GTN September 2021 - Garden Trade News, UK

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Glee 2021 colleagues as well as looking for new suppliers and new products. We hope it will be supported by as many suppliers as possible as it is much easier seeing everyone in one location rather than traipsing around the country looking at showrooms.” Matthew Bent, Managing Director at Bents Garden & Home says his team are very much looking forward to Glee this year. “It will be good to be back and be able to discuss the industry with people on a face to face basis. Green products and sustainability remain key priorities and I think there’s now also a real focus not just on the actual products, but also on how they are packaged, with more eco-friendly containers and wrapping growing in importance. “Something else that has been heightened by the pandemic is the popularity of the staycation. I think it will be something that will continue for the foreseeable future so we will be looking for products and ideas that will help our customers create the perfect home hub, making the home and garden the place to be. Stylish entertaining, relaxation and having fun at home will all be key priorities for 2022.” Andy Bunker, Alton Garden Centre will be looking mainly at compost stoneware and plants “Also, I take in garden décor such as wind spinners and statues, which have seen immense growth with people spending huge amounts on their homes. Stoneware of all types is becoming more of a trend so that area I will pay significant attention to. “The interest in sustainable gardening and green products is not that strong certainly in Essex, talking to my colleagues in the industry it varies from area to area. We are seeing an increased demand for these lines but not off the radar. One main difference is price. On many lines, it is not so relevant e.g., compost. This is especially important as when more peat alternatives start to roll out, they will be more expensive. “I am sure like everyone to get back to seeing my many friends and colleges in the industry and renewing old acquaintances will give me a real buzz. I have said and been quoted previously but we will need a sort of time limit [tongue in cheek] with discussions regarding Covid

14 July 2021

Simon Bourne and the GCA North Thames Award winning team at Perrywood are looking forward to Glee.

etc. Whilst it is unprecedented times, we are there to buy products. I can see possible frustrations where a buyer is waiting to see a supplier who is going through the last 2 years month by month. I am not wishing to sound sarcastic but I am sure you can see my point.” Simon Bourne at GCA North Thames Award winners Perrywood Garden Centre said: “I’m looking forward to Glee and as usual I will go with an open mind. “It will be interesting to see which suppliers have moved forwards, who has stayed the same and who has gone backwards. With the difficulties of travel to the

Kev Turley needs a degree in customers views about Green or Ethical products to navigate Glee

Kev Turley, Lakeside Plant Centre, Telford, told GTN that he is finding Glee and what to order at the moment a minefield. “I am still not convinced by Green or Ethical products. I have always had this idea of it is nice to move this direction and maybe it is up to us to bring customers along. Our sales show a different trend and this is not as important. I had spoken to some of our suppliers as to peat free products and how there is a north south divide in sales. “We always try where possible to use local suppliers especially where growers are concerned. We moved more towards English growers this year like Worfield who are on our doorstep, so delivery gives a low carbon footprint. I think over the next 12 months price is going to have a dramatic effect on sales, already I am not sure what to do over pots and furniture. Are the consumers willing to pay some of the new prices? “We have just put in the new homegrown bird food from Peckish. But if this is a sign of things Peckish Complete is still at present selling out at 5 to 1 ratio. I did though have an interesting request the other day for Organic bird food. Our industry needs to build on our merits and be there to guide, support and advise with the knowledge and expertise we have.”

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