They’re back, all be it in a virtual form. GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards are back for 2020 to celebrate all that’s great about garden centres at Christmas through the pages of GTN and the GTN Xtra e-mail newsletter...
They’re back, all be it in a virtual form. GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards are back for 2020 to celebrate all that’s great about garden centres at Christmas through the pages of GTN and the GTN Xtra e-mail newsletter.
It's simple to take part, all you have to do is start taking photos of your displays and ideas now, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or look out for the November issue of GTN which will be published next week, for the full entry details of each category and pledge a small donation to Greenfingers Charity to help create more gardens at Children's Hospices during 2021.
Here are the categories for GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards 2020
The Greatest Christmas Houseplant Team
The Greatest Outdoor Plant and Christmas Tree Team
The Greatest Festive Food Hall Team
The Greatest Christmas Sizzle Team (for sales of BBQ’s, firepits, furniture etc)
The Greatest Christmas Pets Team
The Greatest Christmas Community or Charity Initiative
The Greatest Social Media Christmas Marketing Idea
The Greatest Garden Centre Christmas Video
The Greatest Winter Garden Care Sales Team
The Greatest Covid Safe Christmas Display Team
The Greatest Christmas Supplier (as voted for by garden centres)
The Greatest Group Garden Centre Christmas Team
The Greatest Small Garden Centre Christmas Team
The Greatest Mid-Sized Garden Centre Christmas Team
The Greatest Large Garden Centre Christmas Team
We all love to see other centres displays and ideas, especially at Christmas, and as Lockdown 2 and travel restrictions make that difficult what better way to provide a solution for everyone than inviting garden centres to submit their own photos and videos as part of GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards.
Launch date: GTN Xtra 16th November and GTN’s November print issue
Publication of photo’s and videos as they come in during December in GTN Xtra and GTN’s December issue. Closing date for entries will be Monday December 14th.
Results announced: GTN Xtra 24th January 2021 and as part of GTN’s January issue which includes our first ever Christmas Products Directory.
We’ve created a list of categories which we feel reflect Christmas trading for 2020 and we have a team of expert judges on standby to plough through all of the entries and hold video meetings with short listed teams before making their final decisions about the winners.
There are opportunities for suppliers to also be involved in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards by offering stock for Christmas 2021 as prizes for the winners. Please contact email@example.com for more details.
As we went into Lockdown 2 it was plants, growing media, and wildlife and wild bird care that performed best versus last year – up on last year’s sales for the same week by 41%, 76% and 23% respectively. According to the GTN Bestsellers Epos data, Christmas sales volumes were the sector worst hit, down 8% on last year...
As we went into Lockdown 2 it was plants, growing media, and wildlife and wild bird care that performed best versus last year – up on last year’s sales for the same week by 41%, 76% and 23% respectively. According to the GTN Bestsellers Epos data, Christmas sales volumes were the sector worst hit, down 8% on last year.
All that gardening activity, possibly in preparation for lockdown, meant total volume sales for the week were up overall by 11%. Thank goodness for being allowed to stay open and thank goodness for continued high levels of gardening activity, even as we move into November.
With social distancing and general adherence to the lockdown with people NOT going out for non-essential shopping, Christmas sales present an even bigger challenge than normal. That’s why the team at GTN are putting together plans to bring back The Greatest Christmas Awards this year. Watch out for details in GTN Xtra and the November printed magazine issue of GTN.
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 45
Garden Products Top 50 – down 30%
Growing Media Top 50 – up 76%
Veg 2 Gro Top 50 – up 58%
Wild Bird & Wildlife Care Top 50 – up 23%
Christmas Top 50 – down 8%
GTN Bestsellers All Sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 45
All Plants with Barcode index – up 41%
All Items with Barcode index – up 11%
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a year’s subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
The award-winning Inverness-based Simpsons Garden Centre has acquired an Aberdeenshire garden centre for an undisclosed sum...
Inverness-based Simpsons Garden Centre has acquired an Aberdeenshire garden centre for an undisclosed sum.
Happy Plant, based in Mintlaw, was established in 1984 and is one of the largest garden and gift centres in the north-east and a 4-Star Scottish Tourist Board Garden Centre.
The firm’s 30 employees will transfer to Simpsons under their existing terms and conditions. More jobs will be created as Simpsons plan to invest in the long running business.
Plans include upgrading the centre’s facilities including the restaurant and introducing new garden and furniture product ranges.
The acquisition is especially positive in the current climate and is testament to the strength of the gardening industry at this time.
Gardens and gardening have given many a welcome escape during lockdown, providing a positive outlet for mental and physical health with young and old enjoying the benefits of their outdoor space.
Andrew Simpson, managing director of Simpsons Garden Centre, spoke of his appreciation of previous owner Moira Smart.
He said: “Happy Plant is a long running business that has been part of the Mintlaw and wider Aberdeen-shire community since the early 1980s. Moira and her team have created a fantastic local business and we are excited at the prospect of continuing their work and building on their achievements.
“We plan to refurbish the garden centre, including the restaurant, where we will be launching a new menu with the focus on quality local ingredients. At the same time, we intend to expand the range of garden and furniture products on offer, again with the emphasis on quality and the type of products that keen gardeners expect.
“We will also be creating new employment opportunities at the garden centre, which is further good news for the local community.”
Moira Smart added: “I have been following the success of the Simpsons team for a number of years and I am delighted to leave the Happy Plant team in the hands of a younger owner who is full of enthusiasm and great ideas.”
“Like Happy Plant, Simpsons is very much part of the local community with a focus on customer service, experience and knowledge, while offering a wide range of quality products. It’s an exciting time for the team, and I believe for the many loyal customers, who I would encourage to support the new and improved version of Happy Plant. I hope to be a regular customer and I look forward to seeing the garden centre going from strength to strength.”
Homebase has been put up for sale, following two and a half years of major structural overhaul by its most recent buyers Hilco...
Homebase has been put up for sale, following two and a half years of major structural overhaul by its most recent buyers Hilco.
Turnaround specialist Hilco acquired the Homebase business from Australian business Wesfarmers in 2018, for the sum of £1. Westfarmers bought Homebase just two years prior to that for £340 million.
At the time, operating losses were said to be running at approximately £20m a month. Since then, Hilco has overseen a major overhaul of the business. The restructuring firm shut down stores and bought Bathstores out of administration last year, and has now opened 49 concessions in its stores.
In a statement Homebase said: “Having built an excellent foundation, Homebase is moving out of its turnaround phase and entering into an exciting new chapter of growth. Now is the right time for us to be starting conversations with potential new owners to accelerate our plan.”
Something crazy’s going on! We’ve never seen a week where plant sales volumes go up on the previous week this far into the year. Last week’s plant sales volumes in the GTN Bestsellers Epos data were up by 5% on half-term week and up by a staggering 42% on the same week last year...
Something crazy’s going on! We’ve never seen a week where plant sales volumes go up on the previous week this far into the year. Last week’s plant sales volumes in the GTN Bestsellers Epos data were up by 5% on half-term week and up by a staggering 42% on the same week last year.
Primula sales last week were more than double the same week last year, moving them up to No 2 behind Cyclamen.
Erysimum sales have continued at a high level, three times the volumes of last year.
Poinsettia were the highest climber of the week but sales were down on last year, probably linked to the lower Christmas sales caused by the lockdown.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a year’s subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
Growing media sales continue at a pace unseen for this time of the year, pushing the year to date sales in the GTN Bestsellers database up to 2.3% ahead of last year despite zero sales being registered during the seven weeks of Lockdown 1...
Growing media sales continue at a pace unseen for this time of the year, pushing the year to date sales in the GTN Bestsellers database up to 2.3% ahead of last year despite zero sales being registered during the seven weeks of Lockdown 1.
That means volume sales have caught up all of the lost sales during lockdown and some. Remember, those centres that operated delivery and click and collect services sold huge volumes back in April and May too.
Thirty of the Top 50 lines in the GTN chart increased their sales last week at a time of year when normally growing media sales are dwindling every week and the sales area gets less attention due to Christmas.
We’ll see from next week’s data whether any of these increases were down to people stocking up in advance of lockdown or whether the demand continues.
Highlights of the week were:
Westland Gro-Sure All Purpose Compost & 4 Month Feed 50 litres was the highest climber up the chart, moving up to No 12.
Evergreen Horticulture Tub & Basket Compost 75 litres re-entered at No 27.
Strulch Organic Straw Mulch 100 litres also re-entered at No 28.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a year’s subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
Stax Trade Centres has helped to keep the wheels turning and the supply chain moving during the Covid-19 pandemic. A survey completed by the company showed relationships between wholesalers, customers and suppliers remain stronger than ever before.,,
Stax Trade Centres has helped to keep the wheels turning and the supply chain moving during the Covid-19 pandemic. A survey completed by the company showed relationships between wholesalers, customers and suppliers remain stronger than ever before.
While maintaining stock levels was a challenge, the company dealt with it as best they could to keep up with demand. Several areas of the market were even boosted by increased sales figures despite the current situation.
Joint managing director David Hibbert said: “Suppliers told us that demand for their products has increased during recent months, in some cases by very significant margins, with DIY and gardening products being a prime example. Some respondents felt this had significantly increased the importance of the supplier/wholesaler relationship, and the wider route to market which the wholesaler provides.
“Whilst we realise the past six months have not been perfect, our own experience certainly bears this out. We have seen stock going out of our stores as fast as we can bring it in, which has given us many challenges to contend with. We’ve had to adapt and find new ways of doing things, but the results of our efforts are certainly reflected in our latest set of financial accounts which will be published shortly.”
As part of the research, many of the independent retailers who rely on Stax were quick to point out how their ability to be more flexible and agile than their larger rivals has been a key advantage.
Groundbreaking improvements to Stax’s digital presence also helped customers respond effectively to challenges such as purchasing stock and adapting to new trading conditions, allowing them to remain busy throughout the pandemic.
“Suppliers realised that online trading has been more important than ever before,” said David. “It has helped to fill the gap created by the lack of face-to-face contact between people and has played an important part in helping get their product out into the marketplace and into the hands of their customers.”
Key brands such as Dulux, Sikkens and Primeur enjoyed a secure supply chain through Stax throughout the pandemic. Horticultural giants SBM Life Science, whose brands include Baby Bio® and Provanto®, were also quick to note the benefits of having Stax as their chosen distributor.
"We have a strong relationship with the team at Stax and have always been impressed with the dedication they have shown our business, especially during recent months," said Scott Williams of SBM. "Over the past six months, they have ensured the supply chain is as solid as it could be during a difficult time, and that's why we had absolute confidence in making them our preferred distributor," he added.
Stax is the UK’s number one non-food wholesaler and provides genuine trade-only support for independent retailers throughout the nation. Its offering spans an impressive selection of market sectors including gardening, hardware, building, decorating, electrical, plumbing, homeware, bathrooms and kitchens.
Picture caption: Market research carried out by the UK’s leading non-food wholesaler has unearthed strong performance trends and positivity in the market despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Business confidence is returning to UK garden industry after the record crash in confidence in spring, says the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), as shown by its new Business Confidence Index survey of members and supported by positive garden centre sales in October, with 17% growth on October 2019...
Business confidence is returning to UK garden industry after the record crash in confidence in spring, says the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), as shown by its new Business Confidence Index survey of members and supported by positive garden centre sales in October, with 17% growth on October 2019.
The Business Confidence Index assesses members’ confidence in sales and areas of investment in the business over the next 12 months and will be used to demonstrate the pulse of the industry during these times of uncertainty.
Business outlook crashed in Q1 2020 when the impacts of COVID-19 began to take effect. However, both short- and longer-term business outlook have steadily increased to Q3 2020, albeit remaining at lows not seen since 2013.
The Index reveals that most members are feeling comparatively optimistic about their future sales and many are looking to target new customers. The fragile market environment though is limiting their willingness to make more significant business investments, such as buildings or new premises.
David Denny, HTA Futures and Sustainability Manager, comments: “The Business Confidence Index is a barometer of industry opinion and potential actions. After an incredibly challenging year, it is encouraging to see some measure of confidence return to horticultural businesses. There are grounds for optimism, but we know businesses are nervous about planning and future investment.”
James Clark, HTA Director of Policy and Communications, said: "The horticulture sector has an important role to play in the economic recovery after Covid but to realise this in 2021 we need Government support. Commitment to the sector through tax breaks and incentives to invest and bring on new staff is essential, as is policy change that recognises the huge importance of seasonal labour to horticulture businesses. This will ensure we can make the significant contribution to the UK economy we're capable of.”
October’s positive outlook was driven by exceptional garden/gardening category sales that finished the month 45% up on October of last year. Non-garden/gardening ranges also showed signs of recovery, helping calendar year to end of October comparisons finish -12% down on the same period of 2019.
Average transaction values were up 28% and 54% in the garden store and café/restaurant respectively, compared with October 2019. Catering typically makes up 21% of turnover in November amongst garden centres with a catering offer; so with cafes and restaurants forced to close once again, overall sales are likely to be hit, especially as we move out of the traditional gardening season.
Retailers are advised to continue the hard work to implement a safe trading environment by controlling customer numbers and avoiding Christmas events that cause people to congregate until at least Wednesday 2 December.
Thousands of pounds worth of stock has been stolen from Dobbies Braehead Garden Centre in Renfrew, Scotland, in the early hours of Wednesday (November 11)...
Thousands of pounds worth of stock has been stolen from Dobbies Braehead Garden Centre in Renfrew, Scotland, in the early hours of Wednesday (November 11).
Police were alerted after the garden centre manager discovered a broken padlock and noticed a fence leading to the restaurant area had been cut.
A large refrigerator had been forced open by the thieves, who stole a quantity of alcohol, food and other stock worth an estimated total of £5,000.
Footage from a CCTV system covering the area shows four men entering the yard and using trolleys to transport the stolen goods to a red AMK rental van.
Inspector Allan O’Hare, head of community policing for Renfrewshire, said: "If anybody has seen a red van in the area prior to or after this incident or anything suspicious around this time, please get in touch with us."
Anyone with information should call officers on 101.
BBC Gardeners’ World Live will be back at the NEC in Birmingham from 17 to 20 June 2021 and tickets are now on sale. Organisers have incorporated a number of measures for a successful and enjoyable event, including a larger event footprint to allow for social distancing, timed visitor entry and changes to the theatre layouts...
BBC Gardeners’ World Live will be back at the NEC in Birmingham from 17 to 20 June 2021 and tickets are now on sale. Organisers have incorporated a number of measures for a successful and enjoyable event, including a larger event footprint to allow for social distancing, timed visitor entry and changes to the theatre layouts.
BBC Gardeners’ World presenters confirmed to appear include Monty Don, Adam Frost, Carol Klein,Joe Swift and Frances Tophill. BBC Gardeners’ World magazine columnist, Alan Titchmarsh, has also been confirmed to appear on Saturday, plus Toby Buckland on Sunday.
The main themes for the 2021 Show are flower power, sustainability and indoor gardening. The brand new My Gardeners’ WorldStage in the Floral Marquee will give exhibiting nurseries, special guests and the Gardeners' World presenters a platform to share ideas about how everyone can do their bit for sustainability and the environment in their gardens, being mindful of the impact that activities have on wildlife and plants.
Bob Sweet, BBC Gardeners’ World Live’s Director of Horticulture, said “There is no doubt that gardening has been a great comfort to many, during the situation that we find ourselves in currently. We are growing as a nation of gardeners more than ever and, as such, we are delighted to be announcing plans for BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2021.
“Inspiring every level of gardener and garden lover, our themes are all the more pertinent to the world we live in today - Flower Power, Sustainability and Indoor Gardening. We are also thrilled to confirm that nearly all the designers, landscapers, exhibitors and sponsors from our postponed Show will be working alongside us to create a formidable event in 2021.”
Toby Buckland’s ‘Navigator Garden’ is confirmed. The coast, the focus of the garden’s design, is a point of no return and acts as a barometer of our rapidly changing climate. Toby’s garden will be awash with practical ideas to inspire and help gardeners navigate their gardens towards a greener future.
The APL return with Professor David Stevens with their impressive ‘What Lies Beneath’ Garden. This concept garden will inspire visitors with a wide variety of design ideas whilst demystifying the underlying structures that are so important in underpinning a great finished garden - on view in a unique, eye-level cross-section.
Professor David Stevens said “There is no doubt that lockdown and difficult times have temporarily changed people’s lives, often with more emphasis on both house and garden. The latter has provided welcome relaxation and a new awareness of just what a garden has to offer, along with an opportunity to change or improve the layout. In doing this we become more aware of the complexities of construction, foundations for paving and walls or just how to build a raised bed, a garden pool and any number of other features.”
David continues, “The answer to these questions is perfectly illustrated by 'What Lies Beneath’, a garden that literally takes a garden apart to expose the intricacies and details of the construction as well as showing just how this underpins the finished composition from beginning to end.”
All five Show Gardens in APL Avenue, an annual visitor favourite, are confirmed. Each garden takes inspiration from everything British, from allotments to James Bond, with the new theme ‘A Very British Affair’.
At least six additional Show Gardens and Showcase Gardens are expected to be confirmed, including Derby College’s ‘Metamorphosis’ garden and ‘An Oasis of Peace’ by the Stroke Association. Show Garden applications are open until January for new participants.
The Beautiful Borders, with a ‘Power of Flowers’ theme, continues to boom with over 30 entries in 2021. Plus, family-friendly activities return, including the School Wheelbarrow Competition and a hands-on garden run by Roots to Fruit where children will be able to have a go at planting and creating an inspiring space at the Show.
With social distancing measures in place, the Floral Marquee and Plant Village continue to showcase a wide range of specialist nurseries and growers, including some new to the Show in 2021. In addition, the Marquee will feature an impressive Eremurus display from master grower Jon Wheatley, and the all-new House of Plants feature created by Samantha Theakstone.
BBC Gardeners’ World Live takes place 17 to 20 June 2021 at The NEC Birmingham. For tickets and Show information visitwww.bbcgardenersworldlive.com
Leading Bradford garden centre, Tong, has reinforced its ethos of supporting local businesses wherever possible by sourcing its new uniform from a fellow West Yorkshire business...
Leading Bradford garden centre, Tong, has reinforced its ethos of supporting local businesses wherever possible by sourcing its new uniform from a fellow West Yorkshire business.
When the team at Tong Garden Centre wanted new workwear for their plants, catering and Grass Hoppers teams, they turned to Atlantic PPE and Workwear Solutions.
The Wakefield based business was able to supply almost 1000 items of branded indoor and outdoor workwear from jackets and hoodies to embroidered blouses, aprons and chef's whites for the team in Tong's restaurants, including the new table service restaurant, The Mezzanine.
The new uniform was commissioned by Tong's Indoor Manager, Dennis Keen: "We were looking for a local company who could supply a wide range of fit for purpose, good quality workwear and Atlantic fitted the bill perfectly, with great value clothing and exceptional service."
"Atlantic's MD, Clare Burton is experienced in branding, has a great eye for design and prides herself in providing workwear that the team are proud to wear. This was a big project, and it was delivered in full and on time, so we're very pleased."
Ms Burton is delighted that the team at Tong are happy with their new workwear: "The psychology associated with wearing a uniform is so important and it was great to work with the team to create something that they felt comfortable in.
"We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our customers, allowing us to better understand their needs regarding brand, safety and image. We're not just about order processing but have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the industry to allow us to help find solutions and give advice where applicable."
Tong Garden Centre occupies a 19-acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire's biggest independent garden centres with 125,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 700 cars.
Pictured, from left to right: Victoria Kinder-Naylor, Dennis Keen, Lesley Shipman, Clare Burton (Atlantic PPE and Workwear Solutions), Julie Lincoln and Emily Edmond.
RHS Gardens are open for pre-booked visits during the day as we know what a vital safe sanctuary they offer for mental and physical health. Additional safety measures are in place at all gardens, including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and limits on visitor volumes. Indoor areas such as the Glasshouse at Wisley are now closed.
RHS garden centres also remain open during this lockdown period to ensure that people can continue to garden and grow plants, indoors and outdoors. Indoor catering facilities are closed, but mobile and takeaway options are available at all gardens, including for Glow.
All four RHS Gardens have been awarded Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ certification, an industry-standard mark of reassurance that they are carefully following all the latest government guidance on Covid-19.
Kew Green Hotels, one of the leading international hotel management companies with over 50 hotels in its portfolio, and Tabletop, a market leader in guest ordering technologies, are joint winners of the Pennies Breakthrough Award 2020...
Kew Green Hotels, one of the leading international hotel management companies with over 50 hotels in its portfolio, and Tabletop, a market leader in guest ordering technologies, are joint winners of the Pennies Breakthrough Award 2020.
The result was decided by a panel of judges representing leaders in retail, hospitality and fintech from across the Pennies' family and announced via a virtual event on 11th November.
Pennies is a leading UK fintech charity working to protect and grow micro-donations, ensuring people have digital ways to donate the small sums of money so important to charitable causes. Pennies’ Annual Awards honour partners that have gone above and beyond to support the micro-donation movement to the benefit of hard-working charities and the people and communities they support.
As one of only five categories recognised at the event, this Breakthrough Award was jointly awarded to Kew Green Hotels and Tabletop for developing the first pay at table solution to integrate the Pennies donation solution – which allows customers to add a small charity donation to their purchase with partner retailers.
Tabletop offers AI-powered tablet and mobile guest ordering technology which now allows guests at Kew Green Hotels to order, add a micro-donation to charity with Pennies, and then pay at the table. Donations made by Kew Green Hotels customers support the charity Greenfingers, helping build gardens for children in hospices nationwide.
Once fully rolled out, it is expected that £35,000 could be raised every year from micro-donations, contributing significantly to the development Greenfingers gardens. Each garden makes a difference to about 300 life-limited children, their siblings, families and carers every single year.
Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green Hotels remarked “We are delighted to be named Winner of Pennies Breakthrough Award. This recognises our collaboration with Tabletop to bring micro-donations to pay-at-table payments this year - helping to raise vital additional funds for Greenfingers charity. Thanks to all of our guests in each of our hotels for making generous donations to Pennies to make this a reality."
Matthew Husselby, CEO of Tabletop added “We were eager to use ourtechnology to raise vital funds for this important cause and we are thrilled to receive Pennies Breakthrough Award alongside Kew Green Hotels.”
Linda Petrons, Director of Fundraising & Communications at Pennies Greenfingers Charity noted “The value of the support of Kew Green Hotels and Tabletop is much more than the staggering amount raised. They have helped us to build the Greenfingers Charity brand in a way we could never have dreamt of. Through the advertising and promotion in the reception areas, to the fundraising both inside the hotels and those staff organising walks, dinners and much more, has widened our reach extensively.”
The Royal Horticultural Society has received a £1.8million gift from retired Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist Dr Lee Kai Hung DL to RHS Garden Bridgewater. The generous donation comes as the charity begins the 6-month countdown to the grand opening of the garden on 11 May 2021...
RHS Director General Sue Biggs and Dr Lee Kai Hung DL pictured at RHS Garden Bridgewater in February 2019.
The Royal Horticultural Society has received a £1.8million gift from retired Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist Dr Lee Kai Hung DL to RHS Garden Bridgewater. The generous donation comes as the charity begins the 6-month countdown to the grand opening of the garden on 11 May 2021.
Representing the largest single gift from an individual to RHS Garden Bridgewater, the funds will go towards the horticultural and landscape development of the garden, as well as promoting the art, heritage and culture of Chinese gardening within the local community and beyond. Thanks to this transformative gift and to its many generous supporters the RHS now has only £1.2m remaining to raise before opening.
In particular, Dr Lee’s donation will support the development of the Chinese Streamside Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater, a key feature of the 154-acre garden which connects the historic lake beneath the Nesfield Terraces to the new lake beside the Welcome Building. Dr Lee is Chair of the Chinese Streamside Garden Founding Committee, which is raising the first £500,000 towards the creation of the Chinese Streamside Garden.
In a first programme of its kind for the RHS, the Chinese Streamside Garden has been designed in a horticultural knowledge exchange with experts from the China Flower Association. The collaborative effort celebrates the huge contribution made to British horticulture by native Chinese plants such as Acer davidii, Rhododendron indicum and Hydrangea paniculata. Future plans for its development following the opening of RHS Garden Bridgewater will include the creation of an authentically Chinese core, making this the first true Chinese garden of significance in the UK.
RHS Director General Sue Biggs says: “This incredible and inspirational gift from Dr Lee not only enables the RHS to develop a unique fusion of British and Chinese horticulture and people within RHS Garden Bridgewater, but so much more besides. As part of our commitment to engage with our local community at every level, these vital funds will also be used to recruit additional staff to help achieve this aim. We are enormously grateful to Dr Lee for his generosity and vision in helping us create this horticultural legacy for all the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.”
Dr Lee says: “It has been my lifelong passion to bring together the people of UK and China through cultural exchange and to promote mutual understanding. What better way than through this spectacular project, where a classical Chinese garden will blend perfectly with the beautiful surroundings of the master plan that is RHS Garden Bridgewater.
“It has been a pleasure to work with RHS and I would also like to say a heartfelt thank you to the Chinese Flower Association in Beijing, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Manchester and the Chinese community in UK for their enthusiastic engagement with this significant project.
“I am delighted to make this landmark donation, which I hope will help to create a very special place to be enjoyed by all the local communities and beyond for many generations to come.”
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett says: “We’re delighted to hear about Dr Lee’s exceptionally kind donation to support the development of the Chinese Streamside Garden and its promotion and engagement with the Chinese community. A huge thank you goes to him for this exceptionally generous donation towards RHS Garden Bridgewater. Our shared vision for the garden is for it to be an international, national and community asset, creating a real public amenity and oasis for everyone, in amongst the city’s existing green assets. We hope as many local people and community groups as possible can benefit from the garden and its cultural content and look forward to the RHS working in communities in Salford and across the North West for many years to come.”
RHS Garden Bridgewater is made possible by Salford City Council and Peel L&P. Salford City Council invested £19 million into the project which will bring substantial economic and tourism benefits to the city, its communities and the north west region. Peel L&P are custodians of the former Worsley New Hall estate where the garden is being built.
Above: Aerial view showing early development of the Chinese Streamside Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater (Credit RHS and Kestrel Cam) Top picture: RHS Director General Sue Biggs and Dr Lee Kai Hung DL pictured at RHS Garden Bridgewater in February 2019 (Credit RHS and Mark Waugh)
Cambridge-based coffee recycling company and maker of Coffee Logs, bio-bean Limited, has announced its certification as a B Corporation, joining a growing group of companies reinventing business by pursuing purpose as well as profit...
Cambridge-based coffee recycling company and maker of Coffee Logs, bio-bean Limited, has announced its certification as a B Corporation (or B Corp), joining a growing group of companies reinventing business by pursuing purpose as well as profit. bio-bean has been certified by B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, as having met rigorous social and environmental standards which represent its commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit.
The B Corp certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas of Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. The certification process is rigorous, with applicants required to reach a benchmark score of over 80 while providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. To complete the certification, the company has legally embedded their commitment to purpose beyond profit in their company articles.
bio-bean is now part of a community of over 3,500 businesses globally who have certified as B Corps. The B Corp community in the UK, representing a broad cross section of industries and sizes, comprises over 400 companies and includes well-known brands such as The Guardian, innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop, and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole.
Recent attention on the waste management and recycling industries makes bio-bean’s B Corp certification a notable step and signals a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in the sector.
Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK, says “We are delighted to welcome bio-bean to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates, who believe business really can be a force for good. We know that bio-bean are going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward”.
“We are pleased to have B Corps of all shapes and sizes as part of our community - from startups to multinationals, and across many different industries. Business is a powerful force, and one that - as these companies are showing - can be used for good. Being able to welcome bio-bean to the B Corp community is hugely exciting. Their commitment to doing business differently will be an inspiration to others and really help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit.”
George May, Executive Director of bio-bean, says “We believe that businesses are the best vehicles for driving change and delivering impact (both social and environmental). We consider that for a business to be successful it must be more than simply profitable. With B Corp certification fast becoming the gold standard for evaluating the sustainability of a business beyond financials, we are extremely proud to be a B Corp.”
“B Corp recognises businesses that are working to bring about change and operate in a way that seeks to benefit the wider community, whilst it also provides a framework for continuous improvement. For us, the ethos behind B Corp is aligned with what we are trying to achieve at bio-bean, so to become a B Corp is a fantastic recognition of the business that the team has built, as well as being a clear marker for the way in which we will operate going forward.”
“We hope that our suppliers, customers and all stakeholders – knowing that by being a B Corp we are committed to being transparent about our impact and to continuously improving the sustainability of our business – will be emboldened to work with and support us in our purpose to make big change that lasts.”
There are currently over 400 B Corps in the UK and over 3,500 worldwide. bio-bean is the first UK-based recycling company and solid fuels manufacturer to be awarded B Corp status.
B Lab UK is transforming the economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, and tools for business, and we certify companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. To date, our global community includes over 3,500 B Corps in 70 countries and 150 industries, and over 100,000 companies manage their impact with the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager.
bio-bean Limited is the world’s largest recycler of coffee grounds. Based in Cambridgeshire, bio-bean takes spent coffee grounds from businesses large and small across the UK and transforms them into Coffee Logs eco fire logs, giving new life to a material previously considered waste. bio-bean’s coffee recycling service saves businesses money, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to the circular economy.
Diversified Communications UK, the organiser of the Casual Dining trade show, has confirmed the show has sadly been postponed from next March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and government restrictions...
Diversified Communications UK, the organiser of the Casual Dining trade show, has confirmed the show has sadly been postponed from next March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and government restrictions.
The UK’s only event dedicated to the casual dining sector (multisite and independent restaurants, pubs and bars) will now take place on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London.
In better news for the hospitality industry, this means that Casual Dining will run at the same time as its award-winning sister show lunch! (the definitive event for cafes, coffee shops and food-to-go) and the much-anticipated London debut of Commercial Kitchen (the essential event for kitchen innovations) next year.
The magnitude and unprecedented scale of the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent government restrictions have affected the lives and livelihoods of people and businesses around the world. The hospitality sector in the UK has been especially badly hit, despite a lack of evidence of their role in transmission.
While the UK’s strict lockdown measures are expected to ease over the coming months, social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings look to remain in force for March 2021. Notably, many Casual Dining exhibitors and visitors are among the millions of people currently furloughed, which makes it even harder for firms to plan their stands and product launches at this time.
Eva Ellis, event manager for Casual Dining says: “Like all businesses, we have been closely following the rapidly changing developments during these difficult times. While we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by March, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run Casual Dining in March 2021.
"Clearly, the best, safest and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better show in September 2021 alongside lunch! and Commercial Kitchen. We believe this model will give all our valued exhibitors and buyers even more opportunities to do business, in an even safer environment, when they need it most.
“The success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, visitors, speakers and partners has always been our priority and we are pleased that everyone is getting behind this tough but necessary decision. The good news is that most of the event planning is already in place, and we go into 2021 with an incredible amount of goodwill and encouragement.
"The team would like to thank the whole community for their support. We look forward to working together to ensure that it continues to be the celebration and gathering the hospitality industry deserves – and can be proud of.”
Casual Dining, lunch! and Commercial Kitchen will take place on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London. Although the three shows will maintain separate identities and focus, buyers and exhibitors will benefit from a boost in seeing an even greater range of products and customers.
Chris Brazier, group event director for the shows, adds: “All three shows focus on innovation and inspiration for hospitality operators. There is a great potential for collaboration and there is certainly more of a crossover of attendees than ever before as innovative and resilient brands pivot to become multichannel operators in testing times. We are thrilled to offer this strategic co-locate and feel that all three events will benefit hugely from this move. While all three will remain separate shows, they will in effect create one much larger hospitality event for the industry at the time that it needs it most.”
Casual Dining, two-time winner of Best UK Trade Show, was created with industry leaders to provide the focal point for the sector eight years ago. It enjoys unrivalled support from the biggest buyers and decision-makers from multisite restaurants, pubs and bars, who have rallied behind their industry show:
Martin Wolstencroft, CEO of ARC Inspirations, comments that he is “really looking forward to the Casual Dining show 2021 to get the juices flowing again!”
“There’s never been a more important time to support each other and our industry show,” says James Spragg, CEO of the Big Table Group (formerly CDG).
Mark Teed, head of food at Star Pubs & Bars, is also looking forward to getting back to the show: “After turbulent times, Casual Dining 2021 will be the place to share new ideas, pursue new opportunities and celebrate new game changers in our industry.”
“We need to get together, find innovation and support each other more than ever. See you at Casual Dining 2021,” says Steven Mangleshot, executive chef at wagamama.
This is echoed by Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group (ASK Italian, Zizzi, Coco Di Mama) who says, “we’re looking forward to the most important Casual Dining show yet in 2021.”
Dobbies and its National Charity Partner are looking to say a special thank you to ‘not your average people’ who have gone above and beyond for their local community this year. Whether it is someone who has collected an essential shop for a neighbour, a teacher who has delivered additional support or a family friend who has taken on the role as the honorary Zoom quiz master, Dobbies want to hear from you. Nominations can be made via the Dobbies website, with a host of gifts to be shared...
Dobbies has teamed up with Teenage Cancer Trust to give local heroes across the UK a Christmas to remember.
Dobbies and its National Charity Partner are looking to say a special thank you to ‘not your average people’ who have gone above and beyond for their local community this year. Whether it is someone who has collected an essential shop for a neighbour, a teacher who has delivered additional support or a family friend who has taken on the role as the honorary Zoom quiz master, Dobbies want to hear from you. Nominations can be made via the Dobbies website, with a host of gifts to be shared.
The campaign comes as Dobbies launches it’s Christmas campaign, The Joy of Dobbies, which aims to bring to life the magical experience of a trip to Dobbies during the festive period and the retailer’s new positioning, Not Your Average Garden Centre.
In addition, recent research commissioned by Dobbies and undertaken by Censuswide, asked people across the UK what made them feel most joy at Christmas, with the most popular answer being 'giving gifts’ from 36% of the respondents.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, said: “With everything from gifts and decorations to trees and festive food, we’re not your average garden centre when it comes to Christmas. It’s a magical time of the year at Dobbies and, together with Teenage Cancer Trust, we want to celebrate the people who have been spreading joy all year long by giving them gifts they’ll love.”
Dobbies will be giving away a host of gifts with everything from in-store Christmas experiences, festive decorations, gardening items and more. There will be up to 50 gifts each worth £100, thanking those who really deserve a Christmas treat.
Laura Pearce, Head of Partnership Management at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “It’s been a turbulent and isolating year for all of us, so we’re delighted to come together with Dobbies to celebrate some of the local heroes who’ve helped make 2020 a little brighter.
“This Christmas will be especially difficult for young people with cancer, many of whom are still particularly at risk from coronavirus. Dobbies ongoing support for Teenage Cancer Trust is helping us make sure that young people don’t face cancer alone, this Christmas or in the future.”
Teenage Cancer Trust provide world-class cancer services for young people across the UK, including Rachael (pictured). Rachael was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma just before Christmas last year, aged 23. That Christmas was tough, she couldn’t face being around a lot of people and didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her. But she had a lot on her mind, and her Teenage Cancer Trust nurse, Kerrie, was there to talk through her worries and concerns over the festive period. When coronavirus hit, and she wasn’t able to have her parents with her at her treatments, Kerrie was able to be there for her to offer crucial support. Rachael has now finished treatment and is looking forward to a great Christmas, as well as marrying her fiancé next year.
To make a nomination, visit the Dobbies website and complete a simple form. All nominations will be reviewed by Dobbies and Teenage Cancer Trust, with gifts awarded to people from across the UK.
Taking up the challenge once again, Mr Fothergill’s has helped raise vital funds for BBC Children in Need this year, by smartening up and wearing a ‘Tie for Tim’...
Taking up the challenge once again, Mr Fothergill’s has helped raise vital funds for BBC Children in Need this year, by smartening up and wearing a ‘Tie for Tim’.
Despite many staff currently working from home, it didn’t stop them making a massive effort as photographic evidence of ‘tie attire’ was emailed in. Even the dog of one of the Production department’s staff joined in the fun!...
Those working on site at Kentford in Suffolk also took part, as did Mr Fothergill’s off-site packing facility, as well as sister company Darlac and even the Australian side of the business. Tim Jeffries (Mr Fothergill’s Commercial Director) donated £1 for each tie worn, a figure that was this year matched by all the directors at Mr Fothergill’s.
Despatch Warehouse staff at Mr Fothergill’s, Kentford – wearing ties...and masks above and staff at Mr Fothergill’s Australia below
Tim commented “Many in the charity sector have been hugely affected during the pandemic, making it more important than ever for Mr Fothergill’s to support one of our most important causes – BBC Children in Need. I am so pleased that even during such a restrictive and uneasy time, staff have once more, really got behind our fundraising efforts.”
The money raised has been added to sales of Mr Fothergill’s Sunflower Pudsey and Pumpkin Pudsey seed packets, with 30p from each going directly to BBC Children in Need. To date over £30,000 has been donated to the charity.
Lucy Tunn, Partnership Account Manager at BBC Children in Need said “Here at BBC Children in Need, we will do everything in our power to help children and young people get through the current crisis and give them a brighter future. We would like to thank Mr Fothergill’s for their continued support in these extraordinarily challenging times.”
Sunflower Pudsey and Pumpkin Pudsey have an RRP of £1.99 and are available from selected garden retailers, online at www.mr-fothergills.co.uk and in Homebase stores.
Two MPs' made visits to garden centres last week...
Two MPs' made visits to garden centres last week to see what British Garden Centres was doing right now, learn of the challenges that lockdown has presented and understand more about the national picture from Boyd Douglas-Davies with his HTA Presidents hat on.
Newbury MP Laura Ferris made a visit to Thatcham Garden centre while former Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for Bromsgrove met the team at Studley Garden Centre.
Whilst there is a lot of gardening activity going on with high sales of plants and growing media it seems everyone has bought all the other gardening products they need for their winter projects already. Sales for the week were down by 30% on the same week last year...
Whilst there is a lot of gardening activity going on with high sales of plants and growing media it seems everyone has bought all the other gardening products they need for their winter projects already. Sales for the week were down by 30% on the same week last year.
Within the GTN Top 50, created from garden centre Epos data, products to protect from frost and houseplant feeds were the biggest beneficiaries of increased sales.
Highlights of the week were:
Smart Garden Plant Fleece, 1.5m wide, per metre was the highest re-entry at No 5.
Growth Technology Houseplant Focus Drip Feeders 38ml were the highest chart climber moving up 32 places to No 9.
Woodlodge Black Glazed Feet Large, pack of 3, were the only new entry of the week, in at No 44.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a year’s subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
Christmas sales took a hit as we went into Lockdown 2. Normally we’d expect to see an increase in sales week by week during November but sales in the GTN Bestsellers Top 50 dropped by 11% due to people stopping at home from Thursday onwards.,,
Christmas sales took a hit as we went into Lockdown 2. Normally we’d expect to see an increase in sales week by week during November but sales in the GTN Bestsellers Top 50 dropped by 11% due to people stopping at home from Thursday onwards.
It could be that the first two weeks after lockdown will be the peaks for Christmas sales this year. How are you preparing for that?
Given the unique challenges for Christmas trading this year we’ve decided to bring The Greatest Christmas Awards back in a virtual sense. Watch out for details in GTN Xtra and GTN’s November issue. Will your team win one of GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards?
As we enter lockdown there’s been a rush on creating that homely Christmas atmosphere:
Wax Lyrical Cracking Christmas Reed Diffuser 180ml is the highest re-entry in this weeks chart at No 12.
Wax Lyrical Under Mistletoe Reed Diffuser is a new entry at No 15.
The Millford Collection Scented Pine Cones move up 6 places to No 22.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a year’s subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
The organisers of the Garden Press Event have confirmed that next year’s exhibition will be replaced by a virtual event on 3 March 2021...
The organisers of the Garden Press Event have confirmed that next year’s exhibition will be replaced by a virtual event on 3 March 2021.
The Garden Press Event, now in its 16th year, is a unique one-day event specifically for the garden industry to showcase the latest products and stories exclusively to the key names and influencers in the garden & home press and media. The event is firmly established as the launch of the gardening season and is a firm favourite for all journalists and media who attend each year.
A spokesperson for the event confirmed: ‘We are certain that there is still a need to bring our exhibitors and visitors together, particularly when there is such renewed interest in gardening, but sadly due to Covid restrictions we are unable to host our physical event in 2021. We are delighted, however, to confirm the launch of our ‘Virtual Garden Press Event’ which will take place on the same day.
“We will be providing an interactive platform for our exhibitors to showcase all that’s new and exciting for 2021, with lots of live presentations and demonstrations plus opportunities to have live ‘video meetings’ in real time’.
The organisers have also confirmed that the annual ‘Best New Product’ award will also take place at the event, and all monies donated from it will be donated to Greenfingers Charity.
The Horticultural Trades Association has launched two new development programmes for 2021, which will support business development as well as personal development...
The Horticultural Trades Association has launched two new development programmes for 2021, which will support business development as well as personal development.
This type of training is something that is new and refreshing to the industry and the HTA is thrilled to be able to provide this for its members. Working with industry experts the HTA has designed the comprehensive programmes on subjects that will support the industry through the uncertain landscape of 2021, focusing on two areas that have huge potential to support growth and sales, Social Media Marketing and Visual Merchandising.
These yearlong development programmes are designed to give end to end support to the delegate and business. Each month there will be a live online training session focusing on different areas within the programme theme. The sessions will be recorded and will be available to the delegates to revisit at their leisure. They will also have dedicated sessions with the trainers, enabling them to ask and discuss specifics about the business. The students will have access to a private Facebook Workplace group, which will enable them to network with other learners, share ideas and ask questions.
Alex Jenkins, HTA Learning & Development Specialist, says: “Staff personal development and retention is as important as ever. We hope this training programmes will allow our members’ businesses to develop in these fields but also enable the delegates to grow with our support.
"Normally, after any kind of training you attend you are on your own to implement this. Our programmes are designed to support that implementation, and not only that, to give you the tools for peer to peer critique and expert advice. These programmes support continual growth, that is why they are so unique and special for our industry.”
Full programme details can be found on the HTA HUB.
As Christmas approaches, Dobbies has released the first of three festive themed podcasts...
As Christmas approaches, Dobbies has released the first of three festive themed podcasts.
Sharing advice on everything from festive decorations and at-home Christmas crafts, to how to choose and care for a real Christmas tree, the Dobbies podcast series is full of top tips for the festive season.
Research commissioned by Dobbies and undertaken by Censuswide highlights that 49% of 25 to 34-year-olds agree they will be going all out when it comes to making their home extra festive this year and nearly a fifth (18%) said they would be decorating their home earlier. Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents across the age categories plan on putting their Christmas tree up earlier in the year than they have done previously, with Dobbies’ podcasts providing the tips and inspiration for a range of festive looks.
The first episode in the Christmas series is all about decorating the home. Host Louise Midgely is joined by Dobbies Christmas Buyer, Lynsey Abbott, to chat about Christmas décor and styling the home for the holidays. In the episode, Lynsey talks through the inspiration behind some of Dobbies’ own festive themes and shares her top tips on how to make your home sparkle this year.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, said: “Christmas is a magical time at Dobbies, with our stores across the UK transformed - Dobbies is not your average garden centre. Our Christmas podcasts are an excellent way to share practical advice and inspiration for the festive season, and we hope that people enjoy hearing from our experts.”
As well as seasonal decorating, listeners can hear more from Dobbies’ experts in the upcoming episodes, with Christmas craft inspiration from Stylist, Rebecca Stanton, and practical advice for caring for real Christmas trees with Horticultural Director, Marcus Eyles, coming soon.
The Dobbies podcast launched earlier this year, giving listeners trusted advice, tried and tested techniques and handy tips to bring out the best in their garden. Previous episodes have covered grow your own, advice for gardening with children and how to prep the garden for the colder, winter months.
Squire’s Garden Centres are offering customers the chance to celebrate the festive season once Lockdown 2 has been lifted with a Christmas lunch, available in two or three courses from just £16.95 per adult and £12.95 per child...
Squire’s Garden Centres are offering customers the chance to celebrate the festive season once Lockdown 2 has been lifted with a Christmas lunch, available in two or three courses from just £16.95 per adult and £12.95 per child.
The menu includes Spiced Roasted Parsnip Soup, King Prawn & Avocado Cocktail or Brussels Pate for starters; Roast Turkey, Fillet of Salmon, or Mushroom & Leek Pie for main course; and for pudding choose from Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Christmas Pudding, or Sloe Gin Mincemeat & Clotted Cream Tart.
Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for, and there are gluten free options available too.
Squire’s Café Bars have extensive safety measures in place to ensure that the visitor experience is safe, relaxing, and enjoyable. There’s an advanced booking system to manage the number of people at any one time. Tables are well spaced out or enclosed to allow for social distancing, and there’s a rigorous cleaning programme in place.
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
Half term sales in garden centres pushed total volumes for October to a new record level, up 11.5% on October last year and 8% ahead of the previous month high set in 2017, but Lockdown 2 meant empty garden centre car parks this weekend as pictured at Langlands Shiptonthorpe on Saturday at 1:30pm...
Half term sales in garden centres pushed total volumes for October to a new record level, up 11.5% on October last year and 8% ahead of the previous month high set in 2017, but Lockdown 2 meant empty garden centre car parks this weekend as pictured at Langlands Shiptonthorpe on Saturday at 1:30pm.
While Christmas sales accelerated during half term, GTN Bestsellers volume sales from Epos data reports Top 50 Christmas volumes down by 13%, the stars of the show for October were Growing Media and plant sales.
Growing Media sales volumes were up by 45% on last year and plants up by 19% with Veg 2 Gro sales for the month up by 54%.
Early feedback from garden centres over the first weekend of Lockdown 2 was that after two very quiet days on Thursday and Friday business started to pick up at the weekend but with gardening as the main reason for visiting and making purchases.
Watch this space for GTN Bestsellers analysis of week 45 sales which we will publish as an update as soon as all of the Epos data is submitted and collated.
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 44
Garden Products Top 50 – down 18%
Growing Media Top 50 – up 43%
Veg 2 Gro Top 50 – up 99%
Wild Bird & Wildlife Care Top 50 – up 5%
Christmas Top 50 – down 3%
GTN Bestsellers All Sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 44
All Plants with Barcode index – up 12%
All Items with Barcode index – up 11%
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a years subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
Thompson and Morgan (T&M) has announced that it has acquired 100% of the share capital of Suttons Seeds Ltd and its 3 brands: Suttons, Dobies and the Organic Catalogue...
Thompson and Morgan (T&M) has announced that it has acquired 100% of the share capital of Suttons Seeds Ltd and its 3 brands: Suttons, Dobies and the Organic Catalogue.
Chris Wright (Joint MD at Thompson and Morgan) said "Thompson and Morgan (T&M) is pleased to announce that it has acquired 100% of the share capital of Suttons Seeds Ltd and its 3 brands: Suttons, Dobies and the Organic Catalogue.
"Suttons will remain in Paignton, its traditional home.
"The combined horticulture, ecommerce and multi-channel marketing skills of these renowned brands are forecast to generate over £80m in revenues in FY21 dwarfing the nearest online competitor and enabling the group to offer consumers the largest range, best prices and service to the gardener”.
David Robinson, MD at Suttons Seeds added: "We are delighted that Suttons has found a new home with Thompson and Morgan which not only ensures the continued growth and success of Suttons but also retains the business in Paignton.
"Rufus Roberts and I have enjoyed the enormous privilege to own and run this wonderful company since 2014 during which time we have worked with an incredible team of people who will now continue their journey with T&M after a short handover from ourselves”.
The acquisition coincides with the launch of the T&M Marketplace. A brand new, custom built platform that allows Thompson & Morgan’s partners in the horticulture industry, including garden centres and growers, to sell their products through the market leading T&M website. The website generates over 30 million visits per year, providing a platform for the gardening industry to sell their products to an active buying audience. Suttons have already signed up and discussions are well underway with a number of preferred partners.
Congestion is causing severe disruptions at the UKs three main container ports. This is troubling news for LOFA members and the industry as a whole with leisure products starting to hit ports as early as December. The lack of space and container issues will result in price hikes coming in as early as next week...
“It will get worse before it gets better” say LOFA.
Congestion is causing severe disruptions at the UKs three main container ports. LOFA members are seeing shipping lines not being allowed to return empty containers to the ports because they have exceeded their agreed allocations. Consequently, ports are putting a block on them returning any further containers in an attempt to prevent congestion at the terminals. In the past shipping lines have used surrounding off quay container yards for overspill storage but this again is an issue because container yards do not operate the same hours as the ports.
Major congestion disruptions and misery at all three ports, Felixstowe, Southampton and London are being further compounded by the added introduction of COVID 19 measures.
Right now, the situation is worsening, this crisis is expected to continue into next year, or until there is a let up in the current volume levels, which is leading to carrier companies introducing port congestion surcharges.
This lack of space and container issues will result in price hikes coming in as early as next week. This crisis has led to many carriers refusing bookings to the UK and even talks of UK ports being omitted on some vessel rotations. The container capacity issues in the market will inevitably lead to substantial increases to sea freight costs, and the lack of availability will also lead to delays in the delivery of containers to UK destinations.
The situation will become worse before it gets better for logistic providers and UK importers. It is hoped that the current backlog does not continue into Chinese New Year so that business can recover by the time we reach February 2021 and if not by the time we are all faced with the challenges that Brexit will bring.
This is troubling news for LOFA members and the industry as a whole, leisure products start to hit ports as early as December. The UK appears to be in a particularly difficult position, the congestion and delays which appeared to impact Felixstowe initially has now spread to other ports, resulting in some vessels having to “cut and run’ before discharging containers. The UK port issues have now led to one or two carriers unofficially communicating their refusal to take bookings to the UK from Asian locations during November. It will therefore follow that their vessels will not be calling at UK ports.
Of course, the peak season, which has been heightened by six months of global trade being pushed into four this year, cannot be expected to continue indefinitely and is usually driven by Black Friday and Christmas sales. So, at some time, in the not too distant future, there must be some much-needed respite for UK ports and business, that said, with COVID-19 starting to peak once more, the current national lockdown and Brexit on the horizon, the next few months are still likely to be extremely challenging time for industry as a whole.
Dobbies have unveiled their brand-new Christmas advertising campaign. The Joy of Dobbies brings to life the magical experience of a trip to Dobbies during the festive period. Strategically, the campaign also launches Dobbie’s new positioning, Not Your Average Garden Centre...
Dobbies have unveiled their brand-new Christmas advertising campaign. The Joy of Dobbies brings to life the magical experience of a trip to Dobbies during the festive period.
Impactful and unexpected, there are three hero TV ads which feature their own unique characters including Freddie the poodle enjoying the wind in his fur as he sledges down a mountain, Elaine living out her on-stage fantasy while it’s raining mince pies and Brian indulging in a creamy hot chocolate in a hot tub overflowing with Christmas baubles.
All are an entertaining ode to the fact that nothing that beats the feeling of a trip to Dobbies at Christmas and feature original scores from acclaimed Jazz musician, Ola Onabulé.
Strategically, the campaign also launches Dobbie’s new positioning, Not Your Average Garden Centre.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies said: “This year’s Christmas adverts have a fresh creative approach. Our research has shown that more than a fifth of Brits are more excited about Christmas than ever before and we’ve tried to capture that magic of the festive season through our ads and put a smile on consumers’ faces.
“Our diverse seasonal offering from gifts and decorations, trees and houseplants, to food and cookware essentials mean we offer consumers a convenient and enjoyable Christmas shopping experience.”
The campaign is the first from London-based retail specialist ODD, who were appointed early this year as Dobbies’ creative and strategic agency.
Nick Sickland, Executive Creative Director of ODD, said: “For the Christmas fan, a festive trip to the garden centre is a quintessential part of the winter calendar. We wanted to help Dobbies own this pilgrimage in a way that felt different and standout in the competitive landscape that is TV Christmas. We're excited to help spread the joy of shopping at Dobbies nationwide.”
Garden Centre sales volumes dropped by 2.6% on the previous week as Lockdown 2 came into effect in England...
Garden Centre sales volumes dropped by 2.6% on the previous week as Lockdown 2 came into effect in England.
Early top line analysis of the GTN Bestsellers weekly garden centre Epos data for the week ending 8th November 2020 shows total volume sales up 10.6% on the same week last year despite reports of low footfall from Thursday onwards.
See the full analysis of last weeks garden centre sales in the GTN Bestsellers printed newsletter at the end of this week.
Fosseway Garden Centre is a large, family-run centre based in the Cotswolds, which was established by Tim and Gill Godwin in 1990. The company recently made the decision to move from a cloud-based EPoS/Retail Management system to Corby & Fellas’ WinRetail package. Here's what managing director Tim Godwin had to say about the success of the system...
Fosseway Garden Centre is a large, family-run centre based in the Cotswolds, which was established by Tim and Gill Godwin in 1990. The company recently made the decision to move from a cloud-based EPoS/Retail Management system to Corby & Fellas’ WinRetail package.
Managing director Tim Godwin wrote: “We moved to Corby & Fellas on 24th of August 2020, having spent some considerable time looking at many of the retail systems available. We were looking for a sturdy and reliable partner to provide us with a system to run a modern-day garden centre, and I’m pleased to say that I’m sure that we’ve made the right choice.
"Corby & Fellas is a well-respected name in the industry, with a proven track record and, in my opinion, a clear a sense of direction.
"My view was reinforced by the positive feedback that I received from Yarnton, Whitehall and The Old Railway Line Garden Centres, who all felt that WinRetail was a reliable ‘workhorse’, that is well supported and has good customer back-up.
"The transition from our old system to WinRetail was generally smooth, although there were, inevitably, a few teething issues as the system ‘bedded’ in, but these were quickly resolved with the support of C&F’s installation team.
"I thought that the training was very good, although we will probably need a bit more as we continue to expand our use of the system, embracing new ways of working and getting to grips with WinRetail’s many features.
"We really appreciate the reliability of the system, and everyone loves using it. I especially like the fact that we can view up-to-date reports on our smartphones. This gives us a great deal of useful analytical information that we can very easily ‘mine’; especially helpful when evaluating the success of our loyalty schemes.
"We have come to realise that many of the requirements, that we’d been told were unique to us were, in fact, not. We can now achieve things with WinRetail that were simply not possible with our old system.
"I would say that Corby & Fellas is a good, proactive company and that they and their software are living up to our expectations.”
Festive’s main 2021 showroom at their head office in Wales will be opening from 30th November 2020, they will be holding their hotly anticipated 2 week VIP preview event to unveil next year’s collection to the trade between the 7-11th and 14-18th December. Festive will also be opening their Enfield (London) showroom earlier than usual next year too, this is scheduled to open on 18th January 2021...
Whilst there’s still great uncertainty all around us, one thing is for certain, Christmas is coming, and the show must go on!
The Festive team are looking to do everything they can to ensure trading with them next year will be as stress free as possible and they are planning for every eventuality.
Festive’s main 2021 showroom at their head office in Wales will be opening from 30th November 2020, they will be holding their hotly anticipated 2 week VIP preview event to unveil next year’s collection to the trade between the 7-11th and 14-18th December.
Festive will also be opening their Enfield (London) showroom earlier than usual next year too, this is scheduled to open on 18th January 2021.
Many buyers have already made appointments during December and January, please be sure to contact them to secure your appointment ASAP – 01633 627 300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Festive is adhering to strict Government guidelines and has published a list of measures to keep all visitors safe and secure. The full list of measures along with their 2021 launch plans can be downloaded here
Festive is investing heavily in a 3D showroom tour, this will allow customers to view their entire showroom either with a salesperson or independently and this is scheduled to launch in December
The showroom tour will also feature a way to place orders in conjunction with Festive’s industry leading online trade ordering website which will be updated with their 2021 collection in December.
Festive’s UK wide Field Sales Team and Customer Support Centre is also on hand to manage all available questions and queries; If you would like further information on how to order with them for 2021 please get in touch on 01633 627 300 or email email@example.com
Garden Centre Photo Tours
If you've missed one of our popular photo tours of garden centres then click on the links below:
Haskins Garden Centre in Snowhill, Crawley, has opened its doors to customers following a 12-month refurbishment costing £15m.
The new centre boasts a retail space of 11,813 sq.m., including an outdoor plant area and 440-seat restaurant complete with a newly installed pizza oven. Additional space has also been created to accommodate 170 restaurant guests on an outdoor patio.
Up to 70 new jobs have been created to accommodate the centre's expansion. Car parking has increased to 346 spaces. See GTN Xtra's photo tour of the new centre below.
Chief executive Julian Winfield said the Snowhill team worked tirelessly to ensure the centre was able to remain open for the majority of the project, with minimal disruption.
“We can't wait to receive our customers' feedback on our new and improved facilities,” he added. “Over the years, we have built a loyal customer following and we are proud to be able to give back to them in this way with our new expanded centre.”
Haskins acquired the Snowhill site in 2003, inheriting a number of ageing buildings.
Haskins also has centres in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone in West Sussex. The family business recently acquired Forest Lodge Garden Centre, Bird World and Garden Style in Farnham.
Pictured (left to right): Julian Winfield, Jamie Haskins, Ally Haskins (married to Jamie) and Warren Haskins, the group's chairman.
The opening event was attended by the current GCA Chairman Mike Burks and three past Chairs; Warren Haskins, Sue Allen and Julian Winfield.
Charles Stubbs, Lewis Fox and Nemanja Tintor, along with the rest of the BGC team, were proud as punch yesterday as their 58th centre at Thatcham in Berkshire opened.
The centre had been handed back to the landlords during the Wyevale Garden Centres sale of the century in and closed in September 2019 as the owners looked for a new leaseholder. British Garden Centres took on the site in September 2020 and since then have refreshed the centre, enclosing a walkway at the Restaurant end to allow for extra covers, extending the covered sales area out into the planteria and hard surfacing the overflow car parking area which was previously a field.
See GTN Xtra's exclusive photo tour of the new centre below:
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts...
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts and weekly bestsellers sales tips.
The full charts which provide useful insight into product sales peaks, new trends and new link sales opportunities are published in the weekly GTN Xtra newsletter.
As the year goes on we give sales volume comparisons with 2018 as well as 2019 to allow your teams to see variations over a three year period.
Access is by subscription only. For £145.00 per year you and your team can have access to the most up-to-date gardening sales analysis that has already helped many UK garden centres increase their sales. To subscribe call 07973 504214, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or buy on-line using this link.
WARNING the GTN Bestsellers Charts seriously improve the business of our subscribers. Invest 15 minutes each week in improving your sales using the GTN Bestsellers charts and your turnover and customer satisfaction will improve too.
Get the GTN Bestsellers charts in full every week in the GTN Bestsellers newsletters for only £145.00.
GTN Bestsellers is the only industry source of weekly garden centre sales information, collating Epos data from centres with an aggregate turnover in excess of £100m.
Use the weekly Garden Products and Growing Media Top 50 sales volumes charts to plan your hotspot and other promotions and ensure you have the right products in stock to satisfy the needs of your customers.
Luxury British dog accessories brand Teddy Maximus has introduced personalised Christmas stockings for dogs and dog lovers alike...
Luxury British dog accessories brand Teddy Maximus has introduced personalised Christmas stockings for dogs and dog lovers alike.
It has also launched matching Dog Pod Toys with squeakers which make ideal stocking fillers for all dogs.
The Teddy Maximus Christmas Stockings come in five styles and prices start at £39.50 – choose from Navy, Apple Green, Pink, Duck Egg or Peppermint. Mix and Match with the brand new Pod Toys (from £24.99), and why not add a matching Bow Tie (from £13.95) to make up a pawfect gift set.
All of the colours complement each other, and the Pods are available to purchase separately, or in sets.
Premium raw pet food brand Natural Instinct has launched a Christmas cracker for cats and dogs. Each cracker contains a toy plus a taster of the company's new treats – Mini Beef Sausages and Lamb Lites...
Premium raw pet food brand Natural Instinct has launched a Christmas cracker for cats and dogs.
Each cracker is bursting with goodies. There’s a surprise pet toy plus a taster of Natural Instinct’s new ambient treats – Mini Beef Sausages and Lamb Lites.
Rachel Kirby, spokesperson for Natural Instinct, said: “We are proud to introduce this festive treat to our customers. Christmas is such a special time for family, and pets are absolutely a part of that.
“Our specially created Christmas crackers enable cats and dogs to join in on the fun and offer a much-needed dose of Christmas spirit this year.”
Nutriment, an innovator in the field of raw pet feeding solutions, has launched a new brand called Leo & Wolf – a range of high-quality, frozen raw food products for both cats and dogs...
Nutriment, an innovator in the field of raw pet feeding solutions, has launched a new brand called Leo & Wolf – a range of high-quality, frozen raw food products for both cats and dogs.
Featuring both complimentary and complete options, the food range currently includes a variety of meatball style products for the ultimate pet feeding experience.
The brand will also feature some premium treat products which are currently being developed for future release.
The Leo & Wolf portfolio – which is specifically designed to simultaneously support both canine and feline nutrition - contains five varieties: beef and vegetable meatballs (93% meat and offal); beef meatballs (99% beef); chicken, beef, salmon and vegetable meatballs (93% meat, offal, fish and bone); tripe meatballs (99% tripe); and tripe, salmon and vegetable meatballs (93% tripe, fish and bone).
As is characteristic of all Nutriment raw food products, the ingredients in Leo & Wolf recipes come from high-quality, human grade food sources. Nutriment’s dedicated in-house nutritionists have carefully selected raw meats, fish and vegetables to provide optimal nutrition for both cats and dogs. This means that all recipes are grain-free, free from artificial additives and preservatives and inclusive only of ingredients that are biologically appropriate, easily digested and supportive of canine and feline health and happiness.
Leo & Wolf meatballs have been designed to maintain their form and shape when defrosted, without losing moisture or any of the desired texture. Once defrosted, the meatballs provide a unique and exciting new eating experience for cats and dogs, which contributes hugely to their emotional and mental health.
“We are staunch advocates of raw feeding solutions here at Nutriment. However, we do appreciate that storing pet food (which contains raw meat) in personal kitchen fridges can (and does) deter pet owners from exploring raw feeding. With this in mind, we are proud to launch a frozen product which can be conveniently stored, handled, defrosted and fed,” comments Suzanne Brock, Managing Director of Nutriment. “The meatballs are individually frozen and so each portion can be efficiently removed from the pack and defrosted for mealtimes.”
Nutriment’s founding and fundamental principle is to provide high-quality raw nutrition to all breeds, sizes and ages of dogs and cats. Whether a pet is young or aging, if they have underlying health conditions, or if a pet is simply just a fussy eater, the team at Nutriment is dedicated to developing innovative raw feeding products for any pet to enjoy. In order to achieve this, raw feeding solutions need to be accessible and convenient for pet owners. With this in mind, as well as being available to purchase online and from Nutriment’s headquarters in Surrey, Leo & Wolf will also be available at selected stores nationwide.
Leo & Wolf food products were launched in early November, with information on store locations and where you can purchase available on the Nutriment website.