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gtn NOVEMBER 2018

Advice & information for garden centre professionals




What lies beneath The Garden terrace or patio is typically the focal point in any new garden design. Equally, the choice of colour of the stonework is chosen to complement the façade of the property, or the landscaping surrounding it. However, whilst the remainder of the garden becomes established, looking better year on year, the stonework begins to discolour with organic growth, consisting of black lichen spots, white fungi, green algae and moss. Many gardeners will rue the loss of colour and worry about wet garden terraces, patios and pathways becoming no-go areas during the winter period. A patio or terrace measuring 50-100 square metres will cost £7,500 to £15,000 to replace with Indian Sandstone, whilst Yorkstone or Travertine will send the costs spiralling further still. Having created that comfortable, inviting, and usable outdoor space that opens to attractive gardens, consumers are still unsure how to maintain the recently laid feature stonework, or completely restore the old or ancient, rather than replace. Patio Black Spot Remover is safe for use on any stone, and gently breaks down organic growth, from inside the pores of the stone, and completely restores the colour in as little as two hours! Application of the Patio Black Spot Preventer, 12 months after treating the area with the Remover, allows the consumer to maintain the finish, year on year, without the need to constantly pressure wash, at a fraction of the cost of the Remover. The system provides value for money, ease of application and a permanent solution to maintaining garden stonework, with the minimum of fuss! Simon Essex, Founder and Managing Director, says: “We have seen a tremendous growth in sales over the past three years as homeowners discover the value, performance and ongoing advantages of using our products.“ Garden centres nationwide have reported huge increases in sales year on year, with

It was a very successful Glee for Patio Black Spot Remover and the new POS displays. one group revealing it to be the fourth bestselling product overall. In 2018 the company launched fully branded Point of Sale stands with customised video demonstration, to every retailer stocking the PBSR Product. The video provides a succinct instruction for potential buyers, with the stands providing ‘Premium Product’ status. A good position for the stand is essential, but Simon points out that all stockists have reported significant growth in sales of the product range since using the displays. “As a cleaning and restoration product, producing instant results, we have found that simple but informative instruction for our customers leads to improved customer satisfaction, whereas the product performance shows proven growth in repeat sales,” added Simon. The critical difference between Patio Black Spot Remover and other proprietary cleaners is that most other brands focus

on removing green algae. However, these options can take weeks to work and have no obvious effect on black or white lichen. The Patio Black Spot Remover and Preventer system doesn’t just remove lichen spots but completely cleans and restores the original colour to all garden stonework, plus the PBSR Preventer stops them returning. The system works on any type or age of stone, ultimately restoring it to the same condition when first laid and at a fraction of the price.

Call 01252 702123 or visit www.patioblackspotremoval.com

What a difference a year makes

Spotlight on the changes at Miracle-Gro, Gardman & Wyevale Garden Centres

gtn Advice & information for garden centre professionals NOVEMBER 2018


Licensed to sell Special Report: Why RHS-branded products are becoming bestsellers


The power of the RHS brand With more and more RHS-endorsed brands appearing on garden centre shelves, GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer decided it was time to find out more about their obvious appeal within the industry. Over the past two years we’ve noticed a steady stream of new products going on sale in garden centres that are endorsed by the RHS. From early days of RHS branding on gift lines and gardening gloves, there are now RHS endorsements on tools, seeds, lawn-care treatments, plant growth enhancers, potting grits and most recently additions of a wild bird feed range plus a range of garden care products including a path, patio and decking cleaner. So just how powerful is the RHS brand when it comes to garden retailing? GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer paid a visit to RHS Wisley to meet Cathy Snow, Licensing Manager for the RHS, to find out about the steady increase in licensing activity, and the potential value of the name for garden retailing. There are already close to 60 RHS brand licence holders, but Cathy starts by explaining: “We are quite a cautious organisation in our approach to signing new partners. We have to do a lot of checking to make sure the credibility and quality of the product is right. This entails working with different teams throughout the RHS and making site visits to manufacturers to check for quality.

Kelkay’s RHS range regularly appears in GTN’s Bestsellers Growing Media Top 50 chart.

2 November 2018

‘When putting our name against something, people would obviously expect RHS expertise to go alongside it’

Cathy Snow, Licensing Manager for the RHS, at RHS Wisley.



Apta pots are the second biggest RHS licence holder. “The retail garden buying team here has more than 60 years’ RHS experience between them. They often recommend products for licencing as a result of their own personal use, which was the case for the products that are under licence with DJ Turfcare, such as Mo-Bacter and Bio-Lime for Lawns. “Sometimes we look for new partners from recommendations from our own garden or science teams. If they particularly approve of a product and there is a gap in our licensing programme, we might then approach the manufacturer. We also try to showcase RHS-licensed products in our fabulous RHS gardens, as is the case with Obelisks and other garden support products from Harrod Horticultural.” Naturally for an organisation with 500,000 members, the licensing team can be sure of plenty of feedback. It is careful then to ensure endorsed products have the full weight of the Society’s expertise behind them. Cathy explains: “When putting our name against something, people would obviously expect RHS expertise to go alongside it. An example of this is the ‘use tips’ on Kelkay products. Kelkay has been a huge success story - even appearing in the GTN Bestsellers charts for growing media and we’re told the handy bags are so easy for people to carry home.” “The Mr Fothergill seed ranges are all RHS Award of Garden Merit plants, which is the obvious link to RHS expertise. And for next year the flower range will move forward from ‘perfect for pollinators’ to ‘plants for pollinators’ as we are ensuring the source of the seed supply was completely free of neo-nicotinoid links to make them even more eco-friendly. We didn’t want anything to have been treated with something that could then be harmful to the wildlife.” This year RHS licensed products are set to deliver more than £1,000,000 in revenue for

RHS charitable activities. But that doesn’t mean the licence holders are resting on their laurels. Cathy said: “Apta pots, our second biggest licence holder (behind UK Greetings) has developed new product for next year including some bigger pots, urns and columns that were displayed at Glee. “The Burgon & Ball RHS range of fluorescent tools and gloves came about after there were a lot of inquiries at RHS Chelsea Flower Show from members saying they were forever losing trowels or secateurs. It took Burgon & Ball a couple years to get the colours right and make sure they really were fluorescent but, since launch, they’ve done really well at retail.” Continued on page 4

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

Co-operation between Burgon & Ball and Ulster Weavers delivers a larger range of RHS themed products.


November 2018 3


Continued from page 3 Another key part of the RHS branding proposition is often the exclusive use of artworks from the RHS Lindley Library or the RHS photo library. “Turtle Mats produce an RHS-branded range for us. Their mat using a Gertrude Jekyll design from the RHS Lindley Library is the bestselling one. It has been in the collection for a long time now and it keeps selling through. New designs are added every year but this one has always done well. “One of our newest licensees, Agros Trading GmbH, approached us over a number of years looking for a brand partner for a new wild bird care range. We said we’d like to work with them, but we needed to link it back to the RHS. We did this via the packaging, using RHS Lindley Library artwork, which we were very particular about. Of course, checking the quality of the seed was key.” The partnership with Agros is an example of another RHS speciality - linking licenceholders together to gain advantage. While Agros produces the RHS Wild Bird Care feed range, Plantworks UK has taken on the UK garden centre distribution so that it can be delivered alongside their RHS Empathy range. “We encourage licence holders to link up where appropriate,” explained Cathy. “A great example is where Burgon & Ball, The Original Muck Boot Company, and Ulster Weavers have worked in partnership to create a wider range of products using RHS imagery.” As you’d imagine, Cathy is extremely positive about her growing range of RHSlicensed products. “We usually look for a three-year licence arrangement and some of our partners have been with us 20-years plus. It would be unusual for somebody at the end of the three years not to want to carry on. “When we start a partnership, they can see immediately that it’s working for them. It’s the power of the brand. It works very well abroad as well, in China, Japan, USA,

4 November 2018

Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Germany.” Cathy and her team also spend time loitering alongside displays of RHS products in garden centres, listening to customers; “Customers are reassured when they see the RHS logo on a product. The RHS is so diverse and so involved in gardening it really does mean something to many people.” With a desire to deliver more to the

Society from its licensing activities, Cathy and her team are always looking for potential new partnerships. “We are actively seeking new partners, but they must expect to be rigorously tested. We look at quality and relevance before going any further.” To stock any of the RHS-licensed products contact the suppliers listed on page 8. For new RHS licencing enquiries contact: licencing@rhs.org.uk

What do garden centres say about RHS-licenced products? Caroline Owen, Scotsdales Garden Centre: “RHS like any other branding is difficult to quantify. It is product first and endorsement second and the relevance of this will vary from store to store and county to county. The Cambridge area where we are requires discreet branding such as the Apta pots with the RHS brand on. “I think that the RHS brand for gardening relates to quality, fit for purpose and confidence in the product and as such can enhance sales. It would be very interesting to set up a trail of RHS branded products around the centre. “Scotsdales are very happy to be associated with the RHS brand but first and foremost the product has to be right. Celebrity endorsement has never been very successful here.” Matthew Bent, Bents Garden & Home: “We stock a range of RHS products, some of which perform better than others. We find that pots and gravel prove very popular, but gardening gifts tend to be a bit slower, which might be because we don’t have a particularly big RHS presence in our area. “However, we expect this to change as the new RHS Bridgewater Garden opens and we hope to benefit from having this prestigious industry brand in such close proximity.”


Simon Bourne, Perrywood Garden Centre: “With regards to RHS branding I don’t think it makes a huge difference but it may help to steer a consumer into making a decision when faced with lots of choice. The RHS brand is well known and trusted and therefore an endorsement of quality. The RHS endorsed Burgon & Ball tools are a higher price point than our other ranges to tick the ‘best’ box. The Kelkay range of grits etc have great packaging and the RHS logo adds to that, but I don’t necessarily think that the sales on these products would be any different without the endorsement.” Alan Roper, Blue Diamond Group: “RHS branded products tend to be at the higher end price spectrum. So we have a range of stainless-steel tools branded RHS and the brand gives authority and helps to command a certain price point. As a result we sell far more stainless steel tools and generate more profit. RHS is not a must-have but a nice addition.” Julian Winfield, Haskins Garden Centres: “What is important is the quality and price of the products, a good brand like the RHS will help to give the product credibility.”


Bestselling branded pottery range When Apta approached the RHS in 2010 with an idea for a high quality range of outdoor planters bearing their famous logo, it was the start of a long and successful partnership which has seen the RHS pots become the bestselling branded pottery range in the country. Garden centres were naturally quick to pick up on the potential of the products which were guaranteed frost proof, in a range of new colours, and with the RHS ‘stamp of approval’, and sales grew rapidly, culminating in the Apta RHS planters becoming the number one source of licensing revenue for the brand. “When we thought about brands that consumers would trust as an authority in the field of horticulture, one stood out clearly, and that was the RHS,” says Apta’s Managing Director Paul Sykes. “It gave such prestige to the products that in some respects garden centres felt they had to stock the range! It was a challenge getting the logo onto some of the pots and that required a lot of hard work and innovation from us and our factories, but the result was worth it.” This success was noted by competitors and various copy ranges soon appeared, but despite this the Apta range remains widely recognised as the original and best, and in 2019 will expand to include indoor pots,

Managing Director Paul Sykes (left) with Commercial Director James Hoad and the RHS collection at Glee. extra-large outdoor feature pots, decorative urns and columns, as well as extensions to the bestselling glazed and leadlite ranges. “We are very proud of our association and partnership with the RHS, and of our product range, which has really driven sales in the


planters category for several years now,” adds Paul. “We look forward to continuing this in the seasons to come.” To find out more about the best selling pottery range in the UK contact Apta on 01233 621090 or sales@apta.co.uk.

November 2018 5


Potential power of the RHS as a retailing brand million ÂŁ1 million 2.1 visitors to RHS income raised for shows & gardens the RHS this year each year 20 million from an unique users of estimated RHS website

ÂŁ50 million of consumer sales


211 million

people reached via TV and radio

Almost 500,000 members

RHS inspiring everyone to grow with new garden care range A new range of RHS garden care products are now available. This new range gives garden retailers a strong and trusted branded offer, and includes an acetic acid (glyphosate free) Weedkiller and Moss Killer, a Path, Patio and Decking Cleaner using organic compounds to clean and restore the natural colour, a pesticide free Bug and Mildew Control to control pests, deter powdery mildew, and nourish plants, as well as Ferric Phosphate Slug Killer approved by Organic Farmers and Growers. The offering is fully supported by branded POS. For further information visit ecofective.uk.com

6 November 2018



RHS top sellers from Kelkay Kelkay enjoy a very successful relationship with the RHS and the licensing arrangement for their range of horticultural grits and gravels. The range has recently been extended to include Alpine Grit in Handy and Large packs and is well established in more than 500 garden centres – so it has been a phenomenal success. The RHS branded grits and sand regularly appear in the growing media top sellers list – proof that the brand license on this category really adds value and reinforces the consumer perception of quality and effectiveness. The RHS Gardener’s Collection includes six potting grits and sands designed to answer all the specialist needs of consumers making their own potting mixes, growing alpines and raising seeds and cuttings. This very traditional range of products has been given a completely new lease of life thanks to the unique brand licensing negotiated with the RHS which appeals strongly to the target keener gardener. The range is supported with Kelkay’s strong merchandising solutions that make it easy to position and merchandise the range close to the peats and composts outside, and adjacent to the seeds, trays and other specialist growing products in covered areas or inside. The results have been astonishing and the Kelkay RHS Gardener’s Collection effectively re-designed a traditional product sector and stimulated new consumer engagement. An early adopter of the range was Adam Wigglesworth at Aylett Nurseries in St. Albans. “At Aylett Nurseries we retain a strong horticultural focus in our retail offer, so it was heartening to see the RHS range of specialist grits and sands aimed at consumers with interest in cultivating their own plants. Kelkay seem to have the range, the branding and the merchandising just right, and we have seen very buoyant sales growth in this category


for the first time in many years. It just goes to show that with the right marketing approach, even the most traditional products can be brought firmly back into focus and part of our growth plans.” The RHS Endangered Wildlife Stepping stones have been another Kelkay success story. The RHS has an ongoing joint campaign with The Wildlife Trusts called ‘Wild about Gardens’. Its aim is to enhance the understanding of wildlife and celebrate the way gardeners are able to create havens for wildlife in their own patch. Kelkay don’t impose any conditions on license payments made to the RHS who work extremely hard to promote wildlife-friendly gardening through their events and online. Sarah Winn, Group Marketing Director, says: “It has been a great commercial success, but of course it’s also good to know we are helping to fund the RHS and Wildlife Trusts’ charitable activities through the license. You can find out all about their campaign on their website www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk.” Sarah also confirmed that AMES UK is already considering other ways in which their relationship could be extended for the future and said that they remain committed to the RHS brand.

salesenquiries@kelkay.co.uk www.gardentradenews.co.uk

Tel. 01405 869333 November 2018 7


Current Licence Holders

Here we list the companies and their products endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Licensee Company Name Category


Licensee Company Name Category


Agros Trading GmbH


Wild Bird Food


Food & Drink


Amelie Chocolates

Food & Drink

Luxury Confectionery



Peat-free Compost & Mulches



Pots & Planters

Michael O’Mara

Home & Gift

Colouring Books & Activity Books

Assured Products


Garden cleaning products


Home & Gift

Hand Decorated Pottery

BG (Retail) London

Home & Gift

Home giftware including picnicware and gift hampers

Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds


Flower & Vegetable Seeds

British Shop

Home & Gift

Mail order catalogue of British gifts and clothes (not UK)

Otter House Ltd

Home & Gift



Home & Gift


Pacific Lifestyle

Home & Gift

Luxury Glass Lamps

Burgon & Ball Ltd


Tools & Gifts for Gardeners


Home & Gift

Single Stem Faux Flowers & Floral Arrangements

Carousel Calendars

Home & Gift

Calendars & Diaries

Plantworks Limited


Rootgrow & Afterplant Care


Home & Gift

Paper Tableware

Posh Sheds


Garden sheds



Hedging Plants & Water Irrigation Systems



Garden Care


Home & Gift

Fine China Tableware & Mugs

Sitting Spiritually Ltd


Swing Seats & Benches

DJ Turfcare Equipment Ltd Garden

Lawn Treatments

Stark & Greensmith


Decorative garden panels

Floral Street

Home & Gift


Surface View

Home & Gift

Home Furnishings

Frances Lincoln

Home & Gift

Stationery & Diaries

The Gourmet Candy Co

Food & Drink


Gabriel Ash


Wood Framed Greenhouses & Garden Rooms

The Original Muck Boot Co Garden

Garden Boots & Shoes

Gold Leaf Gloves


Luxury Gardening Gloves

Trimetals Limited


Metal Sheds & Outside Storage

Half Moon Bay (Shruti)

Home & Gift

Scarves, Bags & Accessories

Turtle Mat

Home & Gift

Floormats & Runners

Hallmark Cards Plc

Home & Gift

Greetings Cards & Stationery for M+S

UK Greetings

Home &Gift

Greetings Card & Gifting Accessories

Harrod Horticultural


Garden Pergolas, Arches & Fruit Cages

Ulster Weavers

Home & Gift

Kitchen & Home Textiles

Hartley Botanic


Aluminium Framed Greenhouses & Garden Rooms

Vantona Home

Home & Gift

Bedding, Soft Furnishings, Curtains & Blinds



Garden Aggregrates & Paving

Warner Edwards Distillery

Food & Drink

Craft Gin

Kelly Turkeys

Food & Drink

Kelly Bronze Turkeys

Wax Lyrical Limited

Home & Gift

Room Fragrances & Candles



Garden Furniture

We Love Cushions Ltd.

Home & Gift

Cushions & Deckchairs

Kimm & Miller (UK) Ltd

Home & Gift

Food Gifting Sets

Whichford Pottery


Handmade Pots & Planters

King & McGaw

Home & Gift

RHS Lindley Library Prints

Wyndham vacation rentals Holiday

Holiday lets

Rootgrow goes from strength to strength Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi became the first product of its type to be endorsed by the RHS almost 10 years ago. Since then PlantWorks have worked hard to establish rootgrow as a garden centre staple. RHS gardeners recognise that It’s all about understanding the needs of plants. Simon Taylor, Sales Director at PlantWorks Ltd, says: “A plant is far better equipped to establish and thrive if it can access nutrients and water in the existing soil. We have educated gardeners and retailers to become more aware of biological and natural process as we seek to move the focus of growing from ‘big plant’ to ‘healthier plant.” PlantWorks have worked closely with many UK retailers that have a similar vison to change gardening culture. Wyevale, for example, have been stocking rootgrow for nine successive years with annual sales of the 150g pack alone exceeding 25,000 units. “The credibility of rootgrow is no doubt bolstered by the RHS endorsement,” Simon adds.

New range of RHS Wild Bird Feed The success of rootgrow has led PlantWorks to being selected as the distribution partner for the new range of RHS Wild Bird Feed recently launched at Glee. “Early indications suggest this will be a very successful addition to the Plantworks offering,” says Simon. The range of RHS endorsed products on offer from PlantWorks now exceeds 25 with more programmed for launch in 2019.

Contact: Simon Taylor simon.taylor@plantworksuk.co.uk PlantWorks Ltd Unit 930, Cornforth Drive, Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne Kent ME19 8PX

8 November 2018



Garden centres react to the sale of Gardman We asked garden centre bosses for their reaction to the latest Westland acquisition. Neil Gow, Fresh @ Burcot Garden Centre They will have their work cut out but if anybody can do it then the team at Westland can. The demise of Gardman is just another example of outsiders thinking we are an unsophisticated ‘straw in the mouth’ bunch of oiks that they can show a thing or two. In reality we understand the seasons and how they influence everything we do. How many more times will we see this in both the supply and garden retail sector? Alan Roper, Blue Diamond Funnily enough I said to Edward Conroy, why doesn’t he buy Gardman, so he must have had the idea in his mind. It makes sense as Westland have been successfully branching out into other gardening categories such as tools and watering in recent years. There is a gap in the market for a Gardman rebirth and I am sure Westland will execute a good range of new gardening products and brands under this new umbrella over time. Julian Winfield, Haskins Westland buying Gardman is good as it maintains competition in the product categories that they trade in. Westland have a history of building a strong business and I am sure that they will do this with Gardman.

Simon Bourne, Perrywood I was very surprised to see the news about Gardman but it makes sense. Lots of people have said that now Westland are too big and too powerful but I don’t see it that way. Gardman’s performance over the past two years has been dreadful so to be owned by a company known for getting things done is surely good news for the industry. It will be interesting to see how it develops over the next few weeks/months in terms of the sales teams for Westland, Crest and Gardman. We have excellent relationships with all three and look forward to doing more business with them into 2019.

Nigel Wallis, Baytree Garden Centre As for Westland, good on them. It would have been a shame to lose one of the key suppliers to our trade, even though they have struggled to supply anything this year, with or without the fire. Peter Self, Whitehall Garden Centres With regards to Westland buying Gardman, it’s good news for the gardening industry and will bring stability and creativity. Justin Williams, Fron Goch The Gardman story is so sad. How the mighty fall!

What the Westland boss had to say Edward Conroy, Managing Director at Westland, said: “We have always believed that Gardman is an important part of the gardening landscape, and we are committed to maintaining this for the long term. “Gardman is fundamentally a strong business with good products. Our focus is to work together with all customers to make the transition simple and clear to all. It is imperative that we keep our lines of communication open with customers and stakeholders alike. “Westland is focused on delivering a strong future for Gardman categories which can only thrive from being part of the Westland family. For now, it’s very much business as usual for all concerned.”

Built on solid reputation Mr Fothergill’s RHS Award of Garden Merit range Launched for the 2017/18 season, the flower and vegetable seed range from Mr Fothergill’s and the RHS - built on the reputation of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit - has greatly added to the already strong RHS licensed gardening offer. Extremely well received by the garden trade and their customers alike and now stocked in over 900 retail outlets, both seed collections were developed to be the best possible range for home gardeners, involving close cooperation between the RHS and Mr Fothergill’s at every stage. The range is made up of two stands, consisting of top performing as well as traditional flower and vegetable varieties that have all received the famous Award of Garden Merit, a mark of quality awarded to plants with excellent garden performance. Each award is given only after a trial at an RHS garden and judged by a team of experts, providing gardeners with a reliable way of choosing the best selection of flowers and vegetables for the garden. The inspiring flower collection of 61 varieties includes those that have been selected from the RHS Plants for Pollinators list, maintained by RHS entomologists and

beekeepers. The 55 vegetable varieties have all been chosen for great flavour and yield. With attractive packaging and POS including imagery from RHS gardens,


the seed stands are eye-catching in store and display the well-known RHS logo prominently. RRPs in the range start from £1.80.

November 2018 9


The HTA’s new campaign celebrates a simple message…

Gardening is good for you New for 2019, the HTA’s ‘Gardening is good for you’ campaign reveals just how good gardening is for everyone. This new campaign is an evolution of HTA’s Plant of the Moment campaign. By taking a fresh approach to gardening through the context of health and wellbeing the campaign provides a broad opportunity to promote both plants and gardening. Supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers, the campaign covers the full sensory value and experience of plants, like their fragrance and flavour, plus topics including growing your own tasty fruits, herbs and crops, encouraging wildlife, relaxation and mindfulness, and connecting with the natural world outside your own back door. ‘Gardening is good for you’ keeps gardening on the agenda throughout the year with monthly themed articles, written by gardening consultant and journalist Adam Pasco. The campaign will run for two years and content, images and other useful resources

10 November 2018

will be available for use by the trade and media. Retailers will be able to create imaginative displays with linked sale opportunities each month to promote plants, pots, seeds, tools, accessories, landscaping ideas, books, and any other appropriate items they stock. The monthly campaign themes can also be used as the basis for blogs, articles, talks, demonstrations, and promotions to customers, local groups and gardening clubs. It will allow growers and retailers to work together in creative ways to interpret themes and select a wide range of ‘Plants of the Moment’ and associated products to appeal to customers in their area. In tandem with this the monthly themes will be issued to the trade and consumer media providing valuable content for regular articles and columns. Gardening really is good for you, and for the health and wellbeing of everyone! 4For further information go to www.hta. org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou or contact media.office@hta.org.uk


Briers Kids range, launched at Glee, should encourage more youngsters to enjoy gardening from an early age.


MONTHLY THEMES JANUARY Grow yourself healthy Plants of the moment: year-round colour and interest

JULY Enjoy summertime in the garden Plants of the moment: plants for instant colour and displays

FEBRUARY Create your perfect garden Plants of the moment: planting styles

AUGUST The sensory experience Plants of the moment: plants to excite the senses

MARCH Spring into action Plants of the moment: spring colour and spring planting

SEPTEMBER Growing together – let’s get social Plants of the moment: The gift of growing

APRIL Be creative with colour Plants of the moment: colour themed displays

OCTOBER In touch with nature Plants of the moment: planting with nature in mind

MAY Get Set....Grow! Plants of the Moment: plants for summer displays and crops

NOVEMBER Get down to earth Plants of the moment: Autumn planting

JUNE Fill your garden with fragrance Plants of the Moment: Scented plants

DECEMBER Plant away the winter blues Plant of the Moment: winter colour


Monthly themed articles will be written by gardening consultant and journalist Adam Pasco.

November 2018 11




The Bransford Webbs Plant Company announced a change in the ownership of the company in order to ensure the security of the business. Will Tooby, the current chairman, whose father established the business, has been keen to secure the future of the company, whilst retaining an interest in a nursery he cares deeply about. By reducing his shareholding, he has taken a partial step away from the business, but remains Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Career Moves


Thompson & Morgan has won another international award for its innovative Sunflower SunBelievable ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. Initial trials of the long-flowering sunflower in Japan have proven hugely successful prior to its launch in the early summer of 2019. The plant was well received at the horticultural industry show, Flower Trial Japan 2018, and was placed second in the Outstanding Performance Award category.



Glee organisers have confirmed that the 2019 event will take place on Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th September. The simple act of moving Glee one day later in the week has been decided upon due to increasing demand from the show’s retail visitors. Visitor trends in recent years have hinted at the popularity of the show days later in the week and following a period of consultation with both suppliers/manufacturers and retail partners the move to a Tuesday-Thursday format has been confirmed.

The Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association has announced that SOLEX organiser Phil Gibbs has left his position as Secretary of the Association after seven years. Mark Osborne, LOFA’s Chairman, said:“We would like to thank Phil for all his endeavours during his time with us and we wish him every success for the future.” With a new look board of Directors, LOFA is exploring new opportunities to enhance the benefits to its members and the UK furniture and outdoor market.

Richard Pyrah, AMES UK Group Sales Director, has announced the promotion of Al Sheppard to the role of Sales Director with responsibility for developing the garden centre channel for all the AMES UK businesses and the appointment of Scott McCabe who has also joined the garden centre team. “Al has been driving garden centre sales alongside me for the last three years, and with over 30 years of experience in the industry, he brings a wealth of expertise to our growing business.”

The Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch has appointed a new Catering Manager. Jeremy Wilson from Ferndown joins a team of 40 full and part time catering staff to manage the popular Coffee Shop within the centre. His 30 years’ experience in catering management has included large restaurants, managing brands for both Whitbread and Mitchells and Butler.


Jackson’s ‘boutique’ Garden Centre in North Wales celebrated 50 years of business this year with fundraising activities and a celebration dinner. Robert Kingham said: “Our centre has been celebrating its 50th Anniversary of the founding of the business by my wife’s parents Stan and Marj Jackson. During all of our 50 years we have been fortunate to have increased our sales year on year, and this year so far has been our best ever.”

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.

12 November 2018


VegTrug Limited has appointed two additional team members to support growth – Rebecca de Winter as Inside Sales Manager, and Petrus Lahm as Sales Representative. Rebecca said “I am looking forward to playing a key part in VegTrug’s expansion in to Europe. We are poised to grow the business successfully and create lasting relationships with customers. I am excited for this new career venture.”


What a difference a year GTN’s Associate Editor Mike Wyatt analyses a turbulent 12 months in the garden centre trade. What a difference a year makes! Since the autumn of 2017, investors in three of the garden industry’s key businesses, have decided to cash in their chips, all for very different reasons. 4Scotts Miracle-Gro pulled out of the UK and Europe in September last year, selling their interests and licensing their marketleading garden care brands to private equity. 4Equity investors Terra Firma finally announced in May that it intended to offload the Wyevale group, the UK’s biggest garden centre chain by far, after a rocky ride and disappointing returns. 4With Gardman, a pivotal supplier of wild birdcare, sundries, tools and garden décor, on the point of collapse following a disastrous re-location and then a catastrophic fire at its new state-of-theart distribution centre, its owners, the Rutland Partners equity group, announced the supplier was seeking a buyer to avert administration. Garden care specialists Westland duly obliged. All three are strategically important to the industry landscape and their survival in one form or another (in WGC’s case, at least the main component parts) is surely something that the majority will want to see. But what lessons will have been learned as new owners shape up for business? The ongoing success of garden retailing over the past 15 years has attracted a steady stream of investment, both from experienced insiders seeking growth and external capital keen to get in on the act. But for some, the truth of the ancient idiom ‘All that glitters is not gold’ has come home to roost with terrifying accuracy. The gardening sector, heavily dominated by talented independent operators, has proved unique in its ability to defy all known laws of retailing. Its seasonality, its vulnerability to the weather and its need for a retail mix in which catering expertise has become almost as important as the gardening offer – has made it a tricky beast for outsiders to tame…unless lessons are learned.

Happier times for Gardman CEO Peter Utting at the new Daventry warehouse before a devastating blaze sent the company into turmoil. Look at Tesco’s long and ultimately unsuccessful flirtation with Dobbies. The seasonal and specialist nature of the garden centre operation refused to dovetail with Tesco’s clinical business model. They eventually took a loss when they sold it to Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital in 2016. When Sir Tom Hunter acquired Wyevale (aka the Garden Centre Group) for £445m in 2006, he had one eye on the ‘grey pound’ but before he could take full advantage, fell foul of the financial crash in 2009 as the group’s debts mounted. In 2012, he sold to Terra Firma group for £276m, which some might feel was a relative bargain. But was it? The Wyevale saga Almost from the outset, Wyevale Garden Centres never looked like plain sailing for Terra Firma, as they shed experienced industry professionals in a stream of management changes that saw them struggle for profitability. That happy balance of market knowledge and experience, retail expertise and strategic nouse didn’t quite

Melbicks was one of the first Wyevale Garden Centres to be sold to the Blue Diamond group.

14 November 2018


materialise – so up went the For Sale sign in early summer. Few believed there was an existing buyer, either here or overseas, with sufficient capital, confidence or will to take on Wyevale Garden Centres as a single entity. It would probably have been ill-advised anyway, especially at a time of economic uncertainty with Brexit on the near horizon. So the break-up of the mighty Wyevale portfolio was as inevitable as the long queue of potential buyers at Terra Firma’s front door. Predictably, the cherry-pickers have been out in force. Two big names – Blue Diamond and Dobbies – have picked up some of most desirable destination centres while other ambitious local entrepreneurs have grabbed the opportunity for growth by sub-suming their local competition or jumping into a booming retail category. Dobbies’ most recent purchase of the plum hot-spot centres of Gloucester, Heighley Gate, Huntingdon, Woodbridge and Woodlands would seem to underline the determination of new CEO Graeme Jenkins to put quality ahead of quantity. There are plenty of other Wyevale sites he could have taken to expand Dobbies’ national reach but he is clearly resisting the urge for world domination that dogged earlier Wyevale regimes. While we haven’t yet learned about the destinies of the remaining 116 Wyevales, we can see that a thick layer of the UK’s best sites are now in the hands of two operators – 30 at Blue Diamond and 39 at Dobbies – squarely targeting ABC1 consumers. So what of the rest? It’s fair to assume that more deals with independents are still to come – with the massive Woodcote Green the most likely – but there is speculation that the way forward might be a buy-out by the current management team backed by equity capital. A slimmed down Wyevale of around 100 smaller centres dedicated to quality and customer service might be seen by the right investor as affordable, do-able – and capable of producing a worthwhile return on a feasible timescale, especially with the remains of Wyevale’s Garden Club wellestablished database to work with. The Gardman outcome Not even Gardman’s biggest competitors would have wished this year’s sequence of events upon them. The re-location from Kings Lynn to Daventry and the logistics switch to DHL and XPO did not go well, creating a distribution hiatus that tested the patience of its customers. Then, that fire, possibly an arson attack…which destroyed the new warehouse along with £20m worth of stock at the height of the Spring season. Mistakes were made – and faced up to – but their misfortunes took hapless Gardman to the edge of the abyss. It’s clear now (although


not made public at the time) that PwC had started the administration process by the time Westland stepped forward as buyers, paying a reported £4m, tightening their grip on more of the core market and the birdcare category with another opportunistic acquisition (Sinclair was the earlier one). Gardman’s value as a key trade supplier with a £60m turnover cannot be overemphasised, but its competitors have undoubtedly benefited from its troubles. With a pledge that it would be “business as normal” during a challenging merger, Westland’s fervent hope is that Gardman’s retail customers will keep their nerve. There is no doubt that it will test their loyalty. We await news of whether Westland intends to continue with Gardman’s re-hired former logistics partner and its move back to Kings Lynn, where many of the firm’s former experienced employees have been taken on. The new status quo in wild birdcare will be the one to alarm Westland’s rivals the most. Having added the market leader to its increasingly successful Peckish offer, the Dungannon supplier now has the category in a strangehold. Retailers will be watching them like a hawk. As for Gardman’s other categories – particularly core gardening and solar lighting – competitors like Tildenet/Bosmere and Smart Garden Products will have their work cut out containing Westland’s distribution advantage. The EverGreen inheritance Despite the steady advance of Westland and the ambitious marketing approaches of SBM (including its re-positioned former Bayer Garden products) and Vitax, the former Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMC) brands now handled under the EverGreen umbrella by Exponent Private Equity are vital ingredients in the mix. The UK’s garden care demographic is changing. Increasingly, the modern consumer – whether younger, novice or old hand – is demanding a more environmentally sensitive approach. The category involves big investment in research and development, and the winners will always be investors with deep pockets and a willingness to spend heavily on consumer promotion. Big bold brands are key to its success. We need them. Overall, it’s been the most momentous year of change in the garden industry since the demise of Solus.


What’s left of the Wyevale Garden Centre portfolio? Leasehold Centre Shenstone Brighton Swansesa Springfield Blooms Rugby Woodlands Croydon Purley Way Cadbury Huntingdon Telford Blooms Gloucester Northampton Bridgemere Royston Lower Morden Blooms Cardiff Ramsgate Barnett Hill Stratford Upon Avon Osterley Lechlade Bournville Bicester Avenue Hereford Harlestone Heath Braintree Thornbury Thatcham Tring Lelant Altrincham Birchencliffe Peter Baratt’s Gosforth Crockford Bridge Dorking Findon Crawley Ongar Hastings Endsleigh Rake Woking Blooms Cheltenham Nailsworth Syon Park Canterbury Chartham Stevenage Potters Bar Upminster Brockworth Harrow Carmarthen Paddock Wood Coventry Blooms Solihull Bolton Blooms Swindon Crowland Stanway Sprowston Elm Court Rayleigh Wimborne West Parley

Correct at time of going to press County Staffordshire East Sussex South Wales Essex Warwickshire Leicestershire

Acres 7.98 3.04 6.03 1.72 17.00 SOLD 17.10

Offers Based on £8,500,000 £7,000,000 £5,250,000 £4,400,000 £4,000,000 £3,400,000


SOLD 2.57


SOLD 5.97 Bristol Cambridgeshire SOLD 20.26 Shropshire 9.47

£2,500,000 £2,200,000 £2,100,000

Gloucestershire SOLD 8.10


Northamptonshire Cheshire Hertfordshire London SOLD South Wales Kent West Midlands

14.35 108.00 10.50 3.08 8.20 4.62 18.04

£1,900,000 £1,700,000 £1,500,000 £1,400,000 £1,300,000 £1,300,000 £1,200,000

West Midlands



London Gloucestershire West Midlands SOLD Oxfordshire Herefordshire Northamptonshire Essex Bristol Berkshire Hertfordshire Cornwall Greater Manchester West Yorkshire

7.00 4.52 1.89 22.00 7.95 6.48 3.90 9.19 8.80 5.75 5.53 4.10 2.20

£1,100,000 £1,100,000 £1,100,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £900,000 £900,000 £900,000 £900,000 £900,000 £900,000

Tyne & Wear



Surrey Surrey West Sussex West Sussex Essex East Sussex Devon Surrey Surrey

SOLD 6.24 6.44 4.00 3.99 6.01 1.12 SOLD 13.84 4.58 3.62

£800,000 £700,000 £700,000 £700,000 £600,000 £600,000 £500,000 £500,000 £500,000




Gloucestershire SOLD 2.84 Middlesex 2.69

£500,000 £500,000




Hertfordshire Hertfordshire London Gloucestershire London South West Wales Kent Warwickshire West Midlands SOLD Greater Manchester Wiltshire Cambridgeshire Essex Norfolk Kent Essex Dorset Dorset

7.80 6.91 6.85 3.75 3.58 3.23 3.20 4.66 7.00 4.40 3.63 8.86 5.87 5.31 3.96 3.24 2.43 2.05

£400,000 £400,000 £400,000 £400,000 £400,000 £400,000 £400,000 £300,000 £250,000 £250,000 £250,000 £200,000 £200,000 £200,000 £200,000 £200,000 £200,000 £200,000

GARDEN CENTRE GROUPS (Table based on number of stores) Oct-18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7= 7= 9= 9=

Jun-18 1 2 4 3 5 6 7= 7= 9 10

Group Wyevale Garden Centres Dobbies Blue Diamond Klondyke Notcutts Squires Hilliers Cherry Lane Hillview British Garden Centres

Outlets 117 39 30 22 18 16 12 12 10 10

Change since June 2018 -28 5 8 1 0 1 0 0 -1 0


Centre Woodcote Green Heighley Gate World’s End Sanders Garden World Woodbridge Codicote Beaconsfield Melbicks Percy Thrower Leicester Rowena Moreton Park Peter Baratt’s Stockton Findern Poppleton Hare Hatch Havant Marple Andover Woburn Sands Hungerford Pennine Swindon Galton Windsor Keston Old Barn Cadnam Tunbridge Wells Winnersh Bury St Edmunds Blooms Worcester Hitchin Marlow Wolseley Bridge Chipperfield Seven Hills Gardenlands John Brown Jack’s Patch Louth World of Pets and Leisure Playhatch Taunton Cheddar Heathlands Pulborough Fair Oak Chilton Binfield Enfield Worthing Ferring Bold Heath Carr Gate Albrighton Hemel Hempstead Shirley Lewes Lower Dicker Podington Wolds View Chichester Sherfield On Loddon Dummer Raglan Blooms Bressingham Leyland Wych Cross Keynsham Tarporley Sudbury Ashford Bude Hamstreet Landford Par Sidmouth Aldridge Hereford Oxford Salisbury Wellingborough

Correct at time of going to press County London Northumberland SOLD Buckinghamshire Somerset

Acres 20.00 49.80 10.90

SOLD 6.00

Offers Based on £35,000,000 £14,000,000 £13,000,000 £12,250,000

Suffolk SOLD Hertfordshire SOLD Buckinghamshire West Midlands SOLD Shropshire SOLD Leicestershire North East Wales

6.27 5.86 5.97 11.61 7.66 6.45 6.64

£11,250,000 £10,000,000 £9,250,000 £9,250,000 £8,500,000 £8,000,000 £8,000,000




Derbyshire North Yorkshire Berkshire Hampshire Greater Manchester Berkshire Buckinghamshire Berkshire West Yorkshire Wiltshire Dorset Berkshire SOLD London Surrey Hampshire Kent Berkshire Suffolk Worcestershire Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire West Midlands Hertfordshire Surrey West Midlands Dorset Devon Lincolnshire Greater SOLD Manchester

5.22 6.80 10.89 5.95 7.10 5.97 9.61 2.67 3.20 3.73 11.07 3.14 3.80 15.53 3.38 20.97 9.20 4.34 17.00 3.54 3.80 7.55 7.94 4.42 22.24 6.01 15.25 4.97

£7,500,000 £7,500,000 £7,250,000 £7,000,000 £7,000,000 £6,500,000 £6,500,000 £6,000,000 £6,000,000 £5,750,000 £5,500,000 £5,500,000 £5,250,000 £5,200,000 £5,000,000 £5,000,000 £5,000,000 £4,600,000 £3,800,000 £3,800,000 £3,800,000 £3,800,000 £3,500,000 £3,500,000 £3,400,000 £3,400,000 £3,100,000 £3,000,000



Berkshire Somerset Somerset Berkshire West Sussex Hampshire Oxfordshire Berkshire London West Sussex Lancashire West Yorkshire West Midlands Hertfordshire SOLD London East Sussex East Sussex Bedfordshire Lincolnshire West Sussex

2.09 4.33 8.85 13.86 21.46 6.20 6.87 4.16 4.90 3.70 2.51 5.31 6.20 6.07 0.90 3.29 4.27 3.31 4.65 7.09

£2,800,000 £2,800,000 £2,700,000 £2,700,000 £2,700,000 £2,600,000 £2,400,000 £2,400,000 £2,300,000 £2,300,000 £2,100,000 £2,100,000 £2,000,000 £2,000,000 £2,000,000 £1,900,000 £1,800,000 £1,800,000 £1,800,000 £1,700,000




Hampshire Monmouthshire Norfolk Lancashire East Sussex Bristol SOLD Cheshire Suffolk SOLD Devon SOLD Cornwall SOLD Kent Wiltshire Cornwall Devon SOLD West Midlands SOLD Herefordshire Oxfordshire SOLD Wiltshire Northamptonshire

2.10 7.42 5.60 4.76 3.82 4.45 5.90 35.68 5.10 5.94 8.80 5.90 5.12 2.61 5.91 7.95 4.87 6.95 5.44

£1,500,000 £1,500,000 £1,400,000 £1,400,000 £1,400,000 £1,300,000 £1,200,000 £1,100,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £900,000 £800,000 £800,000 £800,000 £800,000 £700,000

Source GTN - updated 25-10-18


November 2018 15


How will sale of Gardman affect wild bird sector? Wild bird care has proved a lucrative income stream for garden centres for many years now, interrupted only by changing weather patterns. Although Gardman, who pioneered it as a garden centre retail category, have managed to hold on to market leadership, the catastrophic fire that destroyed their new Daventry warehouse last March started a serious wobble that the acquisition by Westland will set out to steady. GTN Bestsellers EPOS data analysis indicated that 80% of the Top 50 Bestselling Wild Bird Care products (feeds, feeders and accessories) in its GTN Bestsellers charts at this time last year were from Gardman. Post-fire, this dropped to roughly 60%, as competitors moved quickly to fulfil orders that Gardman could not.

The fragmented category is fancied by a growing number of suppliers, but Westland with Peckish, Nature’s Feast and now Gardman is in unchallenged pole position. Figures show that the Peckish brand recorded growth of 45% year on year, thanks to a dedicated campaign to recruit garden centres. From the GTN Bestsellers data we receive from garden centres, Westland and Gardman between them now account for 90% of the volume sales in the current Wild Bird Care Top 50 Bestselling products chart. However, other brands who have ridden on the back of Gardman’s misfortune have undoubtedly seized a sizeable opportunity. There has even been a new player this year – Agros of Austria with its newly-licensed RHS brand of feeds which will be distributed to UK garden centres by Plantworks UK.

Interest in wild life products soars Glee 2018 was Wildlife World’s best yet with a staggering 60 per cent increase in new enquiries. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Wildlife World team wowed garden centre buyers and retailers with its new eye-catching stand. Packed full of innovative products, the larger open-ended stand was laid out by species and showcased Wildlife World’s award-winning British designed and tested wildlife range of products. Buyers were also impressed with the new informative Point of Sale (POS) units. The Wildlife World team works closely with garden centres, retail buyers and merchandising teams to develop new fit-for-purpose point-of-sale (POS) display units which increase awareness of its wildlife portfolio and helps garden centres and retailers to sell more products. Success has included capitalising on existing award-winning ranges such as the Simon King Brushwood Robin Nester, the ever-popular Solitary Bee Hive, the broad range of hedgehog houses, snack bowls and food and a number of new products. New products included The Pollinating Company Bee Nester, Shenstone Theatre Bird Bath & Drinker, Beachcomber Bird Bath, ‘No Plastic’ Stainless Steel Bird Feeders, the innovative Hedgehog Crossing and new flat pack DIY Hedgehog House.

16 November 2018


Marriage’s will have benefited from the decision by Smart Garden Products, whose ChapelWood feeds range they supplied, to pull out of bird food and focus on feeders. Marriages also produce the RSPB range of Wild Bird Feeds. Tom Chambers, Johnston & Jeff, Jacobi Jayne and CJ Wildlife, have all managed to open new garden centre accounts to help retailers fill the ‘Gardman Gap’. The continued increase in popularity of wild life in gardens in general is also opening up opportunities for many other suppliers to swoop into the wild bird care sector. Wildlife World showed an increasing range of bird feeders at Glee and decorative bird feeders featured on many other stands. It’s clear retailers looking for a point of difference now have unparalleled choice in this category.

Award-winning Westland has bold plans for 2019 Westland will continue to invest in communicating with end users to drive increased participation, with a strong media plan for Peckish in 2019, starting in January. That’s the message from Rachael Dickinson, Senior Marketing Manager for Pet & Bird Care at Westland Horticulture Wild Bird Care market is in growth of 7% value, 8.5% Volume (GfK July 17 - June 18), mainly driven by food. For Peckish, there has been a 45% growth year-on-year, making it the fastest growing brand within the bird care market. “A key strategy driving this success has been our commitment to promoting the brand within the garden centre channel, and our pledge to supporting garden centres and independent retailers,” said Rachael, pictured above receiving a Glee New Product Award from GTN director Trevor Pfeiffer. “The purchase of Gardman provides the opportunity to put a greater focus on core gardening by joining together the product strengths in Westland and Crest with those of Gardman. “The growth of wildlife, the increased interest in the outdoor space and the opportunity to re-energise propagation and growing were factors in purchasing the business. “Westland continue to invest in communicating with end users to drive increased participation, with a strong media plan for Peckish in 2019, starting in January. “As part of our educational drive we have enlisted the help of Dr Matthew Brash, a celebrity vet and government advisor at the FERA wildlife research centre. Dr Brash has been providing support, advice and guidance for Westland as well as making appearances at selected pet shops and garden centres which has proven to be a great way of offering extra brand engagement. “We continue to drive innovation in all categories that we operate in, and have some exciting product development in the pipeline for the coming seasons.”


November 2018 17


Let’s work together and make our industry event better VICKY NUTTALL DIRECTOR OF GIMA

Join us at Cultivating Retail, 13th November, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham We’ve all heard the saying ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ and I believe that phrase will never ring truer than at the forthcoming Cultivating Retail conference and dinner. Hosted jointly by ourselves, GIMA, and the HTA, this special one-day event will provide an unrivalled opportunity for retailers, suppliers and growers to come together to discuss those issues within our control that are shaping the future of our industry. We’re a friendly bunch, and it’s surprisingly common place for garden retailers to share best practice and even sales information amongst themselves, so perhaps that’s one of the reasons we continue to thrive as an industry when all around us we hear stories of doom and gloom on the high street. So when we have some challenges ahead of us all, why not come together as an industry to try and sort them out? I appreciate there is always the highly sensitive commercial reality to deal with, but let’s look at the bigger picture, share common knowledge and together we might be even stronger than we are now. That’s why GIMA is working in partnership with the HTA at the upcoming Cultivating Retail event in Nottingham on 13th November. We really do believe that by working as an industry we can help our members to improve their business, which will be to the benefit of all. What to expect The action-packed programme will be hosted by Channel 4 news

18 November 2018

The programme will be hosted by Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman.

presenter, Cathy Newman, whilst the keynote speech will come from consumer and shopping behaviourist, Ken Hughes, in his session entitled ‘Is your supply chain millennial ready?’ Business inspiration will come in the shape of Blue Diamond’s Managing Director, Alan Roper. During his session, Alan will be sharing his thoughts on innovative and experiential retail. With the company slogan of ‘Style, Emotion and Innovation for the Home and Garden’, Alan will use examples from his sites, and will also be talking about the company’s recent acquisitions that have made the industry sit

up and notice. How to improve a seasonal supply chain will be debated during a special panel session, whilst Paul Pegg, an expert from outside the industry, will be joining us to share some insight into how the fresh food sector operates, including a look at some cutting-edge solutions which have been born out of necessity. A big focus of Cultivating Retail will be on the use of plastics, and how the garden retail industry has a responsibility to reduce its own usage. With 95% of consumers agreeing that it’s important for


businesses to design products that have less plastic in, the event will feature a special panel debate where topics such as the recycling of pots and packaging, the introduction of new taupe pots, labelling and the development of alternatives will be discussed. This is set to be a great session thanks to the involvement of the panellists and their willingness to share an open and honest opinion. We’re also excited to confirm that environmental campaigner and charity ambassador, Trewin Restorick, founder of Global Action Plan and founding CEO of Hubbub, will be joining in the discussion. A frequent media commentator on environmental issues, Trewin will use his time on stage to highlight some of the projects used to engage communities and businesses in environmental issues – many of which can be used in a garden centre environment. An event designed to help our members to improve their businesses, we hope that participants will feel more confident to move forwards during a time where outside influences are impacting both the short and long-term future. With a programme of exciting and influential speakers, we are sure the ‘takeaway’ from the event will resonant for some time to come. We look forward to sharing the outcome of the event with the wider industry in due course. 4GIMA is here to hear the thoughts and experiences of its members, and would also love to hear from non-members also. Please share your experiences by emailing info@gima.org.uk

Keynote speaker, consumer and shopping behaviourist Ken Hughes, will be asking ‘Is your supply chain millennial ready?’ Left: Trewin Restorick is founding CEO of Hubbub, a charity that makes environmental issues fun.

It is not too late to join friends and colleagues attending Cultivating Retail – the new one-day Conference and Dinner – for growers, retailers and suppliers, supported by supported by Evergreen Garden Care UK. Organised by HTA and GIMA, this ‘must attend’ event tackling the key issues and opportunities facing the garden retail supply chain takes place on the 13 November at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. A great forum for inspiration, discussion and debate on the industry, in an accessible location with good transport networks, this event represents amazing value – just £295 +VAT for a full conference place for HTA and GIMA members (£199 + VAT for conference only). What are you waiting for! Book your place now at www.hta.org.uk/cultivatingretail


Standing out from the crowd The HTA Marketing Forum took place at Horticulture House, Chilton, in October and aimed to give delegates and insight into the advances in marketing to help them ‘Stand Out from the Crowd’. Key takeaways were: 4Despite 69% saying they shop online to avoid queues, only 3% of Britons say they no longer shop in store and 64% of people still enjoy browsing in store. Anthony Earl, POPAI UK & Ireland. 4Because of the amount of digital advertising customers receive on a day to day basis, it is easy for communications to be missed. Print gives the smaller companies the opportunity to compete with the bigger companies if done properly. Graham Thomas, Eight Days A Week Print Solutions. 4Your consumer will likely care about the environment in some way. Use this to your advantage. Carol Wright, Hozelock. 4Visual merchandising works around key visual principles such as symmetry, alternation, utilising height and creating visual focus points. Sarah Manning, Visual Merchandiser.

November 2018 19


Haskins anticipates welcoming over a million visitors to its four centres across the Christmas period. Across all four centres, Christmas gifts, decorations and trees equate to 8.9% of the overall yearly sales (excluding the restaurant). Lisa Looker, brand director at Haskins, commented: “We have worked hard to ensure we remain on the map as a must-visit Christmas destination. We’ve received great feedback from customers who have visited us already for ‘early bird’ Christmas shopping and we look forward to welcoming plenty more as Christmas draws closer.” A first for this year, customers can take a photo in Haskins’ ‘Selfie Throne’ and share on social media to get in the festive spirit. Buying director Conna Powles said: “We want customers to be able to shop depending on their preferred Christmas theme. We start working on Christmas in December the previous year, so we have had all year to perfect our themes for the festive season.”

Award-winning Tong Garden Centre launched its Christmas season with an evening celebration featuring the Bradford Citadel Salvation Army band. Commercial Director Sharon McNair said there was an overwhelming response from visitors to the centre’s Celebration of Christmas event last year. “It was wonderful to see Tong full of people keen to see the latest Christmas displays and being tempted by our extensive range of inspiring gift ideas to suit all pockets. She added: “In its heyday, people came from miles around to experience the wonder of Tong at Christmas. Over the last three years, the team at Tong has worked hard to recreate the old sparkle and sense of nostalgia and we’re very excited about our plans to deliver a fantastic family Christmas experience again this year.”

Christmas Crackers

Santa will be arriving at Squire’s Garden Centres on unusual forms of transport in November, including a Horse Drawn Carriage, a Vintage Bus, an American Classic Car, a Fire Engine, and even the car “Bumblebee” from The Transformers! Squire’s is also running a Christmas Masterclass, where customers can create a wreath for their front door.

20 November 2018

“Our Christmas trees are the best”, that’s the claim made by Wyevale Garden Centres when the group launched its festive displays at a special showcase event in London. As well as showcasing some of its seasonal houseplant, gift and gardening lines the main feature was the company’s real Christmas trees, which will be marketed in store as The Best Real Trees. “We believe our real Christmas trees are the best, so why go anywhere else!” They proclaim. For the second year Wyevale Garden Centres will be preparing trees to fit in stands, supplying free tree food with every tree and offering free hot chocolate every weekend in December.



New dates for PATS Sandown announced PATS Sandown - which celebrated its 10th show earlier this year - is entering an exciting new era with news that it will be moving to a new date in 2019. The two-day pet trade exhibition will now be held on Sunday, February 10th, and Monday, February 11th, again at Sandown Park, Surrey. The new dates mean that PATS Sandown will be the first major pet exhibition of the year and avoids the busy March show period. For the first time, PATS Sandown will be held on a Sunday and Monday, days of the week that have a proven track record of success for the Telford show. PATS Sandown organiser Gordon Thomas said: “We are delighted to announce brand new show dates for PATS Sandown in 2019. “After extensive research amongst our buyers, we are altering the open days to a Sunday and Monday. This will offer PATS exhibitors a broader range of visitors and align Sandown with the Telford open days. “The new show dates will allow exhibitors to launch their new products to the trade at PATS Sandown, thereby making certain that retailers stock their products in time for consumers at Crufts. It will also avoid any clash with international shows. “The new show dates are just one of our exciting initiatives to continually refresh PATS, which is The UK’s pet retail show brand.” 4For more information and list of exhibitors visit www.patshow.co.uk

Norfolk Industries wins second trade show award Norfolk Industries for Disabled People have won ‘Best New Product’ award at the UK’s premier pet trade event, PATS Telford. The award was given for their recently developed, plastic-free range of products which are designed to address the issues around plastics in our waste system and world environment. The environmentally-friendly nature of this product won over the judges who liked the fact that it was recyclable and said it was well-packaged and a perfectly-sized item for the shelf. This is the second product award Norfolk Industries have received this year, having scooped a ‘Best New Product’ for their innovative small animal house at PATS Sandown in March. Norfolk Industries factory manager, Sharon Tooke, said: “It is just a wonderful achievement to now win a second award this year for the development of our new products. We try to develop new products, specifically taking our staff and the

abilities of people on work placements into consideration, as any item needs to be relatively uncomplicated to produce. “To then gain awards for these products from the judges on their merits to the pet sector is a dream come true! “It is hoped that this award will raise the profile of Norfolk Industries across the country, and ultimately any business growth created by the award and our attendance at PATS will directly contribute to the employment of people with disabilities or the


provision of work placements to those who wish to get closer to employment but need support to do so.”

For more information email Sharon at sharon.tooke@independencematters.org.uk or visit www.norfolkindustries.co.uk

November 2018 21

Profile for Garden Trade News

GTN November 2018  

GTN November 2018