Wyevale Garden Centres has today announced the sale of two more centres. Wellingborough (above) has been sold to Higgins Landscape and Garden Centres Limited (part of Higgins Building Supplies Limited), and Wolds View to Woodthorpe Hall Centres Limited.
Both buyers are delighted by the opportunity to expand their existing businesses and will continue to operate these sites as garden centres.
Woodthorpe Hall Centres Limited is part of British Garden Centres., whose directors are Phillippa and Charles Stubbs.
Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive of WGC, said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of a further two centres. We would like to thank our great colleagues at these centres, who have been central to our turnaround in the past few years, and wish them well for the next stage of their growth and development under new ownership.”
The sales are expected to complete during December.
Anthony Jones, Chief Financial Officer of WGC, said: “Since the launch of the sale process in May we have now sold 37 ‘non-core’ centres and are currently evaluating a wide range of competitive offers from the group buyers, regional operators and local entrepreneurs. We look forward to further positive discussions with all potential buyers.”
Christie & Co, the specialist business property advisor managing the sale process on behalf of WGC, have run a two phase process that has achieved considerable interest from a wide variety of buyers. The opportunity to run one, a small group or a portfolio of garden centres has ignited interest within the sector and beyond, and Christie & Co continue to liaise with phase 2 bidders as the process continues.
Enfield Garden Centre has been the latest of Wyevale Garden Centres’ portfolio to be sold, this time to a private investor. It’s understood that the centre will continue to operate under licence from WGC for at least a year.
Wyevale Garden Centres confirmed the sale of Enfield this week and thanked staff at the garden centre for turning around the store’s fortunes.
When the Wyevale business was put up for sale in May, Enfield had a listing of £2,300,000 although details of the actual sale price haven’t been disclosed.
Nearly 40 garden centres from the Wyevale portfolio have now been sold but with still more than 100 on the ‘for sale’ list there’s still interesting times ahead.
Below is GTN’s list of the ‘sold’ and ‘still for sale’ Wyevale Garden Centres…
Once upon a time a trip to the garden centre was just that. Buy your plants, compost, maybe a bird feeder or two.
Fast forward a few years and our love of food and shopping has completely changed the way consumers use local garden centres and forced them to evolve into multifaceted retail outlets. The humble garden centre has become a destination rather than a necessity.
Cafés within garden centres have become an integral part of the experience; in fact, one of the larger garden centre retailers report that serving food at within its centre now generates at least 20% of the overall turnover.
With this in mind investing in the smaller things like a great uniform will send a positive message to your diners. A floral patterned tabard may well be the way youve always done it but stepping up your uniform game doesn't have to be a headache.
Taylor Made Designs offer a complete service from design to management. We can source a wide range of items. We know the market trends, at the moment café uniform has moved towards a more urban look, so denim aprons, leather too and hardwearing canvas. We also embroider in-house and can whip you up samples and visuals of your finished product to help you choose what not only looks great and suits your environment but is hardwearing and fit for the intended purpose.
We are Taylor Made Designs, proud supplier of uniforms to Stewarts Garden Centres.
Ransomware attack at Blue Diamond - Customer data not affected
On the 27th November Blue Diamond was the victim of a ransomware attack on their Head Office in Guernsey. The attack, known as RYUK, originated from North Korea and encrypted all the files and systems on their network, including their finance system...
On the 27th November Blue Diamond was the victim of a ransomware attack on their Head Office in Guernsey. The attack, known as RYUK, originated from North Korea and encrypted all the files and systems on their network, including their finance system.
As a result all the invoices and payments that were originally processed between the 20th and 27th November have had to be re-processed and that has meant the payment run that was scheduled for 30th November, is now re-scheduled for Friday, 7th December.
Managing Director Alan Roper told GTN Xtra: "Fortunately we were in the process of migrating all our computer software to the cloud where our data was being backed up.
"However our accounting software and data plus Group SharePoint data was still on the attacked server and all the data was encrypted by the ransomware and we were locked out. We were instructed to pay in bitcoins the sum of several hundred thousand pounds and each day we delayed the price goes up!
"Our cloud computing company have reviewed all the data and from Monday we will be accessing our data again via the cloud and our encrypted server will be decommissioned.
"Our Employee HR data was unaffected.
"All Customer loyalty EPOS data was also unaffected as it is held on another server off site and protected by the supplier."
GCA reveals Christmas competition winners
Barton Grange Garden Centre and Castle Gardens are the national winners of the 2018 Garden Centre Association’s annual Christmas competition. The garden centres were judged to have the best festive displays in the country by the organisation and will receive their awards at its annual conference in January, 2019.
Barton Grange Garden Centre (above) and Castle Gardens are the national winners of the 2018 Garden Centre Association’s annual Christmas competition.
The garden centres were judged to have the best festive displays in the country by the organisation and will receive their awards at its annual conference in January, 2019.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “This year’s displays were extremely impressive, the best we’ve ever seen, so it was a tough choice when it came to choose the winners.
“The entrants were judged on the innovation, inspiration and excitement created from the way their Christmas products are displayed. The range of products available, accessibility, how easy it is for customers to find and select products and ‘wow factor’ were also taken into consideration in an assessment of the overall commercial proposition.
“We’d like to say a huge congratulations to Barton Grange Garden Centre who won in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category and Castle Gardens who won in the Garden Centre (GC) category.”
Entrants in the DGC category were judged by Andy Campbell and entrants in the GC category were judged by Alyson Haywood.
Louise Burks, Director of The Gardens Group, which owns Castle Gardens in Sherborne (above), Brimsmore Gardens in Yeovil and Poundbury Gardens in Poundbury, said: “This is another huge achievement for The Gardens Group as a whole as our Christmas displays demonstrate a real team effort across all three sites.
“Everyone works tirelessly to make sure the displays look their absolute best, from the opening in October right up until Christmas, so this accolade means a lot. We’re absolutely delighted to win this national award for the ninth time and I feel this consistency reflects the commitment and creativity of our team, who make the transformation happen from scratch each and every year.”
The area winners in the South Thames area were Ruxley Manor (DGC) and Castle Gardens (GC). In the Wales and West area Whitehall Garden Centre – Lacock (DGC) and Whitehall Garden Centre – Whitchurch (GC) were chosen.
In North Thames, the area winners were Perrywood Garden Centre (DGC) and Sunshine Garden Centre (GC) while St Peter’s Garden Centre (DGC) and Fairways – Ashbourne (GC) were selected in the Midlands area.
Barton Grange Garden Centre (above) (DGC) and Fron Gogh Garden Centre (GC) were selected in the North West and in the North East, Tong Garden Centre (DGC) and Coletta and Tyson Garden Centre (GC) were chosen.
David Fawcett-Ropner, Display Manager at Barton Grange Garden Centre, said: “We put a lot of effort into the planning, preparation and making of our fabulous Christmas displays every year. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on that the customers don’t see, from the buying to the build itself.
“Each year we’ve got to think bigger and be bold and it’s just so rewarding to see this effort and creativity inspiring others.”
The national winners will be given their awards during the GCA’s annual conference at Luton Hoo Hotel, Luton on the Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire border from January 20 until 23. Places can be booked via www.gca.org.uk.
Andy Campbell, who judged the DGC category, said: “I was lucky enough to judge the Christmas competition for the GCA a couple of years ago. This year, when re-visiting the 24 larger destination centres around the country, it was immediately apparent they had all just got even stronger.
“Nowadays garden centres are highly professional in the way they plan, implement and review their Christmas offer. In fact, I would go further and say they lead the way among retailers in delivering an excellent balance between displays that are clearly aimed at inspiring and helping customers in their own homes, while being commercial and experience driven.
“Key trends I have noticed on my travels and through discussions with the teams that have created these wonderful retail experiences have included: reduced time to build Christmas, high impact displays coupled with simplified product merchandising along with a greater focus on facilitating customers to serve themselves.”
Prongcroft Ltd, of Nottingham, a company which brings a fresh approach to garden care and maintenance, introduced The Garden Prong at Glee in September.
The Garden Prong features an innovative two-prong system that will revolutionise an approach to gardening.
It is a tool with a unique design which lends itself to aerate soil and actually remove weeds around the base of plants and shrubs without damaging the plant or shrub.
The tool head is made from polished stainless steel to reduce soil adhesion, making it easier to work.
The tool is very lightweight, sturdy and easy to use for people of all ages and abilities.
Ideal for all ages and levels of expertise, Prongcroft comes in three sizes – short, medium and long handled – making it perfect for everything from vegetable plots to patio pots.
The company also introduced the Garden Apron, which is easy to wear and can even be worn over everyday clothes.
- durable materials
- padded for comfort
- adjustable straps
- detachable tool/accessory pocket,
- one size to fit all.
The adjustable straps are comfortable to wear and do not cut into the knee, as with traditional knee pads. There is also an integral pocket facility to insert standard kneepad inserts.
0115 983 0344
Gardening sales took a tumble last week as Black Friday took people’s attention away from gardening despite continued balmy weather.
The GTN Bestsellers Plants and Growing Media indices dropped by over 30% while high street stores were very busy.
Christmas sales in garden centres did rise by 32% to compensate as footfall started to grow towards the winter peaks which we all hope will come over the next three weeks.
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year (week 47)
- Garden Products - up 6%
- Growing Media - down 11%
- Christmas - down 9%
- All Plants Index - down 15%
- All Items Index - down 4%
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild bird food brand Peckish will be sponsoring the Channel 4 Weather bulletins from 1st January 2019 until the end of February, furthering the brand’s position as the fastest growing name in the bird care market.
Peckish has seen 45% brand growth year-on-year which is anticipated to be furthered by a substantial advertising and press campaign in 2019. The campaign will raise the profile of the sector and continue to boost the market, driving more customers to retailers.
The “Love Every Bird” campaign will encourage people to feed wild birds and will drive growth in the sector. Focussed on the concept of capturing simple moments of joy in the garden, and how celebrating the little things, like feeding birds, can bring a smile even on the dullest of days. The lead product to feature in the campaign will be Peckish Complete Seed & Nut Mix.
The Channel 4 sponsorship will see Peckish and the “Love Every Bird” campaign being put in front of 10.4 million people. Alongside the sponsorship, the campaign will also feature an extensive national press and digital engagement campaign. This will bring the total reach to over 12.5 million consumers.
Rachael Dickinson, senior marketing manager at Westland, commented: “The popularity of feeding birds has continually increased and we are championing the cause to make people realise the positive effect that feeding the birds can bring to your day, as well as supporting our wildlife survival.
"Peckish is a proven leader in driving growth in the sector and as a market leader we are always seeking ways to move the category forward to introduce more people to responsible bird feeding – our ‘Love Every Bird’ campaign is the latest step in this.
“Our aim is to promote all year round feeding to present more opportunities to retailers and our customers. We‘ve really focussed the Peckish brand with our new developments to ensure that the range offers retailers, end users, and of course, garden birds, the complete offering.”
For the 2019 season, Peckish has launched a new look and new packaging, which includes resealable packaging on 80% of all food products. A key new product which has already been received incredibly well in the industry is the new Squirrel Proof Suet Pellets. This product is a unique introduction to the marketplace and offers customers an alternative to having to use squirrel proof cages on feeders.
The developments within the Peckish range for next year are also supported by extensive promotional and marketing campaigns. There are promotions and pallet deals, along with new point-of-sale materials and “extra-free” deals available on eight products across the range. Peckish has also launched a new six pallet display unit to help retailers drive volume sales.
For further information on Peckish and the new ranges contact your sales representative.
Sherborne-based Castle Gardens has been announced as the national winner of the Garden Centre Association’s annual Christmas Competition.
Up against garden centres from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including big names in the industry, Castle Gardens has now received this coveted accolade for the ninth time in 10 years.
Garden centre business specialist and Garden Centre Association judge, Alyson Haywood, commended Castle Gardens for its beautiful Christmas displays, which invite visitors to take a trip back to the 80s, embrace all things Latin American and escape in a world where unicorns roam and pigs fly, commenting: “With innovative and inspirational themes, coupled with unique product ranges, the Christmas journey enveloped and transported the customer into a magical land of wonder and creativity.”
Louise Burks, director of The Gardens Group, explains: “This is another huge achievement for The Gardens Group as a whole, as our Christmas displays demonstrate a real team effort across all three sites. Everyone works tirelessly to make sure the displays look their absolute best, from the opening in October right up until Christmas, so this accolade means a lot. We’re absolutely delighted to win this national award for the ninth time and I feel this consistency reflects the commitment and creativity of our team, who make the transformation happen from scratch each and every year.”
Brimsmore Gardens in Yeovil was also recognised in the Garden Centre Association’s annual Christmas Competition, taking fourth place in the country and second place in the regional Wales and West category.
The award-winning Christmas displays are open seven days a week until Christmas at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, Brimsmore Gardens in Yeovil and Poundbury Gardens near Dorchester.
Festive displays at a Bradford garden centre have been named the best in the North East of England for the third year running.
Tong Garden Centre was judged on the range, merchandising, marketing, presentation and displays of Christmas lines including trees, decorations, tableware, candles, giftware and food during the Garden Centre Association's inspection for its annual Christmas Competition.
Not only did the team at Tong win the prestigious accolade for a third consecutive year, but they were awarded a score of 84%. The GCA class a score between 80-90% as excellent to outstanding.
Winners are selected for their ability to demonstrate a real ‘wow factor' by showcasing their product range with innovative and inspirational displays that create excitement and a festive ambience.
Tong's Commercial Director Sharon McNair said: "Congratulations to everyone - it's a great result and well deserved. Christmas at Tong really is a massive team effort and every department within the centre has contributed to this success.
"Winning this award for the third year is testament to the team's skill and ongoing commitment to giving our customers a memorable Christmas experience."
GCA judge Andy Campbell said: "I was lucky enough to visit Tong Garden Centre a couple of years ago to judge their Christmas Displays. When I visited this time around it was immediately apparent they had just got even stronger. They are very professional at what they do, the displays have huge impact and are clearly aimed at inspiring and helping customers in their own homes - well done team Tong!"
Established in 1966, the GCA champions professionalism in garden centre retailing. Every year, its 200 members throughout the UK and Northern Ireland must undergo a comprehensive annual inspection to ensure they continue to meet the stringent criteria set out by the association and therefore maintain membership.
Tong Garden Centre's Christmas offering includes a new Grotto and Polar Bear pop up cafe, weekly tasting events in the Food Hall and extended opening hours.
Thanks to the generosity of a private donor, Greenfingers Charity will have a show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2019.
The Greenfingers Charity Garden has been designed by Kate Gould, a regular at Chelsea, who has won many gold medals for her innovative designs.
"Greenfingers Charity at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will present the charity with a great opportunity to highlight the difference its been making to hundreds of life limited children and their families every year, for the past 20 years, and at the same time attract new supporters. In turn, we hope this will help to ensure more Greenfingers Charity gardens will become a reality in 2019 and beyond," said Linda Petrons, Director of Fundraising & Communications.
On the RHS website, the Greenfingers Charity Garden has been described as follows:
"A lush green garden provides a peaceful, interactive and uplifting space where life-limited children with complex needs, their families, friends and carers can come together for play, relaxation or peaceful reflection. Set over two levels, with a lift and sloped walkways, the Greenfingers Charity garden is an accessible space for people of all ages and abilities.
"With its sensitive planting and magical water-feature, the innovative garden design aims to highlight and promote the therapeutic benefits of the 56 outside spaces created over the past 20 years by Greenfingers Charity, the charity dedicated to creating inspiring gardens for life-limited children and their families who spend time in hospices across the UK."
Floramedia have been a showcase for creative customer engagement for over 90 years and are now pleased to include SmartPlant as part of their offering.
SmartPlant offers the end consumer the ability to add plants to the app, receive plant information, automated monthly care advice, horticultural support from experts and identify
plants and pests. Their service also assists retailers and growers who are able to drive digital loyalty, expand on their marketing and gain valuable insights on the end customer.
By partnering with Floramedia, SmartPlant technology is now a part of their package to clients, building on their strong reputation for marketing and communication in the industry.
Floramedia labels can now easily be turned “Smart”, with marketing materials, branding and supplemental plant care all being delivered through the SmartPlant app. This
partnership makes turning wholesale plants “Smart” easier than ever before and gives Floramedia a digital offering that has already proven itself as the leading app for plants.
For growers, the app facilitates a detailed understanding of the end consumer through sophisticated data reporting that illustrates buying patterns and industry trends, helping
guide their future decision making. SmartPlant’s uncomplicated and easy to follow monthly care advice provides breeders and growers with a competitive wholesale advantage into retail and adds longevity and value to their plant ranges, resulting in a superior plant buying experience for the consumer.
‘I am a SmartPlant’ can already be seen on thousands of labels giving consumers the confidence to buy and expanding upon the information consumers already receive on plant labels.
UK CEO George Williams said: “SmartPlant has been on a wonderful journey over the last few years. Our partnership with Floramedia is hugely significant and we are very excited about working with Nick and his team to bring our digital learnings to the industry.”
Trade associations join forces to stage post-Brexit event
Three leading trade associations in the garden and leisure, pet product and home enhancement sectors – Gardenex, PetQuip and BHETA – are joining forces to host a conference on The Future for International Trade, ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union...
Three leading trade associations in the garden and leisure, pet product and home enhancement sectors – Gardenex, PetQuip and BHETA – are joining forces to host a conference on The Future for International Trade, ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The day long event will take place on March 12th, 2019 and will be held at the Stratford Manor Hotel in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire.
Brexit marks the dawn of a new era for international trade for virtually all sectors of British business, both home and abroad. The aim of the conference is to shed light on the very latest intelligence from an array of top-level speakers to help UK companies to navigate their best routes to international sales in the future.
Delegates will hear practical information and advice from leading experts on the changes and challenges of trading internationally after the UK leaves the European Union. They will be inspired by practical case studies from successful exporters in the gardening and leisure, pet product and home enhancement industry sectors. Also invited to participate to provide further guidance and in-depth export information and advice will be a wide range of experienced service providers specialising in transport, logistics, IP, international business law, exhibition organisers, government advisors and many more.
Director General of Gardenex and PetQuip, Amanda Sizer Barrett, says: “We expect a huge take-up for this practical and timely event on March 12th, which will deliver the latest intelligence from an array of top-level speakers and export experts to help UK companies in navigating their best routes to secure international sales in the future.”
BHETA Executive Director, Will Jones commented: “BHETA is delighted to be working with the Federation of Garden & Leisure Manufacturers on this joint initiative; we are confident that the programme of presentations will provide delegates with expert information, practical advice and inspiration, while a wide range of export service providers will give face-to-face export guidance to delegates”.
The conference has a clear mandate to help suppliers understand and navigate the Brexit complexities and in addition, highlight the export support and opportunities available worldwide.
Leading export service providers will be on hand to provide delegates with practical advice throughout the conference within the ‘Ask the Expert‘ Zone.
You can reserve your places at this important conference now by contacting your appropriate association by telephone, email or via the associations’ websites.
Contact Gardenex or PetQuip on 01959 565995; email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.gardenex.com.
Contact BHETA on 0121 237 1130, email email@example.com or visit www.bheta.co.uk
Members of Gardenex, PetQuip, CHA and BHETA can secure a preferential delegate rate of £69 per person at the conference. The event is also open to non-members at £149 per person (both plus VAT).
One of the leading commercial nurseries in the UK, Johnsons of Whixley, is celebrating after its marketing activity received a prestigious accolade in a national awards competition.
The horticultural business, based between York and Harrogate, has partnered with public relations firm, Faith PR, for the past four years to drive forward its PR, marketing and social activity.
Faith PR, based in West Yorkshire, has been working alongside Johnsons to enhance its strategic communications and cultivate the rooted reputation for the Yorkshire commercial nursery.
Following turnover for the year ending 2017 increasing by over 17 per cent to £12.4m – its most profitable year to date – as well as Johnsons adding 500 new customers to its 4,700-strong database of existing and historical customers and seeing the forward order book value increased by £1m to £4.6m, the partnership won a Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide 2018 gold award in the ‘Corporate and Business Communications Campaign’ category.
Graham Richardson, group director at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “This is a prestigious award and believe that it is a fitting accolade. With Faith’s expertise and perseverance, our marketing and PR function has transformed from an afterthought to an integral element of our operational business. We are firmly of the opinion that this has contributed significantly to business success.”
The CIPR PRide Awards recognise outstanding work within the public relations industry that delivers impactful results for companies and organisations across the UK and demonstrates the value of PR to the wider business world. The annual awards take place across nine separate regions and are judged by a panel of PR industry experts.
All shortlisted nominees were invited to a black-tie ceremony at Leeds’ Queen’s Hotel on Thursday, 22nd November, where the winners were announced.
Faith PR, which is based in Brighouse and services regional, national and international clients across B2C and B2B sectors, was also shortlisted in the awards’ ‘Outstanding Small Public Relations Company’ category for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire for the third time in its 11-year history.
Stefanie Hopkins, Faith PR founder, said: “Johnsons is a fantastic business to work alongside and this award is a testament to the team’s hard-work and determination and underlines our ongoing partnership with such a fine Yorkshire business. Our aim is to not only enhance their communications activity, but also impact directly on the bottom line.”
The Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) is looking for an experienced and talented Marketing Manager seeking the next step to advance their career.
Working as part of the core team, the role of Marketing Manager is, primarily, to create and implement a marketing plan, developing tactical campaigns to support sales, strategic and operational goals using an omnichannel approach across websites, social media, email marketing, third-party partners, online advertising and analytics platforms.
Working as part of a core team, reporting directly to the Chairman and co-directors.
Experience with Garden and Outdoor or related market preferred.
First point of contact for all LOFA office duties including:
- Daily administration of the association.
- Preparation of budget/annual audit.
- Maintenance and management of the company’s web and social media activity; following trends and posting content of interest to followers, customers and prospects, with the objective of generating new leads and engagement; monitoring and reporting on activity to identify changes and new opportunities.
- Manage the maintenance of the company website and Customer Support Hub, ensuring all content is accurate, up to date and in line with the company brand guidelines.
- Manage the implementation of SEO strategies across multiple channels, monitoring digital activity using Google Analytics etc, making recommendations where necessary.
- Research topics and write content for the company’s website and other publications, including customer case studies and topical blogs.
- Market, promote and manage LOFA projects.
- Assist member companies with marketing campaigns as designated
- Organise events run or attended by LOFA, e.g. annual user conference, exhibitions, seminars etc.
- Promote Solex exhibition, including full control of P&L.
- Monitor the annual round of small business/marketing/SaaS/IT business awards, looking for opportunities to promote LOFA and provide support in the application process.
- Assist with the collation and evaluation of customer and market research, analysing market conditions and competitor data and ensuring brand reputation, quality and integrity is maintained, reporting on changes.
- Keep up to date with international current affairs, marketing and business trends, identifying new technologies and opportunities to keep the company at the forefront of developments in marketing, especially those affecting data security environment, e.g. GDPR.
Skills, Attributes & Experience
- An excellent communicator, with the ability to write, edit and repurpose engaging content for digital publication (in English)
- Analytical mindset to assess internal and external data and conditions, making recommendations where necessary
- An eye for detail to ensure a high standard of accuracy across all communications
- Proactive, confident and self-motivated with a positive team ethic
- Well organised with a real commitment to quality customer service
- A solid understanding and experience of managing web and social media channels
- Experience of implementing SEO strategies across multiple channels and monitoring digital activity using the Google suite
- Educated to a high standard, ideally with a degree in business management or marketing
- IT literate, with experience in using Microsoft Office and other business systems, including a good working knowledge of Excel to create spreadsheets for data analysis
- A minimum of 1 years’ experience in a marketing position, preferably in the Garden Market (ideally B2B) with use of digital marketing competences on a regular basis
Competitive salary, company provided communications, company bonus scheme, workplace pension scheme.
Leaders in the outdoor furniture and barbecue industry
Representing the best in design and innovation in outdoor and garden furniture, our members offer products made from hardwood, softwood, woven materials, aluminium, cast iron, tubular metal and resin. Members who show the LOFA symbol will provide quality products and service, in accordance with the LOFA Code of Practice. Membership is open to companies who manufacture or distribute garden furniture, barbecues, outdoor play equipment and outdoor living products.
Despite its market presence, LOFA is very small association. The company style is relaxed and empowering and this, combined with a first-class reputation for customer service and an ambitious growth programme, provides a great working environment with opportunities for personal development.
How to Apply
A full job description and person specification may be viewed on the LOFA website www.lofa.co.uk/opportunities
If you feel you’re suitable for this new role, please send or email your CV and a full covering letter detailing your experience and suitability for the position
FAO Richard Plowman
LOFA, 1b Lancer House,
Hampshire PO7 7SE
CLOSING DATE: 14th December 2018
with all the news direct to your e-mail inbox. The best news service every weekend and all the breaking news as it happens.
Subscribe for free using this link
All change for garden product sales
There were 25 new entries or re-entries in this week’s GTN Bestsellers Garden Products chart with a wide range of items making an appearance in the Top 50...
There were 25 new entries or re-entries in this week’s GTN Bestsellers Garden Products chart with a wide range of items making an appearance in the Top 50.
Highlights of the week were:
- Silent Roar Cat Deterrent Repeller Lion Manure Pellets were the highest new entry at No 8.
- Woodlodge 5 inch Standard Spang Pot was the highest re-entry at No 16.
- The highest climber was Scheurich Pot Cover Mini 10cm, jumping 26 places to Nio 20.
- One thing that didn’t change was at the very top where Smart Solar Bottle It! Lights remained at No 1.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
On the evidence of GTN Bestsellers data, garderners are protecting semi tender plants and preparing for the coming gardening year. Hence good sales of bark and mulch this week.
Also much of their activity has been taking place indoors with orchid-growing products have seen a boost in sales.
- The highest climber of ther week was Evergreen Garden Care Miracle Gro Moisture Control Bark, 55 litres, jumping a massive 37 places to No 6.
- Strulch Organic Straw Mulch, 100 litres, was the highest re-entry at No 12.
- One place further back was the highest new entry, achieved by Growth Technology Orchid Potting Mix, 8 litres.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com
With just over three weeks to go before Christmas it’s no surprise that hanging decorations for the festive tree are proving popular in garden centre stores.
The top four bestselling items this week are from History & Heraldry and Suki.
However, it’s worth mentioning there were a staggering 20 new products in the Top 50 this week.
- The highest newcomer was Boltz Jumbo Christmas Mugs at No 11.
- Playwrite Christmas Plush Elf 28cm was the highest re-entry.
- And the highest climber of the week was History & Heraldry Festive Friends Hanging Decorations, jumping 16 places to top spot.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
Trees and winter shrubs were the new movers in the GTN Bestsellers Plants chart last week. There were a record 16 new/re-entries in the Top 50 as total plant sales dropped by over 30% during Black Friday week.
Winter bedding Pansy and Primula sales plummeted by 60%. Is that a blip or a trend?
Highlights of the week were:
- Ajuga were the highest placed re-entry, back in at No 15.
- Prunus trees were the highest chart climber, up 27 places to No 20
- Malus trees debuted in the Top 50 at No 32.
- All Plants volume sales change: Week on week DOWN 31.5%. Year to date UP 7.6% on 2017
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com
A new environmental scholarship has been launched by the David Colegrave Foundation in the name of flower seed trade legend, John Gibson.
The John Gibson Environmental Scholarship will award £1,500 to a student with a keen interest in environmental solutions and sustainable applications as applied to commercial horticulture.
John Gibson dedicated 65 years of his life to the industry, forging a fine international reputation. After starting his career at Bees Seeds, John went on to work at Colegrave Seeds with the late David Colegrave and was at the forefront of the development of the market for hybrid seeds and seedlings.
In his time, John has seen the beginning of the trial grounds at West Adderbury, which are now part of Ball Colegrave's annual new variety showcase, he has spent 30 years judging the trials grounds at Wisley Gardens, and since his retirement he has served as a Trustee for the David Colegrave Foundation until recently stepping down.
Jeff Colegrave, DCF Chairman, says: “This scholarship recognises John's keen interest in environmental solutions that can advance commercial horticulture in a sustainable manner. It is a marker of the passion and commitment that John has given to the industry and we hope that it will enable environmentally aware student horticulturists to go on to have as fruitful careers as John’s.”
The John Gibson Environmental Scholarship is one of several new scholarships launched this year which also include a travel scholarship by Majestic Trees and a horticultural research scholarship.
Scholarship Season runs until January 2019 and to enter applicants simply need to complete an application form which they can do online.
More information on DCF and its scholarships can be found at www.davidcolegravefoundation.org.uk
Pictured: John Gibson presenting award to a past student winner at Capel Manor College with fellow Trustee Brian Crosby.
The final session in GIMA’s autumn/winter programme of Knowledge Exchange Workshops will be a special session entitled ‘Key Account Management’ taking place on 12th December.
Places are filling up fast, so interested parties – both GIMA members and non-members – are invited to secure their place now to avoid disappointment.
This special workshop will be led by corporate training specialists, Cedar Associates, and will help delegates to differentiate between ‘Account Management’ and ‘Key or Strategic Account Management’.
The workshop will encourage attendees to utilise a range of skills to maintain and develop relationships with customers to expand revenues and the worth of the accounts they manage, whilst also working on ways to retain and defend their accounts from competitors.
Topics covered during the day will include how to successfully build relationships with clients, complaint and challenge resolution, tackling ‘beyond sales’ issues, spotting opportunities, growing accounts, and ways to influence your own organisation to help match your customer’s needs.
All GIMA Knowledge Exchange Workshops will take place at Horticulture House, Didcot, OX11 0RN.
Further information about Knowledge Exchange workshops can be found at www.gima.org.uk. Open to both members and non-members, GIMA is urging interested parties to secure their place now as space is limited.
Bookings can be made for individual workshops (GIMA Members: £195 + VAT / Non-members: £225 + VAT) or as a suite of two or more places (GIMA Members: £175 + VAT / Non-members: £205 + VAT).
Theme Plantarium 2019: “Green Fits All”
With the theme “Green Fits All”, Plantarium 2019 offers a platform for partnerships both within the sector and beyond. The future is green. Green fits in well with every work method and lifestyle. Green adds the finishing touch! Green is a social issue...
With the theme “Green Fits All”, Plantarium 2019 offers a platform for partnerships both within the sector and beyond. The future is green. Green fits in well with every work method and lifestyle. Green adds the finishing touch! Green is a social issue.
Plantarium 2019 aims to encourage entrepreneurs to seek cooperation with companies and authorities outside the sector, that way green will provide opportunities for growth.
In 2019, Plantarium will be held for the 37th time. Given the success of the last edition, we have once again decided to join together with GROEN-Direkt under one roof, in two adjacent halls on Denemarkenlaan at the International Trade Centre Boskoop/Hazerswoude.
According to tradition, Plantarium will be held in week 34. The Board of the Nursery Trade Fair Foundation is considering moving the date at least one week forward from 2020. However, this will involve timely decision-making. This will be discussed with the participants prior to the next edition.
We will continue on the course we have taken this past year: a three-day trade fair, business to business, with a clear layout that will provide space for growers, breeders, retail and suppliers. We expect 11,000 trade visitors from 44 countries.
Registration is open
Exhibitors have three options for participating: a basic square with no stand, a version with system construction and a version in which wooden constructions are possible. Registration is open as of now. You can register via the website www.plantarium.nl.
Plantarium 2019 will be held from 21 to 23 August 2019 on Denemarkenlaan at the International Trade Centre Boskoop/Hazerswoude. More information can be found on www.plantarium.nl.
Kent & Stowe sell the sizzle
Kent & Stowe not only offer a comprehensive range of garden tools and accessories but also the perfect solution to merchandise the products – selling the sizzle...
Kent & Stowe not only offer a comprehensive range of garden tools and accessories but also the perfect solution to merchandise the products – selling the sizzle.
Tools used to be sold from the back wall on practical but not very inspiring standard wall fixtures. K&S have applied their considerable retail expertise to bring these units to life and have also created design led, free-standing display modules to support the brand and most importantly educate the consumer.
The free-standing modules include full colour panels and headers and the correct fixtures to display the products safely and efficiently. The units are particularly space efficient covering between 0.5m² and 1.0m². The new matt black wall displays have gold graphics and full colour educational range dividers. All the display stands are easily assembled and manufactured from the highest quality materials to reflect the quality of the K&S range.
As we look forward to a successful new year, now is the time to speak to your Kent & Stowe sales contact to ensure that as Christmas is packed away, you have all the right sales material in-store ready for a bright fresh start for 2019.
Kent & Stowe have a range of Spring promotions available to order now for delivery immediately after Christmas.
Kent & Stowe have developed ranges of garden tools which cover all aspects of the garden market to meet the needs of their huge customer base. The Kids Range is a beautifully scaled down version of Mum & Dad’s tools, Garden Life tools are perfectly weighted, balanced and proportioned to give maximum comfort and enjoyment from a lighter and more compact tool. The specialist digging, weeding, cutting and hand tools are all designed to achieve the best possible results with the minimum of effort.
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
The latest Wyevale garden centres to change hands have been acquired by businesses new to the garden industry but with related interests.
English Salvage Ltd, which has taken over the Hereford Wellington centre (pictured), is a leading reclamation yard with a global reputation and lists dozens of salvaged decorative garden and landscaping items on its website.
Based in Leominster, the family-run business was started by Rupert and Pru Woods, who travel extensively to source stock. It has a turnover of circa £1 million.
Site manager Chris Fish told GTN Xtra: “We’ve outgrown our current premises and have been searching for new ones for some time. When the Hereford Wellington garden centre came up for sale it seemed a great opportunity for our business – it is only six miles from our current building. We have some connection with the garden industry because some of the materials we salvage and reclaim is garden-related. We will continue to run Hereford Wellington as a garden centre alongside our current business.”
Rupert Woods has an MSc in Tropical Agriculture and spent his professional career in working in aid and development in Third World countries before turning his attention to salvage. His wife trained and worked as a journalist before joining him in Africa.
Salisbury-based In-Excess UK Ltd, which has taken on four former Wyevales in the south, is run by 58-year-old Carl Chambers, who has more than 30 years experience as a trader. The In-Excess chain, which has five outlets within a 30-mile radius of its head office, is a discount retailer specialising in selling surplus and liquidation stock direct to the public. Deeply-discounted lines from brands like Miracle-Gro, Erin, Vitax, Westland and Charles Bentley were being advertised on their website last week.
Turnover in the year to January 2018 was £10.63 million.
The Salisbury, West Parley (Ferndown), Fair Oak (Eastleigh) and Landford (Southampton) centres will retained as garden centres. The In-Excess stores are at Salisbury, Ringwood, Christchurch, Parkstone and West End.
Mr Chambers was unavailable for comment when GTN Xtra closed for press.
Thetford Garden Centre is hoping to track down a customer who may unwittingly have got caught up in a banknote scam that has cost the business £130.
Fraudsters paid for goods with counterfeit notes and tricked staff into handing over more cash. They may then palmed off two fake £20 notes on a customer who agreed to give them £40 in smaller notes in exchange, after a till operator at the centre was unable to change them.
The store’s business development manager Shane Hinkley (pictured) told GTN Xtra: “We’re not absolutely sure the customer was involved but there is CCTV footage and the police are involved. The local paper will be giving it publicity, which will help.”
Two men both bought goods with forged notes and got staff to swap the change for more fake notes. In all, the centre has lost £130.
Shane told an Eastern Daily Press reporter: “We employ a lot of people from around the area as well, around 70 or 80 staff, and it is hard when you are just trying to make a living and when something like this happens it is a bit of a knock and upsets the staff as well.”
He said he felt sorry for the customer who may have been duped. “He has been really kind to give this guy £40 and he may have been given two fake £20 notes in return.
“As a family business it is one thing to hit a business but to hit someone who has just come in from the street, I find that more upsetting than them coming to us.”
Norfolk Police said they believed the two men left the area in a dark blue BMW and appealed for anyone with information to contact police using 101 or by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In response to multiple news reports concerning the welfare of live reindeers being used in Christmas experiences. Hamac would like to offer businesses an alternative.
Hamac Displays have a full range of plush Hansa animatronic realistic Animals available for immediate dispatch, you can view a video of our Reindeers by clicking the following link Hansa Animated Reindeers
Our Animatronic Reindeers offer a life like experience for all ages and can even sing and talk to their audience.
Hansa Creation reproduces the world’s most realistic plush animals. Hamac Trading are the Exclusive distributor of Hansa Animatronics in the UK and Ireland. Included in our large range of animatronic plush animals we have a selection of Singing/ Talking products which will bring a bit of Christmas or all year round cheer to your business.
As well as our plush Hansa animatronic animals. Hamac Displays can also offer over 200 fibreglass props which will add those finishing touches to your Christmas Experience and Grotto. Display Creations specialise in photo opportunity and Fibreglass models which are suitable for both indoor and outdoor displays.
Hamac Trading have been suppliers to the Garden Trade since 1999 and offer our customers a wide range of products including Water Features, Resin Animals, Pots & Urns, Fibreglass Displays and Plush Animatronic Animals.
For more information please contact our sales office Tel : 028 25 831201. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Four weeks to make or break the year
With only four weeks left until Christmas the industry is waiting with bated breath to see when the expected Christmas footfall and sales rush will begin...
With only four weeks left until Christmas the industry is waiting with bated breath to see when the expected Christmas footfall and sales rush will begin.
At present GTN Bestsellers Christmas sales index is sitting at 11% down year on year with the four potentially peak weeks still to come.
With a fair wind, and no snow, that could easily turn into 11% up by the time Santa starts his deliveries. That would make a great end to a challenging year.
Encouragingly while Christmas may be down gardening activity is up on the same time last year and that includes plant sales!
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 46
- Garden Products Top 50 – up 15%
- Growing Media Top 50 – up 8%
- Christmas Products Top 50 – down 22%
- All Plants index – up 4%
- All Items index – down 5%
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com