Wyevale Garden Centres agrees sale of four more garden centres
Wyevale Garden Centres has today announced the sale of four garden centres to individual buyers. The centres are: World of Pets and Leisure; Codicote; Sudbury and Oxford. Sudbury and Oxford have been sold to operators who are expected to continue to run them as garden centres...
Sudbury has been sold to Perrywood Garden Centre.
Wyevale Garden Centres has today announced the sale of four garden centres to individual buyers. The centres are: World of Pets and Leisure; Codicote; Sudbury and Oxford. Sudbury (pictured above) and Oxford have been sold to operators who are expected to continue to run them as garden centres.
Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive of WGC, said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of four of our garden centres. In the case of those centres which have been sold for alternative use, we are very pleased to honour our commitments to our colleagues and partners and will seek to redeploy our excellent colleagues in our other garden centres wherever possible in coming months. We would like to thank our great colleagues at these centres, who have been central to our turnaround in the past few years.”
WOPAL and Codicote been sold in separate transactions to purchasers who are expected to develop the sites for alternative use. These centres were previously identified for potential redevelopment as part of the company’s active portfolio management strategy. WOPAL centre has already been closed and Codicote is expected to continue to operate as a garden centre until early 2019 after completion of the sale.
Anthony Jones, Chief Financial Officer of WGC, said: “The centres sold to date had been highlighted as ‘non core’ as part of our ongoing portfolio review, which predated the sale process. The sale of these centres reflects our continued pursuit of positive outcomes for our colleagues, concession partners, suppliers and customers. We are very grateful for the dedication and commitment of the teams at these centres, and we’ll continue to support them through the transition.”
WGC has received a significant number of offers for all or part of the remaining WGC business from national, regional and financial operators as well as local entrepreneurs.
Sudbury has been sold to Perrywood Garden Centre and Nurseries Ltd and Oxford has been sold to AWBS Ltd, which is an existing concession holder on site. WOPAL has been bought by Harlex Property, while Codicote has been sold to Taylor Wimpey Plc.
Simon Bourne, of Perrywood, said: "We look forward to bringing the team at Sudbury into the Perrywood family, and can't wait to get to know them and the site better. More details to follow after completion!"
RockinColour has announced the launch of four new ranges which will consist of over 20 new colour coated stone, gravel and sand colour finishes.
Glee will provide a valuable launch pad for these new colours with industry experts, buyers, retailers and media all able to come along to stand 19C40 and choose their favourite colour.
Denis Bradley, Sales Manager for RockinColour, says: “We have spent a lot of time in the ‘RockinLab’ working on a comprehensive range of new colours and finishes to launch at Glee 2018. Based on customer feedback, market research, and influences from around Europe, we feel that there is a colour to suit most tastes."
Steven Oldham, Senior Colourist, continues this theme by saying: “I am looking forward to seeing the reaction for the new colours and am happy that after months of hard work we have been able to bring the new range from trial to launch at Glee in time!”
RockinColour’s ability to continuously add new colours and finishes is due to significant investment in a new colourant manufacturing facility and laboratory, which operates next to the RockinColour production factory. And this ability to react to colour trends in the industry is one USP that RockinColour plan to utilise for years to come.
However, RockinColour has not stopped there, and have redesigned and rebranded all its packaging for the pot topper and large pack sizes.
Further still, RockinColour has come up with an innovative mixed pallet offer with point of sale allowing retailers to launch RockinColour with minimum expense, but with maximum impact. This offer will be available UK and Ireland wide.
RockinColour feels that there is a need and an opportunity to add something new and fresh to the decorative aggregates category in the UK for retailers.
Jamie Stevenson, RockinColour Director, says: “We feel that in the dec aggs category RockinColour can have a big impact and provide retailers something new to offer their customers.
"The vibrant colours on offer also work and sell with existing natural gravels as they complement each other. We recommend setting up a small display to show customers how to use the stone. And where this has been done, retailers have had great success launching and selling pallets worth of RockinColour, while complementing natural stone sales."
The team at RockinColour will be happy to discuss success stories and best practice on how to set up and sell RockinColour in your retail space.
To find out more about RockinColour, visit: www.rockincolour.com and stand 19C40 at GLEE.
Pretty in Pink...that's Durston Garden Products
GTN Xtra Promotion
Wow, wow and more wow..... Whoever would have believed that a compost bag could look quite so amazing, yet here in a tailor-made outfit, our
‘Pretty in Pink’ lady will be strutting her stuff at this years GLEE to promote recycling on behalf of UK supplier and compost manufacturer Durston Garden Products...
Wow, wow and more wow..... Whoever would have believed that a compost bag could look quite so amazing, yet here in a tailor-made outfit, our
‘Pretty in Pink’ lady will be strutting her stuff at this years GLEE to promote recycling on behalf of UK supplier and compost manufacturer Durston Garden Products.
Many of you will have watched David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II on TV and have been appalled at the devastating images you witnessed. Not only of the effect that plastic is having on our oceans around the world but in particular the effect it is having on marine wildlife and coral beds within those oceans; so what can we do to help?
At Durston Garden Products we truly believe that – every little bit, however small, can make a difference. That’s why at this years GLEE in addition to showcasing our New Identity and New Packaging, we will also be spreading the word about recycling and thought what better way to demonstrate that subject, than to use some of our old packaging to get the message across.
Like the majority of compost suppliers, Durstons are no exception when it comes using plastic sacks to package its compost, and whilst many of you might be forgiven for thinking ‘hang on a minute, they’re still using plastic sacks, yet here they are banging-on about recycling........what hypocrites’, we totally understand. However, it’s a dilemma that sadly many of us face within the industry until a more cost effective and realistic alternative can be found.
So, in the interim period, we, along with millions of other people and organisations around the world have decided to support Sir David Attenborough’s campaign, and do our bit to raise the profile of this desperate situation. At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for using the stuff, so now it’s up to us all to help as much as we can to assist in phasing-it-out. Director and national sales manager, Dan Durston takes up the story.
“Having been truly moved by ‘Blue Planet II’, the management team here at Durstons made a conscious decision to investigate the way in which our plastic sacks were produced. In doing so, we also wanted to establish if there was anything we could do to make our bags more environmentally friendly, and this is what we discovered.
There are essentially two different types of processes being used in the production of plastic packaging” continues Dan - laminated and non-laminated films. And whilst it may all seem extremely scientific it really is quite straightforward. By using Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) films, which is classed as non-laminated then the plastic is rendered totally 100% recyclable and yet the majority of compost bags still being produced are made using laminated films rendering them non- recyclable. This is something that I personally find totally unacceptable and on that note I urge retailers to consider the impact of the products they sell.”
That said, Durstons then decided that they needed to go a step further and to share this information with a wider audience, so earlier this year they started to print the information about the fact that their sacks wee 100% recyclable onto their bags. They also produced point-of-sale header boards for in-store use and had leaflets printed explaining why their packaging is different to others. “It’s all about spreading the word,” Dan continues.
“So when you visit GLEE this year, make sure you look out for our ‘Pretty in Pink’ lady and be sure to stop and say hello. Ask her for one of our leaflets then go back to your organisation and think, ‘is there anything we too could do to assist in this campaign’. After all, its not only compost packaging that this relates to, it’s so much more. Like us, you may initially think, gosh is this really making any difference, it’s so small, but at the end of the day, it’s all the small things added together which often turn into something very BIG! “
Durston Garden Products are exhibiting this year at GLEE in Hall 8, Stand E21 and look forward to welcoming you onto their stand where the sales team will be delighted to talk you through the company’s extensive range of composts/growing media products as well as its NEW packaging and NEW identity.
Bank holiday a damp squib for garden centres
But the forecast warm September will help to restore balance
Unlike bank holidays earlier in the year, August Bank Holiday was a damp squib for garden centres, as measured by GTN Bestsellers volume sales figures...
August Bank Holiday 2018 was NOT a record breaker. Unlike the Bank Holidays earlier in the year, when records were broken across the country, this one passed like a damp squib, according the last week's figures from GTN Bestsellers.
Still, we should not complain. While garden centre sales have been slower than everyone would like during August, the prospect of a warm September bodes well for a boost to garden activity to drive footfall. Let’s hope that is the case, as organisations like the British Retail Consortium are forecasting a tough September for retail in general.
Spring-flowering bulb sales should gather momentum over the next few weeks, especially where displays are given extra prominence.
Wyevale Garden Centres agrees sale of five more garden centres
One more to Blue Diamond and one to Homeleigh
Wyevale Garden Centres, the UK’s biggest garden centre operator, last week announced the sale of Brooks; Nailsworth; Aldridge; Keynsham and Shirley garden centres to individual buyers. Nailsworth has been purchased by Blue Diamond and Brooks by Homeleigh Garden Centre...
Wyevale Garden Centres, the UK’s biggest garden centre operator, last week announced the sale of five garden centres to individual buyers.
The centres are: Brooks; Nailsworth; Aldridge; Keynsham and Shirley.
Brooks in Bude (above) has been sold to Homeleigh Garden Centre from Launceston and Nailsworth (below) to Blue Diamond. They are the only two that will continue to operate as garden centres.
Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive of Wyevale Garden Centres, said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of five of our garden centres. In the case of those centres which have been sold for alternative use, we are very pleased to honour our commitments to our colleagues and partners and will seek to redeploy our excellent colleagues in our other garden centres wherever possible in coming months. We would like to thank our great colleagues at these centres, who have been central to our turnaround in the past few years.”
Aldridge, Keynsham and Shirley have been sold in separate transactions to purchasers who are expected to develop the sites for alternative use. These centres were previously identified for potential redevelopment as part of the company’s active portfolio management strategy.
Aldridge and Keynsham are expected to continue to operate as garden centres for up to 6 months after completion of the sale.
Anthony Jones, Chief Financial Officer of Wyevale Garden Centres, said: “These sales reflect our continued pursuit of positive outcomes for our colleagues, concession partners, suppliers and customers as part of the ongoing sale process. We are very grateful for the dedication and commitment of the teams at these centres, and we’ll continue to support them through the transition.”
Nailsworth was designed by Alan Roper, who was MD and Investor, in 1994 and opened in spring 1995. Alan explained to GTN Xtra: "It was private equity financed back then and sold 3 years later for treble the investment. I founded my AB1 and point of difference mantra on that business which was the concept I took to Blue Diamond 20 years ago."
"I am delighted to have bought it back, it has great potential and there is a great customer demographic in the area," he added.
Wyevale Garden Centres has received a significant number of offers for all or part of the remaining Wyevale Garden Centres business from national, regional and financial operators as well as local entrepreneurs.
Homebase's creditors voted in favour of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), with 95.92% of creditors backing the plan.
Homebase will now close 42 of its 241 stores during late 2018 and early 2019, leaving 1,500 people at risk of losing their jobs.
The stores to close are:
- Aberdeen Bridge of Don
Bedford St Johns
Cardiff Newport Road
Croydon Purley Way
Dublin Naas Road
London New Southgate
Oxford Botley Road
Poole Tower Park
Southampton Hedge End
Swindon Drakes Way
Damian McGloughlin, CEO of Homebase, said: “We are pleased that an overwhelming majority of our creditors, including such a proportion of landlords, have supported the plans laid out in the CVA. We now have the platform to turn the business around and return to profitability. This has been a difficult time for many of our team members and I am very grateful for their continued support and hard work.
“We can look to the future with great confidence, and we will be working closely with our suppliers to capitalise on the opportunities we see in the home improvement market in the UK and Ireland.”
AMES UK on the road to further expansion
The AMES UK group of companies, which includes La Hacienda, Kelkay and Anchorfast, will be exhibiting as a group for the first time at next month’s Glee exhibition at the NEC. It’s been a very busy year for AMES UK Managing Director, Antony Harker, who has coordinated the acquisition and integration of their latest project to bring Anchorfast into the group.
The AMES UK group of companies, which includes La Hacienda, Kelkay and Anchorfast, will be exhibiting as a group for the first time at next month’s Glee exhibition at the NEC.
It’s been a very busy year for AMES UK Managing Director, Antony Harker, who has coordinated the acquisition and integration of their latest project to bring Anchorfast into the group.
He is expecting that the pace of change is likely to continue well into the future, with the group actively seeking further similar opportunities.
He has made no secret of the fact that AMES’ parent company, Griffon Corporation (NYSE:GFF), a US public company with approximately USD$2billion in annual revenue, remains very much on the acquisition trail. Griffon and their subsidiary AMES have identified the UK garden sector as a key strategic development opportunity.
Antony said “AMES and Griffon have been hugely supportive and I’m delighted that I will be welcoming the President of Griffon Corporation and the CEO for The AMES Companies, as visitors to GLEE this year. I think it demonstrates the opportunities they see in the UK market and just how serious they are about the group’s growth and expansion plans.”
It’s understood that the senior team from AMES will be meeting a number of businesses over the three days of the show to explore potential opportunities.
For more information on The AMES Companies go to http://global.ames.com
To find out more about Kelkay go to www.kelkay.com or e-mail the general enquiries office on email@example.com or call to speak to us on 01405 869333
Kelkay The Old Airfield, Heck & Pollington Lane, Pollington, East Yorkshire, DN14 0BA
To find out more about La Hacienda go to www.lahacienda.co.uk or call to speak to us on 01285 762060
Wyevale Nurseries to introduce recyclable plant pots
Wyevale Nurseries is introducing recyclable plant pots for all its retail plants so that they can be recycled kerbside by consumers. It will be replacing its black plastic pots for taupe coloured pots, which will be supplied by Aeroplas in the West Midlands, to fight the war on plastic...
Wyevale Nurseries is introducing recyclable plant pots for all its retail plants so that they can be recycled kerbside by consumers.
In 2019 Wyevale Nurseries will be replacing its black plastic pots for taupe coloured pots, which will be supplied by Aeroplas in the West Midlands, to fight the war on plastic.
Steve Reed, Production Director of the Container Division at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, explained: “The taupe coloured plant pots will be used next year for our retail plants and we plan to use more than 700,000 of the new recyclable pots.
“There will be a big overlap for customers as everything we have potted this year is in black pots but by autumn 2019 most of our stock will be supplied in taupe pots to retailers.
“The general public can then recycle the taupe pots kerbside with other household waste, which has not been possible before. The black pots would previously end up in landfill because they contain carbon black pigment. The new taupe pots are carbon black pigment free polypropylene, which can be identified by near infrared (NIR) analysis and therefore can be recycled through kerbside collections.
“The recyclable taupe pot is an industry initiative being led by representatives from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and UK growers. It’s great to see many growers’ backing the taupe pot and we’re very keen to look at the other ways we use plastic within the company to furthermore improve our environmental credentials.”
The team at Wyevale Nurseries are also interested to see if there’s an alternative to their A3 correx boards, which they supply as part of their retail promotions.
Steve added: “We want to hear from our customers about the correx boards and if they feel they really help generate more sales or if a small bed card would have the same effect. Our plan is to find a better substitute for the boards, which means there is then less waste. We welcome any feedback from our customers on the topic of our correx boards.”
Currently Wyevale Nurseries uses plant labels from Floramedia and these are all recyclable via the kerbside collection.
The Horticultural Trades Association has announced that Boyd Douglas-Davies, CEO of Hillview Garden Centres, is to join the HTA Board as Vice-President.
A well-known figure in the industry, Boyd has over 30 years of garden retail experience, and is currently CEO of Hillview Garden Centres. The group consists of 11 garden centres across middle England. Developments at the centres include refurbished plant and horticultural departments, along with extended catering and the introduction of hugely successful soft play barns. Further to this Boyd founded Garden Re-Leaf Day and is a Trustee of The Greenfingers Charity.
Commenting on the appointment Adam Taylor, HTA President, said: “We are delighted to announce Boyd’s appointment to the HTA Board as Vice-President. Boyd has had a long association with the industry and the HTA having served on our Retail Suppliers Committee and Commercial Committee, as well as being a recipient of the HTA Pearson Memorial Medal for outstanding service to the garden industry. He is a true industry supporter demonstrated by his involvement in many initiatives not least the fantastic work achieved through the creation of Garden Re-Leaf Day and the work he does for Greenfingers.”
Boyd Douglas-Davies comments, “The HTA plays such a huge part in all aspects of the industry. I am extremely proud to be invited to join the Board and look forward to supporting it to the best of my abilities.”
Boyd’s appointment follows the recent news about Brian Fraser joining the HTA Board to represent grower members. Both appointments will be ratified at the forthcoming HTA AGM which takes place at Glee, Concourse Suite 30, NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT on Tuesday 11 September 2018 commencing at 8.30 am (refreshments from 8.00 am). Members can log on to find out more at www.hta.org.uk/agm2018
The HTA Board consists of :-
Adam Taylor – Taylors Bulbs – President
Adam Wigglesworth – Aylett Nurseries – Immediate Past President
Alex Vick – HTA Senior Executive and Finance Director
Bob Hewitt – Klondyke Garden Centres – non-executive director
Brian Fraser – Oakover Nurseries – non-executive director
Matthew Bent – Bents Garden & Home - non-executive director
Richard Pyrah – Kelkay – GIMA President - non-executive director
Sandy Shepherd – Ball Colegrave - non-executive director
Simon Fraser – Ben Reid Garden Centre - non-executive director
Great expectations for Glee 2018
Countdown continues: 7 days to go before big event begins
The expectations of visitors and retailers are already running high for Glee 2018. The first preview issue of Glee Daily News has been opened 78% more frequently than last year – and by 42% more readers. With a new layout across Halls 6, 7, 8, 19 and 20, the refreshed event has the potential to re-energise the industry as this year of extremes continues.
GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer asked garden centre retailers and exhibitors about their hopes for Glee 2018...
The expectations of visitors and retailers are already running high for Glee 2018.
The first preview issue of Glee Daily News has been opened 78% more frequently than last year – and by 42% more readers.
Similarly, entries for the Glee New Product Showcase, in association with GTN, are currently 40% higher as we near the end of August.
With a new layout across Halls 6, 7, 8, 19 and 20, the refreshed event has the potential to re-energise the industry as this year of extremes continues.
GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer asked garden centre retailers and exhibitors about their hopes for Glee 2018. Here are two of the responses he received.
Justin Williams, Fron Goch Garden Centre: “We will be desperately looking for innovation. Our customers have a thirst for the new and a thirst for problem-solving, and we have a thirst for environmental features that are relevant to the way people live today, being time-poor and much more thoughtful about their environment.”
Keith Nicholson, Westland: “Gardening is exciting, attractive, a great and rewarding pastime. At Glee, our products really underpin this. We will be revealing new products, new packaging and new media campaigns to build on that excitement. Lawns will be strong for 2019 and we have a totally revamped offer. Indoor gardening is not stopping and it’s one of the trends in 2019. You’ll see the results of our ‘green’ developments including the revolutionary peat replacement technology called BIO3, which will feature in an exciting New Horizon range… it really is a window into the future of growing media. Plant foods and grass seeds will be stronger than ever.”
The full report can be found in the September issue of Garden Trade News, which can be read on-line here
Read Issue 2 of this years Glee Daily News here
Needlefresh, the real Christmas tree supplier, has announced a charity partnership with Greenfingers which will be launched at Glee in September.
The fundraising initiative will allow garden retailers a simple way to donate to Greenfingers through Christmas sales over the upcoming festive period.
Known as “The Christmas Tree that Keeps on Giving, Needlefresh is encouraging all of its customers visiting the show to purchase special promotional labels to attach to their Christmas tree stock. Each tree sold with the label, will see a total donation of 50p going to Greenfingers’ work creating beautiful, well-designed outdoor spaces in hospices for children to enjoy with family, friends and siblings.
The eye-catching label, designed and printed by Hortipak, can be purchased for 25p from Needlefresh who will generously match this. Hortipak will be kindly donating 10,000 labels to the cause and will provide instore POS to support the campaign. The labelscan be used either for a particular size and type of tree to promote or to label all trees high footfall days.
Christopher Hood, Managing Director at Needlefresh said: “As a family run business, we feel it is important to support other families through challenging times and make their time in hospices a little easier by providing relaxation, comfort and precious memories through a Greenfingers garden. Supporting this initiative will also help your business and Christmas trees stand out in a competitive environment. We encourage retailers to embrace our charity initiative in the run up to Christmas and help us raised vital funds for this worthy cause.”
Linda Petrons, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Greenfingers Charity said: “We are delighted to be working with Needlefresh on this campaign again. We hope garden centres across the country sign up to this initiative over the festive period. Christmas is the time of year to give back and this is a fantastic way to give a small donation to help our vital work creating beautiful outdoor spaces in children’s hospices.”
Greenfingers will acknowledge the support of participating garden centres on its website, through its social media channels and can supply a press release template to promote the initiative in local media.
The Greenfingers team will have examples of the Christmas Tree labels on show and will be exhibiting at Glee on the HTA stand in Hall 19, stand no 19P69.
To get involved contact Sharon or Claire at Needlefresh and they will be delighted to help you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
RHS London show tempts uban gardeners
City dwellers will be invited to experience the cutting-edge techniques of urban gardening at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Urban Garden Show (Westminster, 27-28 October)...
City dwellers will be invited to experience the cutting-edge techniques of urban gardening at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Urban Garden Show (Westminster, 27-28 October)
Featuring ideas for transforming even the smallest urban corners, the event will reveal some of the more unusual ways to get greenery into city spaces and bring the best of the outdoors in for autumn.
Peckham’s popular Green Rooms Botanical Market will be relocating to Westminster, bringing with it an eclectic mix of products from some of London’s top independent botanical businesses. Plant enthusiasts of all levels will be able to explore the urban jungle and stock up on tropical houseplants, pots, terrariums, cacti, macramé and botanical prints and more.
For those looking for the next indoor gardening trend, ‘aquascaping’ expert George Farmer will display this unusual, emerging form of underwater gardening and will be running workshops to inspire visitors to try their hand at creating their own submerged miniature landscapes using aquatic plants.
Just in time for Halloween, multi-sensory design agency Bompas and Parr will be creating the ‘Garden of Darkness’, a nocturnal installation to celebrate moths, the unsung heroes of pollination. Guests will be plunged into darkness as they walk through a dark haze of night-blooming plants and attendant moths, with night-vision goggles to guide them through the space.
Creative talks and workshops to help everyone get to grips with urban gardening will run throughout the show. Gardeners’ Question Time panellist Anne Swithinbank will demonstrate houseplant care; Alys Fowler will focus on growing in small areas; Rob Dwiar will take a look at landscape design in computer games alongside PlayStation 4 game demonstrations.
Workshops will include terrarium building with London Terrariums and landscape arrangement inspired by the Japanese art of flower arranging Ikebana with La Famille. Meanwhile, Bonsai Kai will be running Bonsai training demonstrations and visitors can learn how to sow their own avocado seeds with Joseph Ford.
Tickets can be booked online via the RHS website here
Bulb planting gives growing media sales a boost
The past two weeks have seen a steady increase in growing media sales in the GTN Bestsellers charts as gardeners get going with their autumn gardening, especially preparations for bulb planting...
The past two weeks have seen a steady increase in growing media sales as gardeners get going with their autumn gardening, especially preparations for bulb planting.
Sales are still behind last year, but thankfully moving in the right direction.
- Taylors Bulb Fibre, 10 litres, was the highest re-entry, back in at No 16.
- Evergreen Garden Care Levington Multipurpose Compost with John Innes, 55 litres, moved the most places up the chart.
- Westland Cacti & Succulent Potting Mix more than tripled sales to re-enter at No 49.
Four employees working at Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown are training for the Bournemouth Half Marathon in aid of Autism Wessex.
General manager Simon Hallam, customer services assistant team leader Pauline Oxford, admin assistant Ellie Trickett and customer service assistant Ruby Johnson are running the Bournemouth Half Marathon on Sunday October 7. They’ll be joined by Pauline’s daughter, Claire, and husband, David, making a total of a team of six.
Simon Hallam commented: “Our training is going well and each team member is following their own dedicated training plan and thoroughly enjoying having the challenge of a half marathon to spur them on! Three members of our team have never run this distance before and they are enjoying the support of their colleagues to meet the weekly goals of completing short and long runs.”
The Ferndown garden centre is supporting Autism Wessex as its ‘Charity of the Year’ via fundraising activities throughout 2018. The centre aims to raise several thousands of pounds for the charity, as well as providing the space for Autism Wessex to host information and awareness evenings to raise further donations.
Autism Wessex provides high quality specialist services for adults and children affected by autism throughout Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset. According to statistics there are around 700,000 people affected by autism in the UK.
Thomas Johnston, fundraising manager at Autism Wessex, commented: “We’d like to say a big thank you and good luck to Simon, Ellie, Pauline, Ruby, Claire and David for their marathon fundraising efforts. We’ve been blown away by the generosity of Haskins customers and the dedication of the team at Haskins to find different ways to support us in our landmark 50th birthday year.
“We are immensely grateful as it’s only with the support and determined fundraising of organisations like Haskins that we are able to provide specialist advice and support to local children and adults affected by autism.”
Haskins in Ferndown has raised £1,257 so far this year for Autism Wessex and raised 4,548.03 for Dorset Mind last year. Haskins nominates a different local charity each year.
The Bournemouth Half follows the Full Marathon route and takes in both Boscombe and Bournemouth piers along a coastal route. To support Haskins’ fundraising efforts for Autism Wessex, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/team-haskins.
Haskins Garden Centre is located in Ferndown, Dorset. Visit www.haskins.co.uk for more information.
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Stephen Pendleton (right) of the Stevenson Agencies receives the ‘Sales Agent of the Year’ award from Garland/Worth Gardening’s sales director, Mark Dedman.
Following a year of consistent sales growth of over 84 per cent, the Stevenson Agencies has been awarded the Garland/Worth Gardening ‘Sales Agent of the Year’. The winning agency is responsible for sales of the company’s products for the garden and hardware markets across the whole of Ireland.
The announcement was made at the company’s sales conference held in Hockley Heath on 23 and 24 August, where Garland/Worth Gardening’s agents from across the whole of the UK and Ireland were briefed on the complete range of new products to be launched at Glee in September. The presentation also majored on the eco credentials of products across the company’s range.
In a close fought race for the sales agent title, Tony Robson in the North West took second place and third place went to Andy Looby who covers the Midlands.
Commenting on the awards, Garland/Worth Gardening’s sales director, Mark Dedman said: “The company’s continuous programme of new product innovation, supported by a loyal and expanding customer base, has resulted yet again in many of our sales agents recording impressive increased levels of business. Since the beginning of the year the company’s sales have grown by over 40 per cent and as our portfolio of products for the garden and DIY markets will be expanding again at Glee 2018 it will place the company in a good position to provide further growth in 2019. In the week prior to Glee, we will be exhibiting our entire range of products at the largest garden fair in the world, spoga+gafa in Cologne, Germany, to ensure that our export sales also continue their healthy growth pattern.”
The Garland Products Group specialises in the manufacture of plastic injection moulded products, all of which utilise 100 per cent recycled or recyclable plastics, including the product’s packaging. The company supplies a wide range of products for keen and hobby gardeners, and has plans for further warehouse expansion over the coming year to ensure that it continues to hold the stock required to provide a first class service to the trade.
Garden decoration leads a mini sales upturn
Garden decoration lines played more than a supporting role last week in a welcome upturn in garden product sales, according to the GTN Bestsellers garden products chart...x
Garden decoration lines played more than a supporting role last week in a welcome upturn in garden product sales, according to the GTN Bestsellers garden products chart.
Pot feet, pot toppers, plant supports and garden lighting were the big winners in the Bank Holiday run-up.
Woodlodge Small Pot Feet climbed 17 places to No 2.
Smart Garden’s 1.5m Gro-Stake re-entered at No 3.
Apta Pot Toppers moved up five places to No 4.
Woodlodge Rose Stick Flower (pictured) was highest new entry at No 20, closely followed by Premier’s Lightbulb Tea Light Holder.
Tom Sharples, currently Senior Horticultural Manager at Suttons is retiring after 44 years with the company.
Tom initially joined the group with sister company, Dobies as Trial Grounds Manager when the company was based in Llangollen, North Wales. He then took charge of young plants and was responsible for the introduction of the first seedlings and plug plants available to the home gardener, way back in 1977.
Tom then was additionally put in charge of Dobies catalogue, a position he held until the takeover of Dobies by Suttons and subsequently moved down to Devon. He was then given responsibility for the production of both Suttons and Dobies mail order catalogues.
A further move took Tom to the retail side of Suttons as Marketing manager with further responsibility for product development, which among other things involved considerable travel around the world, looking for new and interesting seed and plant varieties and growing techniques suitable for the home gardener.
Latterly in his time with the company, Tom adopted a training and advisory role, mentoring young horticulturalists joining the company.
Tom is not planning to put his feet up in his retirement and will continue with his judging Britain in Bloom and RHS trials, together with lecturing, writing, copy proofing etc.
He is also hoping to get involved in ‘putting something back’ in an industry he loves by working with schools, parents and children to encourage and improve gardening knowledge.
Tom has made a huge contribution to both Suttons and Dobies over all those years and his legacy lives on in those with whom he has shared his immense knowledge.
Although he is ‘retiring’ he will be continuing to help us develop our Group discount scheme for allotmenteers and horticultural groups and we look forward to also continuing to see him around the office and playing an active part in the development of our trials grounds over the coming months and years.
Autumn colour rescued plant sales in the run up to the Bank Holiday in the GTN Bestsellers plant charts.
Overall sales were down on the previous week and the same week last year because of the indifferent weather but where sales did increase it was those plants that provide a splash of colour for a patio or to fill a gap in a border.
• Cyclamen sales increased by almost 30%, keeping them at No 1.
• Japanese anemones jumped 15 places up the GTN Bestsellers chart to No 17. • Carex grasses saw the biggest percentage sales growth, up by almost 150% to re-enter at No 33.
Looking-good late-season perennials are a real bonus for retailers at this point in the summer.
Japanese anemones are always a favourite. Tall and bold, their simple flowers in shades from pink to white really celebrate the season and make appealing pick-up lines in the planteria.
The thick fleshy foliage of sedum varieties, commonly called Ice Plants, add interest throughout the year, from the moment it develops in spring. Their flowers come in eye-catching colours from pure white to pink and red, proving as attractive to us as they are to bees and butterflies.
Make sure your bed cards point out how attractive the seed heads can be on perennials like cone flowers (Echinacea and Rudbeckia), globe thistle (Echinops), sea holly (Eryngium), agapanthus, ornamental grasses, and bulbs like the Pineapple Lily (Eucomis). Thy can keep the interest going through autumn into winter.
Favourite late flowering plants
- Asters and Michaelmas Daisies – such as Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ and Aster ‘Little Carlow’.
- Ice Plant (Sedum spectabile and other varieties) – such as Atropurpureum Group, ‘Autumn Joy’ (syn ‘Herbstfreude’), ‘Brilliant’, ‘Purple Emperor’ and ‘Ruby Glow’.
- Japanese Anemones – such as Anemone japonica, ‘Hadspen Abundance’ – single pink, ‘Honorine Jobert’ – single white, ‘Königin Charlotte’ – semi-double rose-pink flowers, ‘Pamina’ – deep pink double flowers and‘September Charm’ – single rose-pink.
- Verbena – such as the Argentinian vervain (Verbena bonariensis) and Hardy Garden Verbena (Verbena rigida).
On trend terrariums and miniature indoor gardens for the autumn
As summer draws to a close and everyone starts to move back inside, it’s a great time of year to tempt people to try gardening indoors with eye-catching and on-trend miniature gardens and terrariums.
These stunning little gardens which contain and support a miniature ecosystem of plants are not just space saving but are also low maintenance and can provide a real talking point in the home.
The current vogue for succulents and airplants fits in well with indoor gardening, and ensuring customers have everything they need to create one themselves gives you great scope for increasing each sale. There are also added opportunities to run workshops or masterclasses to tempt more customers in.
Succulents and airplants need little attention – too much love can drown them. Always have a few finished terrariums (priced up) for instant presents and to show customers what they can do and how to do it. Compost, horticultural grit, lightweight clay pebbles, empty containers and miniature gardening accessories like fairy houses all help your people to visualise them in their own home.
Succulents are easy to look after in store as well so there is little wastage; maintaining enough stock may be your biggest challenge.
Plants for terrariums
- Mini ferns
- Carnivorous plants – Venus fly traps, Pitcher plants, Sundew plants
- Dwarf palms
- Airplants – Tillandsia
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
Blue Diamond start recruiting 8 chefs for new centres
One week into the integration of 8 previously Wyevale Garden Centres into the Blue Diamond Group, Managing Director Alan Roper has told GTN Xtra that the switch over went well; "For customers the main issue was the swap over of tills and that has gone very well. We have already started to recruit 8 chefs so that we can start to move the food offering up to Blue Diamond standards, none of the new centres had chefs employed."...
One week into the integration of 8 previously Wyevale Garden Centres into the Blue Diamond Group, Managing Director Alan Roper has told GTN Xtra that the switch over went well; "For customers the main issue was the swap over of tills and that has gone very well. We have already started to recruit 8 chefs so that we can start to move the food offering up to Blue Diamond standards, none of the new centres had chefs employed."
The Blue Diamond Trading Statement for last year contains information about how the £34.25m plus stock deal with Wyevale Garden Centres was financed. Chairman Simon Burke tells shareholders: " We are financing this transaction through a combination of £21m additional borrowing from NatWest and the sale and leaseback to BlackRock Investment Management of one of our existing garden centres, Brambridge, and two of the properties we are acquiring, namely Melbicks and Percy Throwers, which will yield £26m before expenses and taxes. This financing plan covers the cost of acquisition, and subsequent capex and working capital needs."
That means only the Sanders site of the 8 new Blue Diamond Centres will be freehold. "We have always operated with a mix of leasehold and freehold garden centres," explained Alan Roper, "at Sanders we need 13 acres for the garden centre which leaves a further 12 acres close to the M5 that we can decide what to do with in the future. "
Alan also commented that the cost of stock purchased from Wyevale was less than expected.
The Blue Diamond Trading Statement also includes details of the Orchard Park acquisition in May which is also leasehold: "We acquired a 25% shareholding in the company that owns Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham, Dorset for just over £1m, with a put and call option to acquire the remaining 75% of the shares in 2020. This is a centre producing a turnover of £2.5m that we believe can grow significantly within five years with the right investment. It is a leasehold site that we are now managing and operating on a daily basis. There is planning permission to extend the garden centre that we are currently reviewing."
See the full Blue Diamond Trading statement here or read on..
DATED: 25TH JULY 2018
TRADING STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED
31 DECEMBER 2017
At the AGM on 14th June 2018 I promised to write to you all if and when we agreed to acquire any of the Wyevale garden centres that they have put up for sale.
I am pleased to announce that on 23rd July we exchanged contracts to buy eight Wyevale garden centres for a price of £34.25m plus stock. Including the estimated value of stock, stamp duty land tax and other acquisition costs, the total outlay will be approximately £44m. In 2017 these sites produced a turnover of £35m and EBITDA of just under £4m. The deal is expected to complete on 13th August.
This agreement is the culmination of a dialogue that has been taking place with Wyevale and Terra Firma, its private equity owner, for several months - well before they put all 145 Wyevale garden centres up for sale in May. This is the reason we have been able to conclude this purchase in advance of the wider sale process.
The eight sites we are purchasing are the following:
- Melbicks. This is a freehold site to the west of Birmingham that will be converted into a leasehold upon acquisition. There is currently indoor retail space of 75,000 square feet.
- Sanders. This is a freehold site located north of Taunton with indoor retail space of 39,000 square feet.
- Percy Throwers. This is a freehold site near Shrewsbury that will be converted into a leasehold upon acquisition. It is a modern garden centre that was re-built in 2015 and has 58,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
- Bicester. This is large and busy leasehold site located to the north of Oxford and near Bicester Village. There is 130,000 square feet of retail space split between a mall with individual retail units and the garden centre.
- Endsleigh. This is a large, purpose-built garden centre to the east of Plymouth with 86,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
- Weybridge. This leasehold site is located between Brooklands and Chertsey close to the M25 with 32,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
- Cadbury. This is a large leasehold site located to the south-west of Bristol with 127,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
- Cardiff. This is a leasehold site located between Cardiff and Newport that was built in 2015 and has 58,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
We have chosen these sites because they all meet the following criteria:
- All the buildings are modern and fit for purpose, with good internal infrastructure and no need for major reconfiguring in order to install the Blue Diamond offer. Two of the sites were built within the last three years, and all within the last twenty years.
- All sites are in good locations that are very accessible and are within reach of a significant number of our core AB customers.
- All of the garden centres are destination centres that can be refurbished to meet the standards and scale of Redfields and Bridgford.
- There will be little if any cannibalisation of our existing garden centres.
- All sites have a history of good trading, with some doing much higher sales in the period prior to Wyevale's ownership.
- There is much potential to increase average spend and footfall, and to introduce our own offer to replace the concessions at these centres.
We anticipate that the acquisition will, over time, improve the profitability of the Group well beyond the current profit being made by the centres being bought. This will come from introducing the Blue Diamond product range, focusing on our core AB customer, raising the merchandising to our standards, investing in the refurbishment of the stores and removing concessions whose product we can offer ourselves. In addition, we expect that the significant increase in our scale will bring benefits for margins across the whole Group.
We are financing this transaction through a combination of £21m additional borrowing from NatWest and the sale and leaseback to BlackRock Investment Management of one of our existing garden centres, Brambridge, and two of the properties we are acquiring, namely Melbicks and Percy Throwers, which will yield £26m before expenses and taxes. This financing plan covers the cost of acquisition, and subsequent capex and working capital needs.
The Board continues to adopt a cautious approach to borrowing and has approved the acquisition on the basis that the ratio of net debt to EBITDA will remain under three times. We are planning to maximise free cash flow in the near term so as to reduce our debt levels as quickly as possible. We have budgeted for the capital expenditure necessary to deliver our plans for the acquired sites, and this will be deployed over a three year period.
There is also a robust operational plan in place to manage the integration of these sites that includes the temporary suspension of our existing development plans, the redeployment of existing Group employees and the recruitment of additional resource in key areas. Our main focus initially will be the assessment of the centres and their teams before moving on to make changes from 2019.
In summary, therefore, this transaction represents an excellent and very rare opportunity for the Group. It will lead to a 38% increase in the number of sites we operate, and an initial 30% increase in turnover. The Wyevale trading model makes wide use of concessions for products that we sell in-house, and so we expect turnover to grow significantly as we migrate the centres to the Blue Diamond format. In addition, the trading history of many of the sites indicates much higher sales potential and we believe that we can get back to these levels, primarily because our offer is more in tune with the catchments of the centres. This kind of re-gearing of newly acquired centres is something Alan and the team have done many times, with great results. Although the size of this acquisition will present some new challenges for us, I am confident that we have the skills and the resources to generate very attractive returns from the investment.
I am also pleased to be able to provide a positive trading update for the first six months of 2018.
After a very difficult start to the gardening season in March and April when the weather was cold and unsettled, trade in May and June has been exceptionally strong. Total sales for the first half of 2018 were 14% higher than 2017 and 6% higher on a like for like basis, excluding East Bridgford Garden Centre. Total sales increased by 14% in the UK and 5% on a like for like basis. It was also pleasing that sales in the Channel Islands rose by 9%.
The Group's overall sales growth in the garden centres was again higher than the industry in the first half of 2018 according to the latest report from the Garden Centre Association. There were notable outperformances in the Plants, Garden Sundries and Home categories.
At the end of March 2018 we opened East Bridgford Garden Centre near Nottingham after a £4.5m fit-out. The Centre has clearly resonated with customers and by the end of June it had already reached a turnover of nearly £4m. We are optimistic that it will produce a turnover greater than £10m in its first year of trading. We will be spending a further £0.5m on the Play Barn in the second half of 2018.
At the beginning of May, we acquired a 25% shareholding in the company that owns Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham, Dorset for just over £1m, with a put and call option to acquire the remaining 75% of the shares in 2020. This is a centre producing a turnover of £2.5m that we believe can grow significantly within five years with the right investment. It is a leasehold site that we are now managing and operating on a daily basis. There is planning permission to extend the garden centre that we are currently reviewing.
The improvement in profits in the first half is likely to be subdued, as I signalled in the Annual Report, not least because of the introduction of the retail profits tax in Jersey and we therefore remain cautious about the year as a whole. Although we have enjoyed a very welcome rebound from the poor trading conditions earlier in the year, many of the underlying concerns about the UK economy remain. Clearly the Wyevale acquisition will have a material effect in the second half, and we expect it to be the driver of significant profit growth in the medium term.
ISSUE OF SHARES
There are 360,520 authorised but unissued shares available. At the AGM, in response to a suggestion that we put them up for sale, I said that we had no plans to do so, but that this would be kept under review and the Board would remain open to issuing them if there were evidence of significant unfilled demand. Recent offers for the sale of shares have been significantly oversubscribed, the latest one by more than 400%, and we have had strong indications of additional demand for shares from a number of existing shareholders. There are also ten potential new investors on the waiting list to buy shares.
In the Board's view, this is evidence of significant unfilled demand. In the context of the Wyevale acquisition and the desire to reduce debt levels quickly, we now think it would be appropriate to offer these unissued shares for sale. In accordance with our normal practice, we will offer these unissued shares initially to existing shareholders in proportion to their shareholdings. You will have the opportunity to request additional shares should other shareholders not take up their full allocation. Any unsold shares will be offered to the potential new investors on our list. The law requires us to produce a prospectus and we expect to circulate it to shareholders in August.
With the dramatic changes in weather, the remarkable opening of East Bridgford, and now the Wyevale acquisition, this has been a very eventful year for Blue Diamond. We are taking some major steps forward this year, which are not without risk, but which have the potential to deliver a quantum increase in the scale and profitability of the business. In addition, the significant development opportunities at existing sites, which are being postponed to allow us to focus on the Wyevale integration, are still there as opportunities to be realised in coming years, along with the longer-term new site developments. We therefore believe that we have a substantial runway for future growth.
The support of shareholders, so warmly expressed at the AGM this year, enables us to pursue these opportunities with confidence. I look forward to bringing you further updates on our progress with our regular cycle of reports.
Nine months on from the opening of their Daventry warehouse facility which was devastated by fire in March, Gardman have now decided to move back to a dedicated fleet run by Robsons of Spalding for their deliveries to garden centres from their current warehousing facility at Kings Lynn.
The move means Gardman warehousing, picking and logistics will once again be managed by the teams, in house for warehouse and picking and Robsons for logistics, that provided excellent standards of service prior to the move to Daventry. TNT, who managed the warehousing at Daventry stopped being involved after the fire and now from 10th September 2018, XPO will not be handling the deliveries.
Here is the full statement from CEO Pete Utting about the change:
Gardman Logistics Update
Release Date: 21st August 2018
We are delighted to announce a very significant change to our delivery service.
We have conducted an extensive review of our logistics operation, specifically the service we offer to our customers and we have reached the conclusion that the pallet network we are currently using is not compatible with the unique demands of our industry.
Consequently, last week we served notice on our incumbent logistics partner XPO and from 10th September Gardman brands will be delivered on a dedicated fleet by Robson`s of Spalding Ltd.
As our previous logistics provider, Robson`s has substantial experience of servicing our customers and we are extremely confident the return to a partner with such a thorough understanding of our industry requirements will significantly improve the service we provide.
Our target is for at least 95% of all deliveries to UK mainland garden centres to be transported via our new dedicated fleet on scheduled delivery days. A controlled and managed handover will take place during the next month.
We again thank all our customers for their patience and support as we build our recovery from the devastating effects of the March fire.
Christmas opened this Bank Holiday Weekend at GTN's Greatest Christmas Award Winning Summerhill Garden Centre, near Basildon, Essex.
WIth one of their themes being Summerhill’s Once Upon a Christmas, the opening weekend featured the princesses from The Princess Emporium singing as they move through the department, meeting customers young and old, ready to pose for pictures with the little ones!
They say you can’t buy happiness, but you can take home some unicorns and glitter from Summerhill, which is basically the same thing!
Glee confirm new 2019 opening days
Glee has a proven track record of evolving and changing to meet the needs of the industry it represents. The latest update is a continuation of this theme, as it is confirmed that the 2019 event will take place on Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th September...
Glee has a proven track record of evolving and changing to meet the needs of the industry it represents. The latest update is a continuation of this theme, as it is confirmed that the 2019 event will take place on Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th September.
The simple act of moving Glee one day later in the week has been decided upon due to increasing demand from the show’s retail visitors. Visitor trends in recent years have hinted at the popularity of the show days later in the week and following a period of consultation with both suppliers/ manufacturers and retail partners the move to a Tuesday – Thursday format has been confirmed.
Matthew Mein, Glee Event Director, said: “Glee needs to adapt in order to be more responsive to the needs of our visitors. With Sunday trading continuing to dominate the weekly schedule within retailing, we are seeing more and more visitors attending Glee on Tuesday and Wednesday as many dedicate Monday as the day to reflect after weekend trading, to catch up with their teams and order additional stock for the weeks ahead. Recognising this, we have decided to amend our opening days to provide retailers with the opportunity to focus their attention post-weekend, before visiting Glee unhindered later in the week. During our period of consultation, the response to this was extremely positive so we hope the wider industry will be equally supportive.”
Find out more
Glee is the UK’s leading garden retail show, focussing on building year-round profits for buyers and suppliers within the core gardening and outdoor leisure product categories. To keep up-to-date on the latest Glee news visit www.gleebirmingham.com. To enquire about exhibiting at Glee 2019 call 020 3033 2160.
All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
Big names from Costa, Caffè Nero, Taylor St Baristas, Boston Tea Party, Daisy Green, Kaffeine, Abuelo, Small Batch & The Gentleman Baristas speaking at their industry show next month...
lunch! – the UK’s biggest trade event for coffee shop and food-to-go operators, is expecting to see a record number of attendees next month when doors open at London ExCeL on 20-21 September.
Already a magnet for top buyers: Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Caffè Nero, Coffee#1, AMT Coffee, Puccino’s, Esquires Coffee, Harris+Hoole, Cafe2U, Wild Bean Café, Greggs and Pret, are regular show visitors. As are, of course, the hundreds of independents that pack the aisles every September. This year there’ll be even more coffee shop focused Keynotes and panel sessions for them to enjoy, featuring some of the biggest names in the business.
Take the Coffee Shop Legends panel, hosted by Café Life Association and chaired by Clare Benfield, editor of Café Life Magazine on Friday 21 September. It brings together no less than five coffee shop pioneers and innovators, including Marco Arrigo, director of Bar Termini; Paul Ettinger, Caffè Nero’s business development director; Lynette de la Vega, director of the recently-opened Abuelo café in London and a pioneer of Australian café culture and design; Peter Dore-Smith, founder and director of Kaffeine; and Andrew Tolley, co-founder of Taylor St Baristas (and Harris+Hoole).
Visitors can expect a lively debate as these industry ‘legends’ draw on their extensive knowledge and experience to discuss everything from the economics of running a café to multi-site roll-out, from current market conditions, business rates and Brexit to key future trends.
“lunch! is a superb opportunity for operators of all levels to access information, products and samples, and listen to industry professionals speak about their experiences. It’s a must visit,” comments Kaffeine’s Peter Dore-Smith.
The Coffee Cup Debate
Another second day highlight, sees three industry leaders – Sam Roberts, CEO & co-owner of Boston Tea Party, Ollie Rosevear, head of environment at Costa Coffee, and Alan Tomlins, MD of Small Batch Coffee Roasters – tackling coffee cup waste and recycling. With the use of single use coffee cups still on the rise (it’s estimated that around 7 million are thrown away in the UK each day), it’s one of the biggest issues currently facing the UK’s coffee shop and food-to-go sector.
Earlier this year, Costa Coffee, the UK’s largest coffee shop brand, announced its commitment to recycling the same volume of cups as it puts onto the market (up to 500 million takeaway coffee cups a year by 2020). It was also the first signatory of the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG)’s Paper Cup Manifesto, in 2016. Brighton’s Small Batch recently introduced in-store paper cup recycling and are launching a city-wide cup recycling initiative for independent coffee shops, while Bristol-based Boston Tea Party banned single use coffee cups from all its cafes in June.
Head to Keynote Theatre 2 at 2.15pm (21 September) to find out more about their strategies for reducing single use disposable items from their businesses. The session will be hosted by Martin Kersh, chairman of the Foodservice Packaging Association.
“Inspiring, informative, interactive”
Those are the three words that Anya Marco – one of the UK’s leading authorities on coffee trends and former executive director at Allegra World Coffee Portal – recently used to describe the show in an exclusive lunch! speaker Q&A (read more at: www.lunchshow.co.uk/category/lunch-news/qas). She’ll be marking her lunch! debut, with two Keynote appearances on opening day (Thursday 20 September).
In ‘Coffee shops – is the panini dead?’, she’ll be providing visitors with an in-depth look at key food trends for coffee shop operators and how to use consumer insights to maintain competitive advantage.
She’ll also be chairing the Growing Coffee Shops panel discussing the pros and cons of brand expansion in 2018, alongside three leading, smaller multi-site coffee shop operators – Henry Ayers, director of The Gentlemen Baristas; Prue Freeman, director of Daisy Green Collection; and Alan Tomlins, MD of Small Batch Coffee Roasters.
Tomlins and Ayers, both familiar faces at the show, have been Keynote panel regulars for years. Tomlins calls it a “great way to connect and learn”, while for Ayers it’s proven to be a highly effective way to stay bang on-trend.
Ayers explains: “Being an independent outlet has many advantages, not being part of a large company means you can make changes to your business quickly and effectively without ‘toeing the company line’. The panel events at lunch! are a great way to keep in touch with the industry and to see what other operators are doing and understanding what works and what doesn’t, what can work and what can’t.”
50 speakers in 25 unmissable sessions
The full Keynote schedule is now available to view at www.lunchshow.co.uk/education. Previously confirmed speakers include: Hannah McKay, head of food & beverage at Caffè Nero; Julian Metcalfe OBE, founder of itsu and co-founder of Pret A Manger; David Ross, head of category at Greggs; and Clare Clough, food & coffee director at Pret A Manger.
“lunch! is the number one place to meet up with people across the sector,” says Clough. “[It’s] fun, inspiring, and unmissable!”
New names for 2018 also include Charlotte Adams, senior marketing manager at Krispy Kreme (taking part in the first ever live recording of Mark McCulloch’s hugely popular Spectacular Marketing Podcast); and Aubrey Thomson, head of food at Taylor Street Baristas (joining the Head of Food panel). Plus, Tristan Dooley, owner of Hells Kitchen, Philip Brown, founder of Philpotts, and Max Halley, owner of Max’s Sandwich Shop, are now confirmed for The Sandwich Shop Heroes Panel (hosted by Simon Ambrose, editor of Sandwich & Food To Go News).