Retailers seeking products of the future and the latest in-store merchandising ideas need look no further than the Retail Lab at Glee. Now in its third year, this inspirational feature area, in association with the Horticultural Trades Association, is bursting with ideas. In fact, 61% of Glee’s visitors say they will attend Glee 2019 as a result of seeing the Retail Lab last year. Here, we meet one of the sponsors of this year’s feature – Latvian timber furniture and garden accessory manufacturers, EKJU – to find out more about why they have got involved with this thriving area of Glee 2019.
Why has EKJU chosen to be a sponsor of the Retail Lab?
End user trends are extremely important to us and our knowledge of these are invaluable to our retail partners. We are close to trends throughout Europe in markets such as France, Germany & Scandinavia. For some product categories trends align in these markets and we can share the knowledge on trend developments in outdoor living, grow your own & vertical planting. We will be showcasing products linked to these trends at Glee.
What appeal does the Retail Lab hold? Why should retailers/ merchandisers/ buyers visit this area?
We believe the retail lab offers interactive insight into the future trends and therefore this is a great tool for visitors to help grow future sales, be it products, concepts or merchandising ideas.
What products/ranges will EKJU be supplying?
Some of EKJU’s best furniture products are being used to bring people together at the lab. The ‘Raised Bar Set’ and ‘Cesis Table & Bench set’ is being featured in the HTA bar area. In the Urban City zone, EKJU’s grow your own products are heavily featured. The ‘Garden’s Table’, ‘Raised Six Section Planter’ and the ‘Four Level Vegetable Bed’ are all being featured.
Additionally, the unique ‘Hanging Pot Shelf’ will be showcased, which is ideal for ‘grow your own’ enthusiasts with a smaller available outdoor space. This product has been designed for growing herbs and plants, as well as a decorative option for displaying flowers, supplying a fantastic vertical planting solution. The shelving sets are available in 3 treatment options – green, brown or grey and come complete with fixing kits for assembly on a wall.
What current trends are shaping your business most? How do you see this changing in the next 12-24 months?
Our love for timber has always meant we hold sustainability sacred to our mission. We recycle all timber waste from production and see more and more companies adopting this type of stance wherever possible. We are finding there is even more appreciation than ever for sustainability in 2019 and is a movement that we see continuing into 2020 and beyond.
Increased awareness of climate change and heightened sustainability movement against single use packaging have been 2 recent trends that have led to a buoyant traditional ‘grow your own’ market. There has also been a shift towards younger audiences interested in ‘grow your own’ leading to alternative space saving products for end users who have smaller gardens and outdoor spaces.
Outdoor Living is becoming more and more popular with rising temperatures meaning more time spent enjoying the outdoor space and a willingness to decorate the garden in similar themes to inside the house. As a result, this is likely to increase popularity in painting outdoor furniture and accessories a consistent colour throughout the garden. After extensive market research in identifying the top trending colours’ in European gardening, Grey treatment is now available across the entire EKJU range.
This enables the end user to create a grey collection consisting of timber furniture and accessories, to complement the desired decorative look and colours in the garden. At the same time garden sizes are reducing in size in the UK and we are focused on creating products that adapt to all sizes of gardens. Most importantly we create products that are simple for the end user to build, which is key to ensure people’s busy lives are not taken up by frustration during assembly. We have been taking this a step further with assembly videos which demonstrate how to assemble our key products. Our focus on customer experience will continue into the future.
What can you tell us about your plans for Glee 2019?
Our heritage as craftsman and focus on quality underpins our strategy of supplying the best range of sustainable timber garden furniture with the end-user’s comfort in mind. Our products offer a solution for end users regardless of the size of their outdoor space and we remain focused on delivering high standards on all of our range. At Glee we will be showcasing products both traditional and on trend and showcasing our new grey treatment, which now joins our green and brown treatment options. We look forward to welcoming people to our stand - Hall 6, stand Q20-R21.
to be at Glee, and we are sure retailers will be pleased with what we have to offer.