Caulders buy two centres from Dobbies
Dobbies Garden Centres have just announced the sale of two of its smallest centres, Kinross and Cumbernauld, to Caulders, as the Dobbies team look at a number of options for growth towards building "the best garden centre business in the UK"...
Dobbies Garden Centres have just announced the sale of two of its smallest centres, Kinross and Cumbernauld, to Caulders, an independent family-owned group of five garden centres across central Scotland.
The sale of these two smaller centres is in line with Dobbies’ strategic growth plan, as it focusses on building a destination garden centre business.
Graeme Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer of Dobbies Garden Centres, said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of our two smallest centres to Caulders, one of Scotland’s leading and most experienced independent garden centre operators. We would like to thank our fantastic colleagues at these centres and wish them well for the next stage of their career under Caulders’ ownership.”
“The sale of these two centres is in line with Dobbies’ wider growth and expansion strategy as we focus on growing our stall with larger destination garden centres.”
Graeme also told GTN Xtra: ""We are looking at a number of options for growth and we'll update any plans as soon as we're in a position to do so. We're less concerned with timescales, and more concerned about making sure we build the best garden centre business in the UK."
All 43 Dobbies team members at Kinross and Cumbernauld will transfer across to Caulders.
Colin Barrie, Managing Director, of Caulders said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our new team members to the Caulders family, and to working with them to develop these fantastic garden centres over the years to come.
“There are superb teams at both Kinross and Cumbernauld who have created successful garden centres for their local communities. The centres are a great fit for us and a welcome addition to our family business.”
Colin told GTN Xtra this morning that they had been taling with Dobbies on and off for a period of time. He said: "We are really excited to have these two centres joining Caulders. They are both well run centres that will suit our small family business style of operation and they are the perfect geographic fit for us."
The sale is expected to complete during February, with the centres re-opening as Caulders Garden Centres soon after.
New Marketing Manager for LOFA
The Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association has announced that Gina Hinde is the new LOFA Marketing Manager and is now in post...
The Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association has announced that Gina Hinde is the new LOFA Marketing Manager and is now in post.
Gina is well known within the garden Iindustry and brings a new dimension to the LOFA and the successful SOLEX trade show now in its 11th year.
Mark Osborne, Chairman of LOFA said, “when we met Gina she impressed us with her knowledge of the industry and her ideas and vision for the future for LOFA and SOLEX.
Gina told GTN Xtra: “I have always wanted to work with LOFA. There is so much unrealised potential there to be a force for promoting and growing the Garden and Leisure Industry”
February sales get off to a ‘snow’ start
According to GTN Bestsellers, the first week where snow caused significant disruption in certain parts of the country took overall garden centre sales to the lowest level of the year so far. That was nowhere near as bad as the “Beast from the East” week of March last year or the snow of January 2013...
The first week where snow caused significant disruption in certain parts of the country took overall garden centre sales to the lowest level of the year so far. That was no where near as bad as the “Beast from the East” week of March last year or the snow of January 2013.
The met office long range forecast mentions wind and rain for the rest of February with small chances of snow.
Pre-planted spring bulbs were very popular last week as those who did venture out sought instant colour to brighten their gardens. What a great way to spark joy than to see snowdrops, crocus, daffs and tulips shining through even on a grey February day.
Have you got your pre-planted bulbs in a prime hot spot to spark that customer joy early in their shopping experience?
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year (week 5)
Garden Products – down 21%
Growing Media – down 32%
Wild Bird Care – up 44%
Veg-2-Gro – down 28%
All Plants index – down 53%
All Items index – down 26%
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com
The Pot Company is offering its customers a range of striking Chinese vases for those seeking an entirely one-off feature for an outdoor space.
The unique Yakuta Water Jars are crafted in China and finished with a hand-painted glaze, meaning each and every pot sold to clients is different in both colour and texture.
Available in a range of sizes from small pots to huge urns in greens, yellows, blues and browns, the vases are quickly becoming popular with garden designers.
The leading supplier of pots and planters can now offer the collection with an exclusive 20% price drop.
Katie Weller, of The Pot Company, said: “For those wanting something completely unique for their outdoor space, these stunning water jars are made and hand glazed in a remote area of central China so customers can be certain, no two are exactly the same.
“Some of the jars stand at 160cm tall, making them impressive as well was unique! We are now able to offer the collection at a reduced price after negotiating with our suppliers which we are pleased to be able to pass onto our customers.”
There is no minimum order on this range with RRPs starting at £175.20.
The Pot Company has over 30 years experience in supplying garden industry professionals and stocks 30 ranges and 150,000 pots at their warehouse in Lamberhurst, Kent.
If you require further information on the Yakuta Water Jar range, contact the team at the Pot Company on 01892 890 353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leading gardening tools and equipment supplier E.P. Barrus has expanded its warehouse capacity in 2019 to meet continued demand following a successful 2018.
Due to the phenomenal success at GLEE, as well as a significant increase in sales across all its brands, including Town & Country, Wilkinson Sword, WOLF-Garten, WD40 and Energizer, the company has taken on an extra 11,000 sq ft of warehousing next to its main distribution facilities in Bicester.
The new capacity will be used to cope with the increased demand and to fully service customers until a move to a new permanent 200,000 sq ft warehouse, also in Bicester, later in 2019 and 2020.
Mark Hewett, divisional sales manager said: “Thanks to the success 2018 brought us, we have been able to reinvest and expand into this larger warehouse. As we move into 2019, we will continue focusing on the company’s future to build on our successes while still making sure we are serving our customers to the highest standard.”
With hassle-free ordering, Barrus customers have the flexibility to order a single item from across the extensive portfolio of brands. Free carriage is applied to all orders above £37.50 cost with a standard rate charged below this.
GLEE proved to be a key part of the company’s success for 2018 with a plethora of new additions being unveiled across all brands. Through rigorous research, customer feedback and investment in new innovations, an impressive 166 new products were launched.
Mark added: “The exhibition is renowned for showcasing new products, so it gave visitors the perfect chance to see and experience our large selection of new items. We had a huge amount of interest in our new Town & Country MASTERGRIP glove range as well as the Elite range of premium cutting tools from Wilkinson Sword proving to be very popular with visitors.”
E.P. Barrus is the sole distributor of the new WD40 garden range, and all gardening brands, including Wilkinson Sword, WOLF-Garten and Town & Country are available to buy through leading garden centres and retailers nationally.
Vitavia greenhouses bring life to the garden
GTN Xtra Promotion
Vitavia Garden Products Ltd is the British partner of the Vitavia Group, which is the leading name throughout Europe for quality hobby greenhouses and greenhouse accessories...
Vitavia Garden Products Ltd is the British partner of the Vitavia Group, which is the leading name throughout Europe for quality hobby greenhouses and greenhouse accessories.
From our warehouses in Suffolk, we provide home and trade deliveries throughout the UK together with a comprehensive greenhouse installation service. We are proud to supply quality hobby greenhouses, widely regarded as being the best value for money, backed up by exceptional customer service.
Benefits of owning a greenhouse
A greenhouse should be seen as a way of extending the growing seasons, creating a small micro climate of its own. In the UK we are very restricted by the elements and unpredictable climate change. A greenhouse simply allows the gardener to shut the door on the weather and maintain those ‘perfect growing’ conditions. A greenhouse enables us to grow fruit and veg which previously had to be overlooked because they would never survive.
What sort of things can I grow?
The beauty of a greenhouse is you are no longer restricted to what you can grow. The majority of fruit and vegetables not only grow but thrive in the conditions a greenhouse offers. Of course, you are not just limited to fruit and veg; a greenhouse can give you a head start on your spring flowers by planting them in the winter months.
Which greenhouse should I buy?
As well as the practicality the greenhouse provides, the right greenhouse can be an attractive addition to any garden. A greenhouse which is well maintained can add an element of colour and interest to the garden.
One of the many benefits of the Vitavia range is all the greenhouses are available in either powder coated green or anodised aluminium. But “What is anodised aluminium?” we hear you cry! Well, anodisation is the process by which aluminium is preserved in pristine condition. The oxide layer which forms on aluminium alloys is thickened through anodisation to increase corrosion resistance and surface hardness. Tougher, longer lasting frames are obviously a key benefit for a structure which has to withstand the vagaries of our climate.
Vitavia offers the complete range
From absolute beginner to accomplished professional, whatever type of gardener you are, Vitavia has something to suit you. From a Gaia cold frame, to many sizes of Ida wall garden, from greenhouses in many styles and sizes (6x4 to 8x20) to garden room styled greenhouses, we have it covered.
As the grow your own philosophy continues to gather momentum, there has never been a better time to buy a greenhouse. With a wide range of quality products at affordable prices, suitable for every situation, Vitavia has become the first choice for gardeners when selecting their greenhouse.
A Vitavia greenhouse makes growing your own easy and every sale is backed by our total commitment to customer care. The range has been developed by an expert team and our products are manufactured in the dedicated Vitavia factory under strict quality guidelines. We have a network of retailers throughout the UK. To find your nearest retailer simply visit our website, alternatively you can phone or email us and our friendly customer services team will be happy to help.
“Above all, the greatest joy of owning a greenhouse is that feeling of stepping into your own private world, leaving the weather and your worries behind you.”
For more information and all the latest news, visit us at www.vitavia.co.uk or call 01473 218100.
Business was booming at the second annual Glee at Spring Fair, with upbeat exhibitors reporting strong levels of orders and new leads at a key point in the spring sales season.
Buyers from retail powerhouses such as Amazon, John Lewis and Robert Dyas, as well as representatives from garden centres, summer festivals and public events, flocked to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on 3-7th February – helping exhibitors to land new orders from sectors outside traditional garden retail, while still meeting key buyers from the garden trade.
Glee at Spring Fair exhibitors reported “exceptional” and “fantastic” levels of interest from buyers, helping to strengthen confidence in the garden sector, which has proven its resilience to Brexit turmoil.
Peter Wootton, Director of family-owned garden furniture specialist Riverco Trading, said: “The quality of leads has been exceptional, orders on the stand have been exceptional and recruitment of sales agents has been exceptional.”
Speaking on day three of the show, where Riverco Trading unveiled its new RSPB garden furniture range, designed and manufactured exclusively under licence to the wildlife charity, Wootton added: “We got everything we hoped for – and more. I feel very positive about how the show has gone. I never put targets on shows, but we received quality leads and the whole event exceeded our expectations.” Wootton also said he was “pretty ecstatic” with the reception to the firm’s new wood treatment product, Frogsuit.
Richard Ball, Director of traditional garden furniture manufacturer Charles Taylor Trading, was similarly upbeat: He said: “We will be doubling the size of our stand in 2020 on the back of this year’s success. Day one has been far better than any Glee or Spring Fair in six years.”
Ball, who used the event to showcase the company’s new Two-Seater Dorset Swing, praised the quality of buyers who visited Glee at Spring Fair. He explained: “We have been taking physical live orders from a massive cross-section of industry – independents, multiples and garden centres, and meeting representatives from small craft stores right up to The Range.”
Tepro, which won second place in the Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase Awards with its Toronto Steak Grill, spoke to buyers from retail giants Amazon, John Lewis and Robert Dyas during its first exhibit at the show. Tepro Key Account Manager Andy Harding, said: “We met with buyers from all the retailers we came here to speak to, and Robert Dyas has agreed to list the product.”
Woodlodge, a leading supplier of pots, containers, furniture and garden ornaments, said Glee at Spring Fair had helped to generate leads in retail sectors that did not usually have a presence at Glee in September. Sales Manager, Ian Flounders, explained: “It has been an absolutely fantastic show. We met with lots of companies that we wouldn’t normally see at Glee, including floristry, DIY, high street retailers and independents. This event has been a showcase to promote our products to a wider audience, with buyers looking to expand their offering at the start of the new season.”
Flounders was similarly upbeat with the response from buyers to Woodlodge’s new William Morris Pottery Collection, which won fifth place in the Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase Awards with its innovative design and potential to expand the pot sales category.
Mark Hall, Managing Director of Creative Products, said he took the decision to exhibit this year on the back of a successful first exhibit at Glee at Spring Fair in 2018. Hall explained: “It has been a good show for us. We have been busy from 10am to 5pm. Eighty per cent of our business is with garden centres, so this has been a key event for us.” It was a double whammy of success for Creative Products, which scooped first and third place in the Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase Awards with its Fly Away and Mighty Little Digger products respectively.
Glee at Spring Fair was also praised by first time exhibitors, who reported a healthy influx of business leads from garden retail buyers – as well as enquiries from buyers in other sectors of retail.
At Fargro, Southern Sales Manager David Lait said that the company’s debut exhibit at Glee at Spring Fair had introduced it to buyers who would not usually attend the main Glee event. Lait said: “We normally do Glee, but Spring Fair has been very worthwhile. We have met with different buyers. In some cases, we met buyers from different parts of businesses, as well as the garden buyers from the same companies. This generated a lot of interest in our range, especially cement planters and cement Christmas products.”
And the event proved to be a popular launchpad for start-ups looking to break into the UK garden retail market, too. Managing Director of SunCatcher, Alexander Haun, used Glee at Spring Fair to reveal the company’s initial range of 25 garden decoration products which “glow from first light in the morning until the last light at night”. Haun said: “We are a one-month-old company and it’s our first time here. As well as buyers from the garden trade, we have met with people who expressed interest in selling our products at festivals and public events. This has been a showcase for our new product range.”
To keep up-to-date on all the latest news visit www.Gleebirmingham.com or for details on exhibiting at Glee 2019 or Glee at Spring Fair 2020, call +44 (0)203 3545 9752.
See the full results and pictures of the Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase
Today (3rd February, NEC Birmingham) the second annual Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase Awards – in association with Garden Trade News - was the centre of much industry buzz as the ‘best in show’ were selected by a panel of industry experts, with the winners being celebrated in a special awards ceremony.
This year’s judging panel was made up of Trevor Pfeiffer of Garden Trade News, Simon Bourne from Perrywood Garden Centre, Romeo Sommers, Glee’s Retail Lab Creative Director, Garden Retail Success’, Steve Myatt, and Cameron Whitworth of Baytree Garden Centre. Together the judges selected five products, all recognised for their unique designs, saleability and innovative approach to bringing to market products that will drive profits in the coming seasons.
The first product selected and taking home ‘fifth place’ was the William Morris range from Woodlodge. This new range was praised for its combination of strong design, as well as it’s additional boost to the pot sales category.
Fourth place was rewarded to the Three-Hour Heat Box from Dizmezs. As the name suggests, this product provides three hours of heat for indoor and exterior gardens. Combining logs and kindling, the all in one cardboard box simply needs the power of a match to light it for up to three hours of heat distribution, and was praised for its convenience and excellent value for money.
Creative Products’ Mighty Little Digger scooped the third-place runner up prize. A simple, yet effective tool, the judges commented that the Mighty Little Digger offered a great price point and strong impulse buy potential.
Just missing out on the title of ‘winner’ was the Toronto Steak Grill from Tepro. An ideal Father’s Day gift, or just a great way for urban gardeners with limited space to cook outside, this product was a highly deserving runner-up in 2019.
But it was Creative Products who scooped this year’s top prize with Fly Away. The judges remarked upon Fly Away’s ability to tap into the al fresco dining trend, and how it will also appeal to the millennial market with its insect friendly credentials.
Matthew Mein, Event Director for Glee, said of the winners: “Congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase. The quality of product on display are of the highest possible standard and demonstrate the breadth of products on offer from our exhibitors. Congratulations to all those that were recognised as part of this awards programme, and thanks to all those that entered. Finally, thanks to the judges. Their time and input are greatly appreciated.”
Find out more
Glee and now, Glee at Spring Fair, is the UK’s leading garden retail show. Both events focus on building year-round profits within core product categories including garden care, landscaping, outdoor living, garden design, pet, speciality food and catering, home, gift and clothing, and plants. Each year the two events attracts thousands of buyers from top retailers, such as leading UK garden centres, builders’ merchants, multiple retailers, and DIY stores. To keep up-to-date on all the latest news visit www.gleebirmingham.com or for details on exhibiting at Glee 2019 or Glee at Spring Fair 2020, call +44 (0)203 3545 9752.
Leading supplier of natural and organic garden products, Sipcam, is urging garden retailers to stock up on its environmentally-friendly slug controls, to ensure stores can meet demand when the government’s ban on metaldehyde slug pellets comes into force this summer.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has given retailers just six months to stop selling metaldehyde, as fears grow over its impact on wildlife and the environment. After metaldehyde disappears from shelves in mid-summer, consumers will have 12 months to use up existing supplies. The government has said that outdoor use of metaldehyde must end by spring 2020.
The team behind the popular ecofective® brand, which pioneers eco-friendly plant protection products, warned that metaldehyde will vanish from garden centre shelves on 30th June 2019, a point in the season when slugs and snails risk causing extensive damage unless effectively controlled, with plants especially at risk if summer weather conditions are damp and humid.
Sipcam’s Matthew Jones said: “Environmentally-friendly slug control products are a key growth area for retailers. The withdrawal of metaldehyde in just six months’ time is expected to generate significant demand for innovative natural solutions that effectively control slugs and snails without putting wildlife or the environment at risk. The new RHS Slug Killer and ecofective® Slug Defence will plug the gap in the market left by metaldehyde, offering highly effective slug and snail controls that consumers can use with confidence to protect plants from damage.”
With slugs and snails featuring prominently in the Royal Horticultural Society’s top 10 list of the UK’s worst plant pests in recent years, ecofective®has a host of innovative products to help consumers protect plants from the devastation wreaked by molluscs.
New RHS Slug Killer is an effective slug and snail control that’s approved for organic growing. It contains a naturally-derived ingredient called ferric phosphate, while pellets are rain-resistant and suitable for use around flowers, fruit and vegetables. Once positioned in moist areas, pellets soak-up water and swell, making them even more appealing for slugs to eat. After taking the bait, slugs stop feeding and move away from the area.
ecofective® Slug Defence creates a physical barrier around edible and non-edible plants. Long-lasting, non-toxic granules deter slugs and snails from reaching plants throughout the growing season. Child, pet and bee-friendly, the product has been developed from naturally-derived ingredients that do not turn spongy when wet. Instead, granules dry out quickly and remain just as effective – unlike other clay repellents which degrade with rain and watering. Slug Defence can be used to create an even layer in pots and containers, or in borders as a 2cm high barrier around the stems of vulnerable plants. And at the end of the season, the granules can simply be dug into garden soil where they will assist with drainage.
ecofective® also has an impressive portfolio of natural weedkillers to cater for the UK’s growing band of gardeners who are keen to tackle weeds without resorting to chemicals. Demand for natural weedkillers is being driven by controversy over glyphosate, the active ingredient in many chemical weedkillers, as debate rages over its impact on the environment. Green groups continue to campaign for the controversial chemical to be banned. ecofective®’s glyphosate-free weedkillers are used by many local authorities across the UK, with fast-acting products available for domestic gardens, too.
WeedBlast is a ready-to-use, fast-acting weedkiller for use on borders, patios, paths and driveways. This essential gardening must-have is formulated from natural ingredients, making it kinder to the environment than conventional chemical weedkillers. It offers visible results within 24 hours and, crucially, the product is not temperature-reliant, meaning it can be used all year-round as long as frost isn’t present. The formula is harmless to children, pets and wildlife once dry, leaving the treated area safe to be seeded or planted 24 hours after application. 1-litre provides up to 35 square metres of coverage while 4-litres offers up to 140 square metres of coverage.
ecofective®’s Weed + Moss Killer is another essential weapon in the gardeners’ armoury in the battle against weeds. Its dual action formula tackles weeds as well as moss and algae, controlling unwanted intruders from invading hard surfaces such as paths and patios. Weed + Moss Killer contains acetic acid and a patented co-formulation of natural ingredients which work together to efficiently burn weeds and moss, providing visible results after just 24 hours. It can be used all year-round, as long as no frost is present, and is harmless to children, pets and wildlife once dry. 1-litre provides up to 35 square metres of coverage, while 4-litres offers up to 140 square metres of coverage.
Find out more
To find out more about the full ecofective® range from Sipcam please visit www.ecofective.uk.com.
Doff launches OF&G certified Ferric Phosphate slug killer
Doff Portland Ltd has announced the launch of its new and exciting organic slug killer based on the active ingredient Ferric Phosphate. This comes less than a month after DEFRA announced that the chemical Metaldehyde would be banned for use in slug control and will be phased out over the next 18 months...
Doff Portland Ltd has announced the launch of its new and exciting organic slug killer based on the active ingredient Ferric Phosphate. This comes less than a month after DEFRA announced that the chemical Metaldehyde would be banned for use in slug control and will be phased out over the next 18 months. Until now, pellets containing Metaldehyde were the most popular form of slug and snail control.
Doff is based in Nottingham and was established in 1946, distributing its British made products nationwide through wholesale & retail customers. As the UK's longest established manufacturer of Slug & Snail killer it also has a long standing export history built up over 70 years. The company has a reputation for the highest British quality standards and a trusted brand in over 25 export countries throughout Africa, Middle East, Asia, South America and beyond.
The new Ferric Phosphate product from Doff will be offered at two different formulations: one containing 1% Ferric Phosphate, and one at the higher concentration of 3%, both certified with the OF&G for use in organic farming.
Ben Shapiro of B7 Ventures which acquired Doff in 2012 remarks, "Since acquiring the business we've invested significantly to ensure we have a sustainable and competitive product portfolio, our new Ferric range is testament to this."
Demand is significantly increasing for the new and improved Ferric Phosphate product mainly due to its greener, environmental credentials. The endorsement of Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) Organic Certification is furthermore enhancing Doff's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) profile within the marketplace. OF&G certify more than half of UK organic land and provide support, information and licensing to Britain's top organic food businesses.
In promoting its product range Doff will continue to work with the Common Sense Garden initiative which is run by the Garden Group of the Crop Protection Association.
"All the major brands of garden care products are signed up to this initiative which promotes responsible use of garden products and is focussed on educating gardeners on best practice," said Shapiro.
Doff supplies the entire industry from independent garden centres and high street retailers to Supermarkets and large national retail chains.
"Data shows that approximately 85% of all slug pellets sold were Metaldehyde based, the remaining 15% containing Ferric Phosphate. There is no question that there will be a large market of gardeners and organic farmers who will be desperately looking for an alternative and reliable slug deterrent. Doff's Ferric Phosphate product will meet that demand," said Shapiro.
To find out more about Doff Portland, visit www.doff.co.uk
Applications now open for GCA Rising Stars programmes
Members of the Garden Centre Association are being encouraged to put forward their employees for the organisation’s two Rising Stars programmes taking place throughout 2019...
Catering Rising Stars winner Louise Spinks (above) received her award at last month's GCA conference.
Members of the Garden Centre Association are being encouraged to put forward their employees for the organisation’s two Rising Stars programmes taking place throughout 2019.
The GCA will once again be running its Rising Stars programme, sponsored by Westland Horticulture, focusing on core gardening and its new Catering Rising Stars programme, sponsored by Creed Foodservice in 2019.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “The application process for our Rising Stars programmes is now open and if garden centre managers or owners feel they have a member of staff who is a rising star within the business, then they should seriously consider putting them forwards for the process.
“This year’s gardening-based programme will be led by Gordon Emslie and will follow a similar format to previous years, with 10 candidates being selected for the whole programme, undertaking a series of workshops on topics such as merchandising and concluding with attendance and a presentation at our annual conference in January 2020. The focus of this programme will be core gardening categories, including plants. The deadline for nominations is Friday, February 22.
“After the roaring success of our first ever Catering Rising Stars programme in 2018, we will be running it again this year. It was created to highlight and develop the talented individuals in garden centre restaurants and cafés and to recognise the important role catering plays in the industry.
“The programme focuses on front of house and restaurant management. It is ideal for supervisors and assistant managers with potential to be catering managers. It will once again be sponsored by Creed Foodservice and facilitated by Chris Brown from Turpin Smale Catering Consultants.
“Twenty applicants will start this year. There will be four masterclasses designed to help them to improve their knowledge and experience, as well as show them what else is going on in the wider market place. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 15.”
For a nomination form for either of the Rising Stars programmes, email email@example.com. Once collected, the nominations will then be put to a panel of judges, who will confirm the participants.
Iain added: “The Rising Stars process is a fantastic opportunity for anyone nominated as they’ll be able to develop and manage their skills and be mentored by experts in the gardening and catering industries. It is like no other training they will receive and everything they learn will be brought back and instilled into the garden centre they work for, so everyone benefits.”
Pictured: Catering Rising Stars winner Louise Spinks received her award at last month's GCA conference.
Charnley’s relief as demolition threat is lifted
It was revealed at a public planning meeting this week that the Charnley’s family, which owns Charnley’s Home & Garden in Dalton-in-Furness in Cumbria, has finally been granted planning permission for its extension, following more than two years of living under the threat of demolition...
It was revealed at a public planning meeting this week that the Charnley’s family, which owns Charnley’s Home & Garden in Dalton-in-Furness in Cumbria, has finally been granted planning permission for its extension, following more than two years of living under the threat of demolition.
Charnley’s Home & Garden was started by Lou and Marc Charnley over 22 years ago and has had a strong local following ever since, employing 34 members of staff and playing a key role in the community by supporting numerous charities.
In 2016, the business underwent a £1m reinvestment programme to extend the existing garden centre, bring it up to date and make it an attractive destination to help draw visits to the area. The extension was completed in October 2016, but in the November, Barrow Borough Council threatened enforcement action to demolish the new extension and close parts of the store not being used for garden retail, because Marc hadn’t gained the correct permissions.
It has taken more than two years, but finally today, planning permission was granted for the extension.
Marc said: “I’m really emotional to be honest. I can’t tell you what a struggle the last two years have been, for us as a family and as a business. We did everything we could to get the necessary permissions as soon as we realised they were needed; we were mortified that we hadn’t done what we were supposed to. We’ve worked with the council throughout and have done everything that has been asked of us, but we were met with obstructions and delays at every turn. We are so relieved that today we can finally put all this behind us and look to the future. We are grateful that we have got through it, at times we didn’t know if we would and we’ve been worried sick about the impact on our staff, but now we can move forward. We are proud to have a home and garden centre that gives local people what they want so they don’t have to go out of town.”
Julie Charnley, Marc’s wife said: “We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last two years, all our loyal customers, the people who got in touch to wish us well and most of all our team here at Charnley’s.”
Marc continued: “We’ve had to put so many things on hold over the last two years because it’s been such a huge strain financially, but now we are excited to get things like our apprenticeship programme back on track. Retail is on its knees at the moment and with Brexit things have never been more uncertain. We changed the business in 2016 not through choice but through survival - we wanted to create something that would draw people to the area and we are proud and relieved now that we can finally get to do that with the local council’s support.”
Charnley’s Home & Garden is an independent, family-run home and garden centre offering two furniture and interiors showrooms, a Garden Store and The Bakehouse café.
To find out more, please visit www.charnleys.co.uk.
Family run Dean’s Garden Centre, based in York and Scarborough, has raised the life-changing amount of £29,903.70 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Dean’s Garden Centre chose Macmillan Cancer Support as their 2018 Charity of the Year and throughout the year held numerous fundraising activities, competitions, merchandise, cash collections and donations from the Partners themselves.
Sarah Child, local Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support said “We are truly amazed at this wonderful donation, which is enough to fund a Macmillan nurse for more than six months, helping cancer patients right here in York and Scarborough, live life as fully as they can. A huge thank you to everyone at Dean’s Garden Centre for their dedication to raising funds throughout the year and to their customers for their generosity.”
Laura Dean, Charity Co-ordinator at Dean’s Garden Centre said “Macmillan has a special place in our employee’s and customers hearts, which is clear from the amount raised – this is the most we have ever raised for a charity partner and we are delighted that it will make such a difference locally.”
Dean’s is a family run garden centre that has been serving gardeners in North Yorkshire and the surrounding areas for over 50 years.
Macmillan is the UK’s leading cancer supporter charity giving personal, one to one care and support to thousands of people every day. Macmillan is here to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, providing physical, financial and emotional support.
Every two minutes someone is the UK is diagnosed with cancer. We know we are not reaching 48% of people with cancer which is why local support, like Dean’s Garden Centre is vital. If you would like to find out more please contact Sarah Child on 0300 1000 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In North & East Yorkshire there are around 9,600 new cancer diagnoses every year and whilst cancer isn’t always life threatening, it is always life changing. Regardless of the diagnosis life will never be the same again. Whatever cancer throws your way, Macmillan is right there with you.
Take part in the ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign
Spring is in the air, and there’s no better time to start planning and planting colourful displays to enjoy over the months ahead. This March the HTA is encouraging retailers to share this news with their customers with help from the HTA’s ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.
Spring is in the air, and there’s no better time to start planning and planting colourful displays to enjoy over the months ahead.
This March the HTA is encouraging retailers to share this news with their customers with help from the HTA’s ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.
For instant impact choose plants at their best through spring including daffodils, tulips, fragrant hyacinth and other flowering bulbs, all perfect for partnering in patio pots and flower beds with seasonal bedding like pansy, viola, wallflower, bellis, forget-me-not, primula and polyanthus.
Gardening is excellent exercise, too. Gently stretching and bending while planting and weeding helps keep you fit and flexible. More active gardening like digging, clearing, raking, sweeping and lawn mowing will also raise your heart rate, and burn off more calories too. Just an hour of active gardening could use around 250-500 calories.
So, tell your customers to forget joining an expensive gym and get active outdoors in your garden instead.
DID YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW?
The Green Gym run by The Conservation Volunteers uses natural exercise to promote community health. These fun and free outdoor sessions involve activities like tree planting, sowing flower meadows and creating wildlife ponds. By connecting with nature the Green Gym enhances mental wellbeing, helping people contribute something positive to their community. Find out more at www.tcv.org.uk/greengym.
PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: SPRING COLOUR & SPRING PLANTING
Whether it’s drifts of golden daffodils or a multi-coloured kaleidoscope of tulips, spring bulbs are the perfect choice to fill borders, patio pots and window boxes.
Keep the colour coming by mixing bulbs with seasonal bedding plants including long-flowering wallflowers, frothy forget-me-nots, bold daisy-like Bellis perennis, pansies and dainty violas, or primulas and primroses. Also choose early flowering hardy perennials like brunnera, epimedium, bergenia, hellebores, euphorbia, and a host of others.
- Any plants providing Spring Colour eg
- Spring flowering bulbs.
- Spring bedding plants, including Senetti.
- Hardy Perennials such as Perennial Wallflower (Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ AGM), Hellebores, Euphorbia, Bergenia and Bruunera ‘Jack Frost’ AGM.
- Green perennials to plant now such as Paeonia, Lupin, Delphinium, Hollyhock (Alcea), Digitalis.
- Spring flowering shrubs:
- Erica x darleyensis eg ‘Ghost Hills’ AGM
- Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ AGM
- Oregon Grape - Mahonia aquifolium ‘Apollo’ AGM
- Pieris japonica eg ‘Passion’, ‘Flaming Silver’ AGM
- Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ AGM
- Camellia, Azaleas, Rhododendrons
For further information go to www.hta.org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou or contact email@example.com
Notcutts make Pennies count for The Royal British Legion
Customers at 11 Notcutts Garden Centres nationwide have helped to raise over £5,000 for The Royal British Legion during a fundraising campaign in November 2018. The total was raised using Pennies, the digital charity box: the micro-donation scheme where customers have the option of rounding up their purchase at the till with the difference going to charity...
Customers at 11 Notcutts Garden Centres nationwide have helped to raise over £5,000 for The Royal British Legion during a fundraising campaign in November 2018. The total was raised using Pennies, the digital charity box: the micro-donation scheme where customers have the option of rounding up their purchase at the till with the difference going to charity.
Notcutts chose to support The Royal British Legion, the UK’s leading Armed Forces charity, in recognition of 100 years since the end of The First World War. The money raised will go towards helping today’s Armed Forces communities, who need support in a range of issues including financial support, mobility problems and housing.
Kath Mitchell, General Manager at Notcutts Ashton Park Garden Centre, met with volunteers and staff members at The Royal British Legion’s ‘Pop In’ centre in Manchester on Friday 1st February to celebrate the donation of £5,441.48.
Chris Coward, Operations & Visual Merchandising Director at Notcutts, said: “The Royal British Legion does incredible work to help people in very difficult circumstances across the country. It’s been fantastic to see all the pennies add up to support such a great cause.”
Ben France, Head of Corporate Partnerships at The Royal British Legion, said: “A big thank you to Notcutts for fundraising for us during the month of November, which marked the Centenary of the end of the First World War. Notcutts has been a very valued Pennies partner, especially in such a poignant year for the charity.”
For more information about Notcutts, please visit www.notcutts.co.uk
For more information about The Royal British Legion, visit https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/
Squire’s Garden Centres is holding a “Bottle Garden” masterclass for adults on Friday 15th March at 10am or 2pm.
One of the hottest trends in gardening in recent years is terrariums and bottle gardens, and they are surprisingly easy to create and maintain. The ultimate in low maintenance, they will last for years with a little care and attention. A bottle garden creates its own ecosystem and certain plants will even help detoxify the air in your home.
Squire’s Garden Centres Bottle Garden Masterclass is run by one of their plant experts, who will guide you through the process of making your own creation and choosing the right succulent plants, in this one-hour (approximately) workshop. They will also give you tips and advice on caring for your bottle garden so it continues to flourish for years to come.
Perfect for bringing the garden indoors or for gardeners who like to stay warm, having one of these will create a lovely feature and a talking point in your home.
The ticket price of £25 includes all the components you need to make your bottle garden and, when you’ve finished, enjoy a complimentary cup of tea or coffee with a slice of cake in the café. Participants will also qualify for 10% off on all plants purchased on the day.
GROEN-Direkt’s Spring Fair: wider range, more visitors
GROEN-Direkt’s Spring Fair is widely seen as the international kickoff of the garden plant sector’s new gardening season. This large trade fair is an important indicator of the sector’s market sentiment. The 2019 edition of the fair took place on February 5-6...
GROEN-Direkt’s Spring Fair is widely seen as the international kickoff of the garden plant sector’s new gardening season. This large trade fair is an important indicator of the sector’s market sentiment.
The 2019 edition of the fair took place on February 5-6. It attracted an exceptionally large number of visitors from within and outside the Netherlands, showing that the Spring Fair is not merely a commercial event, but indeed the place to be for anyone professionally involved in the garden plant sector.
GROEN-Direkt’s fairs are characterised by highly diverse ranges of visually attractive products. Besides popular garden plants, GROEN-Direkt also presents new plant varieties, batches of less common exclusive plants and wide selections of Mediterranean and solitary plants. The overall range presented at this Spring Fair was even more varied than the ranges of previous years.
The most important fair news:
1. Positive commercial outlook
The fair’s visitors (traders and buyers from all over Europe) were extremely positive. In spite of the scarcity, the ranges presented at both the sample fair and the Product Promotion Plaza were exceptionally good. This, combined with the unprecedented crowds of buyers eager to buy resulted in an increase in turnover of more than 10% by the end of the two fair days.
2. Access to growers’ total ranges
Many growers grow hundreds of different plant varieties. At its Spring Fair, GROEN-Direkt introduced its new, expanded line of ‘Concepts’ purchasing options granting buyers access to this tremendous range of plants, with even more products and options for them to choose from. Extra attention was paid to these ‘Concepts’ at the Concepts Plaza with its many pallets, each presenting a selection from a grower’s range of products.
From the Spring Fair onwards buyers can also browse the entire ranges of many growers at the webshop at www.groen-direkt.nl and order small numbers of their products, which they can combine with their GROEN-Direkt order. In the past the webshop range was less diverse.
3. Mediterranean plants and Solitary Plants Plaza
The range of Mediterranean plants attracted a lot of attention at the Spring Fair thanks to its greater diversity and its new presentation along the central aisle. Visitors could also admire and order extra-large shrubs and trees at the new Solitary Plants Plaza.
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Feeding frenzy for wild birds
Wild Bird Care was the only sector of the GTN Bestsellers charts that saw growth on last year, both for last week and the year to date...
Wild Bird Care was the only sector of the GTN Bestsellers charts that saw growth on last year, both for last week and the year to date.
Whilst Gardman feed lines continue to dominate the chart with 37 lines out of the Top 50, two Chapelwood Feeder lines from Smart Garden have muscled their way into the Top 10 this week.
- Smart Chapelwood Heavy Duty Seed Feeder Medium is the highest new entry at No. 3
- Gardman Seed Mix 2kg is the highest re-entry at No 9.
- Gardman Sunflower Hearts 2kg + 25% Extra climbed 31 places up the chart to No 19.
Veg-2-Gro chart footnote
Just as plant sales stalled, so did Veg-2-Gro sales. Even seed potato and onion set sales were significantly down on the first week of February last year.
- Red Baron onion sets continue to be the most popular veg for planting just now. Taylors Red Baron is No 1 again and Kapiteyn Red Baron moved up eight places to No 6.
- Taylors Seed Potatoes Taster Pack Pentland Javelin are the highest placed seed potato, up 18 places to No 7.
- Taylors Seed Potatoes Desiree, 2.5kg, are the highest re-entry at No 9.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
The winter weather caused a dip in garden product sales last week, but the gains made in early January keep the sector up year on year.
This week it is pots that provide the extra sales while garden lighting continues to sell in good volumes.
Here are the highlights:
- Woodlodge Spang Pots 3 inch, re-entered at No 1, perhaps an indication of gardeners wanting to move away from plastic pots for home propagation.
- Smart Solar Porta-Light 220 Lumens is the highest chart climber, up 35 places to No 8.
- Elho’s Brussels Round Mini 10.5cm Violet Pot is a new entry at No 45.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com
John Innes mixes provides welcome sales growth
Snow in the South caused a drop in growing media sales, but overall the total sold last week was the second highest Top 50 level for the first week of February over the past five years...
Snow in the South caused a drop in growing media sales, but overall the total sold last week was the second highest Top 50 level for the first week of February over the past five years.
So we can remain positive because where the weather is OK gardening activity is happening. In the GTN Top 50, John Innes composts were the big movers last week.
- Westland Multi Purpose with John Innes, 60 litres, is the highest re-entry to the chart, back in at No 10.
- Evergreen Garden Care Levington Multipurpose with John Innes, 50 litres, is the highest chart climber, up 34 places to No 12.
- Westland John Innes No 3 Compost, 35 litres, is the highest new entry at No 29.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
Plant sales stall...but tulips bloom
After a mild January, snow and generally cold weather at the start of February saw plant sales stall to less than half of sales in the same week last year...
After a mild January, snow and generally cold weather at the start of February saw plant sales stall to less than half of sales in the same week last year.
Whilst disappointing, losing sales in February is far less of an issue than losing sales in March and April as we did last year. Fingers crossed!
- Planted Tulips were the winners last week, moving 19 places up the chart to No 4.
- Planted bulbs are gaining ground with four of the Top 5 plants being planted bulb genus.
- Rosemary plants, Rosmarinus, were more popular last week, re-entering at No 24.
All Plants volume sales change: Week on week DOWN 27.1%. Year to date vs 2018 DOWN 9.7%, vs 2017 UP 25.6%.
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Choice ‘Meet the Buyer’ at Spring Fair
Choice Marketing held a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Spring Fair 2019 where 50+ gift and home suppliers had the opportunity to meet up with Choice members in an informal yet productive environment...
Choice Marketing held a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Spring Fair 2019 where 50+ gift and home suppliers had the opportunity to meet up with Choice members in an informal yet productive environment.
The event was held in the NEC Gallery Suite on Tuesday afternoon. Prosecco was kindly sponsored by Decco and The Great British Card Company and soft drinks were courtesy of ITE Exhibitions.
Attendance was free to the invited suppliers who were each provided with a 1m² table on which to display a small selection of products and sales material. Set-up and closedown were completed in less than 10 minutes providing a very efficient and professional event.
Suppliers were exceptionally pleased with the attendance, Choice members were booking orders and arranging centre visits. One member confirmed that he had placed 7 orders in just over an hour.
Michelle de Lavis-Trafford, Choice CEO, extended her thanks to suppliers for their commitment, particularly as it was scheduled at the end of a long day at the Show. She further added this type of event, which Choice has now run for a couple of years, puts members and suppliers in touch in a relaxed and friendly environment and strengthens Choice Marketing’s supplier relations.
Michael McGunnigle of the Great British Card Company said “A useful and convenient touch point for engaging with Choice members at the start of the season. Well organised and supported.“
Garden Centres who would like to know more about the benefits of membership of Choice Marketing should contact Michelle de Lavis-Trafford at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arrigoni, a leading company in the design and production of protective screens and nettings for crops, focused its presence at the Fruit Logistica trade show on the agriculture of the future. A 100% sustainable and completely zero environmental impact way of producing, both for humans and for the environment.
The importance of the event was highlighted not only by the company stand set up during the trade show in Berlin, but also by the organization of a conference, held on February 7th in the "Tech Stage" space of the fair: "Invasive insects, climate change and new phytopathological threats: advanced agrotextiles for safe food and climate control". For the occasion, CEO Paolo Arrigoni and Milena Poledica, PhD agronomist and researcher of the Group have been present.
"The production of fruit and vegetables – explained Poledica – today is increasingly limited by pests, often pathogens vehicles. Damage caused by these vectors and plant viruses is economically significant and, if not contained in time, can also lead to total loss of the crop. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Paris-Sud / Cnrs / AgroParisTech and published in the journal Nature Communications, the minimum annual cost of damage caused by invasive insects in the world amounts to 69 billion euros.
On the other hand – continued Poledica – the control of pests usually involves an intensive use of pesticides, but this in turn affects both the environment and human health. Climate change, however, will contribute to global migration or the expansion of many species of insects. Hence the need to find innovative solutions that meet the needs of modern agriculture and protect the environment and human beings”.
In this context are included the high-tech applications of Arrigoni as Biorete Air Plus®, a full range of high-tenacity, dense and lightweight insect screen nettings, composed of polyethylene monofilament meshes. The white-transparent color ensures maximum brightness to the crops, while the different meshes of the nets allow the defense targeted by the different types of insect.
"Another problem of modern agriculture, and indeed one of the most difficult global challenges – also recalled Poledica – is represented by climate change. According to the FAO 2018 report on the state of global agricultural markets ("The State of Agricultural commodities markets 2018"), climate change will increasingly disrupt agricultural systems and the food market in the coming years. Countries that are in the temperate climate zone will have benefits for agriculture due to the rise in temperature, but countries that are in low latitudes will see a deterioration in the performance of their agricultural systems. From this point of view, it is evident that agriculture needs to be increasingly supported by research and technology, to identify effective solutions that, at least, can help to stem the expected changes in the climate. This is why we developed solutions both to improve the diffused light inside greenhouses and to control the reflection of sunlight, and to guarantee adequate protection in case of rainy events ".
Arrigoni proposals that increase diffused light and, at the same time, control the sun-rays, are the Robuxta® and Prisma® range, whose advantages can be summarized in the following key concepts: high mechanical strength, long lasting, light management and temperature reduction; better plant development, higher yielding and crop quality. Thanks to white color and light diffusion additive plants receive diffused light, more photosynthetic active radiation and grow in more comfortable environment;
fresher environment and healthier plants, thanks to the choice of white color; less damage due to direct radiation thanks to the diffusion and reflection of infrared rays.
Protecta® instead offers protection from rain with greater ventilation. Combined with BIORETE® AIR PLUS it becomes a system that, in addition to reduce the passage of water up to 90%, acts as an effective shield against insects.
"Modern agriculture – commented Paolo Arrigoni, CEO of the Group – requires new approach taking into account the changes under way at global level. Our Company started precisely from this consideration to advance innovative and effective proposals. Our commitment, now, is to continue working on the theme of "zero impact" and high added value solutions, according to our green healthcare philosophy".
For more information, visit the new website http://www.arrigoni.it/
‘Ask the Expert’ zone at The Future for International Trade Conference
Delegates attending The Future for International Trade conference, organised by leading trade associations, Gardenex, PetQuip and BHETA, can seek personalised advice on every aspect of exporting in the conference’s ‘Ask The Expert’ zone, featuring specialist UK export service providers...
Delegates attending The Future for International Trade conference, organised by leading trade associations, Gardenex, PetQuip and BHETA, can seek personalised advice on every aspect of exporting in the conference’s ‘Ask The Expert’ zone, featuring specialist UK export service providers.
The ‘Ask the Expert’ zone takes the form of an informal meeting area at the conference for one-to-one meetings with experts in logistics and freight, intellectual property, international business law, key trade exhibitions, export procedures and Department for International Trade representatives.
Leading trade associations will also be involved to provide individual advice on international trading and information on the support available for British businesses developing overseas trade.
As well as hearing a packed programme from expert speakers during the event, delegates will have plenty of networking opportunities with conference speakers who include some of the UK’s most experienced exporters in home, garden, leisure and pet, plus experts on international business law, trackers of worldwide economic data, plus international market consultancies highlighting retail megatrends and digital sales worldwide.
The day-long conference will take place on March 12th, 2019 at the Stratford Manor Hotel in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire.
Director General of Gardenex and PetQuip, Amanda Sizer Barrett, commented “We are already receiving considerable interest in this very topical event on March 12th. It will be a very practical day, including top-level speakers and leading export experts to help UK companies secure international sales.”
BHETA Executive Director, Will Jones added, “This is a great joint initiative, which will be inspirational and informative for all. Overseas expansion is a key opportunity for many businesses and anyone looking to maximise their return from export should put March 12th in their diary.”
Places can be reserved at this important conference by contacting any of the organisers. 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).
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
The Hillview Group have put six of their sites up for sale with a price for all six set at £12.9m
Advertised on www.adsre.co.uk as Project Pollard the six Freehold sites are:
HILLTOP GARDEN CENTRE, RAMSDEN
14.75 Acres. Freehold. OIRO £ 2,950,000.
SHIPLEY GARDEN CENTRE, SHIPLEY
2.18 Acres. Freehold. OIRO £2,950,000.
STUDLEY GARDEN CENTRE, STUDLEY
4.84 Acres. Freehold. OIRO £2,500,000.
SCOTLAND NURSERIES, MATLOCK
10.09 Acres. Freehold. OIRO £2,450,000.
CHARLECOTE GARDEN CENTRE, CHARLECOTE
1.89 Acres. Freehold. OIRO £1,500,000.
NEWTON REGIS GARDEN CENTRE, NEWTON REGIS
3.38 Acres. Freehold. OIRO £550,000.
Hillview Garden Centres CEO, Boyd Douglas-Davies told GTN Xtra; "our hope is that a new investor buys all six sites to continue the growth of the group."
"Our shareholders have decided to undertake a formal process to evaluate opportunites that have arisen and it is possible that these could lead to a strategic transaction of merging our business, selling individual sites or equally, that nothing changes and we continue to acquire new sites."
"Our suppliers understand that trading activities continue as normal, with all teams focussing on running our business successfully through the upcoming spring season and beyond."
As Boyd said in the GTN interview last month: "The Hillview Group has been a very good start up investor. They have funded us to get to this point and we are now seven and a half years old in terms of an investment fund so at some point they will probably be looking to realize some of that investment. That gives us an opportunity to bring in additional investors alongside them. We have been approached by a number of parties – strategic, financial and real estate developers – expressing interest to participate in Hillview Garden Centres, we always take those approaches seriously and fully evaluate them”
“We’ve created a great team, portfolio of well-located garden centres with massive development and growth potential and I’m looking forward to seeing us go onto the next stage and take what we've proven to work and extend across more stores. We’ve completed Phase one and now look forward to the next step. This is an exciting sector and completely differentiated from high street retail”
Smart acquires Briers
Smart Garden Products have announced the purchase of the Briers business and assets from administrators Duff & Phelps...
Smart Garden Products have announced the purchase of the Briers business and assets from administrators Duff & Phelps.
"The business was short of cashflow and their directors were trying to find a buyer for some months without success, eventually placing the company in administration. We came in at the end of this process with an acceptable offer and managed to complete very quickly, within days in fact. It was all very quick!" said Paris Natar, Smart's Chairman.
"The timing could be better with the season upon us and Chinese New Year holiday factory closures" added MD Jonathan Stobart.
"Fortunately there is some stock that has recently arrived at UK ports and even more in transit, in addition to that already in the Briers warehouse. So we are now bringing that in and arranging for early shipment of other goods already on order, mostly made, as soon as the factories re-open in the second half of February. Not where we would like to be with this, but also not irrecoverable by any means."
Paris added: We are determined to restore normal and full supply of this fantastic range and brand to our retail partners as soon as practically possible, doing whatever it takes. We will be supplying Smart Standards and Smart Service Levels. This is a brilliant opportunity for Smart Garden Products and we intend to make the most of it."
Wyevale Garden Centres sell six more centres
Wyevale Garden Centres announced the sale of a further six centres. Five northern centres centres have been sold to British Garden Centres and Woburn Sands has been sold to Rochmills Group...
Wyevale Garden Centres announced the sale of a further six centres.
A portfolio of five centres has been sold to British Garden Centres, comprising Bold Heath, Carr Gate, Leyland, Coventry and Bolton. In a separate transaction Woburn Sands has been sold to Rochmills Group. Both buyers will continue to operate all sites as Garden Centres with the sales expected to complete by the end of February.
Anthony Jones, Chief Operating Officer of WGC, said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of a further six centres - since the launch of the sale process in May 2018 we have sold 46 centres and have transformed our financial position. We continue to evaluate a wide range of competitive offers from group buyers, regional operators and local entrepreneurs, but we also look forward to re-focusing our efforts and trading the upcoming spring season with the vast majority of our remaining centres. We would like to thank our great colleagues at these centres, who have been central to the performance of their centres and made them so appealing to these buyers. We wish them well for the next stage of their growth and development under new ownership.”
Charles Stubbs, MD of British Garden Centres, said “We are proud to announce the purchase of these five centres into our British Garden Centres family, making our independent, family owned group now 16 centres. Myself, Robert and Phillippa and all of the team are looking forward to working with these new centres and their teams ahead of a busy spring season. We would like to express our thanks to all involved in this complex process.”
Christie & Co, the specialist business property advisor managing the sale process on behalf of WGC, has achieved considerable interest from a wide variety of buyers. The opportunity to acquire garden centres has ignited significant interest within the sector and beyond, and as part of the process Christie & Co continue to liaise with bidders.
A new £125 million shopping centre, which will create more than 1,700 jobs and include a new garden centre, could be about to get the go ahead in Lincolnshire.
The plans for the new designer outlet centre for Grantham have been recommended for approval when they come before South Kesteven District Council on Tuesday (February 5).
If approved, the site surrounding the existing Downtown store will be redeveloped with a raft of new facilities, including a new 220,425 sq ft designer outlet centre.
It would include 107 shops, a new garden centre, a training academy facility and public transport links, which may lead to a train station being built in the future.
To read the full story on the Lincolnshire Live website click here
All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
A world of vegan innovation at the Natural Food Show 2019
Veganism is one of Britain's fastest growing lifestyle movements and is predicted to grow by an astonishing 327% in 2019. Reflecting this rapid growth, the Vegan World pavilion at the Natural Food Show, will bring together more than 60 UK and international plant-based innovations, when it returns to ExCeL London on 7-8 April...
Veganism is one of Britain's fastest growing lifestyle movements and is predicted to grow by an astonishing 327% in 2019. Reflecting this rapid growth, the Vegan World pavilion at the Natural Food Show, will bring together more than 60 UK and international plant-based innovations, when it returns to ExCeL London on 7-8 April.
With over a third (39%) of the show's pre-registered visitors to date looking to source both vegan and vegetarian food at the show, the Vegan World pavilion provides the perfect hot spot to see and sample the best choice and innovations of the latest vegan food and health products from all over the world - including brands from the UK, Europe, Southeast Asia, Canada and USA. The whole show will feature over 400 natural and organic food and drink exhibitors in total, where 60% of them are expected to include vegan products.
From plant-based seafood to dairy free food-to-go snacks, some of the brands in the area include: Follow Your Heart UK (vegan egg, dairy-free smoked gouda and pepper jack slices); British pulse and grains pioneers Hodmedod; Boost Ball (protein balls); Singapore Coconut Company (organic coconut butter, flour, oil); MozzaRisella (Italian vegan cheese); Upton's Naturals (jackfruit meat alternatives); Bravura Foods (Vegan Bakery, Free From Mallows); Conscious Chocolate; Co Fro (vegan & paleo frozen dessert); Clives Pies; Eco Free From (vegan mousses); CLF Distribution (Just Natural, Organic Kitchen, Prima Italia, Soakin, Vegan Deli); Specialist Supplements; GreenVie Foods - Plant based Cheeses; Mummy Meagz (cake bars); Huski Home (rice husk cups); One Planet Pizza; Love Seitan; Daiya Foods (dairy-free cheese, pizza, cheesecake); Tofurky (meat substitute); Benevo Vegan Pet Foods; Smart; Just Wholefoods (soup, custard powder, jelly); Atlantic Natural Foods ('tuno' - a plant based seafood alternative); Nutrisslim (protein powders and shakes); Moo Free Chocolate; and many more.
The Vegan Society, supporting the area, will exhibit alongside many brands holding the Vegan Society trademark certification. Trademark marketing manager, Abigail Stevens says: "Vegan World at Natural Food Show, part of Natural Organic Products Europe, has been growing year on year, and 2019 will be no exception. You'll be able to find favourite vegan brands and innovative plant-based offerings in one place, with Vegan Trademark registered products clearly signposted. This area of the show brings together some of the best vegan products out there, which are leading the way in terms of taste and quality."
"With The Economist calling 2019 the 'Year of The Vegan', it's clear veganism is a trend that continues to sustain significant growth, not only in the UK, but around the world. The market for vegan food, health products and a full vegan lifestyle is constantly growing. Get involved by visiting us in Vegan World!" she says.
As well as the Vegan World, visitors can find a sumptuous display of vegan friendly/plant-based offerings from companies across the show floor, including Essential Trading, Alara Wholefoods, Infinity Foods, Taifun-Tofu, Free From Italy (GoVegan Chocolate), The Raw Chocolate Company, Unilever UK, Planet Organic, Coconut Merchant, Clearspring, Suma Wholefoods, and Seaweed & Co. Plus the Natural Beauty & Spa Show will display vegan beauty and personal care innovations from Eco by Sonya, Clockface Beauty, UpCircle, Kypwell, The YES YES Company, Urtekram, Absolute Aromas, DLT Chiropody, Lavera, Inika Organics, and Ben & Anna.
Casual Dining’s first show at ExCeL just got even more unmissable, thanks to the announcement that industry trailblazer Alex Reilley will appear in an opening morning Keynote interview (Wednesday 27 February).
The Lounger’s chairman will be making a welcome return to the UK’s leading pub, bar and restaurant trade event, having previously hosted a Keynote at its launch edition at the BDC in 2014. Since then, he’s won numerous awards (including ‘Champion of the year’ at the first ever Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards in 2016) while the company he co-founded has gone from strength to strength.
At the last count, the fast-growing and much-loved restaurant and bar brand now operates 114 Lounges and 21 Cosy Clubs. By 2021, they aim to have 200 sites around the UK.
Head to Casual Dining’s Keynote Theatre 1 early (for 10.45am start) to see Mr Reilley discuss this incredible success story, their future plans, and his role championing newer brands (like Hubbox, for example, where he is non-executive chairman) in this exclusive interview hosted by Peter Martin, director at CM&Co and VP of CGA. Seating is allocated on a first come basis – with standing room crowds expected.
The free Keynote line-up also includes CEOs and MDs from Casual Dining Group, Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, Dishoom, Carluccio’s, Oakman Inns, New World Trading Co, Hawksmoor, Mowgli Street Food, Pizza Pilgrims, The Alchemist Bars & Restaurants, Yummy Pubs Co, BrewDog (retail), Flat Iron, UKHospitality and more.
“Casual Dining is the only show dedicated to our industry and I look forward to seeing everyone at ExCeL,” says Alex Reilley, chairman of Loungers.
Casual Dining will take place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 27-28 February 2019. For full details and seminar timings, please visit www.casualdiningshow.co.uk/keynote-programme.
To register for a free trade ticket, please visit www.casualdiningshow.co.uk and use priority code CD80 (direct link: www.eventdata.co.uk/Forms/Default.aspx?FormRef=Cas29Visitor&TrackingCode=CD80).