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gtn MARCH 2018

Advice and information for garden centre professionals

gardentradenews.co.uk

Keeping rabbits at bay Even the cutest of garden pests can cause untold damage to a garden, which is why Vitax has added to its Scent Off range for 2018 with Vitax Rabbit Repellent. Vitax Rabbit Repellent is a natural product which has been designed to protect lawns and growing areas from surface scratching and burrowing. Although rabbits have an innocent appearance they are often responsible for eating new shoots, stripping bark from trees and gnawing through saplings. Vitax Rabbit Repellent works by emitting an odour associated to predator activity, stimulating a fear-based response to move them away from the protected area. Suitable for organic gardening, Vitax Rabbit Repellent can boost plant growth and improve turf colour.

Charity Q4 packs go on sale Promotional packs of Q4 pelleted fertiliser are now on sale throughout the UK as Vitax drives forward with its charity partnership with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. To support The Soldiers’ Charity with its work with soldiers, veterans and their immediate families in times of need, Vitax will be donating 20p for every special 2.5kg pack of Q4 fertiliser sold throughout 2018. Established in 1944, The Soldiers’ Charity is the national charity of the British Army and provides grants to individuals and a wider range of specialist charities. As part of its work, the charity has provided grants to enable beneficiaries to pursue horticulture as a career or use gardening to help improve health and wellbeing. This is the first time Vitax has supported a charity outside of the horticultural sector, and the relationship is going from strengthto-strength as Paul Gooding, chairman at Vitax, explains: “The partnership with The Soldiers’ Charity is going extremely well and has the support of both our customers and employees. “In addition to the new promotional packs of Q4 fertiliser, our colleagues have entered into the fundraising spirit and undertaken the Chilli Cookie Roulette challenge in a bid to further raise awareness across social media. “The Soldiers’ Charity is a fantastic organisation and both customers and employees are fully behind trying to raise funds throughout the year.”

Pictured, left to right: Colin Wetherley-Mein – Vitax, Charlie Strawa – ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Paul Gooding – Vitax and Lt Col Stuart Wiles – ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. The Soldiers’ Charity has worked with veterans of every conflict for over 70 years and takes pride in being responsive and making a difference at a critical point in peoples’ lives. 4For more information about ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and how you can get involved in its wider event programme, visit: www.soldierscharity.org.

Weather-proofing key brands Retailers’ demand for packaging that can withstand the elements has led to Vitax weather-proofing key brands and sellers this season. Q4 Pelleted Fertiliser, Clematis Feed, Organic Rose Food and Azalea & Rhododendron Feed have all undergone a packaging transformation with the addition of 900g pouches. Developed to aid garden centres promote products next to plants and shrubs, the new, weatherproof pouches will provide greater flexibility to centres as to where they can be used within displays. Previously only available in a boxed format, the new pouches are versatile, easy-to-open and re-seal. This is the first time Vitax has invested in new weatherproof pouches and will look to roll it out across other key brands during the 2018/19 season.

For more information about Vitax visit: www.vitax.co.uk


Glee at Spring Fair

Rising Star

What’s new in pets

Find out what caught our eye at the big exhibition p14-15

Discover what it’s like to be a top talent in the garden centre trade p10

Why more garden centres are heading to PATS Sandown p26

gtn

Advice and information for garden centre professionals

MARCH 2018

gardentradenews.co.uk

An award worth waiting for...

GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards

Special interview with Matthew Bent

THE TOP INTERVIEWS People in the news

Make March 16 a day to remember

A day in the life of a GCA inspector


INTERVIEW

An award worth waiting for... Bents Garden & Home in Warrington, Cheshire, took the top accolade at the recent GCA conference, not for the first time, but it’s been quite a wait! The GCA Conference in January ended six years of trying for Bents Garden & Home when they took the accolade of Best Destination Garden Centre in the UK. In previous years they have been pipped to the post by North West area rivals Barton Grange. However, on Tuesday January 23 their persistent hard work paid off, and the team led by Matthew Bent collected the Best Destination Garden Centre of the Year award. Following this great occasion, GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer spent a day with Matthew Bent to find out what made the difference in last year’s GCA inspections, and talked about plans to develop the business even further. So, after six years of waiting, just how did it feel to be announced as the winners this year?

2 March 2018

“The word ecstatic comes to mind. Ecstatic but also surprise. We knew we were in with a good chance but we’ve been like that for the last six years so you never know. It was so exciting and the team were absolutely made up. It was the first time Mum and Dad had been to the GCA Conference for six years, so it was really nice for them to receive the award while they were there. “Back at the centre the next day everybody was amazed and delighted. They’ve worked so hard this year to raise standards around the store and keep them consistently high. Everybody was so excited after waiting such a long time.” As GCA garden centres never know when they will get their inspection visits, standards have to be high every day to be in with a chance of winning. First inspections

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are from mid-March to mid-June. “Then if you are lucky to be in the top three, you get a visit in July, August, or September, you just never know when. That means you have to be fantastic every day. Winning the award is the icing on the cake, but really we are doing it to improve standards for our customers. Once you set a standard customers expect it, and if they should see an untidy area that’s not as good as it should be they soon let us know.” Garden centres have got be consistently good across all areas to win a GCA Garden Centre of the Year Award but Matthew points to the winning of the GCA Ruxley Rose Planteria Award as a key factor in their improvement last year. “Plants are the big one for us. We’ve worked really hard over the last few years


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

in getting that consistency of quality of plants and plant retailing. The nursery has produced better quality plants throughout last year and we have cared for them better in the nursery and in retail. We’ve had a much better team in all those areas and that has made a big difference.” Talking in the Open Skies covered planteria, Matthew said: “It ‘s getting great people and setting standards that’s important. The team are so enthusiastic about plants, and having the nursery on site will become even more of a benefit as distribution costs go up. “We want to expand our nursery and add even more plants into the mix. We were looking at prices from Holland last year after Brexit was announced. The price of the plants in euros was the same but the cost to us through the exchange rate pushed the prices up hugely. “There are still some amazing growers in Holland - and the UK - who you just have to have the plants from, but we want to do more and more ourselves. We are specifically looking at climbers where the transport costs are huge and we have space to grow them ourselves.” Catering is another area Bents are famous for. According to his mother Wendy, Matthew was known to sleep under the counter of the original coffee shop opened in 1982. Now, Bent’s rival retailers such as Harrods as one of the biggest retail caterers in the UK on a single site. “We have 1,000 covers around the site and there are times such as at Christmas and Mother’s Day when we struggle to keep up with them. We are extending the kitchens to give more space for catering as the chefs find it a struggle working in facilities planned 16 years ago. Continued on page 4

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.

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March 2018 3


INTERVIEW

Continued from page 3 “Our existing catering does cause some issues. It looks great when it’s quiet, but when it’s busy it is just hard work. The layout can be confusing too, and it has outgrown itself by a long way. In the next 18 months to two years we will be working on a complete start again for Bents catering. “The hard part is coming up with a concept that will work with everything we already do - great food that is appealing and looks delicious, and great service, to please our existing customers plus another 20-30% growth on top of that. It is a real challenge trying to find the right solution.” In finding that solution the Bents team will be focussing on their three customer groups: “Our ‘day-outers’, our ‘experience seekers’ and our ‘local affluents’. Each of them has a particular socio-economic group that we understand, but they also cross over. For example, if it’s a mum out with her children and friends they want a particular thing from their journey to Bents, but if they come in just with girlfriends they want something completely different. It depends on the mission on that particular day. “Our aim is to understand exactly what each of those customers’ needs are, what is the purpose of the business, why are we

4 March 2018

here as Bents - to get that vision right. It is so important to get everybody on the right track. The Bents Ways are how we want our colleagues to behave and what we want them to do and that starts from the day they arrive. New colleagues have an ‘Exceptional Welcome’, which is a series of challenges throughout the day, following a road map. It is all about bringing them into the Bents Way of doing things and set them on the path.” Bents currently employs 430 colleagues, a mix of full time and part time. It was back in the 90’s that Bents began calling staff members colleagues: “We had a general manger called Miles Holt who came from Asda and in those days at Asda the colleagues were core to the business. He came up with the concept that the colleagues were of huge importance to the business and that’s how we look at it. It is the colleagues, everybody who works at Bents, who deliver top service every day. We want to be an extended family so that’s how we treat all of our colleagues here.” Every great dynasty needs its head of the family and Matthew explained how the original stamp on the business created by his father, Ron Bent, is maintained: “It sets the base. He is very much involved in the strategy, looking forward, not so much dayto-day, but to the principals of Bents. The

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key criteria he set up are still those that we follow, whether that’s in the restaurant, the planteria, or across the business. “If we’re going to do something, it will be done well, as though we are specialists in it. That requires a lot of planning, like the Winter Market we created in Open Skies this year. We started planning in February to make sure it was right. And Christmas at Bents (for which they won another GCA Award this year) takes from October the previous year to get it right. With proper planning the implementation works a lot better.” A tour of the centre highlights the many changes that have taken place at Bents in the intervening six years since their last GCA Destination Garden Centre of the Year win. There’s the Food Hall, which has become a central part of many visits, the Pet Café, the Crazy Golf, which is having another nine pirate-themed holes added in time for Easter, and the Gift Department, which was one of the oldest parts of the store. “While the rest of the shop was modernised, this was a little left behind. Now there’s been a complete change and some of the feedback is that it is a bit too much like John Lewis, a bit stark, but it is a lot easier to shop, more open, more space and merges with silks so it all flows together. Our merchandising team are hot on colour co-ordination and lifestyle grouping, so we tie in with what is going on in home styles and get the right colours that people can co-ordinate, trying to give inspiration throughout the store.” Matthew’s final word on Bents’ GCA success is about their customers: “A lot of them have been saying that it’s about time too! Especially our regular customers who are part of the Bents Family - they really love seeing these awards come through and enjoy it as much as we do.”


AWARDS

GTN’s Greatest Christmas Award winners revealed during Glee at Spring Fair GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards were revealed during a special breakfast event at Glee at Spring Fair. Gold award winners included Brookside Kent, Ruxley Manor, The Old Railway Line, Kirktown, Silverbirch and Whitehall Lacock. The awards, sponsored by Gardman, were presented to gold, silver and bronze winners by Kerry Freeman, head of brand for gardening at Gardman. Awards organiser Trevor Pfeiffer said the standard of entries for the Greatest Christmas Awards keeps improving. “The judging gets harder and harder,” said Trevor. “The judges were looking for that extra special thing that sets a garden centre apart and they certainly found loads of examples during their visits. “They were searching out that clever link sale that delivered extra customer satisfaction, a spark of a team member who made a real difference, and evidence of where teamwork really added value.”

THE GREATEST GARDEN CENTRE TEAM AT CHRISTMAS 2017 Gold: Brookside, Kent Silver: Summerhill Bronze: Woodlands GC, Ash, Kent No 1 in Wales: The Old Railway Line No 1 in Scotland: Munro’s

THE GREATEST FESTIVE PLANTS TEAM Gold: The Old Railway Line Silver: Aylett Nurseries Bronze: Mains of Drum THE GREATEST FESTIVE CATERING TEAM Gold: Kirktown Silver: Bents Bronze: Woodlands GC, Ash, Kent Festive Catering

Festive Plants THE GREATEST PETS TEAM Gold: The Old Railway Line Silver: Planters Tamworth Bronze: Frosts Woburn Sands

Christmas Pets

THE GREATEST GROTTO TEAM Gold: Brookside, Kent Gold: Ruxley Manor Silver: Pughs Radyr Bronze: Millbrook Gravesend

Display Team Small Centres

THE GREATEST CHRISTMAS DISPLAY TEAM SMALL Gold: Silverbirch Silver: Castle Gardens Bronze: Fresh@Burcot Bronze: Fron Goch

Grotto

LARGE CENTRES Gold: Whitehall Lacock Silver: Scotsdales Cambridge Bronze: Summerhill

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Display Team Large Centres

March 2018 5


NEWS UPDATE

TALKING POINTS 5 STORIES THAT MADE THE HEADLINES

1

The Blue Diamond Group has traded well again and delivered good growth in 2017, although the sales increase over the full year has been lower than in previous years and the first half of 2017, according to figures published in a shareholder announcement. Total sales rose by 6% with like for like sales growth, excluding Harlow and Coton Orchard, of 3%. Total sales in the UK increased by 7% with like for like sales growth of 4%. Total and like for like sales increased by 2% in the Channel Islands.

2

For the first time in its 18year history, Greenfingers Charity has announced that FUNdraising for building magical gardens in children’s hospices exceeded half a million pounds in 2017. Linda Petrons Head of Fundraising and Communications said, “We are naturally delighted with this wonderful new total thanks to the continued support of the gardening industry, Kew Green Hotels and hundreds of individual gardeners who know what a difference these magical spaces mean to children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

4 3 Retail giant Wesfarmers could abort its troubled invasion of the British Isles as soon as June after admitting it made serious mistakes when trying to transplant the successful Bunnings model to the northern hemisphere. Unveiling a $1 billion writedown of Bunnings UK and Ireland (BUKI), Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said he would not let the troubled business hang over Wesfarmers for “years and years and years” in the way rival Woolworths was haunted by its disastrous Masters Home Improvement experiment.

Career Moves

Leading national pet product wholesaler, Vital Pet Trade has appointed Jacqueline Sutcliffe to the new role of National Sales Manager for garden centres. Jacqui has had a long and successful career including 15 years working in the garden centre trade.

Gardman acknowledged the company had experienced teething problems at its new £30 million custom-built distribution centre in Daventry but says it’s confident it will cope with the busy Spring period. The new centre was fully tested in Q4 2017 with a full “go live” date of 2nd January. “Unfortunately, due to a lower than expected picking rate we have failed to meet our normally high service standards,” said Pete Utting, Gardman’s Chief Executive. “This has now been solved by increasing our picker numbers and putting on a night shift to meet demand.” The Klondyke Group has appointed Keren Feeney as its new Director of Catering and Food Sales. Keren will step into her new role from 1st March 2018. Keren is currently in the role of Group Catering Manager and oversees the Group’s overall catering strategy and restaurant development programme.

5 Kelkay announced it had been acquired by Griffon Corporation, a US public company with approximately USD$2billion in annual revenue. Kelkay becomes part of The AMES Companies, Inc., the largest supplier of non-powered lawn and garden tools in US, Canada and Australasia. Antony Harker and the Kelkay Board of Directors, which includes Richard Pyrah, Jonathan Wilson and non-executive, Bob Hewitt, will all remain in their current roles to continue the successful development strategy for the UK business. In addition, Antony Harker will take on the new role of Managing Director for The AMES Companies UK Ltd and will have oversight of AMES’ Ireland business.

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: trevor.pfeiffer@tgcmc.co.uk and put ‘GTN Xtra’ in the subject line.

6 March 2018

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Specialist garden centre planning experts Malcolm Scott Consultants has appointed environmental impact assessment (EIA) coordinator and ecologist Dr Holly Smith to the business to oversee all environmental issues on behalf of its client base. Holly joins the team from Ecus in Sheffield.


GTN PROMOTION

Long-standing reputation GET OFF is a long-standing brand that has been around for over 25 years, training our pets and looking after their/our homes. Products for indoor and outdoor use have proved their effectiveness and as a result GET OFF has become a respected brand within both the gardening and pet industry. Training and sanitising in and around the home, GET OFF is a fully registered repellent based on olfactory conditioning – that means using the scent of the active ingredient from refraining your pet or one of your neighbours’ pets from territory marking and fouling in your garden. This is not to be mistaken as a product only for pet lovers but also for those who are not so fond of discovering that neighbouring cats and indeed dogs are using your door step, patio, garden wall, decking, and flower beds as their very own loo!

Grow your own herbal remedy Complementary to the GET OFF NATURAL range, Blumen have produced a further range that compliments the current market’s movement of natural products – grow your own herbal remedy. Growing your own herbal remedy can be used in

a manner of ways – tinctures, infusions or simply growing the leaves and feeding them to our pets. Simply adding this to their daily meal could help prevent illness. It can be used as a health additive for maintaining general wellbeing.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact our customer services, email Customer@blumen-uk.com or call 0845 643 9715. www.gardentradenews.co.uk

Natural ingredients Changing market trends indicate where the new product developments lead, and with that in mind GET OFF has developed a new range of pet friendly home care products based on natural ingredients to keep homes clean without using harsh chemicals. Natural Multisurface Cleaner, based on lemon and vinegar, is both a natural and antibacterial product, which can be used to remove urine scent. GET OFF Natural Air Freshner, based on a biological formula, removes the source of the odour instead of just masking it. Along with the Pet Bed Neutraliser, based on a biological formula, it cleans and break sdown odours in fabrics, curtains, sofas and pet beds. It leaves the area clean and fresh. Finally Dogkalm and Catnip are two herbal based products that are behavioural enhancers – Catnip to excite your cats and Dogkalm, based on St Johns Wort and Valeriana, to help calm your pet during stressful situations like fireworks.

March 2018 7


PEOPLE

5 MINUTES WITH A

GCA INSPECTOR Roger Crookes knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of GCA inspections. But for the past 11 years he’s been an inspector himself, so who better to reveal what it’s like to pass judgement on the nation’s garden centres?

How do you qualify to become an inspector? Good question. As with any job I think attitude is key, as we all want to serve our industry and the GCA members well. Retail management experience is important – an inspector needs to understand the realities of what it is like to try and maintain standards in a busy garden centre. Having the ability to recognise, and encourage, the individual strengths of the huge variety of teams in our member centres is also key but at the same time to score the criteria in a consistent and objective manner. How many garden centres do you visit each year during the inspections? Each inspector normally visits between 40 and 50 centres each Spring. Over what period do the inspections take place? The exact dates vary slightly each year, but it is normally mid-March through to mid-June. Knowing that we can turn up at any time can help the garden centre teams to drive for high standards through the busy spring season.

What happens during an inspection? We send out notifications before the season starts, to remind members of the process and the start/finish dates of the inspections. After that they will not normally hear from us again until we arrive at their front door! The inspection form does include some ‘mystery’ telephone calls and a website/ social media survey – we usually conduct some, if not all, of these before we arrive at the centre. Upon arrival we make ourselves known to the management. We have a friendly but focussed approach, give a quick overview of our planned timings, and then get started. We normally start at the roadside and work our way through over 20 pages of separate departments and over 200 potential scoring criteria, taking photos as we go. We will normally complete this part of the process within 2 -3 hours. We then give the garden centre team some verbal feedback of what we have seen, both good and ‘not so good’ – there is always something good to recognise, and even the highest scoring centres have areas to improve. Can you explain the scoring system? How long have you got? (5 minutes, actually). It is quite complex – each department will have a list of separate criteria which are each allocated scores according to the standards we see on the day. But then different departments scores are ‘loaded’ according to their overall contribution to the average member turnover. So for instance, a high score in the restaurant or plant area will add much more to the overall score than high scoring toilets. The scoring is not so much about impressive buildings, but very much about the shop floor retail details. How do you feed back your findings? The verbal feedback session lasts about 45 minutes on the day of our visit. A full detailed report is completed during the week after the visit, showing all the scores, plenty of comments and some analysis of their overall performance. This can be of great use for the garden centre teams – they have a measurable detailed report from somebody who has no agenda other than to encourage them to keep on improving. We also send the

8 March 2018

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photos we have taken on the day which can help the teams understand our comments. Do garden centres ask for your advice on how they can improve? The GCA ethos is about sharing best practice, so we are usually more focussed on what other members are achieving, so that each centre can benchmark their standards, and see opportunities to improve. There are opportunities through the year for members to meet together and see our photographic record of what we saw in all member centres – pictures speak louder than words and a lot of centres find great value in bringing the shop floor teams to the feedback events. Don’t the same garden centres come top every year? Certainly not this year! This year’s Garden Centre of the Year was a first time winner and the Destination Garden Centre of the Year had not won it for many years. Yes, there are some ‘regular faces at the top of the table’ but there are usually plenty of new faces too. You would be surprised how close the scores are at the top and the ‘chasing pack’ are not far behind the winners, so it’s definitely not a foregone conclusion. How do you decide the centre of excellence and the eventual Garden Centre of the Year and Destination Centre of the Year Awards? It is simply based on the scores members achieve in their inspections. The scores are analysed and the top few centres are usually given a second inspection (without any warning or notification). The scores from that second inspection are combined with scores from the first inspection and the final results are revealed at the GCA conference the following January. It’s a brilliant system, and I don’t know of another one as good anywhere in the world! I love it - I used to be on the receiving end of inspections in GCA garden centres over about 25 years, before I was invited on to the team of inspectors, and I consider it a real privilege, and responsibility, to serve the GCA teams. 4Turn to page 18 to read coverage of the GCA Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon.


PEOPLE

RISING STAR! Jayne Scott, of Daleside Klondyke Garden Centre, was voted the winner of the Westland/GCA Rising Star of 2017 by delegates at the GCA Conference in Straford-upon-Avon. Jayne spoke to GTN about what the award meant to her. What particular things did you learn from the Rising Stars programme? The whole programme was a great experience and I learned the importance of hotspots, power routes, blocking and also how planning and timing is key when creating displays. We implemented this on the second Masterclass at Bents where we created pallet-sized displays in 30 minutes. This is a brilliant way to challenge yourself and to achieve fantastic results within a short space of time. Were you shocked to have been crowned the Rising Star with so many talented people competing for the prize? Absolutely! I still can’t quite believe it. The talent this year has been amazing and watching all the other presentations was inspiring, since we all had such different ideas and had achieved great results. The five of us who attended the conference have become really good friends and it was lovely to see the support that we all had for each other. We all did amazing to get to the final round and it was an absolute privilege to win with such strong competition. Why do you think you won? It’s hard to say, since I honestly couldn’t have predicted who was going to win after seeing the standard of the other Rising Stars’ work. From looking at my own presentation I tried to simplify what I had done so I could get my points across about what I had learned throughout the whole programme and how I had implemented them.

10 March 2018

What was it like to stand up in front of the GCA conference? Honestly it was terrifying! I had only ever presented to my fellow Rising Stars so to go from that to an entire room was certainly nerve wracking. I remember giving myself a pep talk just before going on stage to try and calm my nerves and took on board what Ian Boardman had told us all, which was ‘Be Brilliant!’ Knowing that I had the support of Klondyke and my fellow Rising Stars when I was up there made it a lot easier. What ideas of yours have been implemented at Daleside? I would say planning and timing is a key aspect that we focused on before but from my experience with the programme it has highlighted how key it really is. It helps us be one step ahead all the time so we are ready for any occasion. This, accompanied with analysing the layout within the shop and how possibly we can create more power routes to help customer flow in certain areas, is definitely something which has been implemented.

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What’s it like to work for Klondyke? Comparing it to any other company would certainly be hard since I have only ever worked for Klondyke. However, being with them for the past eight years has provided me with so many fantastic opportunities and I have learned so much that I really am proud to work for them. I have worked in three of our stores throughout my time with them which has helped me progress in my training to get to my current position of Assistant Manager at Daleside. The company as a whole, from centre level to our head office, are so supportive of each other and I have been lucky enough to have that support not only throughout my time with them but especially throughout the Rising Stars programme which has been a massive help. Would you recommend the scheme? Of course! It is such a fantastic experience and if you get the opportunity to do it then I would certainly go for it. I have learned so much in this past year that I put into practise in my every day work and hope to pass on to others within my centre.


GTN PROMOTION

Kadai Living range ideal for gift market The Kadai Living range launched at Spring Fair consists of items that the company currently sells through its small retail outlet in Leebotwood, Shropshire. Products in the range have proved popular with local clientele so Kadai thought it would be an ideal trial to offer these to its current stockist base. All the products are proven sellers and the company uses spare space in its Kadai containers to bring these items to market. The Living range, consisting of many gift items ideal for the Christmas market, are sourced from India and as a result fit in well with the rest of the Kadai ranges. “The initial response to the new range has been really good and we are very pleased with the take up,” said Sales Manager John Hinde, after showcasing the range at Spring Fair. “Customers liked a mixture of the products that were on display but some of the favourites seemed to be our metal animals, the Indian brick moulds and our ceramic knobs.” Currently there are just over 100 items in the range but this will change as Kadai add new items. Products include Market Carts, Tent Tables, Well Buckets, Brass Lassi Cups and Brass Buckets. “Our Kadai Firebowl products are now geared towards slat wall displays and we have tried to do the same with the Living range,” added John. “The product colours are very bright and vibrant and fit well with the golden slat wall strips we have produced to go with them. Our aim is to produce a product display that pulls customers in and it definitely worked at the Spring Fair. Garden centres are becoming destination centres and are having to look for new products and displays to bring customers into them – our new Living range is aimed at helping them to achieve this.”

For those retailers who didn’t see the range at Spring Fair can they view the products anywhere else? “We have an order form with all the products on including pictures which is quite a good source of information,” said

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John. “But if customers want to make an appointment to visit us they can see the Kadai Living range plus a host of other one-off items here in Leebotwood.” 4If anyone would like an order form email fleur.fox@kadai.com.

March 2018 11


INSIGHT

‘Can do’ attitude drives Fairways to GCA success Fairways Garden Centre in Derbyshire was crowned Garden Centre of the Year at the GCA conference. Ally Moseley, General Manager, reveals how the business keeps on improving. What’s it like to win GCA Garden Centre of the Year? Fantastic. It is brilliant recognition of our team’s hard work and creativity.

Are plants still a key part of the garden centre? Absolutely, but it’s the one area where we need to do more to move with the times.

What are the keys to your success? We have a clear and cohesive vision across all departments. Other keys are having supportive team, attention to detail, and producing aspirational displays.

How important are the other aspects of the business? They’re enormously iimportant. Interiors and gifts are huge - we do very well with “Faux Flowers by Fairways’. The café is essential and something we want to make changes to over the next year or so.

How many people are employed in the business? At Ashbourne there 30 staff and at Macclesfield 19. There’s a mix of full-time and part-time employees. As a family-run business, do you try to make staff feel part of a family? We certainly make them feel part of a team where we all need each other to excel to reach our goals. To make sure everyone feels involved we have annual get-togethers like a game rounders or a quiz.

12 March 2018

Do you run a loyalty scheme? Yes we do, though Choice Marketing. The is a great redemption of vouchers – they’re very popular. How do you manage to retain loyal customers? As well as the loyalty scheme we do little things like a free slice of birthday cake and a free bunch of daffodils for our reward club members on our birthday. Another

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popular offer is a free primrose for Mums on Mothers’ Day. The Fairways Froggies club keeps the younger families returning. Do the family agree on most of the decision-making? Yes. Big decisions are fairly easy. We debate smaller things more like lighting, heating, and shelving! Would you like to acquire more centres? Not at present. How do you keep improving? By having an ‘everything can always be done better’ attitude. We listen and act on feedback, plus what others are doing. We subscribe to various home and garden magazines to keep up with fashions etc. How important is your website in attracting new customers? Probably not as important as it should be. www.fairwaysgardencentre.co.uk


INSIGHT

History of Fairways Fairways Garden Centre is very proud to be a traditional family-run business, owned and run by the Plumbly family. Ally Moseley takes up the story… “I have managed the business since day one, in February 1998, and work alongside Mum (Chris), who manages our Food Hall, Dad (Pip), and younger brother (Charlie), who carry out all our building work, plus the never-ending list of repair and maintenance jobs. “In 1959, my Grandfather, Herbert Plumbly, bought Hollies Farm at Clifton, Ashbourne, now the site of Fairways Garden Centre. On his retirement, in 1978, my family moved to the farm. Dad ran his own civil engineering firm, Midroads Ltd, from the farm and then in 1981 we opened a ‘Pick Your Own Fruit’ farm, selling strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and red and blackcurrants. Our fruit farm was very much a family affair and as children my sister, brother and I spent most of our summers picking fruit, serving customers or directing cars into the car park!! “In 1994 Dad had the idea to open a garden centre and four years later his idea came to fruition. Fairways Garden Centre, named as we are next to a golf club and because that was as far as our imagination stretched, opened in February 1998, with one glasshouse and a small outdoor plant area. “As many of our loyal customers know, each year has seen some sort of development or extension. Most of this work has been carried out ourselves by Dad and brother Charlie, who joined the business in 2005. “In February 2008, we purchased the former Macclesfield Garden Centre and over the course of two years completely redeveloped the site. Our manager from Ashbourne, Nick Riley, moved up with his family to Macclesfield and now oversees the day to day running of this site for us.”

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March 2018 13


GLEE AT SPRING FAIR

Five products that caught our eye The first-ever Glee at Spring Fair New Product Award, run in association with GTN, was hotly contested. Here are the five products that caught the eye of the judges. POTTY FEET, JARDINOPIA This is a new and refreshing product with great attention to detail. It’s a unique development of traditional pot feet that will create new sales for indoor pots and higher value sales for outside pots. The quality of the imagery is second to none. It will make a great gift line too.

FAST FIX HOOK AND LOOP TAPE, CREATIVE PRODUCTS Hook and loop tape that can be used as plant ties and for many other garden uses. It’s an effectively simple garden centre product.

14 March 2018

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GLEE AT SPRING FAIR

Early success for new firm

REDWOOD GAZEBO, RIVERCO

A company that had been in existence for only five months has picked up the first ever New Product Showcase Award at Glee at Spring Fair. The Award, run in association with Garden Trade News, was won by Jardinopia Ltd, who scooped this year’s top prize with Potty Feet. A new approach to pot feet, these resin feet come shaped in a variety of shapes such as squirrels, dogs and gnomes. Judge Mike Cook, of Choice Marketing, said of the winner: “Potty Feet is a fab idea. It’s a new take on a traditional product, but done so in a way that is fun, and will have mass appeal. It’s an exciting product, and even more so when you consider that Jardinopia launched just five months ago.” Andrea Barnett, managing director of Jardinopia, said: “I’m really shocked. It’s so unexpected but we are obviously delighted with this accolade.” Matthew Mein, Event Director for Glee, said of the winners: “Congratulations to all the winners of this, the inaugural Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase. The quality of product on display are of the highest possible standard and demonstrate the breadth of products on offer from Glee at Spring Fair exhibitors. Congratulations to all those that were recognised as part of this awards programme, and thanks to all those that entered. Finally, thanks to the judges. Their time and input is greatly appreciated.” With 24 amazing and innovative new products to choose from the judges of the inaugural New Product Showcase at Glee at Spring Fair had their work cut out deciding on a winner. Judged by Mike Cook of Choice Marketing, Steve Myatt, MD of Garden Retail Success, Simon Bourne of Perrywood Garden Centre, and Neil Gow, owner of Fresh @ Burcot, this year five products were selected, recognised for their unique designs, saleability and innovative approach to bringing to market products that will drive profits in the coming seasons.

It’s a Scandinavian Redwood Bar Gazebo featuring louvered sides, a skylight centre panel and treated with a unique wood protection.

EXTENDED CURVE, POUF DADDY An extremely comfortable beanbag lounger that was tried and tested by the judges of the New Product Awards. Designed for outside use, the judges said “at this price centres could be selling loads of comfort this summer.”

BESPOKE POTS, WOODLODGE A new bespoke printing service for terracotta pots. It could be used for garden centre branding or sold to customers for events such as weddings.

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March 2018 15


SPRING FAIR

CHRISTMAS 2018

What will yours look like? Here are some ideas from the Festive Production displays at Spring Fair

The Garden Furniture Centre were turning heads with their Magic Apple folding lounger. When folded, the lounger, in resin rattan weave, looks like a spectacular giant apple. It folds out into an impressive lounger/leisure bed, complete with luxurious cushions.

The vibrant display of daffodils on Woodlodge’s Glee @ Spring Fair stand was designed to draw attention to their Marie Curie charity promotion, launched on World Cancer Day with a pledge to donate at least £20,000. Woodlodge have agreed to donate 75p for each Marie Curie-tagged pot, which is offered in three designs.

Veg Trug’s latest new products, the X-Large Greenhouse and Bee Bar were on show... and more new products are promised for later in the year.The 190cm tall greenhouse offers generous protected growing space for small to medium-sized gardens. The Bee Bar, presented as a leg-frame insert for a full-size Veg Trug, provides a suitable habitat for species of solitary non-swarming bees.

16 March 2018

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The power of GTN Bestsellers The Personalised Angel and Snowman & Snowgirl Ornaments were a massive success last Christmas – topping the GTN Bestsellers Top 50 chart for long periods – and the success story for Suki Gifts International continued with lots of interest shown in the products at Spring Fair. Suki used the GTN Bestsellers coverage to full advantage on their stand in Hall 5. As you can see from our picture, Suki displayed these top selling products on a special display stand with the GTN Bestsellers logo. “Our coverage in the GTN Bestsellers Christmas has certainly given these personalised products a huge lift,” said area sales Graham Miles.

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Founded over 80 years ago, Bord na Móna Horticulture is the leading Irish supplier of growing media and barks in Ireland and the UK. The company manufactures and supplies a range of growing media products for both professional growers and home gardeners, and is at the forefront of developing top quality growing media – including peat-free and peatreduced multipurpose composts, specialist composts and grow your own planters – barks, soil improvers and fertilisers. Consistently delivering excellent products, high quality Irish peat, and continuous research and innovation, their high performing products have successfully received 14 Which? Best Buy awards over the past 8 years (2010-2017).

March 2018 17


GCA CONFERENCE

Bents and Fairways seize top GCA spots Bents Garden & Home at Glazebury have regained their crown as the GCA’s Destination Garden Centre of the Year six years after last winning the title. It is the fifth time Bents have won the accolade, which goes to the garden centre attaining the highest score in the GCA’s annual standards audit, following at least two inspection visits. In the Top 10 centres of excellence, they faced stiff competition from arch rivals Barton Grange at Preston and Webbs of Wychbold in the Midlands. Family-run Fairways Garden Centre at Ashbourne in Derbyshire claimed their first Garden Centre of the Year title in the lower turnover category, following a string of category successes in the 2017 Midlands region finals. They were voted best Midlands centre in 2014 and 2016. Their success finally loosened Cowells of Newcastle’s grip on the title after five wins in the previous seven years. Other major winners: The Worrall Cup (best marketing campaign or initiative) – Perrywood Garden Centre; Associate Member of the Year – Smart Garden; Ruxley Rose (best plant area) – Bents Garden & Home (destination) and Cowells (lower turnover category); Dick Allen Award (most improved centre) – Webbs West Hagley.

Meanwhile, Mike Lind accepted the GCA chairman’s chain of office from the outgoing chairman, Julian Winfield of the Haskins garden centre group. Lind is MD of North Somerset’s Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre and will serve for two years. Tammy Woodhouse of Millbrook Garden Centres is the new chairman elect. Among the priorities he has identified for his term at the top is the need for the membership of the GCA to be fun as well as useful. As our pictures of this year’s conference fancy dress evening show , this is something that comes naturally to members and associates alike.

What happened when Matt Dawson touched George Foreman’s leg... A clutch of celebrity speakers added inspiration and insight to the proceedings, none more so than former rugby star Matt Dawson, whose re-telling of England’s dramatic 2003 World Cup victory over Australia thrilled a packed conference hall. He told us how much he values his appearances as a panel chairman on BBC TV’s A Question of Sport and recalled the occasion when former world heavyweight champion George Foreman was having difficulty answering a boxiong question. In a last-ditch attempt to encourage Foreman to remember the answer, Dawson touched Foreman’s knee. Foreman, who had entered the studio accompanied by four minders, froze, turned to Dawson and said: “Don’t ever touch me again.” Earlier speakers included Savile Row tailor Patrick Grant, former UK ambassador Charles Crawford, behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg and environmental campaigner Lesley Rochat, known as the Shark Warrior.

All the world’s a stage – as fancy dress night proved...

18 March 2018

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It was Stratford, and the theme (obviously) was Shakespeare


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March 2018 19


DISPLAY IDEAS

Creating memorable Christmas moments Highlights from GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards 2017 Part 1: Great dsplay and retail ideas

The display team from Whitehall Lacock struck Gold for Large Centre Christmas Display Team of the Year as their very professional movie themed tableaux easily generated the most ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from customers as they shopped the Christmas display area. With colour themes cleverly linked to each tableau the effect on sales was dramatic.

Christmas the Essex Way. The team at Summerhill Garden Centre in Basildon nearly scooped the award for The Greatest Garden Centre Team at Christmas as voted for by customers, just being pipped to the post by Brookside in Kent. If you could imagine a truly ‘blinged’ Essex Christmas display then Summerhill had that several times over!

The best Christmas Lighting and Food Hall displays we saw were at Scotsdales Cambridge, winning them a Large Centre Silver Award. Their lighting area was bright and dramatic, using all the ceiling height available and not blacked out. The signposting to all of the different types of lights was excellent. Then, the use of fairground props in the food hall added another level of merchandising that made the products on offer look even more attractive.

20 March 2018

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DISPLAY IDEAS Aylett Nurseries won a Festive Plants team award for their stunning home grown Poinsettias which had zero travel miles from the nursery to the sales area. They were also the kings of Lemax for 2017, creating a crowd-pleasing display in their garden shop to pull customers through to Christmas.

All of the teams at The Old Railway Line got into the festive spirit, even out in the planteria where the ‘elfish’ plants team provided a warm welcome with a lit fireball to add that great aroma of buring wood smoke to the festive atmosphere. And the attraction of their award winning Pets team and Pet café means some dogs and their owners make extra special efforts to get there!

The biggest ‘wow’ of all the Christmas displays went to the Gold Award winning Silverbirch Garden Centre in Scotland. The way they create such an impact with so many great lines is amazing. Silverbirch were also making big sales of Candle Jewellery. Stags heads to adorn pillar candles were on sale at the tills for £7.99 each.

The simplest, but very effective, Christmas Lighting display we found was Fresh @ Burcot Garden Centre. They used garden obelisks to display the light sets on making it really easy to see the difference in the options available. Oh, and they sold out of obelisks too!

Next month Part 2: Grotto ideas

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March 2018 21


PEST CONTROL

As the weather warms up after the wintry conditions of the past few months, so plants and shrubs start to grow again. But it also means a return of garden pests. Here we spotlight two brands set to fly off the shelves this year.

3 new sizes of Defenders Slugs Away STV, the specialist home and garden pest control supplier, has introduced three new sizes of natural deterrent to help gardeners tackle slug and snail damage without using chemicals. Defenders Slugs Away is available in 1 litre, 3.5 litre, and 5 litre packs. The wool-based pellets deter slugs and snails naturally, forming a blanket mulch when watered. Perfect for organic gardening and safe for use around children and pets, this 100% biodegradable deterrent also acts as a weed suppressant, and reduces the need for watering plants. Defenders garden care and Slugs Away are available for immediate delivery through preferred wholesalers including Decco, Stax and Home Hardware. To find out more about how to become an STV Key Stockist, call 01953 881580 or contact your local STV representative.

22 March 2018

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PEST CONTROL

Essential bug & mildew control The joys of gardening can be quickly tarnished by annoying and troublesome pests. Bugs and diseases like powdery mildew can cause severe damage to a wide range of plants, but customers can now eradicate them using a child and pet-safe product that is also used extensively by professional growers. Suitable for both outdoors and under cover, on edible and ornamental plants, the new ecofective Bug & Mildew Control by Sipcam UK takes care of insects including whiteflies, aphids, red spider mites, mealybug and scale, and in an environmentally responsible way. ecofective Bug and Mildew Control does not rely on conventional pesticide chemicals, but instead works by physical mode of action, containing a blend of surfactants which stop the pests from moving and being able to feed. This not only makes them safe to be used around children and pets, but also safe for bees and wildlife too. Proven to be highly effective, the same formulation is currently used by many

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professional growers and landscapers across the UK and Europe. It is very versatile, being safe to use on ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables and herbs. There is no harvest interval required, meaning the produce can be eaten within hours after application. The ecofective Bug & Mildew Control is one of seven new child and pet safe garden care products launched for the 2018 gardening season by Sipcam UK. Other products in the range include a Slug Defence, Organic Wonder Feed, Natural Lawn Feed and Root Enhancer. 4Sipcam is working with DECCO as its exclusive wholesale partner. Contact your local DECCO representative. For direct enquiries contact Matt Jones, 07954 368819, or Sipcam UK office, 01763 212100.

March 2018 23


GARDEN RE-LEAF DAY

Saddle up for the Garden Re-Leaf Cycle Ride Challenge Greenfingers Charity is inviting its supporters to put their pedal power to the test this month by taking on an inspiring new Cycle Challenge for Garden Re-Leaf Day. The event, which takes place on Friday 16th March, will now feature a new Cycle Ride Challenge for bike enthusiasts. The route will start in World’s End Garden Centre, Wendover and take in the scenic Chiltern hills and idyllic countryside. There will be two routes available, 50 miles and 100 miles. The inaugural Garden Re-Leaf Cycle Ride Challenge was an idea put forward by Matt Jackson (Mr Fothergill’s), David Nicholson and Louise Hoskins (both Elho), who are all keen riders. Linda Petrons, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Greenfingers Charity, said: “We are delighted to introduce this Cycle Ride Challenge to Garden Re-Leaf Day. This challenge is certainly not for the faint hearted and will require grit and endurance to get to the finish line. This challenge will also be fun and is great way of doing something for yourself and achieving a personal goal, whilst raising money to bring the gift of a garden to children in hospices across the UK.”

Matt Jackson preparing for the Garden Re-Leaf Cycle Challenge.

Lots of other ways to raise funds As well as the Cycle Ride Challenge, the popular Garden Re-Leaf Day Walk will take place and is still open for entries. Also starting and finishing at Wyevale’s World’s End Garden Centre, Buckinghamshire, there be two routes available this year. You can either take a “gentle” 10-mile stroll, or complete a more challenging 20-mile route through the Chilterns. The popular Plantathon will return with Greenfingers calling for garden retailers across the country to pot up as many plants as possible in a 12-hour period, to sell to customers with proceeds to going to Garden Re-Leaf. Luke Murphy, Marketing Manager for Glee, is a keen Garden Re-Leaf supporter and regular. He said: “I have always taken part in the walk with the Glee team. The walk itself is always great fun, I have completed two now and each one has been

24 March 2018

filled with laugher and is a great chance to catch up with friends and customers in the gardening industry. Glee loves to support Greenfingers and is always on the lookout for new ways of promoting them, whether this be at the show in September or throughout the year.” To sign up or register your own event, please do not hesitate to visit the Garden Re-Leaf page, it’s an unmissable day in the garden industry calendar and can be great fun! www. greenfingerscharity.org.uk/gardenreleaf If you want to find out more about how to get involved in Greenfingers Garden Re-Leaf Day 2018, whether by putting on events in your garden centre, through sponsored solo activities or simply by donating - contact the Greenfingers office on 01494 674749 or email Linda@ greenfngerscharity.org.uk.

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GROWTH TECHNOLOGY: MARKET LEADERS IN ORCHID & HOUSEPLANT SUNDRIES Growth Technology have launched the first in their new range of drip feeders, the ORCHID FOCUS DRIP FEEDERS. The presentation and quality of the product have seen it make a very impressive introduction, already riding high in the GTN Bestsellers Chart. Formulated in the UK and based on the best-selling formulation of Orchid Focus Bloom, the popularity of the ORCHID FOCUS DRIP FEEDERS is increasing by the week. Dr Manos Kanellos, Growth Technology’s Marketing Manager, will be expanding the range with more sizes and drip feeders for other popular houseplants. “We are very pleased with the sales of our new ORCHID FOCUS DRIP FEEDERS,” says Manos. “Despite our late entry to a very competitive market we are enjoying excellent results due to the quality of our products, their presentation and our superior service to customers and users.’ Stockists will have a great deal of support with 20 educational in-store videos and an expansion of the extremely popular and informative orchid talks and clinics.

GROWTH TECHNOLOGY LTD Tel: 01823 424 329 gcsales@growthtechnology.com www.focus-on-plants.com

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March 2018 25


EVENTS

PATS Sandown set for a memorable show Visitors to PATS Sandown in March 2018 will experience one of the biggest shows in the event’s history, with more than 150 exhibitors, hundreds of new pet products and a host of features sure to make it a memorable and profitable day out. Retailers and buyers attending the 10th PATS exhibition to be staged at the Sandown Park Exhibition Centre in Esher, Surrey, on Tuesday, March 20, and Wednesday, March 21, can expect a warm welcome from exhibitors eager to showcase their products. As well as meeting up with a long list of PATS regulars, visitors will be greeted by a host of new faces and new products. A total of 37 companies are choosing to exhibit at Sandown for the first time as they see PATS as the perfect opportunity to announce their plans for the year ahead. Buyers from specialist outlets and garden centres will find the widest range of products being showcased anywhere in the UK. The New Product Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews, is a great way for visitors to see and touch the new products they will be stocking. In previous years more than 200 new items have been entered into the Showcase so it is the best place to view potential bestsellers. All items entered by manufacturers will be put forward for the New Products Awards judged by a panel of pet retailers. “Visitors to the show can be assured they will see and speak to the leading names in the industry, and early indications point towards lots of new products being launched at the show,” said organiser Annie Foord. As well as all the new product launches, there will be a free-to-attend series of seminars covering topics aimed at giving retailers information and advice they can take back to their businesses. Some of the industry’s leading personalities have been lined up to deliver talks this year.

26 March 2018

To help make the visitor experience even more enjoyable and rewarding, both the Surrey and Esher Halls have their own entrances and registration points, with visitors benefitting from free show entry, free parking, a free catalogue and many special offers. There will also be a wide range of food available from all the various outlets and all

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our visitors will receive a free cup of tea or coffee voucher, which will be redeemable all day. 4For the latest information on the show visit www.patshow.co.uk Opening times Tuesday 20th March: 9.30am-5.30pm Wednesday 21st March: 9.30am-4.30pm


EVENTS

NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE

The New Product Showcase is a great opportunity for visiting retailers to see the new products they will be stocking for the coming season. The Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews, is designed to help them find the latest and most exciting products to hit the pet trade, as they are gathered together in one, extensive display in the Surrey Hall’s Brasseries Bar. Once visitors have seen what they like, they then have the opportunity of visiting the stand of the manufacturer or supplier of that product to discuss it in more detail. There is an information card beside each product, giving details such as suggested retail price and where to find the supplier. All entries in the Showcase will be

judged by the panel of retailer judges for the New Product Awards on the first morning of the show, so the results will be known and highlighted throughout the Surrey and Esher Halls for the rest of the exhibition. The Awards will be presented at the New Products Showcase display at lunchtime on Tuesday, March 20. Entries will be displayed under the following award categories 4Cat Product 4Dog Food Product 4Dog Treat Product 4Dog Accessory Product 4Bird Product 4Small Animal Product 4Pet Care Product 4Grooming Product

SEMINARS

PATS Sandown has secured a strong lineup of speakers for two days of seminars designed to give pet retailers aheadof-the-game ideas on new lines, new approaches and new profit potential. The talks, produced in association with Pedigree Wholesale, will take place in the Seminar Theatre in the Esher Hall on both days of the show. The free-to-attend series of retailerfocused seminars will cover a wide range of topics including: how to drive sales of pet products using expertise,

engagement and ethics; all you need to know about licensing in 2018; getting more online visitors to your website; and health is the foundation for a magnificent future. There will also be a chance to earn Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for those people attending a special seminar on flea and tick control and prevention, by Beaphar UK. The CPD points will go towards the ongoing development of Suitably Qualified People (SQP) working in the pet industry.

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March 2018 27


EVENTS

Pet products to watch out for at PATS Collarways (stand T17) is now exclusively distributing the PetWeighter elevated dog bowl. The PetWeighter comprises a base, and a bowl that locks onto and removes easily from the base for filling and cleaning. The base can be filled with water, sand and water, or ice, to give it a weight of up to 13kg. When the bowl is placed back on the base, pets aren’t able to move the bowl around or knock it over to spill their food or water.

HayPigs! (stand S6) is a quirky small animal accessories company making its first appearance at PATS Sandown. Since scooping the best new small animal product award at the Telford show, HayPigs! has teamed up with experienced wholesalers, Pedigree Wholesale.

Danish Design (stand L1) will be unveiling the Dog Robe, the ultimate drying coat that’s perfect for after-wet walks or bathtime. Made from luxurious cotton toweling, the Dog Robe keeps dogs warm and dry without restricting movement. It can even be soaked with water in warmer weather to keep dogs cool.

The Furry Chef (stand E14) has created biscuits, made from 100% organiccertified ingredients. Each recipe is packed with vital nutrients combined to create a tasty treat that will make your pet think he’s hit the jackpot, but won’t leave you feeling guilty.

DOGUE UK (stand F1) offer the fashionconscious pet owner a range of fresh, unique and stylish accessories. The products have unique designs combined with the highest of quality in manufacturing, which has led the brand to be a favourite among dog owners Down Under.

Pet Munchies (stand J3) will be showcasing two new ‘grain and gluten free’ products at PATS, which complement its premium gourmet range of high quality treats, all made with 100% natural human grade meat.

28 March 2018

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