In This Issue
"Open For Business: Lessons Learned from Lockdown and The First Week of Trading" webinar today at 5:00pm
Let’s spread a little RHS Chelsea cheer on #FloralFriday
Grow your sales with Evergreen Garden Care’s GYO best-sellers
Garden Centres back on the right track - UPDATED - New comment from Barton Grange, Newbank, Langlands and Green Pastures
Making garden centres friendly, safe and accessible again
Northern Ireland garden centres re-open with record sales - UPDATED
Bump Up Your Colour Pot Sales
Massive increase in demand for VegTrug
LifestyleGarden® thanks keyworkers with special giveaway
CSY launch Ecommerce Sites to help Garden Centres during the Covid-19 Panademic
The UK’s Infrastructure Capacity to Reprocess Post-Consumer Plastic Needs to Double by 2022 to Meet Plastic Packaging Tax Demands
A cut above on ground below
Gro-along Evergreen Garden Care launches virtual gardening series with David Domoney
Primeur continues to support retailers as the industry emerges from lockdown
GIMA welcomes government-backed trade credit insurance guarantee
GrowNation Secures Free Social Distancing Help and Advice for Garden Centres
Reopening your retail store: Step two – sanitation & portable hand washing/sanitisation stations
It’s a #FloralFriday thanks from Greenfingers Charity
Orderly queues form as garden centres in England re-open
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Smart Face Masks
Solex Exhibition – Cancelled
The Commercial Horticultural Association is supporting and promoting its existing British exhibitor group for GreenTech and preparing for the rescheduled show on 20-22 October
RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year to be judged during Virtual RHS Chelsea
Safe Trading Guidance for all garden centres published by HTA
The best of last week's
Green light for garden centres to re-open on Wednesday in England - UPDATED - Comment from James Barnes at HTA and Alan Titchmarsh MBE
St Peters staff in tears after council serves Prohibition Notice
Wales - Monday, England - Wednesday or June 1st?, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
Getting ready for business - feedback from Coolings, Planters, The Gardens Group, Blue Diamond, Green Pastures, Fron Goch and more
“Stay Alert” - make sure your customers and staff have a safe and enjoyable garden centre experience
Garden Centre Photo Tours
Haskins Snowhill re-opens after £15m re-vamp
Bestsellers Top 50 charts every week
Buy your subscription to GTN Bestsellers
Greenhouses used in trial of "Covid-safe" dining
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“Stay Alert” - make sure your customers and staff have a safe and enjoyable garden centre experience

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Yesterday afternoon, in advance of garden centres re-opening today in England, I went to Megaplants in Doddington, Cambridgshire. Megaplants is a small plant centre that got permission to re-open two weeks ago.


“Every day has been like a bank holiday since then,” explained owners John & Lorraine Cutteridge. “We got permission from Fenland District Council because we sell garden tools/hardware as well as plants and we’ve had plenty of visits from environmental health officers who have been very helpful in ensuring our social distancing measures are good.”


While I was at Megaplants the thing that struck me most was how carefully the staff were observing social distancing, particularly with customers. The visit was a safe and secure experience so it’s no wonder they have had such high sales and large numbers of positive comments on social media.


Garden centres across the country will now be hoping for more of the same from today. If the Megaplants experience is anything to go by customers will be buying a lot of plants as soon as centres open.


We should all be very grateful for the work done by the HTA and the media support generated that raised the profile of garden centres and gardening to levels never known before. Thank you.


But all that good work could be outdone so, so easily if centres get it wrong. We only need a tabloid newspaper to publish photos of people NOT social distancing in garden centres and we could all be back to square one.


The Prime Ministers message of “Stay Alert” may have caused confusion on Sunday and Monday but it now seems to make huge sense for garden centre staff: “Stay Alert” and make sure your customers and staff have a safe and enjoyable garden centre experience and don’t let anyone turn their visit into a social gathering.


The YouGov survey found that 70% of people who have visited a garden centre in the past feel comfortable about coming back. The next few days will hopefully be steady days to test procedures before the weekend. With good weather forecast it could be a very busy weekend. More than ever garden centre owners and staff will need to “Stay Alert” to keep themselves and their customers safe.


Go well!


Trevor Pfeiffer, GTN Xtra


Meanwhile... The HTA urges its members to take a thoughtful and considered approach to reopening:


HTA Chairman, James Barnes, said: “Following on from Friday’s announcement that garden centres in Wales can reopen, we welcome the news that centres in England will also be allowed to reopen from Wednesday.


“For garden centres who are reopening, it is essential that we proceed with the utmost caution. I am aware that many businesses have already begun to implement very robust policies around social distancing, but we now need everyone in the industry to download the HTA’s Safe Trading Guidance from our website. The Guidance provides specific protocols for garden centres and has been shared with government. You do not have to be an HTA member to access the document.


“In order to provide reassurance to members of the public, the HTA will be asking all their members and non-members listed on the website to indicate when they have reopened and that they are following the Safe Trading Guidance. 


“The Guidance is there to help develop a thoughtful and considered approach to reopening, so we would encourage business owners to take their time to go through it, and to contact the HTA or their local authority if any aspect is unclear. And remember that you do not need to open on Wednesday - if you are not ready then you must wait until you are.”

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