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gtn Adviice & informa ation for gard den centre professionalss



Vitax feeds demand for organic

Vittax is brin nging the ‘feel-go ood’ fa acto or to gardening into o 202 21 by launching a ne ew org ganic range in re esponse to gardenerss’ demand d fo or prod ducts which are enviironme enta ally-friendly. Ove er the e pastt few yearrs both new and experience ed gardene ers have been looking for alterrna ative e feeds which are natural, but still pack a punch. Vitax has invested in a ne ew range to meet that demand d by y using 100% natural, plantbased ingredients. Both feeds are child, pet and bee friendlly, an nd are ideal fo or vegan n gard den ning. anic All Purp pose Pllant Fo ood Vitax Orga and Vitax Organ nic Tom mato Food d are se et to supercharge gardenss ne ext spring with organic goodness. Vitax Organic All Purp pose Plant Fo ood has all the growing powerr need ded to o bring gardens to life e and d is com mpletely versatile. Rich in organic nutrientss, this concentratted plant food ca an be used all around the garde en and gre eenho ouse e - an n eassy option for ga ardeners lookiing for a goo od alll-rround feed. For use with flowers, shrrubs, fruiits and ve egetables, it ca an be used to feed plants from spring g onward ds to o he elp produce masses of flowers with h ey ye-popping colour and bigger and be etter vegetabless. Joining the new all-purp pose fee ed is Vitax Organiic Tomato Food d. This super con ncentrrate ed feed d includes nutrien nts, su uch h as magn nesium m, essenttial fo or tomato plant enerrgy. A high potash h fertiliser, Vittax Organic Tomato Food ben nefits from iron an nd naturally y present trace elemen nts to delive er an

abundance of the juiciiest, tasttiest tomatoes. Both h Vitax Organic All Purpos se Fo ood and Vitax Organic Tomato o Food are e avaiilable to order now ready for the new seasson.

Ready for 2021

Vitax’s sales representatives are raring to go and ready to talk or meet with customers to guide them through what’s new in the 2021 brochure. Featuring all the new products for 2021, it also contains gardeners’ favourite brands such as Q4, 6X, Slug Gone, SBK and Nippon. In addition to the new organic range, Vitax has added a general-use Insect Killer to its Nippon brand as well as Slug Traps. Nippon Insect Killer is a ‘one-stop’ pest controller and must-have for households. Taking total control of infestations, it will stop flies, wasps, mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants and more. To combat the year-round problem of slugs, Vitax has launched Vitax Slug Traps. Containing two traps, Vitax Slug Traps are easy to use and ideal for organic gardening, plus they can be used time and time again. The new brochure is available from your sales representative, or to request a free copy email: marketing@vitax.co.uk

gtn Adviice & infformattion for garden centre professionals



The Cultivation Street Magnificent Seven


New Gardeners HTA


More gardening was done in lockdown,

had success with what they did and 89% said they would do the same or more next year

77% agreed

Millennials spent on average

1 million

Squires Garden Centres

Westland Horticulture

92% said their gardens and

outdoor spaces were ‘extremely important’ to them during lockdown in terms of health and wellbeing RHS


families fell in love with gardening during lockdown

£213 on their outdoor space


since mid-March LV Insurance

Gardening was a lifesaver in lockdown,

spent on gardening since the start of lockdown American Express

93% agreed Squires Garden Centres

Glee New Product Awards 2020 The Winners

2.2 million

New Gardeners who have never gardened before Westland Horticulture

Soil cultivation


ONE HANDLE over 80 year round uses

Winter tools For more information about the GARDENA range, please speak to your local GARDENA Sales Agent, or contact Edward.Cantle@husqvarnagroup.com


Lawn care


Serious opportunity or flash in the pan? The number of new gardeners there are this year is still up for debate and the jury is definitely out on whether they will remain as new gardeners going forward. But when you read through all of the consumer research carried out this summer that we’ve included in this issue and then underlay that with the shift in actual sales this year it’s hard not to imagine that there is the biggest opportunity our industry has ever had to grow over the coming years. Until now the increased demand, driven by people needing to use their outside space more than ever before, has been met by firefighting on all fronts: getting garden centres back open, suppliers fighting to create sufficient stock and retailers doing their best to keep shelves stocked to match the unprecedented demand. Now, however comes the more challenging task. How do we make sure those New

In this issue

Vitax Organics Launch Front Cover Cultivation Street’s Magnificent Seven 6 Glee New Products 2020 – The Winners 10 Evergreen Garden Care’s Perfect Store & Perfect Yard 18 The New Gardening Consumer 20 HTA Consumer Research 20 You Gov & Centre for Economics and Business Research 21 American Express Research 21 LV General Insurance Survey 22 RHS Advice Analysis 23

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Garden Trade News Potting Shed Press Ltd Dairy Drove Thorney Peterborough PE6 0TX Tel 01733 775700 www.gardentradenews.co.uk Gardeners continue to get success from the enjoyment of their outside space as life eventually gets back to normal? If New Gardeners dabbled in some growing activity this year with any level of success, from their point of view, how will we help them take that onto the next level and get even more success next year? And what about all the children, who for the first time in several generations, grew veg and flowers in the garden with their parents? How do we make sure they keep the bug and fuel our industry for many years to come? In our opinion, garden centres have a huge opportunity to be at the forefront of driving gardening success. Where better to get advice and help from someone you can go back too, time and time again, and at the same time buy all of the plants, products and decorative items you need to really get the most from their garden. If we were back in 2015 we’d be lauding the Garden Industry Marketing Board’s Love The Plot You’ve Got campaign. Now is the time for us as an industry to make sure the love for the garden that has been ignited this year gets fanned into a long, slow burning, adoration for growing and enjoying the plots they’ve got.

THE GTN TEAM Editor Trevor Pfeiffer trevor@pottingshedpress.co.uk Associate Editor Mike Wyatt mike@pottingshedpress.co.uk Digital Editor Neil Pope neil@pottingshedpress.co.uk Advertising Sales Alan Burdon Alan@pottingshedpress.co.uk Subscriptions Karen Pfeiffer karen@pottingshedpress.co.uk Design & Production AT Graphics Ltd www.atgraphicsuk.com Kirsty Craner – Design Alun Jones – Production Manager Robert Tipping – Managing Director James Tipping – Technical Director Printing CG Print Ltd Do you qualify for a copy of GTN?

If you’d like to be added to the GTN distribution list, please send your details to Karen@pottingshedpress. co.uk to see if you qualify to be included. Alternatively, if you prefer your Garden Trade News digitally, sign up for GTN Xtra, our weekly e-mail newsetter at www.gardentradenews.co.uk And, if you want the fastest garden centre sales analysis, take out a subscription to GTN Bestsellers our printed weekly sales data newsletter. For just £145.00 per year you get Top 50 sales charts created from weekly garden centre epos data. Contact trevor@pottingshedpress.co.uk for more details and to subscribe.

Potting Shed Press Ltd

Garden Trade News is published by Potting Shed Press Ltd who also publish: GTN Bestsellers, GTN Xtra, Glee Daily News and the Glee Catalogue, and the Solex Sun. Potting Shed Press also supply Garden Radio to over 100 garden centres across the country.

Squires Customer Survey Westland Consumer Research Evergreen Garden Care Autumn Campaign Suttons Mail Order Stats Flymo Digital Campaign National Gardens Scheme Report GTN Bestsellers Analysis HTA Column GIMA Column


24 27 27 28 28 28 30 32 34

Director Trevor Pfeiffer SMALL PRINT: All material [copyright symbol] Potting Shed Press Ltd 2020. No part of this publication may e reproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the express permission of the publishers. The information supplied 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 vent of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cassation of the trade of any company, individual or firm mentioned, is hereby excluded.

October 2020 5


The Magnificent Seven

Here are the magnificent seven Cultivation Street Ambassador winners for 2020. This year’s Cultivation Street ,sponsored by Miracle-Gro, competition has shared some of the most moving stories about how children, communities and individuals who are gardening for better health have found the power of plants and nature to be a positive force to get through the pandemic. Garden centres have played a phenomenal part in helping people to get involved with gardening. They have helped online, with home deliveries or by reaching out to people local to their businesses, providing kindness and support when needed. Here are the magnificent seven Cultivation Street Ambassador winners for 2020. These Ambassadors have gone above and beyond for children, vulnerable people, and their communities and surrounding areas. These seven garden centre members of staff are not only a credit to their employers but a credit to our whole retail sector.

6 October 2020

This year’s Ambassador of the Year winner is Zoe Stanmore of Dobbies, Southport. Zoe supports a large number of local organisations. In her own time, she also runs a community garden and kids gardening club which has been a success since it started 13 years ago. She has helped hundreds of adults and children within her community to get into gardening. This year Zoe started working with a national Charity called Cradle, who help people who have been affected by early pregnancy loss. She donated sunflower seeds and started to plant a therapy garden. Second place went to Matt Lewis of The Old Railway Garden Centre in Breacon. Matt has worked at the garden centre for over 14 years. He hosts a number of free craft workshops and educational gardening activities for children and also offers free


gardening talks and workshops throughout the year for adults. A few years ago, Matt introduced a children’s club called ‘Little Oaks’ which now has over 800 members. Toni Middleton of Haskins, Snowhill, came in at third place. Toni supports 4 local primary schools, a nursery, a young adult community college and a residential home for vulnerable young adults. Toni’s ventures involve working with vulnerable members in the local area with their projects to better the community. Receiving a highly commended prize for the third-year running was Sophie Menjou of Haskins, West End. Sophie is passionate about helping with community gardening projects and getting children engaged with nature - all of which she does outside her customer service role. Gary Bissett was our 2019 Ambassador of


the year and we’re very glad he entered again this year. Gary has been working with 8 local nursery schools, teaching them how to sow seeds to grow sunflowers, peas, and beans, encouraging and educating the children on the importance of growing plants for the environment. Many of the schools he works with require help with recycling, sustainability, eco-school projects and sensory gardens. Simon Haines of Sunshine Garden Centre in London has links with many different organisations in the community. His interaction with them has had a hugely positive impact through supporting projects with horticultural input, donations, talks and advice. Simon delivers talks in schools, promoting plants to help with children’s cognitive performance by increasing oxygen levels in the atmosphere. Louise Canfield of Aylett Nurseries in

St Albans has been known to donate her Cultivation Street winnings to buying gardening products for schools and local communities in need. The communities turn to Louise when they have lost funding or are starting new projects and she helps get them back on track after setbacks with her useful advice and contacts. Through donations, Louise has donated over 5,000 packets of seeds to projects in her local area. This year especially, it really shone through that behind every great garden is a great garden centre. Many of the entries highlighted the relationships between the communities and their local garden centre, detailing how they have helped with advice and support, even during lockdown. Include Me 2 – Allotment Angels, this year’s winner of Gardens for Better Health


work closely with Dobbies Garden Centre in Glasgow and this allotment is a testament to the relationship they have built. The garden is used to grow over 40 different types of herbs, fruit, and vegetables including many unusual and exotic vegetables such as Kohl Rabi, cucamelon, callaloo, among others. The array of produce is the largest we’ve seen at Cultivation Street. With this large mix of produce, the team have broken the boundaries of what can be achieved within raised beds and borders, with the right soil and garden care for crops to flourish. Even more impressive is that these crops are grown in the not so exotic climate of Scotland. Susan Wilson, head volunteer told us how difficult it can be to maintain these types of vegetables, especially in cold weather. Dobbie’s Garden Centre Ambassador, Hugh, has been their go-to expert for guidance and he has helped them to develop their allotment from rubble to a growing paradise in just over 2 years. One of our 2020 school winners, Damers First School, told us about their relationship with Pondbury Garden Centre in Dorset. Inspiring our little growers is such an important job and we know that so many of our ambassadors run workshops as well as regular visits to local schools to encourage and inspire children to get involved into gardening. In this technologydependent age, there are many things to distract children, but we love the huge efforts of garden centres and teachers to educate children. Damers First School has a huge focus on wildlife and with their ambassadors’ guidance, the school has managed to plant the perfect wildflower meadow to attract as many pollinators as possible. The ambassadors also gave plenty of advice on how to attract wildlife to their pond and how to make it accessible as well as providing them with knowledge of water plants like bull rushes, marsh woundwort and water lilies. Overall, the 8th year of Cultivation Street has been a triumph and the entries have once again shown the positive impact of gardening and how communities can come together to support one another. The entries of ambassadors never fail to highlight the inspiring nature of those members of staff that go the extra mile outside of their work to help others, by spreading knowledge, advice, and joy about the power of gardening.

October 2020 7

GETREADY! BE READY! NEW HORIZON LEADING THE WAY IN PEAT FREE New Horizon keeps on setting new standards in peat-free compost. Its unique blend enriched with Bio3 is delivering market leading results both in sales growth and consumer results. New Horizon performance and position is benefitting from Westland’s ongoing commitment never to use ‘green waste’ and focus on in-house developments.

VISIT OUR NEWLY DESIGNED PETERBOROUGH SHOWROOM Our research shows that consumers are more engaged than ever before with core gardening. Not only were there 2.2m new gardeners, but 73% of gardeners spent more than usual, and prospects are strong with 89% of gardeners planning to do the same in 2021. We are focussed on delivering green growth in 8 key categories.

£1.5m Investment

To continue to drive New Horizon, Westland will be reaching over 20 million homes and investing over £1.5 million in a multimedia campaign in 2021. This includes TV in a advertising during Easter and the May Bank Holiday period. The campaign will invite consumers to ‘Join the Greatest Grow on Earth’ and make the switch to peat-free.



growing success

Restoring nature’s balance Organic gardening is gaining traction rapidly. formulations with natural extracts so gardeners Today, 67% of gardeners consider themselves can tackle pest & disease confidently. to be eco-conscious and 3 in every 4 people The new range consist of 3 new products avoid using chemicals in their gardens. that deliver high efficacy levels against pest & Westland’s all new Growing Success “Safer disease without harming beneficial insects like Garden” range has developed organic bees or ladybirds. The clever formulations also build the plants defence mechanism to be able to withstand future attacks. Fungus Stop uses natural conifer extracts to help treat mildew, alternaria, leaf spot, fruit scab and rust on fruit, vegetables and flowers. With the rose market growing 9% year on year, Rose Guard is set to be a success and the organic option to keep roses in top condition. Finally, Bug Stop contains natural citrus extract and an emulsifier to help combat pest like whitefly, greenfly, spider mites and many others on all crops without harvest interval so gardeners can enjoy their own grown immediately after treatment.

Slug Stop barrier pellets have been proven to protect both treated and neighbouring plants, as slugs stop feeding completely. Keeping their shape in wet conditions, these pesticide-free, child and pet safe pellets ensure slugs and snails stay at bay.

Growing Success Slug Killer Advanced contains Ferric Phosphate. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

Television oct-nov

PECKISH ON TV T £1.1m Westland is driving category growth by investing £1.1m into the Peckish bird care brand, as it soars onto the airwaves with a TV campaign that celebrates the joy of inviting birds into the garden.


Supported by targeted press and digital media activity, the Peckish campaign will take flight across the UK and Ireland throughout October and November. The popular Peckish TV ad, set to reach over 25m people, has been updated for 2020 and brings to life the enjoyment of encouraging more birds into the garden.





The Peckish Natural Balance range helps give birds the nutrients they need throughout the year. Designed with the environment and nature aware consumer in mind, Peckish Natural Balance is made from sustainable packaging, meaning zero single use plastic. With the pleasure that feeding birds brings, there is a lot to feel good about with Peckish Natural Balance!



GARDMAN – Leading Growth

Founded over 27 years ago, Gardman is the UK’s No. 1 wild bird care brand. Our work with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) gives scientific insight and research that supports the development of our range of bird food and accessories.

These insights, development and packaging has put Gardman at the forefront of helping grow bird populations in the UK.

increased WILD BIRD numbers since 1970...




Consumer Trends & Gardman

The food we put out for birds has changed dramatically over the last 4 decades. Before 1980, people typically put out a small number of foods for birds, often kitchen scraps on homemade bird tables. Since then, many more kinds of bird food have become available and a variety of food means a variety of birds. Birds that were rarely spotted in gardens 40 years ago are now Seed mixes were much more common. Over the 40-year first advertised period, 133 species were recorded at garden feeders – over half of all British bird species.


1987 1991 Fat Balls introduced

Black Sunflower Seeds introduced


Sunflower Hearts and Nyjer Seed introduced


Huge range of straights & speciality food available


Glee New Products 2020 – The winners It was Glee - but not as we know it, Jim. The virtual Glee Gathering was a bold and innovative attempt to overcome the limitations imposed on us by the pandemic but few would disagree that, for buyers and sellers, there’s nothing like face-to-face negotiation. However, technology creates opportunities to experiment - and the Glee Gathering proved that, even without a physical exhibition, the garden industry retains an immense appetite for participation and collaboration. Staging the New Product Awards in a digital format was always going to be extraordinarily challenging. It created a mountain of work for the IT and presentation teams - but it happened nevertheless, and the result drew plenty of plaudits from participants and buyers alike. With GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer in the chair, shortlisted products in the 11 Glee New Product Awards categories were pitched live to the judges in two-minute slots on both days

10 October 2020

of the Glee Gathering. Pitches came in from around the world, including USA, Canada and Finland, making it a truly global event. This year’s judging panel comprised: Andy Bunker - Alton Garden Centre; Roger Crookes - garden centre consultant; Nicola Pugh Pughs Garden Centres; Tom Grinell - Blue Diamond Garden Centres; Mel Livingstone - Fron Goch Garden Centre; and Ian Hodgson Garden News. Mark Pitman, general manager of Wildlife World, who won the Best Bird and Wildlife Care Award for their Hedgehog Barn, was among the participants who were impressed by the format. “The virtual Glee awards were well managed, well hosted and great fun to be a part of,” he said. “We were of course, disappointed that Glee could not physically go ahead, but the award process focussed us on presenting to the judging team in a way that really picked up on the benefits of the product and its appeal to the consumer. The shortlisting process and live presenting was great to be a part of and to be amongst some


fantastic contenders for the awards.” Zest4Leisure was this year’s most fêted participant, triumphing in three categories and winning the overall Best New Product Award for their 3-Tier Stackable Raised Bed. Woodlodge took two honours.

The winners • Garden Decoration (garden ornaments, garden lighting, plant supports, wall art etc) Peppa Pig & Friends Metal Garden Ornaments - Primus • Best of British Award Peppa Pig & Friends Metal Garden Ornaments - Primus Following a successful run from its Shaun the Sheep licensed products Primus decided to expand its licensing portfolio. When Steve Perry, head of marketing, pitched a proposal to the licensing agency to base a range of home and garden ornament on its ever popular Peppa Pig characters, a deal quickly followed. After a lengthy development stage,


the final products have received enthusiastic feedback from the market. Zahara Gul, Licensing Category Manager at Hasbro, explained that “gardening is a huge theme in Peppa Pig and we are always looking to find new ways to bring the brand to life for our audiences. I love the final products and I can’t wait to see Peppa and her friends in gardens across the UK. The show is very much about first experiences so I am looking forward to working with Primus to extend the garden offering to get kids involved with nature.” Primus says the response from the trade has been the best they have ever had for a new product collection launch. “We knew Peppa Pig would be popular but we doubled our initial order quantity purely from the demand generated by our preorder catalogue,” Steve said. “We know our

retailers’ customers are going to love these ornaments, as well as the 200+ other new products for the 2021 season. The unexpected hit has been the Prehistoric Garden Dinosaur collection. We loved them from the start but we were unsure what the reaction would be from the trade. Being shortlisted for best new product at the Glee Gathering 2020 and with the volume of pre-orders coming in we are glad everyone likes them as much as we do! Since winning the awards, Primus has seen a real spike in pre-orders. “It’s been a turbulent year for everyone but we haven’t let that hold us back for our 2021 plans. We were really disappointed the live event couldn’t go ahead but happy that the Glee Gathering was made available to regular exhibitors like us. To get two nominations for Best Garden Ornament in the final five was exciting – this was a first for us. Competition was higher than ever and to win with our Peppa Pig Garden Ornaments was really pleasing. A lot of hard work has gone into getting the best new products to market next year, so to have a second award for Best British Product was the icing on the cake. • Garden Home, Giftware and Clothing Family of Indoor Pot Covers - Woodlodge The Woodlodge Family of Indoor Pot Covers was a hit with all the Glee New Product Awards judges with a unanimous verdict that they should become Bestsellers and that further additions to the range would be welcome too. Woodlodges’ Tara Truman, who pitched the pot covers and the Perched Bird Feeder Stake


• Garden Tools & Machinery (hand and powered garden tools, garden gloves, garden kneelers etc) Gardena Leaf and Grass Collector - Husqvarna UK Leaf collection – besides weed control – is one of the most unloved garden activities in autumn, but it is also a key requirement for maintaining a healthy lawn. Existing solutions like rakes are not back friendly, while leaf blowers are often noisy and not environmentally friendly. With this in mind, Gardena has launched its Leaf and Lawn Collector. It’s perfect for tidying larger gardens, removing fallen leaves on the lawn, on pathways or the driveway quickly and easily. Gardena’s Field Sales Manager, Edward Cantle, told GTN: “Trade response has been really positive. Sales have been solid as part of our large Autumn Offer”. to the judges told GTN: “OMG, So happy we won. We have all had a Peroni to celebrate our first ever Glee New Product Award wins! Thank you for organising, it was good fun!” • Garden Retail & Industry Services FUSE Mobile Loyalty App - Swan Retail Swan Retail’s FUSE fully integrated customer engagement application brings the app game to every size of player with seamless integration, flexibility and creativity. It opens a previously difficult-to-access channel for retailers to engage with their customers, build their brand, inspire loyalty and drive sales – and it’s quick and easy to set up so you can start to build and grow your customer engagement immediately. The speed and simplicity of the content management console means anyone can create with confidence, whether they have used social

October 2020 11


• Garden Wild Bird and Wildlife Products (wild bird feeds, feeders, wild life products etc) - joint winners The Hedgehog Barn - Wildlife World & Perched Bird Feeder Stake Woodlodge Products This Wildlife World Hedgehog Barn is a stylishly-designed hedgehog house made from FSC-certified timber. The unique design features an innovative extending porch that helps prevent access by predators and makes it easier to clean and store, and a rear opening hatch for thorough cleaning or inspection. The unit was designed to meet the needs of hedgehogs in the smallest smallest possible footprint, reducing the space required for transport and thus its carbon footprint. Wildlife World’s general manager Mark Pitman tells us the product was also developed with the growing gift market in mind. “We developed a range of bird feeders, butterfly house and bee barn under the ‘Barn’ range umbrella, and the hedgehog barn was the next logical step,” he said. “We already sell a number of hedgehog habitats, either made from brushwood, or recycled plastics and FSC timber, but this is the first completely made from FSC timber, and water based paint that has a more stylish design element to it.” Mark says orders so far suggest the product will be a winner, “echoed by the hedgehogs in my own garden who visited the Barn the first night I installed it.”

media before or not, saving on outsourcing costs. The need for retailers to be more than just their physical stores is growing and FUSE can enable moves towards experiential trends and building an augmented brand. Key features include: • Build and theme a business app • Customise with your branding • Scale up only when you need to • Deploy to iOS & Android • Deliver engaging content through the app feed • Segment, target and deliver content based on purchase data • Display real-time loyalty points and loyalty account balances • Wrap and enhance a mobile website • Harness the power of push notifications • Drive footfall, sales, traffic and conversion • Garden Growing Containers (all pots, planters, hanging baskets etc) 3 Tier Stackable Raised Bed - Zest 4 Leisure • Garden Leisure & Entertaining (BBQ’s, garden furniture and accessories etc) Burghley Arbour - Zest 4 Leisure • Garden Landscaping (Paving, statuary, garden buildings etc) - joint winner Cherry Blossom Arch - Zest 4 Leisure • Best New Product Overall at Glee 2020 3 Tier Stackable Raised Bed - Zest 4 Leisure Outdoor garden furniture, products and decorative garden structure specialist, Zest 4 Leisure enjoyed a triple category triumph in the Glee Gathering New Product Awards, as well as winning best overall new product at Glee 2020 for its Three Tier Stackable Raised Bed. While Zest 4 Leisure was winning accolades for individual new products, it was also taking part in the Glee Gathering for the opportunity to gauge the garden retail trade’s response to a new concept in product design – ‘easy build’.


Based on research with the end customer, the idea is not only insightful but timely. With gardens more important than ever before – and online sales a rapidly expanding part of garden retail – ‘easy build’ is all about making decorative garden structures, outdoor seating and dining and GYO products as simple and intuitive as possible, by designing ease of build into the product from the start. The idea is to enable customers to enjoy the benefits of natural wood products and the sense of wellbeing they bring to a garden in an easily achievable and straightforward manner. It uses DFMA (Designed for Manufacture and Assembly) principles, which means in effect fewer components, more easily put together. Zest 4 Leisure is currently working in collaboration with Cardiff Metropolitan University, using a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to embed advanced design, end-customer-focused design practices and manufacturing and assembly processes within the business. Zest’s new products for 2021 – and there are more than 20 of them - are designed not only for

October 2020 13

GLEE NEW PRODUCT AWARDS 2020 style and function, taking account of the latest consumer trends, but also to ensure an easier sell for the retailer and products that appeal to anyone keen to improve their outdoor space. Both Zest 4 Leisure’s Three Tier Stackable Raised Bed, which won Best In Show and its Burghley Arbour which won the Garden Leisure & Entertaining category were designed using the ‘easy build’ principle. The Three Tier Stackable Raised Bed is perfect for the GYO enthusiast wanting the ultimate in convenience and flexibility. It is a set of three raised beds which can be laid out separately or stacked for deeper tiered planting as required in whichever format the gardener chooses, and there is virtually no set up work involved. The individual beds are joined with galvanised metal hinges, so that the product simply unfolds, making it easy to set up or reconfigure as separate, stepped or pyramid-effect planting space. Likewise the Burghley Arbour, with its extra deep canopy, had a rapturous reception from the judges, not only because it is stylish and provides additional shelter to extend the time spent in the garden, but also because its construction is so straightforward. Many other new products, such as the slightly smaller Tenby Arbour and the gorgeous Charlotte range of dining sets and garden benches in a rich dark brown colour, are also based on the ‘easy build’ concept. Simon Davison, head of commercial

Zest Celebrate on #FloralFriday development at Zest 4 Leisure, said: “Not only was winning the Glee New Product Awards fantastic, but we have also had a superb reaction from the garden retail trade. Both existing and prospective customers gave us great feedback on the new 2021 products in themselves, and on just how much they tap into garden trends like leisure and GYO, but also on the ‘easy build’ concept as well. So much so that we are now adopting the ‘easy build’ principle within our design process generally and applying it wherever it’s appropriate .” Joint winner in the Garden Landscaping category, the Cherry Blossom Arch is inspired by Japanese architecture and beautifully crafted to bring an oriental feel to the garden. Functional and elegant, it is absolutely on trend. Made from FSC certified timber, the arch incorporates a square trellis for climbing

plants, making it both a feature and a delightful divider between different areas of the garden. “The reaction Zest 4 Leisure received at the Glee Gathering has really justified the considerable amount of effort the whole company put into new product development this year,” Simon added. “With the success of ‘easy build’ and the appeal of individual products, we know we are on to a winner for 2021. The whole team is looking forward to supporting new and existing customers in selling these really popular designs.” MD Steve Morgan added: “I’m very proud of all the new products that the company launched at the Glee Gathering this year, but the New Product Award winners are three of my favourites, as they are focussed on style, comfort and convenience. “With Glee being virtual this year, it really worked for Zest because we have products that really show themselves to advantage in the product videos we do. Whether it’s lifestyle video communicating the joy that Zest products bring to people’s lives and experience or ‘how-to’ footage, at Zest we really know how to communicate in a virtual setting. Plus of course the Zest team has been having virtual meetings with customers since April, so we feel very at ease in that environment. “We met customers; we were able to share all our virtual resources with them to help them make informed decisions; and

Designed for the novice gardener; the Award winning Vegetable & Seed Growing Kit and Potato Growing Kit

2kg Carripacks

Taster Packs

• Over 70 varieties of seed potatoes • 2kg Carripacks in colour coded design • The original and market leading seed potato “Taster pack” • December delivery available for early sales opportunities • 40 varieties of grow-your-own vegetable packs of onion sets, shallots, garlic, asparagus, rhubarb, artichoke, horseradish, oca and strawberries Contact: O.A.Taylor & Sons Bulbs Ltd Washway House Farm, Washway Road, Holbeach, Spalding, Lincolnshire. PE12 7PP

14 October 2020


Tel: 01406 422266 Email: Sales@taylors-bulbs.com


we enjoyed the opportunity to see what else is happening in our industry. The Glee Gathering has been a great experience.” The company’s comprehensive series of ‘how-to’ and animated product assembly videos are all accessible on YouTube. To find out more information and to view lifestyle videos of winning products, contact the Zest 4 Leisure sales team on sales@zest4leisure. co.uk or visit www.zest4leisure.co.uk. • Garden Landscaping (Paving, statuary, garden buildings etc) - joint winner Railroad Stepping Stone – Primeur Primeur is leading the charge for sustainable material usage, with recycled rubber its ‘weapon’

of choice. The company’s multi-award-winning Eco Ga arden range – made up of self-watering Tierra Ve erde planters, stepping-stones, garden borders an nd decking tiles – has been saving tonnes of rubber tyres from reaching landfill where they’d take upwards of 80 years to decompose. This year the company has tapped into estselling consumer trends and adapted the be co ollection to include more grey designs which is very in vogue for both interior and exterior dé écor. The Railroad Tie stepping-stone (25 x6 60cm) is one such example. Primeur’s Jenny Douthwaite said: “Grey is the must-have colour in UK homes and gardens. Previously, our top-selling Railroad Tie stepping stone was only available in Earth, so adding a grey option for the new season will help gardeners to ‘get the look’ while doing their bit to help divert materials from landfill by putting recycled rubber to great use in the garden. “As with the entire recycled rubber collection, the new grey Railroad Tie steppingstone has been engineered for all-season durability – recycled rubber garden products are mould and mildew resistant, non-toxic and they won’t fade, stain or rot. Plus, they’re easy to install as the stones are virtually indestructible and will not crack.” Jenny says Primeur is delighted with the positive response to its latest product innovations, particularly the new Railroad Stepping-Stone in grey. “We’ve invested hugely into our Eco Garden

range which the Railroad Tie forms part of, so to see our hard work being recognised by the industry is a great moment for us at Primeur. We firmly believe in the power of product ranges which highlight eco-friendly credentials and help consumers to make more sustainable purchasing decisions, decisions which we predict will drive consumer spend in the coming seasons as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic inspires more people not just to garden, but to protect the world around them. We’ve no doubt that this latest Glee New Product award win will help to drive sales of our Railroad Tile, as well as the wider Eco Garden range of recycled rubber planters, stepping stones and garden borders, and are looking forward to working with our retail customers to increase sales of this multi-award winning collection throughout 2021.” Jenny confirmed that Glee was an important part of Primeur’s annual strategy for keeping in touch and networking, showcasing new product development and helping retail customers better understand the successes of the season through sales and trends data. “Whilst we were unable to come together at the NEC, we believe there was real value to holding the virtual Glee Gathering. The event enabled the industry to share our experiences, showcase new products and network with buyers. We got a lot out of the event and are so pleased to also be walking away with our third consecutive Glee New Product award.”

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October 2020 15


• Garden Growing Materials (Feeds, pest & weed control, growing media, cloches, seed trays etc) Miracle-Gro & Levington Peat Free Range – Evergreen Garden Care Mark Portman, Evergreen Garden Care’s MD for UK and Ireland, told GTN: “As a team, we were delighted to win the award for our peat-free growing media. This is in • Garden Plants, Seeds and Bulbs Vegetable & Seed Growing Kit – Taylors Bulbs As a result of the interest in home-grown produce during the lockdown period, Taylors identified the need to remove some of the choice for the novice from what can be a bewildering Grow-Your-Own range and help them to buy simple solutions of seeds and bulb/tuber grown vegetables in handy kits. The Vegetable & Seed Growing Kit contains a broad range of easy to grow favourites including onions, garlic, seed potatoes as well as lettuce, courgettes and tomatoes. The Seed Potato Growing Kit contains three varieties of seed potato with a potato growing bag for each variety, perfect for the smaller garden, patio or even balcony. Both kits are packaged in attractive crate style packs, and with an SRP of only £9.99 they are an ideal impulse purchase product. Md Adam Taylor says interest in the kits from trade buyers has been keen. “We know people are looking to shop quickly and efficiently and so kits such as these are being encouraged,” he said. “As it is now widely recognised that we will still be impacted by Covid restrictions in the early Spring months of 2021 when the seed potatoes, onion sets,

16 October 2020

recognition ion of over two years work from many colleagues lleagues across the UK and the entire marketing team wass cheering when the announcement cement was made with our category manager, r, Pery Mitsiou leading with the loudest cheer and a few tears!” ars!” etc. will all be on sale, the approach to buying iss to add to the budget and buy more than last year’s pre-season order. We e are also seeing the same trend with the summer flowering g bulbs too as bu uyers are looking to order morre than the equiv valent order last year.” Adam says that as we all adjust to an increasing amount of digital communication or – more to the point – less face-to-face contact at shows and events, Taylors Bulbs is becoming increasingly reliant on digital for news, opinions and advice. “I believe the Glee New Product Awards would have been sorely missed and so I think the Glee show should take a lot of credit for putting them on, and the trade media for spreading the word.” • Houseplant Award joint winner Feeder Friends Plant Drip Feeder Covers - Jardinopia ‘Feeder Friends’ were conceived on the back of the ongoing boom in indoor planting, Jardinopia aimed to create a new sister brand to complement its other pot accessories that was able to leverage on this demand. The original idea needed to comply with the company’s key design criteria: • Indoor an nd outdoor year-round use. • Decorative as well as useful. • Gift packaged. • Reasonably priced for impulse and till end sales. • Suitable across all retail channels, including online • Small, postable and with no shelf life issues. • An ornament in its own right. ‘Fee eder Friends’ ticked all those boxes – a branded range of decorative drip feed bottle covers, for use with indoor pots, hanging basskets and outdoor planters. They

www w.gardentradenews.co.uk

are designed to sit on top of the drip feed bottle & hide it from view, whilst proviiding added interest and a bit of glamour to o your pot. Each of the nine designs comes gift packaged with its own standard drip feed bottle, priced at SRP £11.99. Twenty-four more designs are being readied for a Spring Fair 2021 launch. “However, we have no plans to be a drip feed manufacturer, “the company tells us. “ Instead we have designed the hole that the bottle slips in, to fit most shapes already on the market, so that our products can be used alongside current drip feed products. “

• Pet Products Banana Facial & Natural Tear Stain Treatment – HOWND HOWND’s Banana Facial & Natural Tear Stain Treatment uses ingredients extracted from sacred lotus, evening primrose flower, ginseng root and oat extracts as well as a vegan alternative to keratin and botanical extracts to promote healthy hair growth – and smells of bananas. The product is a 2-in-1 face scrub and pH-balanced stain treatment to remove dirt and discolorations. The judges felt the HOWND range would sell really well in garden centre pet departments.

GLEE NEW PRODUCT AWARDS 2020 So why are Feeder Friends different? “We do not believe there are any other products like these on the market today,” said Jardinopia’s Tony Barnett. “It’s a new affordable decorative gift idea that is a great upsell alongside indoor plants and drip feed bottles, or as a decorative ornament in its own right.’’ Tony said the Glee Gathering gave the company an unparalleled opportunity to launch this exciting new range at a time when getting out and meeting customers has become increasingly difficult. “We still cannot quite believe that we have scooped an award at each of the three Glee shows we have now attended and are very grateful to the Glee and GTN team for the tremendous effort they put in to staging the show under very trying circumstances. Trade continues to be very strong for the Feeder Friends range as well as all of our other pot accessory brands, and this looks set to continue now right through to Christmas.” • ECO Award joint winner ‘Flow’ eco pots – Fargro The new ‘Flow’ range of eco-pots from Fargro is made from a mixture of plastics collected from and around rivers and ocean-bound waterways, plus post-consumer plastic. The Flow Pot production system is designed to capture and clean plastic waste from waterways ethically, preventing this postconsumer plastic from reaching the oceans and causing devastating environmental damage. Flow Pot supports global efforts to reduce pollution by collaborating with various recycling facilities all over the world. The Flow Pot range of indoor and outdoor plant pots is available in various size and colour options, including pots and planters both with and without attached saucers for drainage. The full range can be viewed online or at the Fargro showroom by appointment.

“Flow Pot is a fantastic example of our Eco E Pot range, offering great design and functionality f while also helping in the ongoing initiative to clean up our waterways o a and prevent further plastics from making ttheir way to our oceans,” said Mark I’Anson, Fargro’s F Procurement and Sales Managers “We’re “ delighted to be offering this range and a would encourage buyers to view it at our showroom s as soon as possible.” For more information, call 01903 721591 or e email info@fargro.co.uk. • ECO Award joint winner Bio-Based Growing Tray (6 x 12cm Pots) – Garland

• Houseplant Award joint winner Echeveria pulvinata ‘Devotion’ JAVADO Echeveria ‘Devotion’ has warm burgundy-with-green leaves with a velvety feel. It has a round shape and remains compact to about 15cm high. It is easy to maintain, requires little water and is hardy to -10º C so is ideal not only as a houseplant but also for the balcony, terrace or rock garden. The plant has discovered by the Bay City Flower Company in the USA. “Javado UK certainly enjoyed the first Virtual GLEE New Plants Award this year, a new experience for us all and great testament to all involved to get this across the line,” said James Woodham of Javado UK. “We are pleased with our finalist places and winner in Echervaria Devotion. Christmas pre-sales of this have started and are strong”


G Garland’s Bio-Based Tray was launched on tthe back of the success of the Bio-Based pots that t were such a stand out product last year, highlighting the desire for a carry tray in the same material. Garland launched the tray for the most popular size of pot, making this probably the first compostable tray and pot set in the market. The material is truly unique. While many products claim to be bio-degradable, they do not state the damage they still cause during the bio-degrading process, nor the time it takes to degrade, whichin some cases can be 10 years plus, with high methane emissions. “Our pots and trays bio-degrade in three months after use with zero negative effect on the soil or environment,” says Garland’s Mark Dedman. “This is why they have been certified with the OK Compost accreditation and the highest Bio-Based 4 star standard for the material.” Mark says the response to the Bio-Based product range has been overwhelming. “We launched the pots last year at Glee and they were an instant success as retailers and consumers were both looking to offer or buy a plastic-free alternative at a similar price point. The pots fitted that remit perfectly and despite the UK lockdown, the pots sales never stopped. We have sold over 1 million units in the first year, with even more projected for next year.”

October 2020 17


Evergreen Garden Care introduces game changing merchandising plan for the Perfect Store and the Perfect Yard

Following extensive research into shopper behaviour, leading garden care company Evergreen Garden Care (www.lovethegarden.com) will launch an industry-first merchandising plan. The Perfect Store and Perfect Yard are must-have POS strategies for garden centres and will be live in-store for customers in season 2021. Aiming to help improve ease of shopping within the garden care category, the innovative POS will support consumers by educating them around the products available, demystifying the tasks of gardening and driving increased basket spend. Each section of The Perfect Yard and Perfect Store will have simple masterclasses designed to meet the needs of the consumer and based on in-depth consumer research conducted by Evergreen Garden Care. Each masterclass is presented as a simple three-step approach that explains the products required and usage. Rich Fisher, Category & Customer Marketing Controller at Evergreen Garden Care, said: “With so many people taking up gardening for the first time this year, the Garden Care category has a real opportunity

18 October 2020

to support and nurture these novices. We know that the category can seem confusing and a bit daunting if you’re not an experienced gardener and we want to help our customers improve the shopping experience. “Our new campaign will help educate shoppers at the fixture, enabling them to make the right choices in-store – meaning they see better results at home. It’s those results, that sense of achievement, that forms an emotional connection between garden and gardener and keeps both novices and experts alike coming back into garden centres to spend more, more often. “We’re confident that this merchandising and category management approach will help our customers and ultimately their shoppers.”


The Perfect Store The Perfect Store aims to increase conversion from intent to purchase by improving the ease of shopping of the Lawn Care, Plant Food, Pest Control, and Weed Control & Cleaners categories with fixtures that clearly distinguish the products at the point of purchase. Each display unit is split into the categories the products sit in, alongside educational POS in the form of simple masterclasses, which help with each garden care problem that a shopper might encounter. Within these displays, the beacon brands will be highly visible to drive navigation, and the simple-to-use products will be easily located. Lawn Care has been separated into three sections: establishing a new lawn, maintaining a healthy lawn and treating lawn problems, and under these signposts


are the products available from the stocked brands within that store. Alongside the signage are seven simple masterclasses on key lawn issues including establishing a new lawn, overseeding, repairing patches and sustaining a healthy lawn. Plant Food has been categorised under two wider brackets of Specialist Plant Food and All-Purpose Plant Food, including brands like Miracle-Gro and Tomorite. Within these wider categories, Specialist Plant Food has been subcategorised into Rose, Ericaceous, Fruit & Vegetables and Houseplants. Control products are generally easier to categorise as there are fewer variations in the products and the tasks that they perform. Therefore, the Pest Control and Weed Control & Cleaners are split into two sections each. Pest Control has been categorised into products to use in the garden, such as Rose Clear and Bug Clear, and into products for the home such as Ant Stop. The final category is Weed Control & Cleaners, which has been categorised into Patio & Lawn and General Weed Control. The Perfect Yard The Perfect Yard will demystify Growing Media for shoppers, with a re-merchandised design that will not only attract new shoppers into the category but will also increase tradeup to premium products. Trialled in a leading DIY store earlier this year, The Perfect Yard will educate shoppers to make informed purchase decisions, help raise basket spend and increase category growth.

From a shopper perspective, the new layout demonstrates the segmentation of Growing Media, so it is clear which product is right for the growing needs of their plants, translating to better results at home and positive associations with the shopping experience. With consumers spending often hundreds of pounds on their plants, it’s important that they also plant it into the right compost to increase its chance of survival and healthy growth. Evergreen Garden Care has simplified the journey by breaking down the category into five sections in line with the life cycle of a plant. These are: Seeds & Young Plants, Established Plants, Special Plants, Improve The Soil and Protect The Soil. These different categories follow the needs of the plant as it grows to maturity, moving onto plant maintenance and catering for special growing conditions. The colour coding and iconography of each category is not only visually appealing but directly states the qualities that each type of growing media is designed for. This clear categorisation of a complicated category ensures that even a novice gardener can produce top quality results in their garden. The campaign key visual also encourages shoppers to trade-up to the right product, ensuring that their plants will not only grow but thrive. > For more information, please visit www.evergreentrade.co.uk


October 2020 19


The lockdown gardeners – who are they and how do we keep them? GTN pulls together as much research information as we can find to help everyone understand the changing dynamic of our market since lockdown and garden centres re-opening. The lockdown gardeners – who are they and how do we keep them? The benefits of nature, plants and gardening have come to the fore during the lockdown. With people confined to their homes, they have taken solace in their gardens. With more time on their hands, they have been able to undertake more garden-related projects, as well as enjoying their outdoor space for relaxing and entertaining. This activity stepped up a notch from 13 May when garden centres re-opened in England, the first nonessential retail outlets to do so, following a high-profile campaign led by the HTA.

Index • HTA Consumer Research – page 20 • You Gov & Centre for Economics and Business Research – page 21 • American Express Research – page 21 • LV General Insurance Survey – page 22 • RHS Advice Analysis – page 23 • Squires Customer Survey – page 24 • Westland Consumer Research – page 27 • Evergreen Garden Care Autumn Campaign – page 27 • Suttons Mail Order Stats – page 28 • Flymo Digital Campaign – page 28 • National Gardens Scheme Report – page 28 • GTN Bestsellers Analysis – page 30

20 October 2020

What a fantastic opportunity for the garden industry. But who are these new gardeners, how do we keep them engaged so that continue to garden next year and beyond? We need more information about these new gardeners – what questions do they have? What projects have they undertaken? What do they want to do next? How can we help? Over the lockdown period, there has been a number of surveys and research into what consumers are spending on, what they are searching for and what they are doing in their gardens. All of this information will help the garden industry look after these new consumers and nurture them in a way that they become lifelong gardeners. This article pulls together some of the key findings from various sources and the responses from suppliers and garden retailers to this unique opportunity. Welcoming 3 million new lockdown gardeners Research from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has revealed that almost three million gardeners have sprung up this year as a result of lockdown. Nearly half (49%) of these new green-fingered consumers are aged under 45. Through their consumer segmentation work, the HTA identify these new shoppers as ‘Convenience Gardening’ and ‘Family Focus’ gardeners who are using their gardens as places to unwind and enjoy with the family and grow their own. This follows a period of increased sales with the HTA Garden Retail Monitor reporting sales of gardening products up


3 million

New Gardeners HTA


34%, 17% and 19% in June, July and August in UK garden centres, compared with the same period last year. Customers have also been spending more with average transaction values increased by 35%. This was driven by spending on gardening projects as consumers looked to make their gardens a place to enjoy with the family over the summer. This trend continued into August with sales of bedding plants (up 29%), seeds (up 59%) and gardening equipment (up 51%) on August 2019 figures. The HTA also spearheaded the Million Planting Moments campaign which encouraged the nation to get planting this autumn. The campaign aimed to educate budding gardeners, regardless of their gardening ability, about where their plants come from and the importance of plant health. HTA President Boyd Douglas-Davies comments: “#MillionPlantingMoments has highlighted the huge contribution that plants make to our environment. Gardening benefits mental health and wellbeing across all generations and this was particularly reinforced during the lockdown. Our survey indicates that younger people are gardening more and we need to keep them

Plant sales lead the way Research carried out by American Express shows that green-fingered Brits have spent a whopping £3.7bn on gardening since the start of lockdown. According to their survey of 2,000 people since 23 March, UK adults have spent an average of £105 each transforming their garden. The most popular purchase was outdoor plants with 35% of Brits spending an average £36 on plants for their garden. This was followed by


2.2 million

spent on gardening since the start of lockdown American Express


engaged to have a positive impact on both our environment and on their health.” Consumer confidence continues to improve The latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (1 October 2020) shows that consumer confidence continues to improve for the fifth month in a row, even as a second wave of Coronavirus looms. During September the index increased by 2.2 points to 102.4, with any score above 100 meaning more consumers are confident than not. 18% of Brits expect the economy to grow (17%) or boom (1%) in the next 12 months while 60% expect the UK to still be in a recession in 12 months.

New Gardeners who have never gardened before Westland Horticulture

October 2020 21


1 million

families fell in love with gardening during lockdown Flymo

compost with 31% spending £27 each and then seeds with 24% spending £14 each. The most popular gardening products bought during lockdown were: • Outdoor plants — 35% of Brits spent £36 • Compost — 31% of Brits spent £23 • Seeds — 24% spent £14 • Fruit and/or vegetable plants — 18% spent £19 • Indoor house plants — 14% spent £29 • Garden decor — 13% spent £34 • Garden DIY equipment — 13% spent £61 • Garden furniture — 13% spent £88

• Garden tools — 12% spent £39 • Objects to promote wildlife — 10% spent £33 One in seven (14%) Brits with a garden or outdoor space has even redesigned the entire space during lockdown, with 12% sharing pictures on social media. It appears that people are keen to share their love of gardening with friends, with 15% of respondents saying they have been gifted a plant or home-grown fruit or vegetables from someone they know during lockdown.

Millennials spend more on the garden A survey carried out by LV General Insurance found that millennials (those aged between 25-39) spent nearly twice as much money on their gardens during lockdown – compared with other age groups. Millennials spent on average £213 on their outdoor space since mid-March, compared to the £125 average for the other age groups. Of the 2,000 people surveyed millennials were the group most likely to spend money on their outdoor spaces to improve their general

Garden Centre Comments:

GTN asked garden centres their views on the New Gardener phenomenon…

Derek Bunker, Alton Garden Centre “We know we have many new customers coming in store because the most asked question this summer has been “Where are the toilets?” As a result we are buying more of what we already sell. I wouldn’t say there were necessarily more gardeners but there are

22 October 2020

definitely more garden occupiers who have a greater awareness of their gardens. “In our area, (South Essex), people have been buying things to go in their garden; fountains, furniture, BBQ’s, bird baths, ornaments and landscaping products. We’ve also seen an increase in the sale of large plants as they grow their garden awareness and look to improve their gardens.”


Alan Roper, Blue Diamond “Whilst I don’t totally buy into the ‘new gardeners hyberbole my analysis shows that new customers must be responsible for the average spend increases experienced. Average spend for June, July and August in GCA garden centres



had success with what they did and 89% said they would do the same or more next year Westland Horticulture

Millennials spent on average


on their outdoor space since mid-March LV Insurance wellbeing, with 45% agreeing with this statement, compared with 39% across the other age groups. The survey showed that lockdown has had a significant impact on the gardening habits of the nation.74% of people said that the way they use their garden has changed during lockdown, with many revealing that they have added new features such as paddling pools, swings, outdoor furniture and plants. A fifth of millennials said they have either purchased or intend to buy a BBQ. More than a quarter

of respondents said they had spent more time than usual making adjustments to their outdoor space. Record high for RHS Garden Advice web visits The RHS saw a record number of visits to their website during lockdown. In nine days between 24 March and 1 April 2020, there were one million web visits to the RHS Garden Advice pages - up 450% up on last year. The key gardening activities that

was 64%, 40% and 33% respectively, whilst footfall for the same months for GCA garden centres was down 8%, 5.45% and 7%. “What drove gardening sales were higher basket spends. What I can’t rule out though is that the mix of customers who did shop was weighted more to ‘gardening’ and this drove average spend up. Our Blue Diamond club members spent an average 25% more so the additional 25% increase we witnessed must have come from new customers (we were 50% up in total). We did see new customers but felt this was mainly due to transfer from competitors when we had stock and they didn’t always have it at various points in the season.

Our footfall has been positive every month since lockdown. “With that in mind the facts do support that new customers entered the arena and tried some form of gardening, as they had the time! But I doubt the figures of 3 million being claimed and feel that any new interest will be fleeting. When normal life resumes the majority of consumers will resume their normal daily lifestyles. The same thing happened after the banking crisis – there was a boom in grow your own for a short period which then calmed to normal levels. “We don’t plan any changes in our business because as a garden retailer your approach is always to focus on new


people have been researching online are composting, up nearly 500% on last year, how to manage moss on lawns 40% up and dividing perennials up 500%. Sowing seeds outdoors follows closely behind with 40% more people researching how to do this. The RHS Grow your Own pages had a third more views since lockdown began. The views to the RHS Grow Your Own jobs to do pages were up 316% and container growing up 219%. The top 3 Grow your Own pages were Potatoes – up 191% - (27,500 views), tomatoes

potential gardeners – to support, help and demystify. Suppliers drive this through innovation and marketing.” Will Blake, St Peters Garden Centre “We are definitely getting more customers asking ‘How do I….’ on a whole range of subjects from planting bulbs, improve my lawn, not kill my houseplants. It highlights to me just how many more people have taken an interest in gardening. Being able to deal with and answer these questions has always been one of the strengths of the garden centre industry. It is what keeps customers coming to us opposed to going

October 2020 23

NEW GARDENERS RESEARCH can be found at www.rhs.org.uk/growathome Other insightful consumer information from the survey: • 26% replant containers for winter • 43% plant bulbs • 22% do not do any autumn planting • 18% lift and divide perennials

– up 172% and strawberries – up 70%. With over 1 million visits to the RHS gardening advice pages, more users are looking for help on growing plants and gardening, compared with the same period last year. To meet the growing thirst for more gardening knowledge, the RHS launched ‘Grow at Home’ to share more advice for its members and to promote ideas to keep more people gardening. In August the RHS reported that sales of pots rose significantly through their plant centres over the summer as many families embraced gardening and opting for a staycation. Potting compost and plants with calming colours were also amongst the top picks this summer. Sales for outdoor plant pots were up 225% throughout July, compared with last year. When it comes to

plants, colour has been the key focus with calming combinations of purples, blues, whites and also orange being the most popular as reflected in sales of English lavender, salvia, geums and roses. The ‘Grow at Home’ initiative was extended into autumn to highlight the importance of the season for gardening, especially amongst those who have taken it up during lockdown. This follows on from the results of a YouGov survey, commissioned by the RHS, which showed that 65% of UK adults disagreeing or not knowing that autumn is the most important season for planting. The ‘Grow at Home’ this autumn campaign began with a bulb themed week, which should help over a half of UK adults (61%) who don’t know you should plant tulips and daffodil bulbs in autumn. Full details of the themed campaign

to the supermarkets or DIY sheds. So, in some ways it is business as usual for us. “With the horticulture trend very obviously on the up, we have given more space, display & prominence to the horti products and ranges. Of course, we also made it easy for beginners, ensuring relevant products are grouped together. “We have been as nimble as possible throughout the crisis – reacting, replenishing, moving, increasing or decreasing – anything which will help our recovery. Product has been in short supply and you can guarantee that everyone is after the same stuff! We are planning a number of department moves for January to give more space to horticultural categories, such as

houseplants, as the trend roars on. “Looking ahead I believe our core gardening categories will continue to do well in the coming months and years. If staycations remain outdoor living will continue on the up into 2021 and beyond. ‘Localism’ and ‘Providence’ seem to be more important than ever. Likewise supporting local businesses definitely appears to be higher on our customers’ radar. We also see that customer expectation around sustainability, and environmentally friendly product remains at the forefront, thankfully! I am proud to say we do not have a single ‘disposable cheap toy’ in any of our crackers this year.”

24 October 2020


Consumers say that gardening was a lifesaver during lockdown Gardening was a lifesaver during lockdown. This was the overwhelming message that came through from Squires Garden Centres ‘Gardening in Lockdown survey’. The survey of 3,000 people was conducted in September and found that: • Gardening was a lifesaver in lockdown (93% agreed) • More gardening was done in lockdown (77% agreed), with a third of people questioned spending more than 10 hours each week gardening (33% versus 9% in 2019). • People were planting colourful & uplifting plants such as cottage garden & bedding plants (89% planted) and many planted vegetables (59%), herbs (44%) and shrubs (42%). • Lockdown has made people more confident gardeners (25% agreed)

Gardening was a lifesaver in lockdown,

93% agreed Squires Garden Centres

Sam Bosworth, Bosworth’s Garden Centre “Are there actually new gardeners? Our customer numbers are down but sales up and average transaction value way up. I do think the new gardeners are there but I am not convinced about the massive numbers suddenly going green-fingered. “We did have new customers around when we re-opened, mainly because they couldn’t get standard product, such as compost, from their normal source, and they were hunting it out, but, we did not have it either. Have we retained them? Some yes, but that is gut feeling as we



said their gardens and outdoor spaces were ‘extremely important’ to them during lockdown in terms of health and wellbeing RHS

cannot analyse this sort of thing in depth. “We are certainly selling more houseplants, that trend has continued upwards, and that is driven by a good percentage of new customers. We only have a small traditional ‘jams and chutneys’ food offering, so that has been moved to make way for more houseplants, and to make them more accessible with the new customer flow in place. Specimen and hanging houseplants have a bigger presence, and the ratio of non-flowering houseplants to flowering continues to rise. Also, more succulents and structural houseplants are selling, which I think are a younger, newer audience.

“One thing we have noticed is that we are selling what traditional horticulturists would say are bizarre plant combinations. If it is in flower, and looks nice, then we can sell it. We still have some late delivered Begonias in flower in the plant area, which is leading to Begonia/Viola/ Ivy/Cyclamen combinations being planted. Newer, and inexperienced, customers are not shackled by horticultural knowledge and tradition, and we need to work with this. Not necessarily in an exploitive way but understanding and working with inexperienced customers who just want instant colour. Some of my staff have really struggled with this. “We are seeing more staff time being


taken up with customers, which I guess are the ‘newbies’ asking questions a lot of the time. Personal shopping is the new term on the Planteria and this is difficult to discourage even if it costs significantly more staff time. We have taken more staff on to cope with this. One candidate was successful specifically because she came from an Interior Plant display company, after redundancy, and will bolster our service levels in houseplants. “Looking to 2021 it will be about colour, colour and more colour in plants, particularly herbaceous in larger pot sizes. I guarantee we will all sell out of roses if we can get any! Gardening products will still be strong sellers, but

October 2020 25


More gardening was done in lockdown,

77% agreed Squires Garden Centres

• As well as planting, people enjoyed relaxing in their garden (82% agreed), eating outside (68%), and having a good clear out (53%). 31% of people enjoyed having more time to improve their lawn, 10% put in new decking/patio and 4% adding a new summerhouse or garden lawn. • More time will be spent gardening this autumn/winter than last year (54% agreed) with bulbs being the most popular thing to plant (71% will plant) followed by bedding and cottage garden plants (50%), shrubs, vegetables, herbs and fruit. • Gardening makes you feel good! It gives you a send of achievement (78% agreed), makes you feel calm and relaxed (75% agreed), happy (66% agreed) and at one with nature (45% agreed) Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres comments, “Gardening was undoubtedly a lifesaver for many people during lockdown. Garden habits have changed, with people gardening more and trying new things, whether that is planting vegetables for the first time, growing new varieties of plants, or getting round to doing jobs in the garden. In an uncertain world gardening makes us feel grounded and in tune with nature – flowers will always bloom in spring and trees will always shed their leaves in autumn. People are craving ‘normality’ and gardening with the seasons gives us that.”

we must ensure products are fit for purpose and not price led all the while. Grow your own will again be popular as people will still be at home more, which will hopefully see continued strong furniture and garden decoration sales. “Marketing in 2021 is going to be based on Social media more than ever. Lead times for traditional print marketing make it risky, and we have been very busy in 2020 with no marketing and no loyalty mailings, which we will have to deal with early in 2021. Of course, I am hoping that we see a reduction in sales of face masks and visors.”

26 October 2020

Kevin Turley, Lakeside Garden Centre “We have found like the rest of the industry a massive increase in new customers. There have been a lot of first-time buyers and they have been asking a lot of more simple questions. They are finding their feet and using us more than the supermarkets as they can get the knowledge they need from ourselves. We have seen 40% growth on last year. Pots, plants and compost have been the winners with pots at this rate almost showing 100% growth on its own. “As we went into lockdown we looked


at what we could do to keep trading and support customers – we offered a free delivery service but with a twist. We asked our customers to give a donation to the local hospice (whose funding disappeared) and working with Taylors Bulbs we offered Narcissi Rainbow – with all proceeds going to the hospice as well. As a garden centre we have been very lucky and felt it fair to spread our luck with others who might not have been so fortunate. “Next year is going to be interesting and I can still see a 25% growth on what this year should have been. With plans for more housebuilding I can see more growth on pots, compost and plants for these as

NEW GARDENERS RESEARCH A new garden army Research by Westland Horticulture has identified an army of new gardeners who are keen to try the hobby again in 2021. The Westland research was carried out in July with 1,200 consumers with an outdoor space. They decided to research to get a better understanding of consumer gardening habits that occurred during lockdown to assist them with planning for the future and understanding the new consumers entering the market. The key findings are extremely encouraging for the industry and identify 2.2 million new gardeners who have never gardened before. • 73% of respondents did more gardening than before. So, three-quarters of people did something extra in their garden this year from feeding the birds to planting up some containers. This second point has farreaching benefits for sales of associated products from compost to pots, as well as seeds and plants. • 37% have tried something new for the first time. The list of projects that they undertook was long with the most popular activities being growing new plants (45%) and feeding the birds (44%). 7% of respondents laid a lawn from turf – that is a substantial amount of turf! • 75% had success with what they did and 89% said they would do the same or more next year. This shows that even those who didn’t have success this year want to continue their efforts and improve next year. • With a company ethos of wanting to make people’s garden and gardening dreams come true Westland have focussed their 2021 range on helping consumers achieve

gardens nowadays are smaller and this works easier for the busy modern gardener who doesn’t have time to weed big borders. This year social media has been a godsend with our reach increasing from 3,000 to almost 5,000 followers.” Roger Crookes and Nicola Pugh – Pughs Garden Centre “This feels like an amazing opportunity for our trade – I can’t recall a shift towards gardening from all ages of the public like we have seen this year. We have to make sure that when other options become available for our new customers

success. This means that consumers will be encouraged to do more year on year building on the types of garden projects they undertake. After COVID-19, sustainability remains a key concern for consumers and Westland’s new product ranges addresses this from peat reduction and greener solutions to sustainable packaging. Simon McArdle, Westland’s Marketing and Category Director comments, “Lockdown has provided consumers with the opportunity to look at their garden with fresh eyes. They have viewed it as an asset and realised that they can do more with it. This is reflected in our findings which show that 37% of people have done something new in their garden this year – a hugely encouraging statistic for the industry.”

garden centres, both online and in-store. In-store the new merchandising will showcase the best products for Autumn use, supporting new gardeners to keep up their habit long term. While online, the campaign will target the millennial audience with how-to videos on social media and guides on the Love The Garden website. Evergreen Garden Care’s Managing Director, Mark Portman, said: “Extending the gardening season has been an ambition of Evergreen Garden Care over the years, and with an appetite for new rituals on the rise, now is the right time to focus on this aim. With many people taking up gardening

New celebrity ambassador for Evergreen Recognising that a quarter of keen gardeners are looking to continue gardening post-lockdown Evergreen have launched a campaign to inspire people to make the most of their garden throughout Autumn. This Autumn campaign is the largest that Evergreen Garden Care has embarked upon and is backed by a £250,000 marketing spend. This is supported by a celebrity ambassador – ex-Footballer and father of seven, John Barnes. Lockdown has presented John with the opportunity to learn new skills to maintain a fresh lawn at home and this partnership will involve him working with the team at Evergreen Garden Care to demonstrate, advise and educate people on how to use their garden n beyond the summer months. Evergreen Garden Care plans to engage new customers to the category and support

to invest their time and money, we have converted the ‘lock-down customers’ into committed lifelong customers and successful gardeners. “Our trade associations have been working with each other, and us, to help all areas of the trade maximise the opportunities – but in the end us is down to us to rise to the challenges. “Here in south Wales we have been in localised lockdowns for a few weeks, which means that some of our customers can’t get to us so we have to be ‘light on our feet’ and ready to change plans continually, and our staff also have to be flexible. For example, kitchen staff have


found themselves watering in the plant area – and enjoying it! “A few thoughts about our garden products plans • The average customer has changed, has different expectations and doesn’t understand a lot of what we say and do – we need to listen to them see what they are saying and watching e.g. on social media. • It is hard to predict how 2021 will unravel – this year’s amazing garden products season was driven by millions of potential customers having spare time, spare money and not many options on how to invest that spare

October 2020 27

NEW GARDENERS RESEARCH every morning to encourage families to get e gardening, resulting in over 60,000 families g tuning in every day to watch the show. t From top tips on how to make gardening ffun for families and growing your own v vegetables to games to enjoy together, tthe content kept families coming back for m more each day and increased engagement a across all social media channels. Clare Slater, Customer Marketing Manager U at Flymo, added: “Skinny Jean Gardener UK fi the Flymo brand perfectly; down to fits e earth, fun and likeable. He makes getting o in the garden an activity to do together out a a family, not a chore that has to be as c conquered before you can enjoy your space. W While Joe Wicks got the nation exercising in their living rooms over lockdown, Skinny J Jean Gardener helped Flymo to get families o into their gardens.” out

Seed Sales Soar Mail order and young plant suppliers Suttons saw demand for seeds increase by 1000% in April. The top grow your own seed requests were for dwarf French bean ‘Safari’ (up 1,075%), Tomato Gardener’s Delight and Summer Sensation Mix (up 900%) and Carrot ‘Early Nantes’ (up by almost 1,000%).

Suttons also saw demand for compost up by 732% along with demand for geraniums, agapanthus, hostas and heucheras – all up over 700%. Flymo’s Digital campaign reaches one million families According to Flymo one million families fell in love with gardening during lockdown. Working with their creative agency O Communications, Flymo focussed on how to inspire children and families to get out and enjoy their outdoor space during lockdown. Collaborating with social influencer Skinny Jean Gardener, Lee Connelly, they embarked on a digital campaign which reached just under a million families across the UK. Over the Easter holidays, Skinny Jean Gardener took over Flymo’s Facebook page

T importance of gardens and outdoor The spaces during lockdown A report from the National Gardens Scheme, ‘Gardens and Coronavirus 2020’, emphasises the vital role that gardens and outdoor spaces played – and continue to play – in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the nation during lockdown. Their online survey attracted over 2,400 and results confirmed that access to gardens and green spaces can play a vital role in our ability to cope in times of crisis. • 92% said their gardens and outdoor spaces were ‘extremely important’ to them during lockdown in terms of health and wellbeing • 87% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It helped to relieve stress’. • 100% of those with balconies or window

cash and time … apart from gardening! • Present simple clear options and messages – browsing and catering which have been our back bone for a long time are currently less popular, customers want to be in out of the centre and back home as soon as possible (this may change as lock downs are less common). • Product bundles – some web shop trends of linked products can be replicated on to the shop floor. • Look out for products that may not have worked in the past but will be ideal for our new customers. • Involve ‘non gardening’ staff in the garden products planning.”

Dobbies Garden Centres A spokesperson for Dobbies said: “The two key audiences as outlined by the HTA, Family Focus and Convenience Gardeners, are aligned with our customer personas, and we have been working hard to engage these customers. “Our range is already authoritative but we are increasing ranges to cater for the demand from new gardeners. We have increased the range and prominence of houseplants in all stores as well enhancing our spring flowering bulbs and autumn gardening products. A more extensive range of planted containers and hanging baskets for the patio or doorstep are now available.

“Education is an important part of what we offer – “When do I do this” is the most common question we hear, as new gardeners ask for support and advice to look after their plants. We support this instore, on social, on email as well as online to give confidence to new gardeners. “In 2021, our main focus will be meeting our customers’ requirements, providing a convenient shopping experience with quality products and educational information that helps them to have success with their gardening. “We believe the popularity of Grow Your Own will continue – we are up on seed sales compared to last year and we have seen increased demand for strawberries,

for the first time this year, we’re delighted to partner with a familiar face like John Barnes. He’ll be encouraging new gardeners to continue investing in their outside space and stay within the category for longer. We know socialising at home is going to be very popular this Autumn, so we want to educate and inspire shoppers to make the most of their outside space.”

28 October 2020


NEW GARDENERS RESEARCH boxes (35 respondents) said a key benefit was the stress reduction – all of these respondents were within an urban or suburban environment. Of respondents with access only to a public outdoor space (20 respondents), 95% said that a key benefit was that ‘It helped to relieve stress’ (as opposed to 87% overall). • 78% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It helped them appreciate nature’. • 69% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It kept them fit and contributed positively to their physical fitness’ • 86% said they used their gardens more during lockdown • 77% used their gardens for relaxation • 81% spent their time growing and propagating seeds • 70% grew their own produce Enjoying time to watch and encourage wildlife, connecting with neighbours ‘over the garden gate’, completing overdue garden projects and enjoying the sanctuary of their outdoor spaces were common themes mentioned by respondents. View the full report at https://ngs.org.uk/new-reportgardens-and-coronavirus-2020/ New gardeners – fact or fiction? What are the experiences of garden centres in relation to these new customers? Are they coming through the doors? The anecdotal comments below suggest that they are. “A customer came into the shop after wandering around the Planteria for a while said he couldn’t find any honeysuckles. We had three tables of honeysuckles but they

herbs, fruit trees and soft fruit such as raspberries, and believe this will continue. “We’ve also increased our gardening product offering online and site visits to dobbies.com are the highest on record.” Boyd Douglas-Davies, British Garden Centres “We are directing a lot of our marketing output to social media as we can see a large customer engagement through this – quite probably a reflection of the new customers. We are using the pen portraits from the HTA to help us with ranging for 2021. Each of our centres is treated individually so these are giving us great

insight into the customers around our sites, particularly the recently acquired ones.” Simon Bourne, Perrywood Garden Centres “Christmas has started really strongly, especially at Tiptree where our customers are used to seeing our displays and every year they are eager for us to open the door to the Christmas shop. At Sudbury our Christmas is quite different to under previous ownership and it will take a few more years to build momentum. We have opened Christmas in the new Plant House at Sudbury with a vastly wider range of product than last year.


“We are discussing in our teams about plans for the 2021 season. We still feel that we are reacting to change and are operating a business that is quite different to years past. Therefore, the focus has still been on making changes to ensure that the Perrywood team and customers are not only kept safe but also have a pleasant shopping experience. We have had to change the layout of the shop, the till queueing system and the style of merchandising to allow for wider aisles. “For autumn we have reacted where we can but for many items it is too late. Christmas order books closed in March and any surplus stock they may have has been mopped up already. In our food area we have normally

October 2020 29


If we wanted an indicator that the increases in gardening activity and sales were not just a flash in the pan, GTN Bestsellers analysis of September sales volumes showed that with continued high levels of gardening activity the month ended up 31% on last year. That means September garden centre trading in were signposted as Lonicera so the customer did not know what they were. It illustrates how we need to think to be inclusive to new gardeners as well as experienced ones. We know what they are but the customer didn’t – it could have been a lost sale.” “We are promoting our houseplants on Instagram as many of the sales are to young people, who refer to houseplants, care and ideas on Instagram and Pinterest.” “We have been surprised at the number of new gardeners coming in and the number of their return visits. “I have been surprised by the number of new gardeners and their appetite for information and to buy volumes of compost and plants, but also to try new growing ideas in their garden and vegetable patch – many growing vegetables for the first time.” How to prepare for 2021 Whilst there is some variation in the

stocked ‘Gift and Treat’ but this autumn we have expanded to include local frozen meats including venison and wild boar as well as cooking sauces, flour and eggs. “Bulb and seed sales have been extremely strong along with autumn plants. We are still experiencing longer lead times from suppliers and items going out of stock that wouldn’t normally which can be frustrating for customers. Those that have learnt from this experience already pick items up to put on the shelf as a spare and we are therefore seeing lots of out of season purchases on many gardening products.” Martin Cowell and Lynsey Crofts, Cowells Garden Centre “We have more customers seeking advice

30 October 2020

2020, according to the Epos data analysed by GTN Bestsellers every week, matched garden centre volume sales in June when normally September sales would be between 70% and 75% of June. And there was no sign that core gardening activity is dropping off. The estimates of numbers of people who have undertaken gardening activity during lockdown it is evident that there has been an increase. You only need to talk to family and friends to see that the level of gardening projects undertaken has stepped up a notch from growing vegetables for the first time to installing decking and greenhouses. We know that existing gardeners have carried out more activity than usual and carried out new projects in their outdoor spaces. We also know that some people have carried out garden activities for the first time. The real value of gardens as a haven and a space to joy has been highlighted, along with the physical and mental benefits that this brings. Whilst there is no guarantee that they will do so again next year the signs are encouraging. People have had success in the garden and are keen to do more in the future. The COVID-19 situation is still impacting our everyday lives making it difficult to

on care for their plants than previously, these frequently include what type of compost to use and frequency of watering. This reflects the inexperience of many of our new customers, we are more than happy to offer advice and encouragement though and it’s wonderful to have so many people interested in gardening. “We have always carried a large range of outdoor plants, we are working to ensure that this continues and that we have sufficient volume to cater for the increased demand. Plants and core gardening products will continue to see sales growth as well as garden furniture. “We have increased the size of our houseplant department again to reflect the continued growth in this area.


GTN Bestsellers chart indexes for Growing Media, Veg-2-Gro and All Plants were significantly up on last year for the last week of September at 109%, 63% and 57% respectively. That all bodes well for continued levels of “new” gardening activity through 2021. plan. Staycations will likely play an important role next summer to for many people. The economic impact of the situation should not be underestimated – with unemployment rising and taking its toll on households incomes disposable budgets are likely to be squeezed. This is where affordable luxuries play a role – good news for the garden industry. Planning for 2021 – food for thought • Grow Your Own continues to be popular – make it easy to shop by putting products together as starter packs • Provide achievable project ideas and fun weekend activities for families in the garden – wildlife gardening and feeding the birds continue to be big news • New gardeners are thirsty for advice. Make it clear that people can come to you for expert information – from your staff, information desks and websites • People are keen to share their gardening projects and success. Encourage them to do so on your social media channels and noticeboards • Lawns have seen a resurgence – this is set to grow further • Don’t put off new customers with confusing terminology and latin names • Colour is impactful – make sure your plantarea has a wow factor to draw people in • Invest in cameo displays and provide details of how to get the look with all the products featured close by along with their prices • Sustainability remains a key concern, after COVID-19, for consumers. Highlight ecoproducts that you stock. Homebase have recently introduced a ‘green aisle’ grouping all their eco-products in one area. • Composting has been one of the key areas that people have been searching for information on. How much information and advice do you provide instore?

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9 steps to ‘Get Ready’ for EU-Exit Trade BOYD J DOUGLAS-DAVIES, HTA PRESIDENT

32 October 2020

EU plant health area. England, Scotland and Wales (GB) will have their own plant passport system. 7. Consider Commercial Arrangements - Individual commercial contracts and arrangements may alter the default legal responsibilities and requirements. 8. Transporting Goods - Once the transition period ends in December transporting goods into and out of the UK will become a more complicated process. 9. Additional Actions for Customs, VAT, and Excise Processes – a number of other points you will need to be familiar with. Million Planting Moments – the HTA driven campaign enjoyed strong coverage at

the end of September with everyone from Horticultural royalty, Peter Seabrook, to Prince Charles supporting the initiative. This annual event will focus on the wonderful opportunities that gardening in the last quarter can provide for the industry. The word ‘Autumn’ should be banished from your vocabulary as research shows that consumers associate it with ‘putting things to bed’, ‘closing down the garden’ etc…. Not the call to action that we are looking for! > The Horticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’s leading membership organisation. It welcomes all sectors of horticulture – to join, please contact services@hta.org.uk.


2020 has flown by and you could be forgiven for having completely forgotten about the ‘B’ word whilst other things have filled your time. However, with only a few months to go until the New Year you need to prepare your business as soon as possible. The HTA has been publishing a weekly series of steps on how to ‘Get Ready’. If you haven’t been following them then I encourage you to go to the website and familiarise yourself with them. Even if you only ever buy from UK suppliers it is useful to understand the process that they will probably be following from January 1st as it is going to have an indirect impact on you; whether you are a grower, retailer or landscaper. Here is a snapshot of the steps….. 1. Apply for a GB EORI number - This is required for all businesses moving goods into or out of GB, including those deferring their import declarations. 2. Get a Customs Intermediary (Customs agent, broker, freight forwarder) - Customs declarations are complicated. 3. Customs Declarations - Customs declarations will be required for all goods moving into or out of GB from 1 January 2021. 4. Paying Customs Duty & Paying Import VAT - Traders who import goods regularly may benefit from having a duty deferment account (DDA). 5. Phytosanitary (plant health) requirements - If you are importing plants into GB (England, Scotland, Wales) you will need to obtain a phytosanitary certificate (PC) 24 hours before importing the plants into GB. 6. UK Plant Passport system - As the UK leaves the European Union on 31 December this year, we will no longer be part of the


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Avoiding stock shortage in 2021 relies on forward planning now

VICKY NUTTALL, DIRECTOR OF GIMA Benjamin Franklin famously once said: ‘By failure to prepare, you are preparing to fail’, and truer words have never been spoken, especially in light of the learnings that 2020 has forced us to acknowledge. The last six months have cemented the need to forward think more than ever before, which is why we’re calling for close collaboration between suppliers and retailers as we look ahead to 2021. Now is not the time for retailers to play coy and hold back on confirming what they require for the season ahead. Covid-19 has shown the need for transparency, with pre-planning and forecasting of paramount importance. At a recent virtual GCA GIMA Supply Chain Forum, the issue of why suppliers need commitment from retailers as early as possible in order to be able to guarantee stock availability next season was a hot topic, and one that generated lots of debate and useful feedback. There is no substitution for open dialogue, and we also know what we are capable of when we all work together. The early reopening of garden retail, and the support of the supply chain behind it, was a significant success story to demonstrate this. It also helped to kick off a summer season shaped by significant sales as the nation rushed to catch up on spring jobs that were missed as a result of the nationwide lockdown, as well as a new generation of gardeners taking up gardening for the first time to fill their time and improve mental and physical wellbeing during these unprecedented times. As autumn approaches, confidence remains high that tills will continue to ring as the popularity of gardening continues to rise. However, in order to maintain this momentum well into the new season and beyond it is vital that, as an industry, we address the importance of pre-season orders. It’s worth noting that suppliers acknowledge the pressure that retailers are currently experiencing, such as unprecedented autumn trading and preparing for the first-ever socially distanced Christmas season. So, whilst they don’t want to pile on more pressure, it is

34 October 2020

vital that suppliers are heard, as retailers who delay in committing on orders until the New Year risk losing out as stock will already be allocated to others. Whilst lockdown showcased the resilience of suppliers, it almost became a scramble for stock which, understandable in the circumstances, cannot continue into 2021. The ongoing threat of local lockdowns, and stricter nationwide restrictions and social distancing regulations, means that extra staff cannot simply be drafted in should consumer demand peak overnight once again. Instead suppliers must work within their own limits, with pre-season orders providing a workable to-do list. Maintaining control and a manageable working system is the only way we can come out of this stronger. Production capacity for overseas manufacturers is another reason why suppliers require commitment from retailers ahead of the 2021 season. With capacity maxing out already and some lead times as long as eight months last minute orders will suffer as a result. Instead early commitment means suppliers have the time and capability to build stock levels accordingly, and no-one has to miss out. There are also issues with packaging and core materials which are affecting lead times. Bottles and spray triggers, used widely within

sanitisation and cleaning products, are facing shortages, which garden suppliers are finding out to their detriment. As such, suppliers of gardening products are constantly having to plan ahead to ensure that pressures within their own supply chains do not disrupt the smooth flow of product to retailers. With all this knowledge, it becomes obvious as to why pre-season orders and open dialogue within the supply chain is so vital, and that’s before we add in additional pressures such as the ever tightening lockdown restrictions which are grabbing the headlines at the time of writing. With so much uncertainty, now is not the time to add to the pressures facing suppliers by holding back from committing to stock for the season ahead; a season which we predict will remain buoyant for the garden retail sector as foreign holidays stay off the agenda, and more people to turn to gardening to fill their time and reduce concerns over food availability. Placing orders now is a high priority, and failure to do so raises the spectre of stock shortages and bare store shelves. We must collaborate and communicate like never before to prevent a stock crisis from rearing its ugly head. > For further information about GIMA, please call (01959) 564947 or email info@gima.org.uk

Placing orders now is a high priority to avoid bare shelves in 2021.


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GTN October 2020 - Garden Trade News UK  

Vitax Organics Launch. Cultivation Street’s Magnificent Seven. Glee New Products 2020 – The Winners. Evergreen Garden Care’s Perfect Store &...

GTN October 2020 - Garden Trade News UK  

Vitax Organics Launch. Cultivation Street’s Magnificent Seven. Glee New Products 2020 – The Winners. Evergreen Garden Care’s Perfect Store &...

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