In This Issue
Kelkay bought by US company for $56million
All hands to the pump at Gardman as backlog gets cleared
QD Group acquires The Barn Garden Centre in Peterborough
Major garden centre projects near completion
Squire's eyes investment opportunties after parting with Windsor centre
GTN's Greatest Christmas Award winners revealed
New deal sees Posh Sheds available to garden centre customers for the first time
Glee at Spring Fair receives positive response
Glee at Spring Fair's New Product Award winner revealed
Klondyke Group holds Furniture and Outdoor Living Showcase
Wyevale Garden Centres celebrates £1.7m fundraising success for Marie Curie
Horticulture and agriculture students’ study trip to Spain
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Glee welcomes new team member to boost UK coverage
Buyers from Denmark, Finland, Latvia and the Netherlands seek new products at Gardenex event
Garden Living: the new consumer website from LOFA
New Burgon & Ball 'Buzz and Dotty' Kneelo kneelers for kids
Plant-athons planned at Klondyke garden centres on Garden Re-Leaf Day
Wildlife World celebrates 20 years in business
GROEN-Direkt’s 2018 Spring Fair: this was the news
Looking for Christmas Ideas for 2018?
The best of last week's
Bunnings owner could exit the UK by June, says newspaper report
Gardman acknowledges teething problems at new distribution centre...but says they're now fixed
Good growth reported for Blue Diamond Group
Top trends for 2018 are inspired by nature
Bestsellers Top 50 charts every week
Buy your subscription to GTN Bestsellers
All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
GCA launches new Rising Star programme for catering staff
Custom Counters consultancy service from Fri-Jado UK
Afternoon tea award recognition for Haskins Ferndown
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GROEN-Direkt’s 2018 Spring Fair: this was the news

"It’s like I’m walking down Kalverstraat!," said one of the visitors of GROEN-Direkt’s Spring Fair of 6 and 7 February, referring to the busy shopping street in Amsterdam.


The trading company in the Dutch town of Boskoop indeed welcomed a remarkably large number of visitors to its first fair of the new year, including many new faces: new customers accounted for no less than half of the growth in turnover.


The rest of the increase of just over 20% relative to the same time the previous year was attributable to the fact that customers spent more money. All in all a very promising start of the 2018 gardening season.


The most important and most noteworthy fair news in four highlights:


Scarcity on the market?

Within only a few hours after the opening of the first fair day the best deals were already sold out; more than five hundred batches by the end of the fair. This once again goes to show that the market has changed relative to a few years ago. But with a total of around six hundred sample batches of garden plants and an extensive themed presentation of houseplants the range remained good, with plenty for visitors to choose from right through to the end.


New faces at the Product Promotion Plaza

The 150 standholders at the Product Promotion Plaza were very busy on both fair days. This edition of the annual fair once again showed that the PPP is a good platform for the introduction of new faces and initiatives. The ‘Good Roots’ cooperative from Boskoop presented a brand-new sales concept: a ready-made box containing sixteen visually attractive trees that change every two weeks. Good Roots’ Tim Sonneveld: “The PPP is an ideal platform for us. Representatives of all garden centres come here. They know that you can find real treasures, the very best of the best, at GROEN-Direkt.”


Introduction of eco labels

New at this edition of the fair were the ‘green’ certification stamps on all the articles. The visiting garden-centre representatives confirmed that this is now indeed exactly what consumers want. While some had begun to notice the first signs of a change, but still selected their purchases largely on the basis of their own sustainability standards, others said they have already noted a distinct trend. “Price is no longer the number-one marketing means. Today’s consumers really are prepared to spend a few euros more on a sustainably produced product,” said a garden-centre manager from The Hague.


Cornus kousa 'Scralet Fire' (R) best novelty

Twelve novelties were presented at this Spring Fair: relatively new plants that are now for the first time available in sufficient numbers and offer distinct added value in relation to the existing range. The fair’s visitors voted for their favourite novelty and a varied professional jury comprising garden-centre representatives, trading companies and growers guaranteed a fair judgement. The winner was Cornus kousa 'Scarlet Fire' bred by Joh. Stolwijk en Zonen from Boskoop. With its dark flowers and compact growth habit, this healthy cultivar convinced the public of its excellence.   

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