business in the UK and Mark started running that in 2008. Earlier this year, Outback UK became Wyevale Garden Centres Supplier of the Year for 2017. “One of the major challenges with the Wyevale group was to identify a brand that they wanted to work closely with on exclusive products that offered great value plus exclusivity of design and price points. They wanted to be able to promote them very aggressively in store but be assured that they weren’t going to be undercut

“People are becoming more experimental and adventurous with cooking on BBQs. Things like pizza ovens have become very popular” by anyone else selling the same product either in other groups or more importantly through the e-commerce channel. We’ve been working with Wyevale for three years on exclusive designs for their group at key price points. “The bestselling model last year was the Jupiter four burner, with a multi cooking surface so the consumer can remove the centre piece grill and replace with a griddle, a wok, or a pizza stone. Plus there is a small storage box inside the cabinet to hold all three of the accessories.” Outback BBQs are sold in a wide range of outlets, including Bunnings Homebase (but not in Australia) and John Lewis as well as garden centres but what are the trends for BBQ sales now? “Recent market research over the past years has shown that the e-commerce market is now bigger than bricks and mortar for BBQs. That e-commerce market is split between click and collect where a consumer will collect from a garden centre and home delivery. Those two channels combined are bigger than the traditional bricks and mortar for BBQ sales. “Last year they said the BBQ market was almost flat, about 1% growth, and that the younger shoppers in the 35 to 45 year age group are getting more and more important. Volume is down but the average transaction value is up. That’s because

where a lot of garden centres are reviewing their shop floor space and may not be giving a complete space to BBQs the consumer can now see very clearly on their phones or tablets the complete range so they can buy the bigger units at the higher price and get them home delivered. “The other thing the market research underpins that people are becoming more experimental and adventurous with cooking on BBQs. Things like pizza ovens have become very popular. Small pizza accessories that you can put on top of a burner mean you can easily cook pizzas at home and beer can chicken people are becoming more aware of.” Electric BBQs is an area of market development. “Electric BBQs are very big in Europe, everybody is looking to get themselves the biggest USP they can,” adds Mark. BBQ safety is also on the agenda this year. “On 21st April 2018 a new set of Garden Appliance Regulations come into force, placing more responsibility on importers for the safety/risk assessment of the products, including things like instruction manuals, health hazards. All the importers now have to hold their own certification from their factory plus gas surveillance that the correct processes are being continued.” Continued on page 6

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Garden Trade News, Potting Shed Press Ltd Dairy Drove Thorney Peterborough PE6 0TX Tel 01733 775700 Fax 01733 775838 gardentradenews@tgcmc.co.uk www.gardentradenews.co.uk THE GTN TEAM Editor: Neil Pope neil.pope@tgcmc.co.uk Associate Editor: Mike Wyatt mike.wyatt@tgcmc.co.uk Director: Trevor Pfeiffer trevor.pfeiffer@tgcmc.co.uk Publisher: Mandy Davies mandy.davies@tgcmc.co.uk Advertising: Alan Burdon alan.burdon@tgcmc.co.uk Ben Greenwood ben.greenwood@tgcmc.co.uk HOW TO SUBSCRIBE Tel 01733 775700 or email subscriptions@gardentradenews.co.uk Subscription rates UK: £145 Subscription includes a password for full access to GTN Online plus a weekly copy of GTN Bestsellers OUR PUBLISHERS GTN is published by Potting Shed Press Ltd, who also publish: * www.gardentradenews.co.uk website * Weekly GTN Xtra and Pet Trade Xtra newsletters * Garden Radio * Official Glee Catalogue and Glee Daily News Online – the only official guides to the garden industry’s leading annual trade show SMALL PRINT All material © Potting Shed Press 2018. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the express permission of the publishers. The information contained in this publication is published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. Potting Shed Press Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by reliance on information contained in this publication or in the event of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cessation of the trade of any company, individual or firm mentioned, is hereby excluded.

Outback’s Jupiter BBQ sell well in Wyevale Garden Centres like Melbicks.


April 2018 3


Suki is for life... not just Christmas Suki hit the GTN Bestsellers charts with its personalised Christmas decorations last year but there’s lots more to this innovative company. Take a look at some other top selling products. Suki Gifts has become well known within the garden centre industry over the past couple of years thanks to some great sales results from its charming personalised Christmas decorations. Sales really gained momentum in 2017 with GTN reporting that two of their characters featured in the Top 3 bestsellers – Angels at number one and Snowmen at number three. But Suki is not just a decoration company, far from it! With its origins in the plush and gift business, Suki began business six years ago with the mandate to be a British-based gift company focussing on several specific areas of the market. The company’s strong team of talented designers based in Peterborough work hard at researching market fashions and trends, and exploring new fabrics and techniques, to ensure Suki can offer an inspiring range of great value giftware to its customers.

Unmissable business opportunity Suki’s Personalised Ornament Display Stands occupy only half a square metre of retail space and can be responsible for outstanding sales in just a few months. Each robust three-sided spinner stand is on wheels and filled with 864 carefully hand-painted resin figurines. Each collection includes a mixture of popular boys’ names, girls’ names, sentiments such as ‘Special Daughter’ and a generous number of blank characters which can easily be personalised with a thin tip permanent marker pen. And if a name sells out, re-ordering is easy, and a customer’s order is usually received within 24 hours of receipt. The following characters are available: 4Silver and Gold Angels 4Pink and Blue Snowmen 4Glittered Santa 4Polar Bear 4Jack Frost and Snow Queen 4Pink and Blue Fairies

Praise for personalised “Suki personalised was once again a phenomenal success for us and we’ve already got our order in for Christmas 2018. From the moment we place the pre-loaded spinners on the shop floor, in September, they start selling and give us a very high turnover per square foot. Suki’s top-up service is excellent and really allows us to maximise sales.” Caroline Owen, Scotsdales Garden Centre

4 April 2018


“Suki personalised was again a phenomenal success for us. We have already placed our orders for Christmas 2018.” Michelle Martin, Haskins “Suki personalised was our best performing item in the whole store for November and December 2017, taking the best turnover and profit per square foot.” John Taylor, Azure Garden Centre


Creating all-year-round sales success Suki’s full range of products provides retailers with options for all-year-round sales success. With the management’s roots in Russ Berrie they know how to do plush extremely well. Li’L Peepers This is a wonderfully colourful range of turtles, sealife, spiders, unicorns and dragons. What characterises each piece is the oversized endearing eyes, making them so appealing. And they come in all sizes: from a mini lobster backpack clip to a jumbo tarantula spider!

Yomiko & Suki Classics Almost as good as the real thing, these incredibly life-like plush imitations of popular breeds of cats, dogs and wildlife animals are hugely popular. Highly skilled artists use airbrush techniques to ensure that the subtle graduations of colour and shading seen in nature can be applied to these very realistic creations.

Dino’z There’s nothing to be afraid of with this crowd of soft friendly dinosaurs. Children and adults alike have fallen in love with Suki’s colourful family of Velociraptors, Pterodactyls and Triceratops to name just a few.

Pop Up Cards These are greetings cards with a difference. They are 3D, colourful, memorable and unique. Most importantly they jump to life when removed from their envelope thanks to the clever elastic powered engineering. Suki have worked with creators Second Nature® to offer a vast range of designs covering life events such as milestone birthdays, new baby and wedding.

Silver Tag® Bears Five years ago Suki began a targeted development to bring high quality collectible teddy bears to the gift market. Fast forward to 2018 and Suki can proudly say the Silver Tag® brand has gone from strength-to-strength with seven collections of these characterful bears.

W: www.sukigifts.com E: happytohelp@sukigifts.com T: 01733 842431 www.gardentradenews.co.uk

April 2018 5

INTERVIEW Continued from page 3 With his LOFA Chairman’s hat on, Mark went on to explain that while e-commerce has been easy for BBQs because they’re in square boxes, when it comes to Garden Furniture it’s not something that sits so easily for e-commerce retailers, so here garden centres have an advantage. “The furniture market has grown by 6% in the last two to three years and you still see a lot of floor space given in the independents to furniture which is why I think people still come and shop more in a garden centre for furniture. I think they still recognise garden centres as being a destination store – they want that advice, the want to come in and sit on the product which means it is a healthy market for independents.” With high street retailers such as Toys R Us, Poundstretcher and Carpetland falling by the wayside, Mark is confident that the garden centre industry is in a great place to take advantage of changing consumer habits. “Because they are destination stores for the vast amount of product that just doesn’t fit into narrow channels. They are by far the destination of choice for live plants where they get great advice. A lot of them have invested massively in restaurants and other leisure areas and they are not things that others can easily replicate. I think people’s interest in gardening is now a lot more leisure orientated, gardens are getting smaller, people don’t want to be doing as much work in the garden and the garden centres are ideally placed. They have all the stock and the right selection.” Our conversation turns to SOLEX 2018 where Mark says: “More stands will be doing BBQ cooking demos in the hall and this year people will also be able to cook on charcoal. We are also introducing spas for the first time at the show. “SOLEX works because it is focussed and buyers can take their time without having to go to different halls – they can see everything in one place. As a group at LOFA we are very focussed on the quality end of the leisure and outdoor furniture.” And that brings us nicely back to LOFAssured which emphasises that focus and quality, so look out for the LOFA Assured labels on furniture coming to your garden centres soon!

Outback’s 4-burner gas barbecue Jupiter proved to be star of the show when the company scooped Wyevale’s Supplier of the Year excellence award in the Best Product Development seasonal category for Spring 2018 Awards. The soar-away success of the Jupiter 4 returned the highest sales in its category in last year’s seasonal nominations among Wyevale buyers and, said Outback UK chief executive Mark Osborne, “has led to a substantial increase in orders by the top garden centre group for the 2018 season.” “Jupiter’s striking black and stainless steel bodywork, with a 30cm removable centre to hold a griddle or pizza stone, caught the eye of Wyevale customers at an attractive price for which rival suppliers can charge considerably more for a similar barbecue,” he said. Pictured at the Stoneleigh Conference Centre presentation ceremony are Outback national accounts manager Brian Jordan, alongside Wyevale trade and marketing director Paul Emslie and the company’s head of trading Hayley Thornton.

6 April 2018


New generation to take over Garden Pride Marketing Garden Pride has been trading for nearly 30 years and 2017 saw the relaunch of the business at GLEE where the reins were passed over to the second generation! The business has made some huge steps into brand recognition, product development and manufacturing since then. Garden Pride is a family run business which prides itself on their customer service, attention to detail, loyalty and consistently high-quality products. Manufacturing in the UK allows them to ensure they produce first class products at competitive prices every time. With the growth of the business, they plan to develop stronger relationships with independent and group garden centres as well as strategic partnerships with buying groups.

Please contact Garden Pride for a 2018 brochure including a large range of pot caddies, the raw steel range, obelisks, plant supports, baskets, liners and much more.

01903 761222 or 07764 225876 sales@gardenpridemarketing.co.uk www.gardenpridemarketing.co.uk Quote ‘GARDENTRADENEWS’ for access to some great Spring offers!


Walk, Run & Cycle In between the Beast from the East and its little brother, over 100 walkers, runners, cyclists, supporters and other members of the industry gathered at World’s End Garden Centre on a bright and sunny Garden Re-Leaf Day 2018. The walkers and cyclists collected over £15k out of an estimated total of £65k raised for Greenfingers over the Garden Re-Leaf Day weekend.

Plantathon Squire’s Garden Centres took part in a 12-hour ‘Plantathon on Garden Re-Leaf Day to raise money for Greenfingers. A team from Squire’s planted up spring pots at their newly re-opened garden centre in Woking. Celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock joined in the fun too at Squire’s by planting up pots to raise money for the charity. Customers could buy the planted spring containers at Squire’s in Woking for £6.99 each, or two pots for £12, with all the proceeds going to Greenfingers.

8 April 2018



Laying the foundations to a vibrant garden Spring is a time bursting with possibilities in the garden, from reviving a lawn following the winter weather, to transplanting your greenhouse plants into the garden. Here, we’ve rounded up our favourite products from Bord na Móna’s Growise range which will ensure you are laying the right foundations for a vibrant, well-nourished garden this summer…

Bord na Móna Growise Pro 5 premium range Bord na Móna Growise Pro 5 is a professional quality range consisting of a 50 litre bag of all purpose compost, a 7kg tub of all purpose fertiliser together with two smaller boxes of all purpose fertiliser sized at 2.5kg and 900g. The key benefit of the fertiliser product is the unique formulation, combining essential nutrients for complete plant feeding in ways that have never been seen before in the retail market. Perfect for all round garden use, the Bord na Móna Growise Pro 5 All Purpose Compost is ideal for sowing seeds and for hanging

baskets and containers. Its formulation consist of a superior blend of high quality Irish peat, with sustainable alternative ingredients and vermiculite. These ingredients are mixed with essential plant nutrients to produce a premium compost perfect for germinating seeds, growing on seedlings, tubs and baskets. The sustainable ingredients provide natural nutrients, and bigger, brighter blooms, while vermiculite optimises air-water balance to ensure healthy roots. A wetting agent is added to the compost to help ease and even wetting-up when watering.

Bord na Móna Growise Pro 5 All Purpose Fertiliser is a premium grade, slow release fertiliser, and works for up to 20 weeks. It contains a unique set of ten essential nutrients plus humic acid and seaweed to improve plant growth.

10 April 2018



Bord na Móna Growise Fertiliser range

When looking to breathe some life into your garden after the winter months, Bord na Móna has you covered with their extensive range of fertilisers, comprising of Growmore, Fish, Blood & Bone, Bonemeal in 10Kg, 3.5Kg and 1.5Kg granules, 10 Kg and 2.5Kg pellets of Chicken Manure, Sulphate of Potash, Sulphate of Ammonia, Superphosphate,

Sulphate of Iron, Epsom Salts in 1.5Kg, a 3.5 Kg granular formula of Lime, 3.5Kg and 1.5 Kg granules of Rose, Tree & Shrub, 1.5 Kg granules of Ericaceous, a 3.5 Kg and 1.5 Kg Compost Maker, two types of All Purpose Controlled Release Fertiliser (granules and tablets), an 800g All Purpose Soluble Plant Food and a 250g Water Retaining Gel.

Look out for our consumer friendly POS in your local garden centre - the Bord na Móna Growise Product Picker which enables you to select the most appropriate fertiliser for your individual plant, crop, or garden project. Innovative and eye-catching, the Product Picker is easy for the consumer to flick through at the point of sale, while being compact, convenient and moisture proof to meet the needs of the garden retailer. Retailers interested in working with the Bord na Móna Growise brand should contact: Jason Pike, National Sales Manager Email: jason.pike@bnm.ie M: 07506 165 168 For further information, pictures or product samples, contact: bordnamona@fourcommunications.com T: 020 3697 4200


Bord na Móna Horticulture UK offers peat-based and peat-free growing media and soil improvers, primarily through garden centres nationally. It is also the largest own brand supplier of compost and bark in the UK. It is part of Bord na Móna plc, which specialises in renewable energy, horticulture, resource recovery and eco-fuels. The horticulture business is focused on the marketing and sales of growing media and other horticultural products to UK and Irish retail markets and also professional markets primarily in the UK, Ireland and Europe, where it provides innovative product and supply solutions to meet customer needs. The business exports growing media products to over 30 countries and its goal is to become the leading supplier in the markets that it serves.

April 2018 11


Leading decorative aggregates, landscaping and birdbox supplier Deco-Pak has announced three new additions to its creative team to aid both sales support and new product development. The explanded in-house creative team now consists of lead graphic designer Sami Jackson, Marketing Assistant Adele Wynn, and digital creative Stephanie Swann. Heading up the team, Deco-Pak’s Marketing Director Craig Hall said: “We’ve

had consistent success in recent years, launching award winning new products. In addition, our 3-5 day turnaround on orders allows us to deliver to retailers expectations whatever the season. “In order to remain leaders in our highly competitive industry however, we know we need to remain at the top of our game, especially when it comes to our creative team driving sales support and new product development.”

Career Moves

With a record-breaking start to 2018, it was inevitable that Smart Garden Products would want to expand their Sales and Marketing teams in order to continue providing the awardwinning service for which they are known. With Smart’s European sales increasing by over 50% last year, Anastasia Le Meme joins the Export team to help with the huge increase in sales orders, which are already tracking ahead of last year, so another bumper year in prospect.

12 April 2018

Nancy Padbury joins the UK Sales Administration team to help look after National Accounts. Olivia Vine has taken up a new role of Sales Executive to manage UK Mail Order and Internet accounts. An internal appointment sees Hannah Knott transfer from Accounts to join the Marketing team as Marketing Assistant, helping to support the Marketing and NPD teams.


Mark Higgins has recently taken over the position as Head of Horticulture for Bord Na Móna. Mark joins Bord Na Móna Horticulture with a strong strategic commercial and operational background which he has gained within the FMCG sector, with considerable experience in growing market share in very competitive environments. He has spent much of his career to date in Ireland and the UK and has extensive experience in delivering business performance targets. Mark joining Bord Na Móna Horticulture is well timed for the organisation’s horticulture business, which is the leading Irish supplier of growing media and barks in Ireland and the UK and has an expanding footprint in international market. It is the fastest growing player in the garden centre trade in the UK and holds a significant market share in both the private label and professional sectors. Its Bord Na Mona Growise branded range for home gardeners was launched in 2010 and has won a number of awards since, including the Which? Best Buy compost award for seven years, this brand Mark says presents a substantial growth opportunity. Mark replaced Gerry O’Hagan who has been appointed to a new role in Bord Na Móna - Head of Strategic Projects.

Darlac has announced the arrival of Richard Bedingfield as an agent for the Central England area. Darlac MD Tim Jeffries, said: “This continues a process aiming to give Darlac national sales coverage and follows the appointment of the Denholm Agencies last year to cover Scotland, Ireland and the north of England. “Richard brings a wealth of experience to the company having been in the horticultural trade for most of his working life, starting at Ferndale Garden Centre as a 16-year-old Sunday lad.” Richard took up his first sales representatives job in 2001 with Solus Garden & Leisure and spent 9 years there covering the East Midlands and then Yorkshire and followed this up with a role with Tom Chambers Ltd.


April 2018 13


Buyers flock to Classiflora’s ‘inspirational’ displays Garden centre plant buyers are not generally given to overstatement but many at Classiflora Zelari’s busy open days last month were effusive in their praise for the way the nursery had dressed itself for the occasion. “It’s inspirational,” said one buyer from Hampshire. “I’m really enjoying the sense of theatre here, it’s given me ideas on how we can make plants look great.But don’t quote me, or the boss will think I’m having too much fun.” Riccardo Castiglioni and his team at Waltham Abbey have polished their act over the years and this time, not withstanding the harshest winter spell for decades the previous week, put on an outstanding display of quality plants and competitive shelf offers, music and complementary refreshments. Buyers GTN spoke to were reassured by the nursery’s well-publicised precautions

14 April 2018

put in place to protect against risk of the devastating plant disease Zylella fastidiosa reaching the country from southern Italy, which has been identified as one of the sources of the outbreak in Europe. As Classiflora have explained to customers, most of their plants come from or through the Zelari nursery in Tuscany, which is more than 500 miles from the source in Puglia and has been officially declared Xylella-free by the Italian ministry of food, agricultural and forestry. All the region’s nuserymen are meticulously sourcing plant material in order to protect their own livelihoods – and the international reputation of “Italian plants”. Classiflora’s sales and marketing manager Andrew Dayes presented a cheque for £300 to Linda Petrons, head of fund-raising at the Greenfingers charity (pictured bottom left with Mandy Davies, publisher of GTN).



Highest sales week recorded by Wyevale

Sun shines bright on Europlants A warm glow of optimism was felt as a record number of industry leaders attended the Europlants Spring Open Days. The annual event which has heralded the start of the spring season for over 25 years now was brimming with new introductions and show stopping displays of the best specimen stock from Europe’s premier producers. Vannino Vannucci was there in person taking time out of his busy schedules to answer questions. It was a rare opportunity to meet face to face with the man whose passion it is to supply all that the design trends request and to launch new ideas season after season. The confidence that has seen many in the sector rise high above the doom of Brexit and post rising sales was reflected in record orders taken over the two days. “ It takes a monumental effort by the

whole Europlants team to put on an event of this size “ said general manager Oscar Puig “ but we are always thrilled to receive encouraging compliments from our customers. It makes it all worthwhile “ Basking in the warmth of early spring sunshine and enjoying a delicious Tuscan style lunch, visitors generously raised the highest ever total at the charity auction in aid of the outstanding work done by Thrive. Fabulously hosted by the larger than life TV personality David Domoney the whole event was entertaining and lightly informative. Inspiration and enthusiasm amongst horticultural professionals is essential to continue to drive the industry forward to see increasing sales over the coming year, and there was no shortage of either at this outstanding gathering.

Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford has announced its highest sales week (March 12 until 18, 2018) in the company’s history, beating its previous record breaking sales week, which was in 2008 by 17%. Adam Dunnett, Sales and Marketing Director at Wyevale Nurseries, said: “We are over the moon with our recent sales figures. It’s fantastic news. Overall sales have been incredibly strong for the last few months, driven by the amenity landscape and domestic landscape markets where year-on-year, for our financial year August to August, we are 18% up. “We’ve seen a very strong demand for our trees and transplants. In particular, where our British sown, British grown message appears to be getting good traction with many of our customers. “A truly British grown tree for the Amenity market is only available from a few nurseries and we would be the largest of them and possibly the only one who can offer the complete plant solution for a landscape scheme. “Chris Mason, our Trees Director, is one of the most experienced tree growers in the industry, producing an exceptional quality tree across a wide range of genus, consistently. Delivering the very highest quality tree to correct specification is something we pride ourselves on.” The product selection available from Wyevale Nurseries is envied across the industry and the talented team regularly introduces new, awardwinning plant varieties. www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk


April 2018 15


Major boost for Glee’s pet project

This year’s show will include more features in a dedicated pet sector, including seminars. With almost 50% of the UK now owning a pet – and this number set to increase in the coming years – the additional revenue potential that pet products can offer garden retailers is unrivalled by any other product category. Recognising this the organisers of Glee have confirmed that 2018 is set to mark an exciting year of development for pet products at the show, with several enhancements being added to Glee’s dedicated pet sector – ‘Pets at Glee’. Bigger and better than ever before, this thriving section of Glee will make it even easier for garden centre pet buyers to directly source 2019 ranges, whilst also benefitting from unrivalled networking and educational content. A new ‘Pets at Glee’ entrance will drive retailers right into the heart of the pet area, whilst a special pet care seminar stage will also be making its debut at the show. Marking a significant investment for this new era of Pets at Glee, the seminar stage will offer grooming demonstrations and interactive content that can be implemented instore to boost pet care within the garden retail environment. The new look ‘Pets at Glee’ will also be a hub of information, innovative new products and business advice that will enable those 70% of garden retailers who currently offer pet products to boost their business in the year ahead, helping them to take a slice of the £5billion spent on pet products, food and accessories annually in the UK. PetQuip – the leading international trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of pet care goods and services – has also confirmed that it will be continuing its

Matthew Mein: “The enhancements we are putting in place for the 2018 show will help pets to take centre stage.”

support for the PetQuip Business Village. The garden centre market offers great potential growth for pet suppliers. Garden centres usually have a larger footprint than most High Street independents, which aids effective product displays, and also being able to supply a wider range of products instore. Customer loyalty and repeat visitors is also the cornerstone of garden centre business, and pet ranges – especially pet food – are a proven way of achieving this, offering profitability for both the retailer and the supplier.

Find out more 4To keep up-to-date on the latest Glee news visit www.gleebirmingham.com. 4To enquire about exhibiting at Glee 2018 call 020 3033 2160.

Pet accessory Mud Daddy won a New Product Award at Glee last year.

16 April 2018

Pet suppliers exhibiting in the PetQuip Business Village at Glee will benefit from a variety of unique opportunities. Firstly, the brand exposure to a captive audience of garden retailers. Secondly, they can tap into PetQuip’s expertise which provides a wealth of information and support to help develop their businesses. Matthew Mein, Glee Event Director, said: “Pet care suppliers who exhibit at Glee are in a unique position. Not only can they communicate with pet retailers who visit the show, but they can access a world of crossover selling opportunities with garden centre buyers from the UK and abroad. The fact that Glee captures an audience across all UK garden centres and garden centre buying groups, including 98% of all GCA members – not to mention top name multiple, high street and on-line retailers – means that pet care suppliers can have direct access to the key decision makers that could help take their business to the next level. “The enhancements we are putting in place for the 2018 show will help pets to take centre stage, and we know that the industry will get behind these changes to help to make the 2018 exhibition an extremely profitable proposition.”



Gardman reactivates King’s Lynn site in aftermath of Daventry fire Gardman is reactivating its site at King’s Lynn in Norfolk and 25 former staff are being re-employed as the company recovers from the devastating fire at its new distribution centre in Daventry on March 12. Just before this issue of GTN went to press Gardman said: “Following the fire at our distribution centre in Daventry on 12th March, we evaluated several different options but quickly made the decision to reactivate our site at King’s Lynn. “We’re very pleased that more than 25 previous Gardman employees are returning to join our team of over 50 staff at King’s Lynn. Their years of expertise will really help us get the operation up and running quickly. “We have already diverted stock from UK ports and the stock arriving from overseas to King’s Lynn. We have also received the first delivery of Wild Bird Care from our UK supplier. “Customers should expect Gardman sales representatives to make contact early w/c 26th March to advise them on stock availability and ordering. Customers can also download an order form from the trade section of our website.

“In the meantime, we continue to liaise with Northamptonshire Police and the other emergency services and remain thankful that there were no injuries. “We have received many expressions of support from our customers and suppliers

GCA offers support to Gardman Mike Lind, Chairman of The Garden Centre Association said: “The GCA are devastated for Gardman following the recent fire at their Daventry HQ. “The fire has completely destroyed Gardman’s main UK warehouse and distribution centre. “Gardman have worked extremely hard over the last few months to ensure they were able to provide the best products and services to all their customers in time for the busy spring season.

18 April 2018

“Gardman are a long-standing and active member of the GCA who have always been fully engaged in the association’s activities as well as supporting a large number of GCA members’ businesses. “The GCA extends its heart-felt thoughts and sympathies to all the company’s directors and staff and further offers its support and best wishes to the company in restoring its full business activity as soon as is practically possible.”


and we would like to thank you all for your patience during this difficult period as we put our recovery plan into action. “We will continue to update you as we progress via our website.” www.gardman.co.uk


April 2018 19



Blue Diamond opened its 20th garden centre at East Bridgford, Nottingham. The design, described by MD Alan Roper as ‘Redfields Plus’ was an instant hit with customers. Here’s our pictorial guide to the new store.

An imposing reception desk greets customers where sign ups to the Blue Diamond Club had reached 3,300 after the firts three days of opening. The welcoome desk also serves as customer services for the tills and as a sales base for seasonal garden furniture.

20 April 2018


The new centre in Nottingham is the first that MD Alan Roper has headlined as Blue Diamond Garden & Home with the centre name, East Bridgford, as secondary.


Plus’ Three theatre kitchens feature at East Bridgford. This is the team in the Greenhouse Kitchen, a table service restaurant that is Alan Roper’s nod to the famous Petersham Nurseries. The menu includes sea bass, rabbit terrine and rhubarb and vanilla pannacotta. Main meal prices are up to £16.50.

The space has enabled more setting-the-scenes merchandising to be used such as this tea-for-two display.

The covered planteria sits neatly between the restaurants and garden care. With large specimen trees setting the scene it is a very bright, colourful and inviting shopping area. Above right: Fryers Roses, a Blue Diamond brand, take pride of place in the outside planteria.


The Gin Room is a new addition to the glassware sales area. Gin and other spirits were aslo being sold in the food hall and in the restaurants.

April 2018 21


Italian-style innovation


Businesses need to innovate or die, the challenge is often coming up with new and innovate ideas. This is one reason I enjoy travelling, it forces you to be exposed to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Italy has always been known for its innovation in a number of different areas of retailing and manufacturing. The recent ‘MyPlant’ trade show held in Milan was one of the most innovative garden trade shows I have seen in some time. The Italian industry is coming up with new innovative ways of interesting the consumer in the garden sector. Many of the exhibitors are in-tune with the millennial consumer and are developing products to attract these consumers into garden centres. Not all the products on display were from Italy, many other European countries were also exhibiting, and this made the event a truly international platform.

Attracting Children Children are the gardeners of the future and we need to connect with them through plants. At the same time children connect with both their parents and their grandparents and I was therefore fascinated to see The Dutch development of getting children involved in Grandparents Day by Felinifoundation. Grandparents Day is normally in October, but this changes around the world. To engage across the generations the company has developed ‘Paint Your Plants’ www.paintyourplant.com The package consists of a succulent plant, paint brush and paint. The child can then paint the plant based on their own design and present it on Grandparents Day. What attracted me to this concept was this was an excellent activity that could be

developed in the garden centre to attract new and existing customers. I can accept that horticulturists will cringe at the idea of plants being painted, but sprayed and painted plants have proven to be popular, especially in the autumn throughout Europe for a number of years and this is just one more step in this process to engage the customer and especially children. Attract Millennials Millennial consumers are not looking for indoor plants – they are often looking for plants that will clean the air. I was therefore attracted to one company who had identified the needs of a target consumer. The ‘Air So Pure’ branded plants provide an oxygen reading and advises how many plants a consumer should have in a room. This research has been around for number of years, but few suppliers have taken this initiative. Impulse sells Once a consumer is in garden centre clever merchandising and packaging of plants can create impulse sales. The majority of plants are sold on impulse and a number of suppliers at the show were presenting great ways of developing the impulse package. Impulse can be as simple as telling the consumer what is this year’s fashion colour and then providing a plant that has the same colour. Small succulent gardens were also evident and this is a trend that will continue through the year. My Plant is held every February in Milan and based on this year’s show, I would recommend that you put it on your show list for next year. If you would like to contact John email john@johnstanley.com.au

22 April 2018



Creating memorable Christmas moments Highlights from GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards 2017 Part 2: Great grotto ideas

Brookside Garden Centre in Kent once again created the most magical grotto experience in the opinion of GTN’s Greatest Award judges. That won them a Gold Greatest Grotto Team Award and the overall Gold Award for The Greatest Garden Centre Team at Christmas as voted for by customers. There was also some great commercialism integrated with garden lights form the Solar Centre being used in the magical display and available for sale outside the grotto exit.

It’s always good to see teams using garden related products in their grotto experiences. At Millbrook Gravesend they started their Santa experience with a chocolate coin and a magical colour changing stone that had to be obtained from a wall of colourful nest boxes.

24 April 2018



Santa Paws is becoming a regular garden centre attraction, creating another reason for pet owners to visit and shop. At Frosts Woburn Sands they were selling plenty of Christmas pet products on the photo pay desk at the end of the Santa Paws experience. And at Planters Tamworth, as well as having a goldfish taken in to see Santa, the Santa Paws days were generating full houses and record sales in the pet section of their restaurant.

All aboard the Candyland Express at Pughs! The Greatest Grotto Team in the South West created a brilliant grotto journey this year with amazing attention to detail, including re-creating around 25 old railway travel posters to make them fit into their 2017 Grotto theme.

Ruxley Manor also won a Gold Grotto Team award for their very professional grotto experience. Mother Christmas was a big success with children and parents alike and the activity of building a reindeer instead of mixing reindeer food was a brilliant improvement.


April 2018 25


things that caught our eye at PATS Sandown

Luxury Reversible Bandana Calming Kit, Pet Remedy A fun product and a calm way of introducing a calming product to any anxious dog. It is easy to administer.

Pet Remedy natural de-stress and grooming Good extension to the range, great packaging, clean and fresh, great price point.

Singing Friend unifeedR, Unipet International This product is fairly priced, and has a modern, wellthought-out and different design. It offers good rain protection and is resistant to squirrels.

Medium Animal House, Norfolk Industries The product has a good price point because you get a lot included. It will provide hours of fun for children and their small furry pets.

26 April 2018

Nutritional Booster, Soopa Pets This product has excellent packaging, a good price point and fantastic shelf appeal. Many dog owners will be attracted to the fact it’s a vegetarian option.


EXHIBITIONS Pawsecco Freeze Pops, Woof & Brew Judges said: This product is a great line extension to an award-winning product. It’s refreshing to see a range develop this way. It is well packaged and can be used for cats as well as dogs.

Grip’n’Tug Toy, PetSafe (Radio Systems) A robust toy specifically designed for large breeds. It encourages interactive and safe play.

4Cats, Pedigree Wholesale An attractive, well package product with a Valerian calming option. It will sit well on the self, as well as being a good impulse buy around the counter. It is also very well priced.


The pet trade has given PATS Sandown a thumbs-up with exhibitors and visitors agreeing it has been one of the best shows in its 10-year history. Retailers from both the UK and overseas created a surge of activity over two days of business in the Surrey and Esher Halls at Sandown Park. The show closed with visitors and exhibitors agreeing it had been a success, with the event delivering an unrivalled platform for the launch of hundreds of exciting pet product innovations. The New Product Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews, was a busy area throughout the event, and retailers admitted they were spoiled for choice as they decided on which items to stock in their stores for the year ahead. Exhibitors agreed the quality of visitors to their stands was exceptional, and there was a great degree of confidence being shown. Forthglade’s head of sales Bill Kimberling said his company had experienced two brilliant days. “We’ve had a massive stack of orders for our products, and seen some very important people.” Anco used PATS Sandown to unveil a complete re-brand of the company with exciting new packing wowing visitors to the company’s stand. “We targeted this year’s Sandown show to launch our re-branding and it has been very successful,” said Colin Maidment. “For us it has proved to be the perfect platform.” The show was also a big occasion for Natures Menu, who used the event as the nationwide launch of their new True Instinct pet food brand, and Peter Roy said the company had surpassed their orders target. “We’ve been flat out for the whole two days.” The mood amongst visitors was summed up by Claire Thomsett, a pet buyer at Bodle Bros, West Sussex, who said: “PATS Sandown is a very engaging show. Everyone is friendly and helpful. There was a great variety of products, and I found the stands to be enticing.” Neil Reed, of Pet Stop, Isle of Wight, said: “This is the first time I’ve visited the show and I’m impressed with the diversity of all the products. Seeing all the ranges under one roof is great for independent retailers like us.” According to Vicky Harrison, of Vicky’s Paws and Chores, Chichester, “PATS has a fantastic range of products. There is so much to see all under one roof.” Organiser Gordon Thomas said: “We’re proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary of PATS at Sandown. We love running this exhibition and it’s great to hear that exhibitors and visitors have experienced a brilliant show, demonstrating that PATS is the show for serious buyers of pet products.”

April 2018 27


What can we learn when things go wrong? VICKY NUTTALL DIRECTOR OF GIMA As I write this column there is one story that is dominating the headlines, and that is the news regarding the fire that devastated Gardman’s Daventry warehouse. Just one week previously myself and the GIMA council met there for our quarterly council meeting and were incredibly impressed with the operation taking place, with early 2018 ‘hiccups’ being put firmly in the past. Our thoughts are with the whole Gardman team. It’s great to see the industry – from both the retailer and supplier side – rally around and offering words of support and comfort during this difficult time. I’ve no doubt that Gardman will embody the phoenix metaphor and will be back in fighting form in no time. The situation has of course brought to the fore the discussion around the supply chain. Luckily – and this is a rare comment to make I appreciate – the inclement weather has meant that early demand has been dampened. Possibly meaning that the remaining suppliers have less of a void to fill before even considering the hole left by Gardman’s ill fortune. A small mercy perhaps. But with one of the biggest players only able to offer limited stock, the pressure is falling on the rest of the supplier network, and with peak sales periods just around the corner the pressure is mounting, despite a slow start to the year. Many retailers may now be asking themselves if putting all their eggs into one marketdominating ‘basket’ carries too much of a risk. In an attempt to safeguard, is now not the time to consider tapping into a variety of niche suppliers as well as those core brands?

28 April 2018

As well as the obvious alternatives, I know for a fact that many of the smaller manufacturers and suppliers are ready and willing to do business but getting their foot in the door is proving to be continually difficult. With the ability to offer something unique, willingness to work hard to deliver stock, and offering retailers the chance to diversify, surely a wider selection of suppliers and adding something ‘new’, is a viable and realistic alternative for retailers. Difficult at such short notice, but something that ought to be considered for the future. An additional advantage will also be the reduction of some of the pressure placed on the big players. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a need for larger one-stop shop suppliers, and whilst they can meet demand, and happily will do so, one tragic event can bring the world crashing down around them, so reduced pressure can offer a certain degree of protection for all involved. It’s also worth noting that recent events should have given cause to other suppliers to look at their own business recovery

plans. The Gardman fire has proven that sometimes control can be taken out of our hands, so it’s vital that suppliers ensure that they have undertaken the necessary risk assessment, put into place crisis management plans and that insurance is up-to-date. Together these measures will help them get back on their feet should the worst happen. The issue of supply chain pressure is something that we at GIMA will continue to encourage debate around, looking to represent our members wherever possible. We appreciate that there are many factors as to why retailers choose certain suppliers and we’re not here to question loyalty, quality or ability. Instead, we want to help broaden the market; bringing in new brands that offer a different point of view. Diversification and consumer choice will keep our industry alive and invigorated for the future. Let me close by offering Gardman our best regards from all at GIMA. We look forward to you being back at full capacity and you have our full support.



GIMA Knowledge Exchange Workshops GIMA’s Knowledge Exchange Programme is set to return in April, this time presenting two special one-day sessions focussing on Sales Territory Planning and New Product Development – open to both GIMA members and non-members. Created in association with Cedar Associates, the first workshop (11th April) entitled ‘Sales Territory Planning’ will help participants to make better use of sales territory plans to generate more effective sales results. The session will arm sales personnel with advice and top tips on how to implement new techniques that will enable them to prioritise tasks and better plan their time, both on the road and in the office. A ‘consultative sales’ approach will also be explained, demonstrating to participants the ways that they can develop relationships with existing and potential customers, whilst also increasing link, cross and up-sale opportunities. The second workshop (19th April) will focus solely on new product development and how junior and middle managers can improve their chances of developing a product that beats the odds to become a successful and viable commercial entity. Led by Jane Lawler – who brings with her over 30 years’ experience working in large corporations, investor funded enterprises and family businesses from junior management up to main board director – the full days schedule will combine presentations, video and working group tasks. Both Workshops will take place at Horticulture House, Didcot, OX11 0RN.

Profile for Garden Trade News

GTN April 2018  

GTN April 2018  

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