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gtn FEBRUARY 2019

Advice & information for garden centre professionals


Between a rock and a hard place Nothing is more impressive and, well natural, than natural stone laid to form a garden terrace or patio. Next to a new kitchen, it is also a significant item of expenditure. So how should you best maintain it to preserve its value? During the Victorian era, external pathways were laid, not for decoration, not for access, but to reflect light back into rooms that were very often candlelit before the advent of the electric light. These would invariably be of local stone – limestone in the South and Sandstone in the North – due to the lack of transport in those days. Nowadays, whether it be Yorkstone, Limestone, or Indian Sandstone, your terrace or patio will be a focal point, a thing of beauty, the natural colours complimenting both your property and your garden. It will become the external meeting point for family parties and alfresco dining with friends. If laid on a firm foundation and maintained correctly, your patio or terrace will last for years. Thousands of years ago, the pyramids were built from Limestone and granite and can still be seen today. Their degradation is due to both the swirling sand from the desert, and 20th and 21st Century lifestyle and pollution. Choosing the wrong method of cleaning your garden stonework can be very costly and cause permanent damage. YOU DON’T NEED THAT PRESSURE ON! Fact: Pressure washing on a regular basis WILL damage the surface of the stone. It will open the pores of the stone, making it more porous, allowing water to penetrate. Freezing temperatures will cause the water to expand and ‘blow’ the surface of the stone, causing permanent damage.


SOLID AS A ROCK! Whilst virtually indestructible, the stone will weather gradually, but, if properly maintained, will generally last a lifetime. You will, however, experience organic growth, in the form of green algae and black lichen. The green algae will appear in the first 12 months, deposited by the rain, its growth accelerated by sunlight The black lichen, tiny black spots that look like ink, appear at the beginning of the third year, and become an infestation by year five! 4They are more serious than green algae, and almost impossible to remove. 4They are often hidden by, and grow beneath, the green algae. 4These become tiny,’ sponges’, with micro fibrous roots, which grow both across the surface of the stone, and penetrate the surface, anchoring themselves. No amount of pressure washing will remove these, but ‘PATIO BLACK SPOT REMOVER’ from the Patio Black Spot Removal Company Limited, applied to stone of any age, will remove green algae instantly, and the so called ‘Patio Black Spots’ within a couple of hours!

TO SEAL OR NOT TO SEAL, that is the question? Stone is a natural product and needs to ‘breath’; sealers are solvent or water - based acrylics, applied with a roller or a brush. Generally, they are supplied and applied to new stone by the installing contractor. They are not cheap and have to be re applied annually. Fact: By definition, all sealers leave a layer on the surface of the stone, which locks any moisture into the stone. It will not stop organic growth, and Green algae will still grow on the surface, deposited by the rain, turning the surface into a potential death trap. However, ‘Patio Black Spot PREVENTER’ , from the Patio Black Spot Removal Company Ltd, applied when the stone is first laid, and annually thereafter, will ‘prevent’ the growth of the black lichen. Simply spray on with a pneumatic garden sprayer, and leave on the surface. It works by killing the spores before they germinate. The product will also kill green algae, but is applied as soon as the growth appears and thereafter as required. No pressure washing is required.

PREPARE TO BE AMAZED Lovingly Restores, Permanently Prevents



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gtn FEBRUARY 2019

Review of GCA Conference

Advice and information for garden centre professionals

THE TOP INTERVIEWS People in the news

Buying a garden centre Two single-site garden centre owners reveal the inside story behind adding another centre to their business


Buying an extra garden centre Two garden centre owners reveal the inside story behind adding another site to their business. With 105 Wyevale Garden Centres still up for sale it’s likely that many more single-site garden centre owners will be hoping to add another centre to their business in 2019. GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer has been speaking to two centres to discover the process involved of acquiring an extra site – Simon Bourne from Perrywood, who bought Sudbury Garden Centre from Wyevale in September, and Sam Bosworth, who added The Walled Garden Centre at Elton, near Peterborough, in March. Both businesses had expansion in mind because they had reached the limits of growth at their existing sites. Before buying he Walled Garden Centre, Sam Bosworth said: “It’s no secret we’re looking to move to a new site because this is just too congested. We’ve been looking at that for a long while and it’s been really frustrating.” While at Perrywood Simon Bourne explained: “We’ve reached the perimeter boundaries on three sides out of four, and on the fourth one there’s not an awful lot of room to go. We’re turning over £9.3 million here now. We like to challenge ourselves so we asked ourselves how can we carry on putting on growth here? “One garden centre sold which was about 10 miles away and when it was up for sale we’d never even considered it. When we heard how much it had gone for Dad and I

just looked at each other and said we should have had a look. That was the little light switch going because from that we went from not interested to yes we should have had a look too. Then the ‘Wyevale for sale’ sign went up.” Simon visited all the Wyevale centres for sale in their area of Essex and Suffolk and it was a trip to Sudbury in May that really got them moving. “I just visited as a customer,” said Simon. “There is a lagoon where they used to hold water for the nursery. It’s completely overgrown but all around the outside a wisteria was fully in flower. It looked absolutely stunning. I texted the rest the family, telling them ‘you know there’s a goldmine here’.” Perrywood were one of the early purchasers of a Wyevale site, acquiring Sudbury in September, just in time to buy new stock at Glee. For Sam Bosworth it was a much quicker process to add a second centre “With Elton I was sat at home in the evening flicking through my iPad and it was advertised for sale,” he recalled. “That was Friday night. On the Sunday we drove over and couldn’t get in because the gates were locked. We then went back on the Monday and virtually said we’d have it by the end of the week.” The Walled Garden at Elton was a Blooms

centre many years ago and since then had a number of operators, the last of which closed down at the end of 2017 with the liquidator clearing the site of all stock, fittings and kitchen equipment. “It’s a plant centre and we do plants quite well. It was close enough for us to get to but not too close to impact on Burton Latimer,” added Sam. “Tanya fell in love with the setting in the walled garden of Elton Hall and the ambiance. The place was derelict when we got there. But the ambience and atmosphere were still present and to me that’s the most important thing of any garden centre. That’s what brings people back. We all sell the same stuff. It’s just the atmosphere that you create, which decides whether the customers want to come and buy it from you or somewhere else.” Having fallen in love with their new sites,

Perrywood Sudbury and Simon Bourne (left).

2 February 2019


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The Walled Garden Centre at Elton and new owner Sam Bosworth (below).

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both businesses are now adding that love, and staff, to the centres. Simon said: “Sudbury had a real feeling of just needing someone to give it a big cuddle. The staff have all been really positive. We’ve hired five full-time people, as we’ve always said how many staff do you need in May and then we’ll find jobs for the rest of the year.” Sam had to build a completely new team at Elton. “We’ve been fortunate in picking some good staff. Our garden centre manager worked previously at Bickerdikes and Frosts Brampton, a couple of good plant staff over there locally and our catering staff have come from the restaurant trade.” The future of both centres is linked to ‘tourist’ customers. Sudbury is on the Lavingham Tourist route which Simon and the Bourne family believe they can become an important part of.

OUR PUBLISHERS GTN is published by Potting Shed Press Ltd, who also publish: * 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 2019. 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.

Continued on page 4

February 2019 3


The Walled Garden Centre at Elton. Continued from page 3 “We’ve got to make it part of the leisure industry as a tourist destination. It’s got to be special. We can’t do just a bog-standard garden centre.” The Walled Garden at Elton has already become a destination for tourists from Burton Latimer. “Our existing Bosworths customers are making the half an hour’s drive away to sample the special atmosphere and restaurant. I’ve really been surprised at the numbers who have taken the beautiful drive through the villages and enjoyed our new centre,” explained Sam. Both Simon and Sam say the help and advice they got from other garden centres played a big part in their decision making and initial operation of their satellite sites. Simon explained: “I have reached out to several people in the industry. On the Cedar Associates course I met people who were happy to share information on buying a garden centre. I’ve also talked to Paul

Cooling and many others from the GCA. So I think we were as well equipped as possible.” For Sam it was membership of Choice Marketing that provided great support and inspiration. “Being a member of Choice and RBIS helped from the support side of things. A couple of years ago when Nick Crabbie, of Berwick Garden Centre, opened Dunbar as a second site he invited me up to see how they were doing it. At the time that was really to do with us moving to another site for the main centre, but it was really helpful earlier this year. “And the way that Choice marketing benefits in terms of rebates work has gone straight onto the bottom line of the combined Bosworths business.” At Perrywood and Bosworths the addition of a satellite site has meant some increase in back office support services. Perrywood had to outsource the HR management for Sudbury because the

Perrywood Sudbury.

4 February 2019

existing team is at full capacity. They are, however, sharing marketing, buying and merchandising expertise. Bosworhs have taken on some extra back office resource to manage the extra workload but it is with forecasting and budgeting that Sam feels he will need to find more help most. “I need to make sure that I don’t move away from the shop floor any more than I already am. I think that maybe we need to strengthen the team and the systems in the future.” With both businesses already seeing significantly increased turnover it appears their strategic mix of love, cuddles and providing a special experience is paying off. Time will tell if Perrywood find their pot of gold at Sudbury and if Bosworths do move their main site to a new location. But in the meantime it’s good to know there are happy staff and customers at these two ‘rescued’ garden centres.




Wyevale GC announced a number of changes to its executive and senior leadership team. Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive of WGC left the business at the end of January, handing over the running of the business to Anthony Jones, who is promoted from Chief Financial Officer to Chief Operating Officer. Justin King, currently Non-Executive Chairman, will become Executive Chairman. As part of this re-organisation, Paul Emslie, Trading & Marketing Director, will also leave the business.p

3 Johnsons Lawn Seed stepped into the spotlight with a special feature on BBC news. The one-off report helped to not only highlight the Johnsons Lawn Seed brand, its world-class R&D facilities, and market-leading products, but also helped place the plight of UK lawns following this year’s extreme weather firmly at the fore. Recorded at the company’s Tewkesbury research facility and broadcast on New Year’s Eve, over 600,000 viewers tuned in to hear just how much time and effort goes into creating Britain’s best known lawn seed.

Career Moves


Brookside Garden Centre in Kent has decided not to produce its awardwinning grotto in the foreseeable future because it has got ‘too big’ for the family business. After celebrating its 10th anniversary this Christmas, the grotto has become the victim of its own success, having won multiple GTN Christmas Awards for its innovation and popularity. “We have created something that has got too big for our little family business,” said Simon and Alison Shead.


Wokingham Council was refused permission to appeal by Lady Justice Hallett DBE, Vice President of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, against a ruling made at Reading Crown Court last year related to a prosecution action sought by the council against Hare Hatch Sheeplands plant nursery. Hare Hatch Sheeplands plant had claimed an “abuse of process” by the council when it charged owner Rob Scott, and 10 others including six concession owners on the site, with the criminal offence of being in breach of an enforcement notice. Hare Hatch Sheeplands claimed the council was unfair in taking the decision to prosecute and that it was a “misuse” of the court process, particularly as full compliance had been achieved.

Evergreen Garden Care UK has strengthened its commercial team with three new senior appointments within marketing and sales. Ann-Marie O’Riordan joined the company in mid-August as Marketing Director with responsibility for brand, product and category developments. She brings with her a wealth of experience having held senior marketing roles, including the role of UK & Ireland Marketing Director, for more than ten years at Akzo Nobel. Evergreen Garden Care has also strengthened its sales team with the appointment of a new Sales Director and Head of Sales for Independents. Sean Elkins, who joined the company at the beginning of September in time for Glee, has overall responsibility for the sales team, Sean’s previous roles were with one of the largest food manufacturers in the world, General Mills, where he held a variety of senior commercial roles across sales, category and strategy. Working closely alongside Sean, Phil Harrison also joined in October as the new Head of Sales for Independent Garden Centers. Having held a variety of sales roles at Westland, Phil brings with him a wealth of experience within the gardening sector.


Around 250 guests celebrated 80 years of Noma during the Harrogate Christmas & Gift Show. In the glitzy starlit surroundings of the Theatre Royal comedian Dara O’Briain entertained the audience after a three-course meal interspersed with more entertainment including singing waiters. The evening ended on the packed dance floor with music provided by The Secret Show Band.

Full versions of these reports first appeared in GTN Xtra, our weekly e-newsletter mailed direct to registered email addresses to keep readers in touch with industry news as it happens. To register, send your email address to: and put ‘GTN Xtra’ in the subject line.

6 February 2019

Decco has appointed Andy Macmillan as Manager for Decco Perth, Andy replaces John Graham who retired at the end of 2018. Andy joins Decco from Sally Salon Services, his most recent role being Head of Store Operations for their 260 stores. Andy said, “I am hugely excited to have joined the great team at Decco Stuart & McIntosh and be given the opportunity to lead a team that thrives on achieving operational excellence and delivering best in class service to all our customers.”


What’s in store for 2019?


Associate editor Mike Wyatt starts a new monthly column by looking into his crystal ball… I’ve learned over the years that crystal ball gazing is not for amateurs but have never yet managed to say No when asked to indulge in some. Looks like I won’t be getting out of it this time either. So what’s in store? Let’s face it, 2019 has started out as The Year of Uncertainties and that currently looks to be a good call. So let’s peer into the fog for signs of which uncertainties might be heading our way. As I write, the biggest one in the pile is Brexit...still. That it will, whatever the outcome, hit prices in some measure is beyond doubt. If the pound drops further, everything we import becomes even more expensive, so we shall have to brace ourselves for price rises or smaller margins. With consumer confidence likely to be fragile in the short to medium term, it will be difficult to make higher prices stick. From conversations the GTN team has had within the trade, it seems a fair bet that many businesses will be downgrading their growth forecasts until the nature of our future trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world become clearer. However, in the garden industry, doom and gloom is often short-lived, because when the sun shines, so does the bottom line, even if the tough going lasts a year or two. However, the hot summer of 2018 (following on from the pain of the cold, late spring) proved to be a double-edged sword, driving leisure sales at the expense of plants and gardening,

Garden centres, like award-winning Barton Grange, take the lead when it comes to Christmas retailing.

8 February 2019

leaving many to rely on Christmas trading to add some sparkle to the figures. But this underlines other key aptitudes that garden retailers have honed over the past 25 years: those of adaptability and diversification. Look at how the industry has developed catering to unlock access to the leisure pound. Restaurants and coffee shops contributed to healthy garden centre footfall last year while retail across the board was struggling. I would expect the creativity we have come to expect from garden centre catering teams to put them in a great position to ride the current wave of enthusiasm for vegan dining. Once again, Christmas proved (for most, if not all) that the high street is no match for garden centres when it comes to individuality and spectacle. Good, canny local independents know their markets so they plan and invest accordingly. Expect more of those ex-Wyevales now back in ‘private’ hands to create a little glow to their results in 2019 and beyond. Much has been written about how and why consumers are searching for experiences, not just goods, on which to spend their money – an opportunity that many garden centres are already grabbing with both hands. This will be key over the next few years. We can already see that gardening as an activity is taking a back seat as the industry continues to carve out a niche for ‘beautiful outdoor spaces’, taking sales opportunities to a whole new level and even, dare we hope, eventually capturing the hearts of the experience-hungry Millennial generation. The rise of online shopping need not worry the garden centre industry as much as it does the high street. While internet trading is siphoning off a proportion of the garden and leisure offer, it will never replace that visceral thrill that is only to be had as you enter a welcoming, stimulating retail space packed with the most beautiful retail product that the world can offer…plants and their associated promise of well-being. These are the places I shall be searching out this year.

David C. H. Austin OBE VMH (1926-2018) The garden industry lost one of its most respected and much-loved figures with the passing of David C. H. Austin Snr OBE VMH, who died peacefully at his home in Shropshire just before Christmas. He was 92. For over 75 years David’s dedication to roses brought fragrance and beauty to gardens all over the world. A perfectionist at heart, he bred more than 200 English Roses during his extraordinary career, unwaveringly in pursuit of an ever more beautiful rose. From a farming background, David developed a keen interest in Old Roses in his early twenties. David felt that although the Old Roses were charming and often had magnificent fragrances, they were lacking in the colour diversity and ability to repeat flower common to the more modern Hybrid Teas. This realisation sowed the seeds for the collection of English Roses that we all enjoy today as he set about creating an entirely new rose, which combined the beauty and fragrance of Old Roses with the benefits of modern roses. His first English Rose was ‘Constance Spry’, launched in 1961. Amongst the expansive collection, notable varieties include ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ – twice voted the nation’s favourite rose – and more recently, ‘Olivia Rose Austin’. David was rewarded for his outstanding contribution to horticulture, receiving gold standard accolades at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and an OBE for services to horticulture in 2007.


Nurseries set to give plant buyers early season look at 2019 ranges Europlants and Classiflora will be opening their doors to trade visitors over the next few weeks. Here’s a taste of what’s in store...

Europlants (20-21 February). Europlants is the UK agent and distributor for leading Tuscan producer Vannucci Piante, so a delicious hot & cold buffet lunch is on offer for visitors, who will be able to enjoy a great atmosphere and celebrate 28 years of Europlants. Visitors will also be the first to view the company’s largest selection ever displayed, take advantage of some excellent promotions, get professional advice from Europlants’ expert team, and meet Vannino Vannucci. To find out more details visit the Europlants website

Classiflora Zelari (6-7 March) hold their Open Days on the first Wednesday and Thursday of every March. These dates have become established on the horticultural calendar and are a ‘must’ for all buyers to kick start the forthcoming season. The extensive range of plants is individually selected from ten different European countries with a large proportion of the total offering sourced from the ‘Green Capital of Europe’, Pistoia – in particular from Zelari Piante. Visit or call 08700 600 420.

10 February 2019

February 2019 11


5 MINUTES WITH JENNY DOUTHWAITE Sales Director Primeur What was you first job? I joined Primeur fresh from university over 15 years ago and loved it so much that I’m still here. My first role was in sales admin and involved helping to look after our customers’ product set up. I’ve been Sales Director since December 2015. We have a wonderful team at Primeur and I enjoy working with each and every one of them. Are you amazed at how your gardenrelated products have taken off? Yes, particularly as we were not only new suppliers to a very well established industry but also launching a recycled rubber range that had not been seen before. The industry is very friendly and I have been amazed and extremely thankful for the support we have received from fellow suppliers, manufacturers, and of course the garden centres stocking our products. How did it feel to win major industry awards in 2018? It was very surreal but extremely exciting. It was our first GIMA awards and we had a fantastic evening. I was very honoured to be in the same room as so many giants of the gardening world, and the evening provided a wonderful opportunity to network. We were surprised to even be a finalist so to win the category was very overwhelming. Glee proved to be the best show yet particularly as we received the accolade of ‘Best New Product’ with our Medallion Recycled Stepping Stone. The awards have helped to bring recognition and awareness from customers who perhaps wouldn’t have looked at our ranges or considered recycled products in their category.

Success at the GIMA Awards in 2018. What’s the hardest part of your job? Time management – without a doubt. There are very few elements of my job that I dislike but looking after a very busy sales and design team at Primeur and meeting our customers’ needs can sometimes be a challenge on my time. I’m sure I am not the only person to struggle with this skill. I’m very lucky and proud to have the support of fantastic colleagues at Primeur who always rally around and help to get the job done. Describe a typical working day. Although not a typical day, I’ve just returned from an exciting visit to Domotex, the largest flooring and rug trade show in the world. We were busy looking for new developments to add to our Mighty Mats doormat range which is growing rapidly. We walked over 43,000 steps in search of the best new mats for our customers and look forward to launching our latest developments in the coming months.

What are your ambitions? I hope to help Primeur keep achieving the growth success we have enjoyed during 2018 and bring our products to many more customers in 2019. We are working hard alongside our team of newly appointed agents to list our products in many more garden centres. Our new merchandising solutions and POS for the garden range will hopefully allow customers to understand the benefits and ease of using our products. We have taken a stand at the Garden Press Event this year for the first time to try and raise the awareness of our ranges within the industry. Personally, I have challenged myself this year to make more of the time I spend with family and friends and get out and about more in the beautiful Yorkshire dales where we live. It’s very easy for your work-life balance to be affected during stressful or busy times yet allowing yourself time to relax and recover is critical to good performance at work. What are your plans for 2019? We recently celebrated our 50th birthday, which is a fantastic milestone for Primeur. The range of products we sell now is very different to five decades ago. I believe this demonstrates that innovation and product development is key to longevity and continued success. In 2019 we will be working harder than ever to understand what customers need, and creating new and exciting products that fit the bill.

For more information on Primeur visit the company’s website

Success in the New Product Awards at Glee 2018.

12 February 2019


The Old Railway Line and Bents win top awards at GCA Conference The Garden Centre Association revealed the winners of its most prestigious awards at its annual conference including its 10 Garden Centres of Excellence. The awards were presented to the winners during a ceremony at Luton Hoo Hotel. Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all of our ‘Garden Centres of Excellence’ winners. They have all shown immense dedication, hard work and enthusiasm and are a real credit to the horticultural industry.” The full list of winners were: Garden Centres of Excellence (top 10 in alphabetical order not order of inspection scores): Aylett Nurseries Ltd Barton Grange Garden Centre Bents Garden & Home Burston Rose and Garden Centre Haskins Garden Centre – Roundstone Haskins Garden Centre – Snowhill The Old Railway Line Garden Centre Perrywood Garden Centre & Nurseries Poplars Garden Centre Stewarts Garden Centre – Christchurch.

Smart repeats GCA Associate of the Year win.

Associate of the Year Smart Garden Products GCA GROW Training Award Meadow Croft Garden Centre The Worrall Cup The award for Best Marketing Campaign or Initiative was won by Haskins Garden Centre for its ‘Big Reindeer Giveaway’. Garden Centre of the Year The Old Railway Line Garden Centre Destination Garden Centre of the Year Bents Garden & Home

14 February 2019

The Pansies won the Greenfingers Challenge Cup and £6,500 was raised for the charity. Turn to page 18 for pictures of the ‘Orse Racin’ event.

Catering Rising Stars Winner Louise Spinks, Ruxley Manor.


Personalities from the world of sport were among the headline speakers at the GCA Conference. Above: Former England cricketer Kevin Pieterson entertained the audience on the final day of conference. Left: Sir Clive Woodward, coach of England’s World Cup winning rugby team. Below: The Awards were presented by ex England rugby player, Phil Vickery MBE.

David Domoney announced at conference that Cultivation Street was increasing the scheme’s giveaway by a whopping 50%, with more than 15,000 Calliope geranium plants on offer. During April, these incredible Calliope geranium plants will be donated by Cultivation Street free of charge to garden centre ambassadors for school and community gardening projects across the UK. Cultivation Street (now in its seventh year) was founded by David and supports gardening communities and schools across the UK. After the success of last year’s campaign, Calliope Flowers will be Cultivation Street’s sponsor for the second year running. A large proportion of the plants will be made available to the national network of Cultivation Street Ambassador Garden Centres, for them to pass on to their local schools and communities. The plants will be divided into packs containing 12 Calliope geranium plug plants, a grow-your-own guide and a planting calendar. Garden centres can request a pack for every school and community gardening project they work with on a first come first served basis. David said: “Last year’s plant giveaway was the biggest the country has ever seen…and this year will be even bigger and better! This campaign has gone beyond just gardening and is now about the characters and communities who are changing lives across the country. Cultivation Street is a great platform for these groups to share their inspiring stories.” Marleen van Balkom, Marketing Communications Manager for Calliope Flowers Europe said, “I am very pleased to support Cultivation Street’s initiative to strengthen communities with our Calliope® geraniums. They bring endless colour to our lives and brighten up our gardens with longer lasting blooms!”

February 2019 15


Award-winning garden centres receive their GCA accolades Staff at garden centres across the country celebrated after receiving awards at the Garden Centre Association’s annual conference, following the organisation’s inspection programme. Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “Once again the dedication and hard work of our member garden centres has shone through and they are running to the very highest of standards in the industry. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of them as they are extremely deserving of their awards.” Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability. Barton Grange are pictured right after being presented with the Christmas Competition Award (Destination Garden Centre category). They also won Best Outdoor Living Retailer (DGC).

Bents Garden & Home won two awards – the Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Creativity and Innovation, and Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer.

The Garden Centre category of the Christmas Competition (sponsored by Gisela Graham) was won by Castle Gardens.

There were two awards for Perrywood Garden Centre & Nurseries – the Ruxley Rose (DGC) and Best Customer Service.

The Ruxley Rose (Garden Centre category) went to Cowell’s Garden Centre.

The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer (DGC) went to Haskins Ferndown.

The ifse Award for Catering Excellence went to Fron Goch Garden Centre. Other Award Winners were: Environment and Community Award Garden Wise, Dumfries Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer (GC) Bridgford Garden Centre Best Garden Products Retailer (GC) Bridgford Garden Centre Best Outdoor Living Retailer (GC) Bridgford Garden Centre

Poplars Garden Centre picked up Best Outdoor Living Retailer (DGC) alongside Barton Grange. The also won Best Garden Centre Restaurant (DGC).

16 February 2019

Dick Allen Award (Most Improved Garden Centre) RHS Rosemoor Plant Centre and Shop

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February 2019 17


Fun & Games

18 February 2019

Picture special from the ‘Orse Racin’ and African Safari Night events at the GCA Conference.


PATS welcomes growing number of new exhibitors PATS Sandown is the place for pet retailers to see a host of new and international exhibitors as well as the industry’s big-name brands, all of which will be showcasing their 2019 launches over two action-packed days on February 10-11. It will be the first time the event takes place on a Sunday and Monday in February, and visitors will be greeted by over 140 exhibitors at the Sandown Park event in Surrey. PATS Sandown in February is the best place for pet retailers and garden centres to see the whole pet industry and all the latest products under one roof. As the excitement builds, a selection of PATS Sandown newcomers share their thoughts on the UK’s Spring trade event: 4Charlie & Co Naturals (stand R3): “We are excited to be premiering the launch of our new British brand, Charlie & Co Naturals. We feel it’s the best place to introduce our 100% natural dog shampoo to British and international buyers.” 4Colin Taylor Grooming (stand K4): “We will be showcasing all of our newest products at this year’s PATS, from the new Stuck Up hair spray, which has been flying off the shelves, to our most popular product, the Fast Dry spray, which reduces drying time by up to 30%.” 4Gold Line Pet Foods (stand R4): “We are really excited to be going to PATS Sandown. We shall be bringing brands alive on our stand, so if anyone is thinking about launching a private label this year then come to our stand and we will help you build your brand in less than 10 minutes. We are also running a PATS only introductory offer.” 4Gravitis Pet Supplies (stand C12): “We are looking forward to present our grooming products. It is our very first exhibition. We can’t wait to meet customers and other exhibitors. I am sure we will have great time.” 4Mark+Chappell (stand M4): “Mark+Chappell are excited to be exhibiting at this year’s PATS Sandown show. We are looking forward to the opportunity to showcase both our current range and new products to British and international buyers.” 4Mimsafe UK (stand A4): “PATS Sandown provides us with a great opportunity to bring our innovative product to the UK. We believe this product will transform the way small animals are transported.”

4My TreatCaddy (stand R1): “We are a new product made in the UK and felt the best way to meet trading partners was at PATS Sandown, where all the top buyers go to find new ideas. PATS gives us the opportunity to maximise our exposure to all the right people, so it going be very exciting for us as a new start-up.” 4PetDream House (stand T7): “We are super excited to be exhibiting at the UK’s top trade exhibition where we can showcase all our new products to British and international buyers.” 4Pets Unlimited (stand R6): “We are extremely excited to be attending PATS Sandown for the first time. Our Pets Unlimited brand is still very new in the UK and we are really looking forward to showcasing it at the show. It is an exciting time in the UK pet trade and we believe there is strong demand for our quality treats which are presented in premium eye catching packaging.” 4Rettenmaier UK Ltd (stand S7): “We’ve attended PATS for many years and watched its growing popularity so we wanted join in the success in 2019 by exhibiting for the first time. We are looking forward to showing our Cats’ Best range of cat litter to our existing customers and hopefully meeting lots of new customers too.” 4Yora (stand G7): “We can’t wait to exhibit our trailblazing new pet food Yora at PATS Sandown, the UK’s leading pet trade exhibition. British and international buyers will have the opportunity to learn more about Yora, an innovative new kibble, which aims to revolutionise the market by fulfilling the demand for sustainable pet food. Yora enables dog owners to take the lead in giving their dog a nutritious, tasty food.” 4For the latest information on the show visit Opening times Sunday 10th February: 9.30am-5pm Monday 11th February: 9.30am-4pm

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Instagram – who is really influencing your purchase? VICKY NUTTALL DIRECTOR OF GIMA There’s a new craze for cleaning! Something that’s usually considered a chore is now seen as a hobby. Who knew it would take on, but it has! Mrshinchhome, the Instagram sensation, is driving sales of traditional products, resulting in brands such as Zoflora and Minky flying off the shelves. And if you’ve not heard of her, you soon will. All because she posts pictures and videos of her cleaning her home on Instagram. Now I’ve been a Facebook user for years, but it’s becoming boring now. The algorithms mean I don’t see what I want to see, just what Facebook thinks I’d like to see. I know many businesses are already tuned into the power of social media, but I personally have only now truly understood the power that Instagram has above other social media channels. As well as following Mrs. Hinch, I’m now following like-minded garden and home enthusiasts and it’s becoming obsessive. Their followings are immense, and they are heavily influencing the public (and my own) purchasing decisions. To put it into context I’ve dug out some of the latest Instagram stats. With one billion active users (that’s three times more than Twitter), and 60% of these logging in every single day, it’s safe to say that Instagram makes you just a few clicks away from a

worldwide audience. Each day there is a lot of love with 4.2million likes taking place, an average of 100 million pictures being uploaded, and 400 million stories lighting up people’s timelines. Whilst these big numbers may be a little daunting, the point I am trying to make is that Instagram is a place of active engagement. It’s quick, easy and visually appealing. It’s also where people are going to source inspiration, find new products and join communities without being constantly bombarded with endless notifications – this is a place of hashtag follows and an updated stream of new photos for instant gratification. With Instagram’s reach continuing to grow across a broad demographic, could we be looking at the next ‘Ground Force effect’ for the gardening market? At the time of writing over 10.6million people had followed the hashtag #gardening, and #growyourown had 3.4million. That’s two highly engaged audiences for our core messages, and that’s just the start of it. Search any term to do with your business and you’ll likely find huge numbers of people already engaging. Promoting your products through influencers is certainly nothing new – many companies already rely on the media and social channels to help promote

GIMA-LOFA seminar on working with agents GIMA and LOFA have announced a new seminar for suppliers currently working with, or considering employing the services of, commercial sales agents. The half-day event is to be held at the HTA on February 20. Together the two associations are putting on the event designed to bring

20 February 2019

attendees up to speed on all the issues they need to be aware of when employing agents. At the end of the session, delegates will be taking away a blank agency agreement and the benefit of knowing where they stand with their relationships and how to move forward successfully. The seminar is being delivered by

their products. However, the rise of Instagram in the last 12 months in particular has made it even easier for a huge number of people to share their good (and bad) experiences of your products or service. What’s more, with some of the most influential gardening Instagrammers pulling in almost a quarter of a million followers, and all aspects of gardening being covered by the relevant hashtags, now is the perfect time to engage with this potential pool of ambassadors. From trialling products, to sharing top tips and working on collaborative projects, the possibilities are endless. Which is why we are trying to help bring together gardening brands and influential Instagrammers. Whilst brands can always try and contact influencers via the actual social media channels, we are targeting them to attend the Garden Press Event in February. This dedicated event (27th February, Business Design Centre London) will bring together editors, bloggers, vloggers and social influencers under one roof, all ready and willing to meet with gardening brands and to source exciting new products, inspiration and develop potential new partnerships. 4To find out more simply visit Guy Bottard, a Partner and commercial law specialist at Maitland and Walker, where he provides practical advice to small and medium-sized businesses. The workshop is designed for any sales director, manager, business owner or principal who is involved in employing or working with sales agents, or anyone who is considering using agents in the future.

Get set for Spring with HTA Practical Workshops What better way to ensure sales opportunities are maximised this spring than by booking onto a HTA Workshop. The workshops target specific areas of visual merchandising within a garden centre, including chemicals and fertilisers, and gifting. The workshop details and dates are as follows: Selling More Plants Trainer – Helen Chambers NDSF This workshop looks at the principles of selling and helps to give delegates the confidence to turn a customer’s desire for a plant into cash in the till, and to raise the value of the sale. 5 February – Torwood Garden Centre 19 February – Bents Garden & Home 20 February – St Peters GC 25 February – The Matford Centre 27 February – Coolings Nursery New for 2019 - Visual Merchandising – Gifting Trainer – Sarah Manning This is an advanced visual merchandising course aimed at teaching delegates the principles used in high-end retail gifting merchandising to get the most from your spring themed decoration and plant displays. Effective visual merchandising will enable your customers to easily interact with your inspirational displays, providing a memorable Mothering Sunday and Easter shopping experience for all. 6 February – Mackenzie & Cruickshank 27 February – Coolings Nursery Visual Merchandising – Chemicals and Fertilisers Trainer - Sarah Manning Designed for those wanting to take their visual merchandising to the next level. Delegates will review how to maximise chemical and fertiliser merchandising on a day to day basis and identify practical ways to improve sales. 19 February – Torwood Garden Centre 13 February – Bents Garden & Home For more information www.hta.

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GTN February 2019  

GTN February 2019