Farewell to the Eddie Topping, the Preston pioneer - UPDATED
By GTN's Associate Editor, Mike Wyatt.
When I first met Eddie Topping MBE in the 1990s, he reminded me of a mischievous schoolboy…impish grin, cheeky chat, a twinkle in the eye– yet always everybody’s idea of a perfect gentleman, writes GTN associate editor Mike Wyatt. But it didn’t take long to understand that behind that engaging façade was a shrewd entrepreneurial brain, which he used to fashion a fantastic legacy – one of the UK’s most spectacular garden and leisure businesses with a pre-pandemic turnover of more than £25 million...
Eddie and Guy Topping in 2010, two years after the opening of Barton Grange Garden Centre at Brock
When I first met Eddie Topping MBE in the 1990s, he reminded me of a mischievous schoolboy…impish grin, cheeky chat, a twinkle in the eye – yet always everybody’s idea of a perfect gentleman. But it didn’t take long to understand that behind that engaging façade was a shrewd entrepreneurial brain, which he used to fashion a fantastic legacy – one of the UK’s most spectacular garden and leisure businesses with a pre-pandemic turnover of more than £25 million.
The new-build destination garden centre at Brock – a project led with extraordinary energy by one of his three sons, Guy, who inherited his father’s flair, plus added cheek – was a far cry from the Rochdale Market fruit and veg stall Eddie took over in 1955 from his father, who (with his wife) was by then busy building up business at their newly-developed hotel at Barton near Preston.
When I interviewed Eddie in 2010 for a new GTN series on family businesses, he told me how he used to grow cut flowers, fruit and veg in the grounds of the hotel. A couple of years later, he started growing trees and shrubs and set up a small landscaping business to keep himself busy in between market days.
At the start of the 1960s, Eddie was quick to latch on to the new-fangled idea from the United States that plants could be grown and sold all the year round in containers, eliminating the seasonality of bare root culture. With containers as we know them today not yet available, he got hold of empty apricot cans from a jam factory and tins from a biscuit factory – and the container revolution was under way. It turned out to be the catalyst that sparked the development of the modern garden centre industry.
So, Barton Grange Garden Centre, with a shop area all of 16ft square, opened in 1963 in the grounds of the hotel, followed in 1974 by the formation of a wholesale plant nursery (now Garden Centre Plants, run alongside the landscaping business by Guy’s brother Peter).
After Guy joined the family business in 1989, two more garden centres were added, both since divested (as was the hotel, run by Ian Topping, the third of his sons) to allow the family to focus on the award-winnning Brock flagship centre and the more recently added Flower Bowl leisure complex.
Eddie was always keen on the notion of a family business and took pleasure in seeing all three sons join it. “I guess I hoped we would end up with a family business into the next generation,” he told me. “But I wasn’t sure it would happen. I don’t think I put any pressure on the children to come in.” Guy recalls being told as a teenager by his dad that he and his brothers had to work in the garden centre on weekends and holidays but “we never talked about joining the business.”
Eddie had already insisted that none of his sons should join the family business until they were at least 25. But Guy was only 24 and travelling in New Zealand when Eddie invited him on board. “Dad said: ‘We’ve got this new garden centre in Bolton. Do you fancy coming back and running it?’ I had two jobs at the time, working 16 hours a day to try to earn enough to pay off my overdraft, so I decided running a garden centre sounded like a cushy number. I said yes. When I got home that summer, I said to Dad: Where’s this garden centre then? He said: ‘We’ve got to build it first.’”
Eddie believed that letting his offspring get on with the job without too much interference was the key to a happy succession. “When I was their age, I was my own boss and had been for some time, making big decisions,” he says. “Now they have got to the point where they have to do it all. I don’t think I interfered too much...”
Although he stepped back from day to day matters some years ago and was succeeded by Peter as chairman last year, he continued to take a close interest. He was immensely proud of his three sons and their achievements – but getting him to admit it within earshot was an entirely different matter...
Private funeral and service of remembrance on 28 September
Guy Topping has paid the following tribute to his father:
“Dad was such a huge character who touched the lives of so many people over many, many years.
“His death is a huge loss to the whole family, and all his friends and colleagues. We have received hundreds of messages from people all over the world who knew Dad from his work in garden retail or through his huge efforts for local charities.
“He will be sorely missed but very fondly remembered for so many reasons.”
Eddie, who also had two daughters, Jane and Anne, nine grandchildren and a great granddaughter, supported many local charities and organisations in the Preston area and, in 2003, was awarded the MBE for services to charity. He was a past president of Preston North Rotary Club, of which he was a member for over 50 years, and an honorary fellow of Myerscough College.
The family have announced that there will be a private funeral and service of remembrance on 28 September. Further details will be announced in the next few days.
Barton Grange have book located at the front of the Garden Centre if anyone visiting wishes to share their memories of Eddie with the family.
Hundreds of comments from customers about the sad news are pouring into the Barton Grange facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BartonGrangeGardenCentre//peaceful-passing-eddie.../
Garden Industry Tributes pour in
Here are just some of the tributes received by GTN Xtra:
Warren Haskins, chairman, Haskins Group:I first met Eddie in the mid 60s when we both joined a garden centre development group which included such forefathers of our industry as Leith Hayes and Derek Bunker. We were all working on our young businesses and were stimulated by what he was doing at Barton Grange. Eddie was full of ideas, ready to help everybody and I have many happy memories of being with him at GCA, IGCA, HTA conferences and many other places. He contributed so much to our industry for which we must all be grateful.
Peter Seabrook, journalist, The Sun: Is it my feelings alone, are we losing all those who made garden centre retailing and development so much fun and a very real privilege and pleasure to have worked alongside? “Big Man” is the best description that can be conjured up to describe Eddie, big in energy, big in his approach to everything he took on and boy did he take on some challenges, big in good nature, big sense of humour, big knowledge of plants and gardening, big in his services to our industry.
What a legacy he has left us and what a standard set for others to follow. My deepest sympathies are extended to all his family, who must be so proud of such a lovely man and huge character. Eddie you are sorely missed, but never forgotten by those of us who knew you and were lucky enough to share your wonderful company.
Ron Bent, chairman of Bents Garden & Home: This sad news marks the end of an era. Eddy was an inspiration to me personally and to everyone in the horticultural world. He was also a wonderful friend to Wendy and myself and our family. We will miss him greatly. We were the best of friends but also always the best of friendly rivals in business. He taught us (eventually) that cooperation, sharing and togetherness would make us all stronger and more competitive and he created a business that is a wonderful example of his philosophy and one that many of us still benchmark against. He was one of the founding fathers of the GCA, which enabled garden centres in the UK to get together and share the very best ideas and displays and also worldwide through the IGCA, of which his family and ours were regular attenders. But he leaves a wonderful family and a great business legacy that I’m confident that Guy and Peter will carry on with, using their own style to grow the business and have lots of fun along the way.
Sue Allen, GCA past chair: For the saddest of reasons, this week, I looked at my copy of the book ‘Barton Grange - A Topping Tale’. I hoped I could find a little anecdote that summed up Eddie, but of course I soon realised it would be impossible to choose from such a wealth of incredible stories of his life, enthusiasm and achievements. Thanks to this remarkable man and his fellow pioneers we have the garden centre industry of today. Personally I have precious memories of times shared at industry events, conferences and international congresses and learned to appreciate Eddie’s quiet ‘no nonsense’ wisdom but also his delightful sense of humour and infectious laugh. My thoughts are with all the Topping family who continue to ensure Eddie’s legacy is in safe hands. Now I will treasure my signed copy of that book more than ever.
Ian Boardman, former Garden Centre Association chief inspector: I’ve known Eddie a long time. He always came to say Hello whether for training, Masterclasses, judging or inspecting. Always pressing for firm but fair ways to drive standards ever upwards. Thinking of family, friends and all at Barton Grange at this difficult time.
Simon Brindle, former colleague: When I worked at Bolton Barton Grange as a young lad in my first job, one of my tasks was to help weed the beds with Eddie, that and try to keep a track of all the stock he would just take off sale without writing off! There’s me two weeks into my new job trying to tell the owner, ‘No, you can’t just take a fork off sale’. I went on to work at the Preston branch for many years, quite often sharing a chinwag on one of his wanders around the offices. Even had the pleasure of creating a snapshot in time for the garden centre’s 50th anniversary, photographing every member of staff at that time, all packaged up into a coffee table book as a surprise.
Cliff Gorman, former colleague: What a man - so much energy, drive, determination and vision. It was my privilege to work alongside him for many years and I learnt so much from him. A great family man. I send my condolences to all the family.
Michael Cole, former GCA inspector: Eddie was a true gentleman and a proud Lancastrian, he was truly one of the pioneers of the garden centre industry and will be sadly missed by very many people.
Andy Campbell, Andy Campbell Consulting: I only got to know Eddie in recent years but it was very clear from the outset that he was one of life’s true gentlemen and someone who really understood welcome and hospitality. Our industry has lost an inspirational force and needs to take time to recover.
John Ashley, former supplier: Eddie Topping was the garden industry when I joined Fisons in 1972. He was HTA, GCA and his own growing business. Always welcoming and supportive and helpful to newcomers to this new industry. Eddie was a people person and it was always a pleasure to be in his company. He will be missed but never forgotten. May he rest in peace. Guy is a chip off the old block.
Brian Gibbons, retired journalist: When I made the transition from Garden News to become founding editor of Garden Trade News in the late 1970s I knew little about the workings of what was about to become a massive trade. I had to rely on the friendly advice and encouragement of those pioneers who had made it all happen. One of these was jovial Eddie Topping, founder of the Barton Grange empire. Although never a comfortable public speaker, he possessed a shrewd mind and warm personality which enabled him to carry out his many trade offices with great distinction. Eddie touched the lives of so many people in a positive way, including my own. RIP Big Man.
Michael Hayes, Hayes Gardenland: A lovely man and one of my Dad's best pals. Great memories over many many years. RIP Eddie.
Roger Crookes, former GCA inspector: Garden centre legend, pioneer, encourager and gentleman. My sincere condolences to the Barton Grange team and the Topping family.
Pat Flynn, former GTN executive: Another character from the industry leaving us. He was a true gentleman with a cheeky sense of humour who I remember well from my days at Nurseryman & Garden Centre magazine and then GTN. Condolences to the family and all the team at Barton Grange.
Do please use the comments link below to add your tribute, or e-mail it to: email@example.com
Vote now for the Best Buyers of the past 18 months - The Glee Buyers Power List - Voting is LIVE now!
Click here to vote for the best buyers of the past 18 months
Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 14th September with the winners announced and celebrated on The Stage at Glee on Wednesday 15th September at 1:00pm.
Nominations for The Glee Buyers Power List 2021 include buyers from:
Alton Garden Centre, Aylett Nurseries, B&M, B&Q, Barton Grange, Baytree Garden Centre, Bents Garden & Home, Blue Diamond, British Garden Centres, Caulders, Chessington Garden Centre, Dobbies, Downtown Garden Centre, Fron Goch, Frosts, Garsons, Gates Garden Centre, Haskins, Hayes Garden World, Hillier Garden Centres, Klondyke, Longacres, Milestone Garden Centre, Notcutts, Oaktree Garden Centre, RBG Kew, Rosebourne Garden Centres, Squires Garden Centres, Stewarts Garden Centres, Summerseat Garden Centre, Thompsons Garden Centres, Webbs and Whitehall Garden Centre.
Click here to go to the voting page
Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 14th September with the winners announced and celebrated on The Stage at Glee on Wednesday 15th September at 1:00pm.
Buyers nominated for the Buyers Power List 2021 include:
Andy Bunker – Alton Garden Centre
Andy Matthews & Paul Williams – British Garden Centres
Chris Slack - Frosts
Claire Bryce - Barton Grange
Claire Jenner - Frosts
Dan Kirby – British Garden Centres
Dan Reep – Squires Garden Centres
Darran Oakley – Squires
David Danning - Blue Diamond
Derek Bunker – Alton Garden Centre
Duncan Wills – Stewarts Garden Centre
Emma Davis – British Garden Centres
Geoff Stapleton – Gates Garden Centre
Ian Richardson - Garsons
Ian Underwood – B&Q
Jack Slater – Summerseat Garden Centre
Jessica Logan – RBG Kew
John Birch – Baytree Garden Centre
Keith Laird – Hayes Garden World
Keith Wilbin – Downtown Garden Centre
Marcus Cousins – Aylett Nurseries
Matt Shorter - Longacres
Mel Livingstone - Fron Goch
Melanie Sykes - Bents
Michelle Martin – Haskins
Michelle Thompson – Thompsons Garden Centres
Mick Bruniges – Oaktree Garden Centre
Paul Smith - Chessington Garden Centre
Peter Self – Whitehall Garden Centres
Phil Hales – Gates Garden Centre
Ross Allen – Milestone Garden Centre
Sarah Cooksley – Dobbies
Scott Provan – Klondyke
Stuart Whalley – Rosebourne
Sue Shaw - B&M
Tom Cook, Rod Austin & Julian Palphramand - British Garden Centres
Will Clark – Barton Grange
Zack Sargent – Bents Garden & Home
And garden centre buying teams from:
Alton Garden Centre
British Garden Centres
Chessington Garden Centre
Gates Garden Centre
Hillier Garden Centres
Rosebourne Garden Centres
Squires Garden Centres
Thompsons Garden Centres
Vote now using this link
Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 14th September with the winners announced and celebrated on The Stage at Glee on Wednesday 15th September at 1:00pm. See you there!
READYBLAZE set to make Glee debut
GTN Xtra Promotion
Winter fuel experts Dizmezs Ltd will be showcasing READYBLAZE at Glee 2021 for the first time. READYBLAZE is a new firewood brand ideal for the UK market. The brand combines superior performance with environmentally friendly features. Every piece of timber in their firewood products is kiln dried to under 20% moisture content level, leading to cleaner and a more energy efficient product...
Winter fuel experts Dizmezs Ltd will be showcasing READYBLAZE at Glee 2021 for the first time. READYBLAZE is a new firewood brand ideal for the UK market. The brand combines superior performance with environmentally friendly features. Every piece of timber in their firewood products is kiln dried to under 20% moisture content level, leading to cleaner and a more energy efficient product.
READYBLAZE offers premium winter fuels for domestic home and outdoor use. The brand aims to keep people warm via a consistent quality product, manufactured from sustainably managed raw materials and a process designed to reduce carbon emissions.
READYBLAZE is manufactured at the Dizmezs manufacturing hub in Latvia which has modern processing facilities, including a sawmill, a dimension and splitting mill and drying equipment. The range consists of kiln dried hardwood split logs, ideal for use on stoves, open fires and chimineas. In addition to Birch logs READYBLAZE also offer more premium options such as Ash, which burn hotter and longer than Birch logs.
Food Grade Logs and Kindling are also available for wood fired cooking; specially prepared to reduce unwanted flavours being added to food. Also available in the range are Superheat Birch RUF Heat Logs and accessories for the fire such as Wood Wool Firestarter’s and standard Kindling.
The range packaging is well thought out with environmentally friendly components. In fact, all consumer packaging is made from either recyclable plastic bags or recyclable cardboard boxes.
With 55% of Latvia covered in forest, producing timber products and making efficient yet sustainable processes come naturally. READYBLAZE is committed to sustainable sourcing of raw materials and is a member of the PEFC (Promoting Sustainable Forest Management) scheme. For every 1 tree cut down from a sustainable forest, 8 additional trees are planted in its place.
Furthermore, waste is minimised with the technology in the sawmill being able to use the wood waste as fuel in the boiler plant which produces heat for the kiln drying facilities.
READYBLAZE is also a member of the Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn’ initiative to reduce harmful air pollution. All timber is kiln dried to less than 20% moisture levels ensuring cleaner emissions and a higher burning temperature. When READYBLAZE firewood is used, this means cleaner, hotter burning and less harmful emissions than other products available on the market that may be over 20% moisture levels.
With 25 years’ experience of manufacturing and distributing winter fuels behind it, the brand represents the new age of firewood products by offering safer and more efficient firewood solutions from an established supplier that has high capacity in order to supply the UK market.
Therefore, READYBLAZE presents an ideal brand partner for garden retailers with a concise product range, a clear sustainability pledge and a cleaner performing product that provides a point of difference.
If you would like further details on the Readyblaze brand, the range will be available to see on the Dizmezs stand (number 20H01) at Glee 2021 NEC Birmingham 14th-16th September. If you wish to make an appointment prior to the show, please visit www.winterfuels.co.uk. Alternatively, you can browse the range at www.readyblaze.co.uk.
Ergrownomics, a new start-up exhibiting at their first Glee this year, are set to make a terrific entrance onto the scene. Exhibiting on stand 8A51, in the Innovator’s zone, their products are sustainably manufactured in the UK, and designed to make vegetable growing simple, clean & reliable.
In the run-up to their launch, they’ve already seen an excellent reception: receiving an RHS award for their prototype models, endorsed by the support of the Princes Countryside Fund, and just last week having scooped the runner-up spot as ‘Highly Commended’ to GIMA’s Innovators Seed Corn fund, 2021. The team are excited to meet with any buyers and decision-makers who are looking to break the mould, and keen to offer something new and innovative to their customers, next year.
Designed by a father & son team in rural Herefordshire, Jamie & Nigel Bending are intent on revolutionising container growing, working to ensure that everybody can enjoy the benefits of home-growing - wherever they live, with whatever space they have.
“We’ve set out to offer a complete home-growing solution – one that can be used in an extremely compact space, with minimal maintenance, and with no experience required. With over 8 years of product development, and hundreds of crop-variety trials, behind us – we’ve built our planters around the needs of the modern gardener, and believe we’ve revolutionised container growing in the process.”
“All of this is underpinned by our strong sustainability values. We believe that buying once is the best way to prevent waste – so we build all our planters to uncompromising standards – ensuring they have a lifespan of over 40 years (and are fully recyclable thereafter!)”
Ergrownomics is also specifically aimed at new and emerging demographics, and are directly in-line with modern customer concerns.
“So many new gardeners have recently begun their GYO journey, new homes with tiny gardens are continuously being built, and the rental community continues to sky-rocket. We believe our container system caters specifically to the particular needs of the 21st century gardener - providing an innovative, compact and reliable solution for time-poor, unsure beginners, who are looking for a non-traditional approach, and who are attracted to our more contemporary appearance!”
Ergrownomics raised planters are also entirely modular, allowing users to extend their growing space as required, or even relocate their veg-garden entirely. Whether consumers want a single unit on a balcony, an allotment on their patio, or to kit out an entire greenhouse – Ergrownomics can provide a low-maintenance and reliable solution!
The team are passionate about what they do, and confident in the abilities of their product. With over 60 planters in-use on their own site, they’ve trialled hundreds of crop-varieties over the course of their R&D, and are confident that their system redefines the boundaries of container gardening!
“We want to make GYO more than a recreation, working to ensure that our system is as productive and systematic as possible, and helping users to succeed with straightforward guidance! This reliability is a key factor, and we know that our containers can be used to create huge yields from a comparatively small space, and enable users to effectively replace aspects of their daily shop. For example, we have two containers dedicated entirely to seasonal-leaves, and haven’t bought a salad-bag in years!”
They’ll be unveiling their new merchandising model next week at Glee, professionally art-worked to inspire and excite visitors in-store, and which will be provided to all new stockists!
“Our complete container growing system can provide an exciting and eye-catching foundation for upselling a host of seeds, sundries and assorted accessories! When a consumer picks up one of our products – they’re immediately directed to purchase peat-free compost, perlite & topsoil, while QR links provide extensive advice on which crops and varieties they should grow. Ergrownomics provides the opportunity to ‘orbit’ a huge collection of accessories around our container – offering gloves, trowels, knee pads etc., in addition to the growing materials themselves. Our system essentially allows you to sell the idea of ‘GYO’, enabling customers to purchase all necessary elements in-store, then head-home to start growing immediately!”
Interested in working with Ergrownomics? Find them on stand 8A51, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting.
Tel: 07568 521648
GCA announces Ruxley Rose finalists
The GCA has announced the finalists for its annual Ruxley Rose competition. Twenty centres all received top scores in the summer inspections, delayed from the normal spring inspections due to Covid, and have now been put forward for autumn judging...
Pacific Nurseries of one of 20 finalists in the Ruxley Rose competition.
Pacific Nurseries of one of 20 finalists in the Ruxley Rose competition.
The GCA has announced the finalists for its annual Ruxley Rose competition. Twenty centres all received top scores in the summer inspections, delayed from the normal spring inspections due to Covid, and have now been put forward for autumn judging.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “Earlier this year our member garden centres received visits from our inspectors and their findings have determined the 10 finalists in the Garden Centre (GC) category and the 10 finalists in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category. All of the finalists are now through to the autumn stage of the competition and will be visited by our judge, Alyson Haywood, this month. She will evaluate how our members are continuing to promote and sell plants during the autumn season.
“The centres will also be judged on their excellent quality, presentation and overall range of plants available as well as the layout of their plant areas. Overall impression, access and use of demonstration areas will also be looked at.
“Staff at our member centres are also being judged on their knowledge and customer care and service.”
A winner from each category will be determined and announced during the GCA’s annual conference in January 2022.
The Ruxley Rose finalists in the Garden Centre category are:
- Cowell’s Garden Centre in the North East
- Klondyke Group – Daleside Garden Centre in the North West
- Klondyke Group – Garden Wise (Dumfries) in Scotland
- Klondyke Group – High Legh Garden Centre in the North West
- Klondyke Group – Stokesley Garden Centre in the North East
- Pacific Nurseries in the Midlands
- Pennells Garden Centre – Grimsby in the Midlands
- Planters at Bretby Ltd in the Midlands
- Squires Garden Centre – West Horsley in South Thames
- The Old Railway Line Garden Centre in Wales & West.
The Ruxley Rose finalists in the Destination Garden Centre category are:
- Barton Grange Garden Centre in the North West
- Baytree Nurseries & Garden Centre in the Midlands
- Bents Garden & Home in the North West
- Fron Goch Garden Centre in the North West
- Gordale Nurseries Ltd in the North West
- Monkton Elm Garden Centre Ltd in the Wales & West
- Pennells Garden Centre – Lincoln in the Midlands
- Planters Garden Centre – Tamworth in the Midlands
- St. Peters Garden Centre in the Midlands
- Webbs of Wychbold in the Midlands
Iain added: “Our Ruxley Rose competition aims to inspire our member garden centres to maintain best practice at all times and have centres that are inviting and attractive to customers. It is a prestigious, year-long competition that our members work extremely hard towards throughout the year, and one that is particularly exciting and rewarding after such a tumultuous year.
“Our members can also benefit from Alyson’s practical advice on achieving best practice as well as showcasing their own innovative sales initiatives.
“I would like to say a huge ‘congratulations’ to all of the finalists and wish everyone the best of luck for the next stage of the competition.”
Millions of pounds worth of business has been generated over four days last week at the UK’s leading home, gift and fashion trade show, Autumn Fair co-located with Moda, reigniting, and refuelling the retail industry.
Retailers from across the UK, including Harrods, Anthropologie, Dunelm, Walt Disney Company, B&Q, Oliver Bonas, Fenwick, Boohoo, Blue Diamond Garden Centres, Bloom & Wild, British Garden Centres, Daylesford Organic, Fortnum & Mason, Graham & Green, Tesco, Hobbycraft, La Redoute, Lakeland, Next, Paperchase, Pets at Home, and Sainsbury’s, flocked in their thousands to attend the first major retail trade show since lockdown in March 2020.
The desire to refresh their stock levels, inject newness and discover exciting new products for their stores, and experience product in person, created a very confident mood and many exhibiting suppliers secured record numbers and quality of orders.
Lucy Lee, Founder, Scream Pretty said; “The best show we’ve ever had at Autumn Fair, and we’ve signed up for the next two shows. We’re delighted and it’s exceeded our expectations. We like the new format for Spring Fair being four days instead of five, which we’ve wanted for some time so we’re very happy to be listened to and look forward to being there.”
Tom Willday, Founder of Willsow said; “This is our first big show and for us to be able to place more of our books in small gifts shops, medium sized businesses, and huge retailers such as WH Smiths, Bloom & Wild, Thortful, and so many more companies that have been here, is amazing. They have been really interested in us which is overwhelming. We are that excited we will be booking Spring and Autumn Fair for next year. The organisers have all been great.”
Creativity, innovation, inspiration, and inventiveness were in abundance throughout the four key show destinations: Home, Gift, Fashion and Design & Source. Overall, feedback from exhibitors has centred on the amount of pent-up demand there is for face-to-face trading again. Many, including Little Bird Told Me, Hippychick, Asmodee, Inside Out Toys, Keel Toys, My Doris, Jess & Lou, Isles & Stars, The Travelling Craft Room, Fountasia, Lesser & Pavey, Richard Lang & Son/Lang’s, Sass & Belle, Kikkerland and Lesser & Pavey, have had their busiest shows ever, opened lots of new accounts, and seen a fantastic range of buyers. According to many other exhibitors, the shows delivered above expectations with a large number already rebooking for Spring and Autumn Fair 2022. Feedback on Spring Fair’s change of dates to a four-day show have also continued to be positive.
Julie Driscoll, managing director, Hyve Retail, Fashion & Digital Marketing, said; “As a team, we have all been completely blown away by the attendance and huge volume of orders being written during Autumn Fair and Moda, and want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of the last four incredible days. The reaction from all our wonderful exhibitors and visitors has been overwhelming and it’s very positive and encouraging for the future of the British High Street and retailing after over a year of challenges and uncertainty. We are committed to the retail industry, developing exciting new initiatives for our next show, Spring Fair in February, with all our partners and relevant associations. Based on the last four days at Autumn Fair, I have never felt more excited and confident in the collective ability of the retail industry to bounce back and reignite. We can’t wait for Spring Fair.”
The final day of Autumn Fair’s Inspiring Retail Stage focused on its new partnership with the Retail Trust and supporting the wellbeing of people in the retail industry. With the cost of mental health absences totalling £42 billion per annum and 89% of employees saying they won’t disclose a mental health issue to a manager, Spring & Autumn Fair’s partnership with the Retail Trust has been created to support their much-needed work and help raise awareness of the issues.
Following his session, discussing the importance of creating an industry that cares for the mental and physical health of all within it, on the Inspiring Retail Stage Chris Brook-Carter, CEO, Retail Trust said; “It is really great to have the shows running again for the industry. Financial and mental stress is a huge concern for retailers, and it is working in partnership with key retail events such as Spring and Autumn Fair, that we can develop initiatives that can genuinely help people, help alleviate issues, and support the wellbeing of all those in our industry.”
Taking centre stage on the Kent & Stowe display at Glee will be new patent pending Eversharp secateurs. Designed and manufactured in the UK, they feature the hardest, sharpest blade available on the market. Independently proven by CATRA to be twice as sharp, and five times longer lasting than the UK market leader.
Novice gardeners and experienced horticulturalists are united in their need for a great pair of secateurs. In Westland research, consumers voice their frustrations over secateur blades that blunt too quickly, go rusty – and are unsuitable for the 15% of the population who are left-handed.
Westland took this and wider consumer insight to create the new Kent & Stowe Eversharp Secateurs, creating a revolutionary tool guaranteed to stand out amongst key competitors.
The design-led approach focused on two halves of the challenge – the blade and the chassis.
Firstly, Eversharp secateurs feature an extraordinary blade with a unique coated metal based on Formula One and aerospace technology. After coating, the blade becomes 100 times harder than the average blade, so it can be ground to be twice as sharp as the market leader, and due to its special properties stay sharper for five times longer.
The die cast aluminium and FSC® certified ash wood chassis has been scientifically and ergonomically developed to be comfortable in use from day one. But as the FSC® certified ash wood wears, its shapes to the gardener's hand, and becomes more comfortable with every use. There is an ambidextrous lock, and with the hand sizer can be set to the preferred level of opening. A wire and string cutter is also built in to make this a real all round gardening companion.
Fully benchmarked against the rest of the market by the independent professional knife and cutting trade association, CATRA. Eversharp secateurs are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
Marie Williams, head of the hardware division for Westland comments, “Eversharp secateurs are a game changer for the cutting category because we are cascading the very latest material science technology into what is a very mature category. There is something incredibly special about these secateurs, and they represent the direction of travel for our portfolio going forward. Consumer research has demonstrated to us that they value the real step change in performance, and our retail partners will benefit from the market growth that this will surely deliver.”
Westland has invested £0.5m into a brand refresh for Kent & Stowe. 2022 sees a new look and a strengthened product offer, with products made from FSC® certified wood, fully recyclable packaging and superior functionality and design.
With an RRP of £34.99, Eversharp secateurs come in all-purpose bypass and dead wood anvil options. They are supported by a national press campaign and a dedicated stand and protected by a security RF tag, plus a secure location for attaching customer specific security systems. They will be available in February.
Carbon Gold, the leading supplier of biochar products to professional growers and tree care specialists around the world, will officially launch its new range of products for home-growers and gardeners at Glee.
2020 saw a surge in demand for Carbon Gold biochar – a high-carbon form of charcoal that is used in soil to boost plant health and vitality – as people discovered a renewed love of gardening during lockdown.
Until now, Carbon Gold’s 100% peat-free, FSC certified and Soil Association approved biochar products have only been available in bulk sizes, tailored for the needs of commercial crop growers and tree care professionals. Now, the company is responding to increased demand with a new product range offering its best-selling enriched biochar products in gardener-friendly pack sizes.
It includes all purpose compost, seed compost, fertiliser, soil improver, tree soil improver, lawn improver and Carbon Gold’s organic ‘rocket fuel’, substrate rejuvenator, Biology Blend. Visitors to the show will be offered the opportunity to get hands-on with the products and discuss the science behind them with Carbon Gold’s team of in-house experts.
Biochar improves soil and plant health, reduces the impact of pests and diseases and is better for nature because plants require less watering. Ideal for every task in every garden, including containers, you get great results fast, from better fruit and veg to bigger, longer-lasting flowers.
Plants grown in Carbon Gold biochar have been shown to be more resilient in the face of a wide range of environmental factors, diseases and pests, including drought, honey fungus, root mat, ash dieback and replant disease. Biochar is also so high in carbon that using it lowers your carbon footprint: for every kilo you put in the ground, three kilos of harmful CO2 are permanently sequestered from the atmosphere.
Mike Hartshorn, Managing Director of Carbon Gold, comments: “Glee is the perfect place for us to host the official launch of Carbon Gold’s gardener-friendly product range. It will be the first time that people can come and connect with us face-to-face and get hands-on with our new products.
“Commercial and professional growers have been using our products for years and now we want to grow our retail-based distribution so that everyone can benefit from the power of biochar.”
You’ll find Carbon Gold in the GIMA Business Village (6F17)
Woodlodge has teased details of the new additions to its planter portfolio – to be revealed at Glee in September.
Taking influence from current trends and the way consumers have changed the way they use their gardens, becoming eco-friendlier at the same time, Woodlodge is delighted to reveal the latest ranges to their market-leading collection.
Leading the way is Woodlodge’s collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. Embossed with the iconic RHS logo to give consumers confidence when purchasing, the designs will include artwork from the RHS Lindley Collections, the world’s finest collection of botanical art. The result is a range of terracotta, glazed and fibreclay pots are licenced under the RHS brand and will be a must have for garden retailers.
The new range will also be supported with newly designed POS which will feature the prestigious RHS imagery, making them immediately identifiable to the consumer.
Woodlodge’s flagship Heritage Garden Pottery range is to be extended for 2022 as it brings back a customer favourite in the form of the Heritage Classic range. Renowned for its beautiful, timeless design that champions a combination of British culture and craftsmanship, the brand will see the return of the much-loved cylinders and cones in dark red, blue and green shades.
We have seen a trend where the colourful approach to interiors has crept into the garden resulting in outdoor spaces that are bold, bright and bursting with colour. The comeback of these primary colours will create a burst of cheerful kaleidoscopic colour on the sales floor, as consumers look to move to bold hues and simplified palettes in their gardens.
Due to gardeners' increasingly putting a particular emphasis on sustainable products, the new range of self-watering planters are both ecologically sensible and use resources responsibly. Gardeners who are keen to do their bit for the environment can also do so by using these planters, as they made from recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable at the end of their life.
Additionally, these planters are weather resistant and frost-proof, withstanding temperatures as low as -30°c and as high as 60°c, meaning they can be left out year-round without fear of chipping or cracking.
With the ability to be used both indoors and out, the planters are the ideal solution for beginners, those going on holiday or simply live a busy lifestyle. The self-watering planters will provide consumers with a convenient way to make sure their plants are looked after, whilst saving time and enable retailers to tap into the increasing millennial market.
Woodlodge’s contemporary lightweight planter range, Modena, is being extended as demand increases for an instant modern, minimalistic look in urban dwellers’ gardens. Equinox is a new introduction to the Modena range characterised by clean lines and modern silhouettes. This contemporary style pot planter has a strong but featherlight design and available in black and grey neutral tones, whilst the brand-new Latitude design, with its natural wavy grooves makes the perfect canvas to ensure colourful plants standout.
When wall and floor space for greenery is minimal, it’s time for consumers to look up with Solstice, an elegant hanging planter. The fashion for hanging planters is being driven by millennials who crave outdoor space but are more likely to live in rented flats and apartments where their footprint is at a premium. Solstice’s simplistic yet eye-catching design will add a layer of dimension and let the plants do the talking.
The Modena range will entice a new generation of consumer who want to invest in sleek planters that will transform the look of their gardens or balconies, but without the hassle of moving heavy pots from place to place. The timeless look, colour and the understated design of Modena is set to resonate with the beginner gardener whose spending potential and influence can be of great benefit to retail stores.
Michael Wooldridge, Director of Woodlodge said: “ In 2020, with more people forced to stay home because of the pandemic, many turned to decorating their spaces with plants. The entire garden industry saw a tremendous increase in demand, leading to the development of new lines of our containers and planters. We look forward to working with stockists and demonstrating our commitment to developing the latest on trend gardenware that appeals to all demographics.”
Woodlodge will be exhibiting these exciting new releases at Glee on Stand 6J30-20A31.
Gardenex plays host to International Buyers’ Centre at Glee
Gardenex is excited by the return of international exhibition Glee at the NEC Birmingham on September 14-16, where it will be hosting the International Buyers’ Centre in Hall 20, Stand J50, and organising meetings between international buyers and potential UK suppliers...
Gardenex is excited by the return of international exhibition Glee at the NEC Birmingham on September 14-16, where it will have a strong presence.
The team from Gardenex will be hosting the International Buyers’ Centre in Hall 20, Stand J50, and organising meetings between international buyers and potential UK suppliers.
These meetings include a Buyers Connect meeting with Green Project, a European group based in Romania that has been active in the gardening business for over 20 years. Two buyers will be visiting Glee on Tuesday and Wednesday of the show.
The company distributes around 15 leading garden brands as well as having its own production and private label brands which it sells to Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, Romania and Republic of Moldova. At Glee, the buyers will be looking for interesting new garden products to complement its existing range.
This year there will be online versions of Buyers’ Connect for those international buyers unable to travel to the show, including a meeting with a leading Swedish online retailer and distributor. Wexthuset Sverige AB is a business which has grown substantially in recent years, and it has become a leading independent online store for gardening products on the Swedish market. Buyers from the company are looking for new and innovative gardening products that are not part of its standard range.
UK suppliers wishing to have a meeting with either company should email email@example.com
During the past 18 months of the pandemic, Gardenex has helped a number of international garden and pet product buyers to connect with UK suppliers through its virtual Meet the Buyer events.
Here are some of the comments that the association has received from international companies:
- “Very interesting and beneficial meetings”
- “Always well organised and researched”
- “We found the meetings to be extremely beneficial”
- “All positive feedback from us”
The International Buyers' Centre at Glee will also be the perfect meeting place for international garden product buyers to find out more about Gardenex members and services. Facilities will include refreshments, cloakroom, free WiFi and charging points.
Visitors to the Buyers’ Centre will be able to find out more details about the services provided by Gardenex, including the new edition of its exclusive A-Z Guide to Exporting,which provides member companies with a comprehensive resource of exporting information, advice and practical tips.
There will also be details of a series of invaluable trade bulletins, designed to give member companies information about how to deal with exporting outside the EU. The combination of bulletins, industry updates, webinars and the association’s online helpline is providing companies with valuable insights and practical support to help them protect and expand their international sales in a profitable manner post-Brexit.
Gardenex will be joined at Glee by the PetQuip trade association, which has a stand (6B04) in the pet section of Glee. Pet product suppliers will be able to discover the many ways in which PetQuip helps its members secure valuable UK and international sales, as well as recognise excellence within the industry through the prestigious PetQuip Awards. Buyers are welcome to visit the stand to find out more about the many innovative companies which are members of the association and to collect their copy of the recently published PetQuip Buyers’ Guide.
Amanda Sizer Barrett, Director General of Gardenex and PetQuip, said: “We’re extending a warm invitation to Glee exhibitors and visitors to join Gardenex at the International Buyers’ Centre, where our expert team will help them with their specific queries. Buyers will find information on innovative UK products and suppliers; and we’ll demonstrate how our expert team helps suppliers navigate through exporting to the EU and beyond, as well as giving them access to sales leads, international market research and potential buyer contacts through our exclusive international buyer database and helping them to identify business opportunities for their products around the world.”
Gardenex and PetQuip have got some exciting plans for future events, including co-hosting a conference on The Future for International Trade at Stratford Manor Hotel on 25th November 2021. The associations will also be organising the British group of exhibitors to international trade exhibitions during the next 12 months, including Zoomark (10th-12th Novermber 2021), Interzoo (24th-27th May 2022) and spoga+gafa (19th-21st June 2022).
For more information about Gardenex and PetQuip and the benefits of membership visit www.gardenex.com, www.petquip.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
David Domoney takes Ambassador role at Needlefresh
Broadcaster and Chartered Horticulturist David Domoney, presenter of numerous television shows for ITV, including their flagship prime time show Love Your Garden, joins forces with Needlefresh to promote their wide range of real, UK grown Christmas trees...
Broadcaster and Chartered Horticulturist David Domoney, presenter of numerous television shows for ITV, including their flagship prime time show Love Your Garden, joins forces with Needlefresh to promote their wide range of real, UK grown Christmas trees.
Needlefresh are a grower led co-operative, with over 10 million Christmas trees planted. Needlefresh pride themselves on planting more trees per year than those harvested with each Hectare of trees absorbing over 70 tonnes of carbon each year.
Choosing a real Christmas tree is a fun family activity with many people now choosing the Nordman Fir to grace their home. Every tree is unique and is a festive and romantic symbol of family, tradition and nostalgia. Needlefresh supply many of the UK’s blue chip retailers with their lovingly grown Christmas trees.
David will be inspiring the nation, not only sharing the beauty of having a real tree at Christmas, but also educating the consumer. He will be highlighting the many benefits of Christmas tree production as a crop and motivating the nation to take time to choose which variety of tree to go for ahead of the December rush.
Christopher Hood, founder and current Chairman of Needlefresh said, “We have some big messages to get out to the real Christmas tree customer, not just about the increasing range of trees we have to offer, but just as importantly to explain how good real Christmas trees are for the environment. We felt we needed a recognised authority from the horticultural world to get those messages out there and we are delighted that David has agreed to help us.”
David Domoney said, “I’ve always loved Christmas and real Christmas trees! There’s nothing like the smell of pine or fir trees in your home to greet you when you wake up in the morning. It’s such as fresh fragrance and brings back happy memories of wintertime.
Domoney added “On a recent visit to Needlefresh, I was not only impressed with the scale and quality of their vast production, but also the passion of the growing teams. They care for each individual tree as in the forefront of their mind they appreciate the importance each and every tree will have for the family who buys as a centre piece for their home at Christmas. Real Christmas trees are going to become increasingly important in these environmentally sensitive times and people are going to love the range and quality of trees that Needlefresh are bringing to market. I am really looking forward to working with them.”
Needlefresh will be rolling out their exclusive Signature range of real cut trees to garden centres this year together with an even bigger range of pot-grown trees, all supported by a brand-new suite of Point of Sale.
Sustainable design with waste in the leading role. That, in a few words, is the new line 'Waste' by pot expert Capi Europe. These pots are made from cork, old Capi planters, and sea waste.
The Waste collection is designed and, 100% CO2-neutral, produced in the Netherlands. The pots are available in a 'smooth' and a 'rib' version. They let your plants shine.
The Waste planters are made 100% from recycled materials, 100% CO2-neutral produced and 100% recyclable. So people can enjoy their plants even more, both indoors and outdoors Sustainability can also be beautiful, every Capi product is an asset to your interior.
Capi for Biodiversity – Modular Hive concept
The biodiversity collection has been expanded with a new concept: the Hive. Not only is the design beautiful, but three new articles have been added and you can click the houses together. Mixing and matching birdhouses has never been easier.
The peanut butter house, planter and water bowl are the latest additions within the biodiversity collection. As with the oval variant -Biodiversity Oval-, in addition to the 3 new items, the bee hotel, butterfly hotel and the various birdhouses are also available in beehive form.
New modular concept
The Biodiversity Hive concept has a nice extra. Each model is clickable and comes with a fixed clip (and screws). Thanks to the beehive shape, the different models are easy to mix and match. The result is a unique combination of plants and animals that you can enjoy all year round.
Nature Groove indoor - special edition
Rich colors set the mood in any interior. That is why Capi Europe is expanding its Groove indoor collection with a special edition in the colours intense black, green and merlot red. They give the well-known Groove pots with the popular vertical lines a very own look. The expansion invites you to mix & match natural colours with extraordinary ones.
The team at Tong Garden Centre are celebrating after winning four awards at the North East and North West regional Garden Centre Association awards.
Tong collected awards in four out of eight categories for the North East region. It won Garden Centre of the Year in Destination Garden Centre Category and also won the GIMA Award for Gardening, the Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer and Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer.
Tong's Commercial Director, Sharon McNair picked up the awards at the presentation that was hosted by Tong on 2ndSeptember: "We're so proud of our team and absolutely delighted that their hard work has been rewarded with these awards in what has been a very challenging year. The team have faced staff shortages, stock issues and pandemic conditions, but have continued to give our customers exceptional service and a great experience."
The GCA is a group of 163 garden centres that champions professionalism and membership is only awarded to businesses that pass a stringent audit covering all aspects of garden centre retailing excellence. The results of the annual audit, for which Tong was awarded Highly Commended, form the basis for the awards. Tong will now go forward to the national awards taking place in January at the annual GCA conference.
GCA Inspector Alyson Haywood said: "Tong Garden Centre continues to build an exceptional experience for the customer and is well deserving of Destination Garden Centre of the Year in the North East region. Inspirational displays and a fantastic choice for customers across gardening ranges, lifestyle retailing and outdoor living as well as a content-rich website that has clearly been built with the user in mind stood out as areas of excellence during the judging."
Established in 1966, the GCA believes in sharing information and experiences at all levels, from senior management to the shop floor. Every year, its members must undergo a comprehensive annual inspection to ensure they continue to meet the stringent criteria set out by the association and therefore maintain membership.
Haskins Snowhill centre has been named ‘Destination Garden Centre of the Year’ in the Garden Centre Association South Thames Regional Awards.
The Snowhill centre in Copthorne, West Sussex, scooped up a further two awards on the night, adding The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity, and The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer, to its collection of accolades.
Ben Harrison, Operations Director of Haskins Garden Centres, said: “We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to host the first GCA South Thames meeting in 18 months at our newest centre, Snowhill. The night was made even more special when the centre was named ‘Destination Garden Centre of the Year’.
“While the whole industry has worked exceptionally hard throughout this difficult period, I’d like to thank all the team at Snowhill. This award represents many years of hard work during the transition from the old centre into the new innovative space where we proudly hosted the awards.”
In March 2020, just weeks before the national lockdown, Haskins Snowhill reopened to the public following a £15million investment by the company to create a new, enhanced centre.
The new centre now boasts a retail space of 11,813 sqm, including an outdoor plant area and 440-seat restaurant complete with a newly installed pizza oven. Additional space has also been created to accommodate 170 restaurant guests on an outdoor patio.
Commenting on the reasons why Haskins Snowhill has been so successful at this year’s awards, Phil McCann, GCA Standards Inspector, said: “Haskins Snowhill has recently been redeveloped and is a sensational destination. Availability of everything any gardener needs, experienced or novice, is under one roof and the plant choice and quality are superb. Just allow a few hours’ browsing time when visiting – it is hard to resist.”
The GCA has been in operation for over 50 years and represents around 180 garden centres across the UK. The GCA requires its garden centre members to meet the highest retail standards and to participate in an annual inspection process, to ensure these standards are maintained and improved.
The annual regional awards are held to recognise and praise members for their commitment to horticulture and the overall customer experience.
For more information about Snowhill and Haskins Garden Centres, please visit www.haskins.co.uk .
Napoleon Grills; the internationally renowned barbecue and outdoor kitchen specialist are set to unveil a brand new electric fireplace range at Glee as they expand to indoor home fittings.
After a successful year of barbecue sales and selling out of nearly all outdoor stock, Napoleon will exhibit their first UK line of indoor products in time for Autumn. The electric fireplaces will be showcased alongside new and updated Phantom Series grills..
Napoleon has long established itself as a global market leader for premium grills and barbecues. Now the Canadian company is introducing a brand-new range of home products, proving its dedication to deliver innovative products and put their advanced design, engineering and manufacturing expertise to a whole new sector.
Among the Phantom range grills to be showcased are:
- Phantom Travelq® PRO 285 with Scissor Cart, a portable propane gas grill featuring a high-top lid and two stainless steel burners to take portable grilling to the gourmet level.
- Phantom Prestige® 500 with four stainless steel main burners, an infrared rear burner for rotisserie dishes, plus an infrared Sizzle Zone™ side burner for searing restaurant quality steaks.
- Phantom Rogue ® Special Edition 425 showcasing premium Napoleon features such as three stainless steel main burners, an infrared Sizzle Zone™ side burner and a rear burner for crispy rotisserie cooking.
Giant sunflowers bring cheer to children and charities
Squire’s Garden Centres gave away packs of sunflower seeds to children last April, and asked them to see how tall their sunflowers could grow. With a little love and a useful growing guide from Squire’s, many gardens across the South East now contain beautiful yellow cheery sunflowers...
Squire’s Garden Centres gave away packs of sunflower seeds to children last April, and asked them to see how tall their sunflowers could grow. With a little love and a useful growing guide from Squire’s, many gardens across the South East now contain beautiful yellow cheery sunflowers.
But whose sunflower grew the tallest? Pictures have been flooding into Squire’s, and we can reveal that the winner of the tallest sunflower is Lily Brown from Basingstoke, whose sunflower grew to a whopping 3.8 meters tall!
Lily (above centre) has received a £100 Squire’s Gift Card, and two runners up, Katie McHale (above left) from Bracknell and Tom Brown (above right) from Basingstoke, whose sunflowers were not far behind Lily’s at 3.74m and 3.7m tall, have each received a £50 Squire’s Gift Card.
Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres said; “Congratulations to our winners and to all those who entered the competition. I really hope everyone enjoyed growing their sunflowers. The heights they reached are truly impressive! And thanks to our customers for helping us to raise £2,562.21 for numerous local charities, from the change you donated in return for your sunflower seeds. A fantastic effort by all.”
However, Lily, Katie and Tom have some way to go to beat the Guinness World Record for the tallest sunflower, which was a massive 9.17m and was grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany in August 2014!
Excited to be back at Glee - GTN September, Glee Preview Issue, on-line here
In this issue of news and information for garden centre professionals:
- Westland Glee Preview.
- Retailers look forward to Glee, comment from Mike Burks, Gerald Ingram, Matthew Bent, Andy Bunker, Simon Bourne, Kev Turley, British Garden Centres, Julian Winfield, Carol Paris and John Birch.
- A Glee Greeting from Woodmansterne.
- Glee 2021 – GTN’s Preview.
- Glee 2021 Show Plan and Exhibitor List.
- Whats On “The Stage” at Glee 2021.
- Onduline success at Alton Garden Centre.
- New Products at Glee – a sneak preview of Glee New Product Award entries.
- GTN Bestsellers – August garden centre sales analysis and charts in sample issue.
- HTA Column – Boyd Douglas-Davies signs off as HTA President.
GTN September 2021 - Excited to be back at Glee, GTN's Glee 2021 Preview
In this issue of news and information for garden centre professionals:
- Westland Glee Preview.
- Retailers look forward to Glee, comment from Mike Burks, Gerald Ingram, Matthew Bent, Andy Bunker, Simon Bourne, Kev Turley, British Garden Centres, Julian Winfield, Carol Paris and John Birch.
- A Glee Greeting from Woodmansterne.
- Glee 2021 – GTN’s Preview.
- Glee 2021 Show Plan and Exhibitor List.
- Whats On “The Stage” at Glee 2021.
- Onduline success at Alton Garden Centre.
- New Products at Glee – a sneak preview of Glee New Product Award entries.
- GTN Bestsellers – August garden centre sales analysis and charts in sample issue.
- HTA Column – Boyd Douglas-Davies signs off as HTA President.
Read the embedded issue above or use this link: https://issuu.com/gardentradenews/docs/gtn_september_2021?fr=sYTI5OTQyMzYyMTc
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Floral Thursday is back!
Time to dig out your boldest floral shirt, dainty flowery dress and everything in-between as Floral Thursday is back and ready to raise funds for the Greenfingers charity...
Time to dig out your boldest floral shirt, dainty flowery dress and everything in-between as Floral Thursday is back and ready to raise funds for the Greenfingers charity.
Taking place on Thursday 14th September – the final day of Glee 2021 – Floral Thursday is a special FUNdraising activity where it is hoped that the thousands of visitors and exhibitors at Glee 2021 will come together to show their flower power in aid of Greenfingers’ ongoing fundraising activities. Anyone that has reached for the floral clothing – from ties to socks to shirts and suits – is invited to purchase a raffle ticket which will enter them into a prize draw to win fabulous prizes whilst, more importantly, helping to top up the fundraising total of the children’s hospice garden charity.
In 2019, when the first Floral Thursday took place at Glee, over £1,420 was raised for Greenfingers, with the array of floral looks bringing smiles to the faces of everyone who took part. This year, Greenfingers is hoping that even more people will dress to impress, and perhaps even set a new world record for the most people in floral attire at one time!
Linda Petrons, Director of Fundraising & Communications said: “We’re so grateful to Glee for allowing us to run Floral Thursday on the final day of the show. We hope that the garden retail industry will get together and embrace the Floral Thursday concept. From a flash of floral to outrageous outfits, Floral Thursday represents an incredibly easy way to show your support for our work, and we are forever grateful to every single person that next week – if 2019 is anything to go on I know we won’t be disappointed!”
Every year the Greenfingers charity builds much-needed gardens at children’s hospices across the country. From sensory gardens to memorial spaces, these gardens are a vital part of life for those children that call the hospice ‘home’, as well as providing a quiet place of reflection for families and staff alike.
The charity is currently in the process of starting the build on its 63rd garden at Ty Hafan in South Wales, with work continuing at Haven House in Essex. Forthcoming gardens will include The Nook in Norfolk, Derian House in Chorley, Demelza, Sittingbourne and Jigsaw in Carlisle
Find out more
To find out more about Greenfingers Charity, and how to get involved in a range of fundraising events please email Linda@greenfingerscharity.org.uk.
You can also join in the conversation by joining Greenfingers on social media - https://www.facebook.com/Greenfingerscharity/, @GreenfingersCha on Twitter, and @Greenfingerscharity on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Glee Sustainability Report
How the market leading exhibition for garden and outdoor products is placing sustainability at its heart...
In a world where environmental concerns are running high on national and international agendas, sustainability has become one of the most important trends in retail, with consumer demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products growing like never-before and brands with green credentials rising to the top of their wish lists.
Manufacturers and distributors are responding to this vital trend by developing goods which meet the requirements of environmentally conscious consumers.
The onus on trade exhibitions is to help guide retail buyers to products with strong sustainable credentials and the team at Glee has been working hard to ensure that buyers are easily able to source exceptional articles that are also kind to the environment. At the 2021 show retailers can take advantage of the new-for-2022 Sustainability Tour, where they will be taken on a journey around the show, with key ‘sustainable’ brands featured along the way.
Elsewhere, on gleebirmingham.com exhibitors can also clearly flag key their environmental credentials, in turn helping retailers who plan their journey in advance of the exhibition to source products and suppliers which meet the growing consumer demand for products with a conscience.
Before the doors open on the 2021 exhibition, let’s take a closer look at some of the impressive ways in which Glee exhibitors have stepped up to the sustainability challenge and underscored the crucial importance of the green revolution to the garden centre trade.
Going above & beyond – sustainable products & business practices
AZPECTS LTD - EASYClickBase from Azpects Ltd is a synthetic sub-base which replaces the traditional ‘dig-out’ part of the construction process for patios, paths and driveways, saving time, money and – importantly – many tonnes of aggregate. Made from recycled ABS, EASYClickBase can even eliminate the need for cement.
BATHGATE - Bathgate is helping gardeners to grow greener with the launch of new peat-free and peat reduced products. The company already offers a Champions Blend 50 litre peat-free compost, which contains a blend of natural certified ingredients and is manufactured to the Soil Association’s strictest standards. Bathgate has also introduced a peat-free version of its 50-litre multi-purpose compost, ideal for seed sowing, cuttings, bedding plants, plug and pot plants.
B GREEN – Producers of beautiful pots created in an entirely sustainable way with zero toxic substances, and Cradle to Cradle Certified, B GREEN works with small, artisan potteries in Vietnam, where high standards are maintained, not just in production, but also for the workers. The pots are produced by hand and fired using rice husks for fuel, making use of a by-product that would normally go to waste. All packaging is made from recycled (and recyclable) materials.
BLOOMIN AMAZING™ - 100% peat free products with weed suppression properties have been brought to market by the team at Bloomin Amazing™, including significant fertiliser content and moisture retention assets that is audited as an environmentally sustainable, low carbon footprint by-product with the raw materials being grown within an average of seven miles. These are fed into the anaerobic digestion plant, the gas is removed and cleaned, and the main by-product is a rich organic ‘digestate’ that becomes Bloomin Amazing™. The plant generates enough gas for 7,500 homes in winter and over 100,000 homes in summer.
CAPI EUROPE - Biodiversity is also a top priority at Capi, who has expanded its latest collection with the introduction of rain barrels, watering cans and plant sprayers, plus a new modular concept for birds- and insect hotels. Its ‘Made in Holland’ planters have already been awarded ‘CO2 neutral’ and the brand will go a step further at Glee by adding sea waste products to its 2022 collection.
EGROWNOMICS - A passionate brand that is putting sustainability above the bottom line, Ergrownomics manufactures entirely within the UK to avoid polluting freight. Planters are fully recyclable at the end of their 50-year design life and all packaging is either recyclable or compostable (with carbon neutral delivery). Planters can withstand years of outdoor use and the range includes a container built entirely from black recycled MDPE.
EVERCREATURES – The Evercreatures team endeavour to create wellington boots that are as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible, supplying all boots in recycled and sustainable packaging, using only limited, vegan-friendly ink. The rubber is 100% natural, obtained from sustainable sources throughout China and Thailand, where trees are planted when required to replace any seen to be damaged or dying.
FISKARS – The new for 2022 ReNew scissors from Fiskars are made from recycled and 100% recyclable materials, with two new pairs of scissors added to the collection for the coming season. The company has also launched a new Pruner portfolio, consisting of the Solid™, Plus™ and X-Series™ collections, which features 80% less plastic compared to current packaging.
GARDENING NATURALLY - Repurposing material is a hot topic for Gardening Naturally, who offer excellent wood fibre pots and wood fibre seed trays, which are all organic, peat free and biodegradable, enabling customers to garden organically and without plastic.
HENRI STUDIO - Henri Studio products are made of USA-mined limestone, sand, cement and water, which after decades of garden enjoyment will eventually break down into limestone and sand again. 95% - 100% of their product is recyclable, with the magnetic drive fountains using recirculating pumps to conserve water use.
HOZELOCK - Switching to sustainable packaging is a vital part of the overall quest to reduce single-use plastics says Hozelock, who have also committed to removing over 95 tonnes of single use plastic packaging by 2022.
HYGEIA - The Nature Safe range of fertilisers and lawn care from Hygeia is made from 100% plant based organic materials which are all child, pet and bee friendly. Seaweed harvested sustainably from the Connemara coast of Ireland is the foundation of the range and it is cold pressed by hand rather than through the less environmentally friendly heating process.
INFINITY CHRISTMAS TREES - Christmas trees produce a habitat for wildlife to shelter, and also, absorb tonnes of carbon dioxide and provide oxygen for us all to breath. Infinity Christmas Trees plants as many, or more, Christmas trees than they harvest to maintain that balance, alongside broadleaved trees to preserve biodiversity on the land they use to farm their trees.
IVYLINE - Ivyline’s recent partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has seen the removal of plastic from all online packaging, as well as a move away from traditional Far Eastern supply routes to massively cut the carbon footprint and more natural product collections from sustainable sources. Ivyline is soon to announce a new sustainability partnership with one of the world’s leading certification bodies as they head for a carbon neutral business.
LEON BOOTS CO. – New to Glee 2021, Leon Boots Co. offers all its products in plastic-free packaging, presenting the ultralight wellingtons in a recyclable cardboard box with no plastic in any part of the manufacturing process.
NOSTRAND - Manufactured to last at least three times longer, Nostrand products are designed to reduce timber usage and waste. The plant display trays enable a 70% reduction in water consumption whilst all run-off water can be easily collected and recycled. The trays are also made from 50% to 60% recycled fibres.
ONDULINE – The new range of corrugated bituminous roofing sheets and tiles from Onduline – which use 50 – 60% recycled fibres - are ideal for DIY enthusiasts looking to give their sheds and other garden buildings an eco-friendly upgrade which last up to 15 years.
PLANTGROW - The first in the UK to produce natural plant foods and growing mediums through a patented renewable energy process, all PlantGrow products are organic and made entirely from plants, 100% free of peat, chemicals and animal waste and is backed by Soil Association approval.
PLASTIA - The Urbalive product line from Plastia brings products that ease the path to nature, a healthy lifestyle and the sustainability of natural resources, such as the Urbalive Worm Farm or new Bokashi bin, which easily transform kitchen bio waste into a natural fertiliser that provides optimal nutrition and protection for plants.
PRIMEUR - Rubber tyres enjoy a new life within Primeur’s multi-award-winning ECO Garden collection. Featuring self-watering planters and landscape essentials including stepping-stones, borders and patio products, to-date Primeur has helped to repurpose over five million tyres; tyres which would otherwise take upwards of 80 years to decompose.
PRIMUS/ A PERRY - Transportation and logistics form another area where manufacturers are seeking to become more eco-friendly. PRIMUSand all PERRY brands have introduced high-tech warehouse software that amalgamates orders into as few shipments as possible, reducing the need for additional packaging wastage and requiring less fuel to fulfil orders. Their RSPB-licensed hand carved wooden birds also form a flagship product range that is FSC certified and 100% plastic free in the product and the packaging.
ROUCHETTE – Rouchette’s ORIGIN range, a partner of Refores' action, has seen over 4,000 trees planted since its launch in 2020. Through these actions, which are parts of the company’s CSR policy, the French family company hopes to raise awareness while offsetting its carbon footprint. Rouchette is also working on the durability of its products thanks to a quality raw material: natural rubber.
SIPCAM HOME & GARDEN - The ecofective® brand from Sipcam Home & Garden features pesticide free, bee friendly formulas that are better for garden wildlife, whilst all bottles are made from 100% recycled materials and are fully recyclable, and the new concentrated ‘Refills’ help reduce plastic waste. The brand is entirely Made in Britain.
VITAX – Organic All Purpose Plant Food and Organic Tomato Food from Vitax use 100% natural, plant-based ingredients, are child, pet and bee friendly and ideal for vegan gardening. Both are packaged in a recyclable bottle.
ZEST 4 LEISURE - The award-winning decorative and GYO collections from Zest 4 Leisure use expertly selected timber from responsibly managed forests and this year the company is collaborating with its main Polish manufacturing partner on a re-planting scheme with the Polish Forestry Authority. In Wales, Zest is working with The Wildlife Trust on its Woodlands for Water project, promoting and demonstrating the sustainable management of wooded habitats.
Sustainably pet friendly
Millennial pet owners are leading the sustainable charge and demanding more from pet brands as they look to place more of a holistic focus on their own wellbeing as well as that of their pets.
GOODCHAPS - Somerset-based family business, Goodchaps, specialises in eco-friendly dog treats and toys. Their fish-based treats are sustainably sourced from trusted fish merchants within the UK, whilst their dog toys are all handmade inhouse using 100% unbleached cotton. All packaging is 100% plastic free and biodegradable, compostable or recyclable.
AQUEOS - Manufacturers of alcohol and bleach free, cruelty free pet disinfectants, shampoo and first aid products, Aqueos also proudly displays its shampoo in a recyclable bottle, whilst its disinfectant has less than 1% active ingredient and is pH neutral and bio-degradable. All Aqueos products are manufactured locally in the UK.
SCOFF PAPER – Debuting at Glee 2021, Scoff Paper’s greetings cards are the world’s first rawhide-free edible greetings for dogs to eat. Available in five flavours, they are vegan friendly, made with natural ingredients and are gluten, wheat and grain free. Each card comes in biodegradable packaging and envelope and dog lovers can even buy a dog friendly ink pen.
Find out more & register today
To keep up to date on the latest Glee news or to register for free entry to the exhibition please visit www.gleebirmingham.com.
Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Glee, which opens on Tuesday and runs until Thursday...
- Exhibitions are back - Glee 2021 represents the first in-person garden retail event to take place anywhere in Europe within the last 18 months! With the absence of exhibitions felt so significantly, Glee 2021 is here to fill the void. Get up close and personal with new products, place orders for the coming season and meet with suppliers both new and existing.
- 300 brands and counting - This year Glee will welcome over 300 brands to the exhibition roster, together covering eight core product sectors – Garden Care, Landscaping & Garden Decoration, Outdoor Entertaining, Plants, Home, Gift & Clothing, PAW (Pet & Animal Wellbeing), Retail Services & Experiences, and Food & Catering. With so many brands under one roof, retailers can expect to see the biggest profile of new products and innovation as thousands of new products are earmarked to exclusively launch ahead of the 2022 season at this year’s Glee event.
- Welcome to 100+ debut brands - Newness at Glee doesn’t just take the shape of product, however. Look out for over 100 brands never before seen at the show. Covering everything from pots to growing media, pet care accessories to footwear, these new brands can offer your business the chance to diversify and build customer loyalty in the year ahead.
- The return of big brands - Glee 2021 will also be welcoming back several brands that have not exhibited for a number of years. These brands, including Norfolk Leisure, Regatta & Craghoppers, Landmann, Apollo Gardening, Kettle Interiors and Azpects are back at Glee with an exciting story to tell and are ready to build new relationships with retailers.
- Network, network, network - Zoom, Teams and Skype may have stepped up to the plate when it was needed most, but after 18 months of only seeing each other on the screen, we can perhaps all agree there is no real substitute for face-to-face. At Glee this year there will be plenty of opportunity to network like you’ve never networked before, so why not bring your whole buying team with you to cover more ground and make sure you don’t miss out on finding your dream supply partner!
- Get connected - Let the Glee Connect app help guide you to new products. Designed to provide an unrivalled matchmaking solution to help suppliers and retailers get the most out of their time at the show, Glee Connect, is a pocket-sized interactive guide to the show. Built using intelligent AI- functionality, visiting retailers using Glee Connect will be able to better measure – and even increase - their ‘Return on Time’ spent at the show, through personalised exhibitor recommendations, and an easy-to-use meeting scheduling function.
- Education & celebration - As always, Glee will offer visitors a free, three-day seminar programme organised in conjunction with the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association), providing an enriched programme of expert business and garden retail advice to help grow your business through challenging trading conditions. This content will be derived from extensive industry research and is set to tackle key talking points, struggles and successes. In addition, the Glee New Product Awards and Buyers Power List will celebrate the best our industry has to offer.
- Get ahead of the curve – With over 300 brands, thousands of new product launches, an unrivalled seminar programme, and leading trade association support, Glee is the place to come to see exactly what trends are shaping consumer demand. A day spent at Glee will provide detailed insight into the trends, colours and issues that are shaping garden retail and what will keep the tills ringing the year ahead.
- Access trade association support - As the central networking hub for the garden retail industry, Glee will once again play host to vital trade associations including GIMA, HTA, Gardenex, GCA, PetQuip and Pet Industry Federation, all of which will all be welcoming existing and potential new members for the duration of the show, offering invaluable advice and expertise to those who need it.
- Be safe and secure – Glee’s return is only possible due to the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the show remains safe, secure and compliant with government Covid guidelines. From showing proof of Covid-19 status to increased cleaning regimes, wider 3m aisles, access to hand sanitiser and being a mask-friendly event, attendees can rest assured that the organisers have gone above and beyond to minimise the risk of transmission.
Further details regarding Glee’s Safe & Secure measures can be found at www.gleebirmingham.com/the-community/safe-secure/guidelines-for-exhibitors
OASE gets set for Aqua 2021
As the industry looks forward to the return of the aquatics and water gardening trade exhibition Aqua 2021, (13-14 October, Telford International Centre), one of the industry’s biggest brands, OASE, has unveiled some of the latest innovations that will be making its exhibition stand a must-attend for retailers wanting to optimise their offering for the season ahead...
As the industry looks forward to the return of the aquatics and water gardening trade exhibition Aqua 2021, (13-14 October, Telford International Centre), one of the industry’s biggest brands, OASE, has unveiled some of the latest innovations that will be making its exhibition stand a must-attend for retailers wanting to optimise their offering for the season ahead.
With a huge array of lines to browse – from solar lights, filters, pumps, and water features, to aquariums, fish food, treatments, and the stunning biOrb range – the OASE stand will give visitors a great insight into how the market leader is developing its offering ahead of 2022, and how the latest updates will create additional value for retailers.
Andy Bond, National Sales Manager at OASE UK, said: “Exhibitions are a vital part of our marketing mix, so being back at in-person events is a welcome development; and one that allows us to showcase our latest updates to an engaged group of core retailers. Needless to say, we have not rested on our laurels during lockdown. Instead, we have been busy developing our offering, so that it includes even more solutions for aquarium and water gardeners, whilst generating profitability and brand loyalty for our retailers. We’re excited to share our new additions and range updates with the market.”
Filters & Pumps
Filters and pumps are essential tools in maintaining the look and health of any pond. OASE has already set the benchmark for these product categories, which is why the 2022 expansion of its FiltoClear and AquaOxy ranges will be music to the ears of aquatic and water gardening retailers.
At Aqua 2021, retailers will see updated versions of the FiltoClear range of pressure filters for ponds up to 30m3, which come with a clear water guarantee, thanks to the inclusion of a larger filter surface and integrated UVC clarifier. Larger designs will also be joining the AquaOxy range of quiet running pond aerators, extending their suitability to ponds in excess of 50m3.
The AquaOxy range will also benefit from new introductions to its accessory offering, with ring and bar outlets joining the line-up.
With an estimated three million new gardeners gaining their “green fingers” during lockdown (HTA Retail Monitor Report 2020) the opportunity for category growth within water features is significant. From adding decorative accents, to building quiet spaces for reflection and relaxation, water features are a great entry product into water gardening and, with OASE products, retailers can stock a brand that offers longevity and contemporary trend-led designs.
At Aqua 2021, look out for the stunning Copper OverFlow Bowls, which look just as easily at home in a sleek contemporary space as in a traditional garden. Pair with the LED lighting for a truly unique design accent offering.
The new Formal Spillway or Wall Spouts enjoy bronze and copper designs in four shapes and allow consumers to add an unexpected wall-mounted water feature to even the smallest of spaces.
For those wanting to create a waterfall feature, OASE has launched three all-new waterfall sets, which come complete with everything needed to build a striking waterfall at home.
Expanding OASE’s Pontec portfolio of solar lights will be the introduction of the PondoSolar Lily LED in a set of three. These floating plastic water lilies each feature three-LEDs, supported by a solar cell with a Ni-MH 1.2V battery, and 0.75m cable between each lily, enabling them to be suitably located in ponds.
OASE’s flagship Highline aquarium range, which features storage and a sleek, contemporary design with app-controlled lighting and all-new optiwhite glass for all aquarium sizes , has been further extended with the introduction of a 600-litre model, joining the existing line-up of 125, 175, 200, 300 and 400-litre models. These smaller volumes make Highline a much more accessible range for those users where space is at a premium or where they are making their first foray into the world of aquarium ownership. For retailers, these multiple options enable them to capture a wider pool of customers across a range of price points.
Retailers, whose customer base demands product that meets the needs of modern living, will be pleased to learn of the new Highline 300 Room Divider, launching ahead of the 2022 season. This sophisticated aquarium and storage cabinet has been designed to sit perpendicular to the wall, projecting into the room as a stylish way of dividing the space. With a black painted side panel to disguise the dry chamber, the unit is also designed to ensure that all cables and hoses are entirely invisible and do not disrupt the exterior look of the unit. This modern, timeless piece goes beyond traditional aquarium expectations, instead, offering a unique interior design twist.
Joining the Highline offering at Aqua 2021 will be the updated Styleline aquarium collection, this year, enjoying the inclusion of the new 175 model. These complete aquarium sets enjoy a lower price point, helping retailers to offer more choice to consumers.
Completing the OASE aquarium updates for 2022 is the new ScaperLine series. The pieces of art in this collection have been specifically created for aquascapers. Available in grey or black, and three sizes (75, 180 and 250 litres), the range caters for all elements of aquascaping, including quick access to tools and equipment, and virtually invisible corners to ensure uninterrupted views thanks to the mitre-cut optiwhite glass.
Helping to increase the average basket spend and with a compelling offer that keeps your customers coming back time and time again, OASE will also be using the exhibition to introduce a new line of ScaperLine accessories, including treatments and pH balanced soils (in black and brown) to aid the look and eco-system of the aquascape being created.
Fish food & accessories
Aqua 2021 will be the first time many retailers are able to get up close and personal with the new ORGANIX range of aquarium feeds. ORGANIX represents the highest quality fish food in the world; opening up a new sales opportunity for retailers, as well as capturing the interest of today’s consumers, as they look to make more sustainable choices within their homes. Made using all-natural ingredients, gently and sustainably harvested from the Alaskan coast, the new ORGANIX range is designed to provide aquarium owners with the best-possible food for their treasured aquatic animals. Fish are treated to a varied and natural menu; all of which is freshly prepared and free from artificial preservatives.
A new offering for pond fish – Dynamix Fish Food – will also join the line-up in 2022.
The iconic biOrb collection is set to enjoy some exciting updates ahead of 2022; exclusively launching at Aqua 2021.
Building on the success of its aquarium offering will be the all-new biOrb LOOP, which benefits from an elliptical shape for a truly contemporary design. Even more exciting will be the introduction of new biOrb EARTH – a completely new approach to vivariums. These fully automated vivariums are designed to take the hobby of vivarium-keeping to the next level, providing all the kit required to match the habitat to the needs of the reptiles or amphibians. All biOrb EARTH units are controlled via a mobile phone app, where users can create a fully self-controlled atmosphere with minimum effort, adjusting the light spectrum, humidity, temperature and ‘rain’ needed to allow their habitat to thrive.
biOrb AIR 30 – a smaller design within the biOrb AIR family – completes the list of exciting OASE additions launching at Aqua 2021. This fully automated terrarium makes it easy to bring nature into the home, allowing users to remotely create arid, temperate and humid environments to allow unique plants to thrive in their natural habitat; plants that would otherwise not be suitable for the home environment, due to their specialist needs.
Find out more
To see all of 2022 offering, as well as OASE’s wider aquatic and water gardening offering, including market-leading POS and merchandising support, please join the team on stand D21 at Aqua 2021.
To find out more about becoming an OASE ORGANIX retailer please call +44 (0)1256 896886, or email uksales@OASE.com.
spoga+gafa 2022: Exhibitors extend their spaces
Preparations for spoga+gafa 2022 are in full swing. A little less than 10 months before the start of next year’s event it is already becoming apparent just how significant the largest garden lifestyle trade fair is for the gardening industry...
Preparations for spoga+gafa 2022 are in full swing. A little less than 10 months before the start of next year’s event it is already becoming apparent just how significant the largest garden lifestyle trade fair is for the gardening industry.
Following a successful early-bird booking period – with bookings from fifty countries and every continent, plus some considerable increases to exhibition spaces booked – the list of confirmed international exhibitors sends out a powerful message for the re-start of the trade fair in June 2022.
Looking ahead to the coming year, there will be plenty that is new at spofa+gafa. In order to meet requests from the industries involved to adapt the trade fair cycle to new ordering patterns in the retail sector, this year the trade fair will take place in June for the first time, having for decades been held in September. “The requests from customers across all trade fair segments, but particularly furniture, barbecue and decor, to extend their exhibition spaces – in some cases considerably, show that the new event date has gone down very well,” says Stefan Lohrberg, Director of spoga+gafa.
Since spoga+gafa will no longer be held in co-location with spoga horse, which will move to February from 2022, it has been possible to accommodate this increased need for exhibition space. The halls that are now free will be used by spofa+gafa exhibitors in the garden furniture segment, allowing them to benefit from a further enhanced visitor flow in the south section of the trade fair grounds. Routes between the established furniture hall, 10.2 (garden unique) and the two new furniture halls (11.1 and 11.2) will be shorter and more direct, better enabling visitors to meet their suppliers.
When the supply and demand sides of the garden lifestyle industry come together again at the Cologne trade fair grounds in June 2022, spoga+gafa’s key theme – which has been carried over into the coming year – will once again be “Sustainable Gardens”. “The pandemic in particular is proving that the needs and demands of global end customers are changing more rapidly than expected. spoga+gafa is addressing these challenges and, together with its exhibitors and visitors, is developing responses and solutions to the major issues facing the gardening industry in future,” comments Stefan Lohrberg. One of the platforms for this within the event programme will be the lecture programme, “Logistics 2.2 – Nontainer or Container?”.
In 2022, the physical trade fair in the Cologne exhibition halls will for the first time be complemented by a digital event, spofa+gafa @home, which will run in parallel. The new digital event platform will provide exhibitors and visitors with additional benefits: online and offline trade fair days that are targeted and perfectly planned in advance, additional business worldwide, and targeted networking – both during spoga+gafa and in the digital follow-up to the trade fair.
spoga+gafa 2022 will take place from 19 to 21 June. For information about confirmed exhibitors and more, please visit www.spogagafa.com.
Launched ahead of the 2021 season, which saw gardeners take to their gardens in droves, the SPOT-ON range of the high-performance and simple-to-use cleaning and weed control products from Sipcam Home & Garden, has witnessed phenomenal growth. Sales have been so strong that SPOT-ON Cleaners have helped to cleaned over 448,000m2 of patio – that’s the same size as more than sixty football pitches!
The introduction of the SPOT-ON brand came at just the right time, when consumers who were wanting to spruce up their garden spaces and were looking for products that got the job done with minimal effort whilst offering exceptional, rapid performance.
New introductions to the range for 2022 will include the all-new SPOT-ON Ant & Crawling Insect Killer. Available as a 300g dustable insecticide powder, the product is suitable for use both in the garden to eliminate ant nests, and around the home in cracks and crevices where spiders, cockroaches, and bed bugs are infiltrating.
Joining the line-up will also be SPOT-ON Garden Slug Killer. This product is designed to help gardeners to protect flowers and vegetable crops from slug attacks. Containing naturally active ingredient ferric phosphate bait, SPOT-ON Slug Killer is approved for by the Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G) certification body for use within organic growing and can also be laid on bare ground and around all edible and non-edible crops grown indoors, in the greenhouse or under cover.
Other products in the SPOT-ON portfolio include SPOT-ON Weed Killer, SPOT-ON Long Lasting Patio Cleaner, SPOT-ON Outdoor Cleaning Fluid, and the bestselling SPOT-ON Black Spot Remover and Patio Restorer.
New SPOT-ON merchandising support launching at Glee
Offering further value to its retail customer, Sipcam Home & Garden has confirmed that it will be launching new point of sale solutions at Glee 2021 (stand 7C30-D31). From wrap-around pallet displays to shelf talkers, these new POS designs are designed to help retailers generate additional revenue from the weed control and garden/home cleaning category.
Find out more
To find out more about the new SPOT-ON range from Sipcam Home & Garden, visit sipcamhg.co.uk
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
Garden Kitchen by Pugh's is a unique concept
Launched in August 2021 by award winning family run garden centres, Pugh's Garden Village. The Garden Kitchen by Pugh's is a brand new unique concept in Rogerstone, Newport...
Launched in August 2021 by award winning family run garden centres, Pugh's Garden Village. The Garden Kitchen by Pugh's is a brand new unique concept in Rogerstone, Newport.
The Pugh family have been enhancing the lives, homes and gardens of South Wales for over 65 years, and they have planted new roots in the community of Jubilee Park, Rogerstone.
The Garden Kitchen is a hybrid of eatery, deli and plants providing contemporary brunch style food, a food hall with a niche selection of quality local welsh produce and garden centre offering with cherry picked recommendations across garden care and houseplants.
Set up by Nicola Pugh, husband Matthew and Kara Pugh, the Pugh family are branching out. They have comprised key learnings and experience from their piers into a exceptionally exciting offering that the community has welcomed with open arms.
You'll step into a botanical haven and be met with what Pugh's is known for, quality gardening products, a jungle of houseplants and Food Hall and Deli counter.
The Garden Kitchen also comprises of a 70 seated restaurant where you can sample mouth-watering home cooked meals and speciality coffees.
Whether you're a budding plant parent, lifestyle enthusiast, lover of food, coffee connoisseur or just wanting a good catch up with friends and family you'll only need to visit one place; The Garden Kitchen by Pugh's.
Below a gallery of pictures from The Garden Kitchen by Pugh's...
Hillmount takes hit on rising prices
Robin Mercer, Managing Director of Hillmount, said: “Hillmount has taken a substantial hit this year on the cost of garden furniture and smaller items being delivered to the garden centre from China..."
Following a report by Which? that analysed 2,000 items and found a garden shed to be 155% more expensive year on year, due to a number of reasons including shipping, lack of available raw materials and the impact of COVID on production, Robin Mercer, Managing Director of Hillmount, said: “Hillmount has taken a substantial hit this year on the cost of garden furniture and smaller items being delivered to the garden centre from China.
“The main problem we’ve found is due to China stopping production for three months during lockdown last year as having a knock on effect on orders being delivered. Containers of furniture which we ordered in August 2020 with a delivery date of April or May are now only starting to arrive at the garden centre. We had one arrive last week and we are expecting another two within the next week or so. Then there’s the added headache of trying to find drivers to deliver our orders from the port to the garden centre.
“Manufacturing delays are a major problem but we have had to take the added issue of shipping costs on the chin as well. These costs have also risen astronomically with containers which would usually have cost $2,000 now being priced as high as $22,000.
“Demand too has been an issue as everyone in the world seemed to want a set of garden furniture and a barbecue all of a sudden when travelling wasn’t an option last year and although we are delighted that we have had more customers than we would normally have had in a typical summer, as more people have chosen to holiday at home this year as well, sadly the factors outside our control have, in some instances, not permitted us to be able to get customers their furniture and barbecues on time.
“We have held our prices for 2021 and absorbed the additional costs in relation to transportation, Brexit certification and manufacturing but from 1 October we will not able to sustain this and we will have to consider our pricing for 2022, as the current additional costs can be 1p for small items but for large items like garden furniture it is just mind blowing.
“We hope with the opening last week of Hillmount Cheshire that some of the burden of transportation and expediting customer orders on time etc will ease for us as a family business operating between GB and Belfast.”
Hillmount is an 80 year old, fourth generation, family business with garden lifestyle stores in Ards, Bangor, Belfast and Cheshire.
Tribiutes have been pouring in for Pat Coutts, the event director of Four Oaks Trade Show, who sadly passed away at the age of 76. She died peacefully at her home on Monday 30th August.
The Four Oaks Trade Show team said: "Pat led the show across five decades and was a pillar of the horticultural community, she will be sadly missed.
"Pat often said that 'horticulture is for life' and she was happy to dedicate hers to serving it, first working on the Four Oaks nursery then going on to build and evolve a successful international trade show for the sector, one that has a completely unique and special character, which is her lasting legacy to the industry."
Garden writer and TV presenter Peter Seabrook said: "The very sad passing of Pat Coutts will leave a large hole in horticultural circles. There are individuals in businesses and associations whose application to detail and dedication to the job in hand results in respect, success and brings style into our lives.
"Pat Coutts was a stickler for detail, so committed to all she did and always putting others first. My first visit to Four Oaks in the early days was as a peat salesman, carrying into the glasshouses bales and samples to set up the Bord na Mona stand. Hardly a year has been missed since and more recently my age made walking from the car park and being on my feet for two days a bit demanding. What happened? Pat sent me a note without any prompting to say a car parking spot was reserved for me by the office door, this lady looked out for everybody, exhibitor and visitor alike .
"What other horticultural event manager arranges morning coffee, packed lunches, afternoon tea and ice creams on hot days for exhibitors? Pat’s commitment to the success of all those taking part in Four Oaks trade shows was exemplary, always good humoured, a pleasure to work alongside and she will be sorely missed. Thank you, Pat it was my good fortune to have known you all these years and had the privilege of your friendship."
Neil Bragg said: "I knew Pat for more than 40 years and she was a wonderful person. She will be sadly missed. Her attention to detail was amazing, and she always looked after her exhibitors. She lived for the Four Oaks show, and it showed in so many ways."
Friend and former colleague Pat Flynn, trade association manager of the Commercial Horticultural Association, added: “As well as being a wonderful person, Pat was the ultimate professional. She worked incredibly hard and really cared about her exhibitors.
“Pat was always looking at ways at enhancing the exhibitor experience, including being the first show director to introduce free packed lunches on the exhibition stands.
“We worked together at Nexus Media in the late nineties, and it was a joy to be alongside her at events and shows. I spoke to her just over a week ago and she said she was hoping to leave hospital and spend time at home.”
Pat is survived by a son, Stephen, four grandchildren and a great grandson. The funeral will take place at Macclesfield Crematorium on Monday 20th September at 11.30am. Donations to Cancer Research, no flowers please.
For more than 60 years, British brand Phostrogen® has been delivering the performance that people need to get the most from what they grow, making them proud of what they have created. Despite many changes in gardening habits through the decades, one thing has remained the same – Phostrogen's purpose: to enable British gardeners to reap more from their endeavours.
As part of the next stage in the brand's history, Phostrogen® has unveiled a rebrand and significant expansion of its product range. Until now the brand has been famed for having one hero product – its All Purpose Plant Food. However, throughout 2022 the range will expand to 11 different products with the key introductions of new liquid feeds as well as organic options too, to offer a full range of products under one brand name.
The refreshed appearance blends heritage, provenance, and modernism, with clear signposting making it easy for the customer to see why the product is right for them, whilst providing the reassurance that the Phostrogen® name brings.
The hero product, Phostrogen® All Purpose Plant Food, has been the tried and tested go-to plant feed for generations because it works by providing all the important nutrients that plants need in one balanced feed, in a pure form, and with no wastage. Everything within the formulation is a plant nutrient, so consumers are paying for only what they need. It promotes healthy green foliage, abundant flowers and fruit and can be used on all ornamental and edible plants indoors and out, including seedlings and lawns.
New to the range is an organic granular version of All Purpose Plant Food, which promotes the same healthy, strong growth and is enriched with seaweed, for organically bigger plants, better blooms, and more vegetables – engaging with an organic-conscious customer base. Both products are also available in a liquid format.
Three further organic products complete the range, including Liquid Tomato Food, Ericaceous Plant Food and Lawn food, providing a complete package for all gardeners.
Glee 2021 content programme details unveiled
Glee 2021, taking place this year from September 14th-16th at the NEC, Birmingham, will once again host an invaluable seminar programme from The Stage theatre located in Hall 6...
Glee 2021, taking place this year from September 14th-16th at the NEC, Birmingham, will once again host an invaluable seminar programme from The Stage theatre located in Hall 6.
Content will include an inspirational mix of future trend forecasts, research into consumer buying behaviour and crucial business advice, along with a series of prestigious industry awards.
Even before the pandemic struck, all aspects of outdoor living were on an upwards trajectory and this growth has accelerated over the past year and a half, greatly benefitting garden retailers. Kicking off the seminar programme on Tuesday September 14th (11:00am – 12:00pm) will be a session entitled “The changing demographics of garden retail customers”, which will explore how the industry can continue to engage with new consumers and maintain the continuous cycle of growth in years to come.
Online channels have been increasingly crucial to this growth as coronavirus changed the way we do business, driving the shift from face-to-face interactions with customers to phone calls, emails, and social media. Retailers can learn how to adapt their businesses in order to unleash and maximise their online potential on Thursday 16th September (10:30am - 11:30am) with a dedicated session “How garden centres can adapt to a sustainable and successful long-term online strategy”.
Trends are a key driver of sales both on and offline, so retailers won’t want to miss the industry “Trend Update: Outdoor living trends for 2022”, taking place on Wednesday September 15th (3:30pm - 4:45pm). This session will provide attendees with wealth of new product and merchandising inspiration to help guide their buying at Glee this year.
The Great British Growing Awards winners, as voted for by the readers of leading consumer gardening magazine, Grow Your Own, will be announced during the opening day of Glee on September 14th (2:00pm – 2:30pm); the Glee Buyers Power List Awards will be revealed on September 15th (1:00pm – 1:30pm) followed by the Glee New Product Awards later that afternoon (5:00pm – 6:00pm).
New for 2021 – the first in-person edition of Glee for two years – visitors will have the chance to see companies pitching to be recognised for the New Product Awards and answering questions from the judging panels. Series one of The Pitches will take place on the Tuesday from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, with round two taking place the following day from 10:00am – 12:30pm, ahead of the winners’ announcement later that day.
The programme will be rounded off in style on Thursday September 16th from 1:30pm – 2:00pm with Floral Thursday: The Greenfingers Charity Draw. Floral Thursday is a special FUNdraising activity where it is hoped that the thousands of visitors and exhibitors at Glee 2021 will come together to show their flower power in aid of Greenfingers’ ongoing fundraising activities. Anyone wearing an item of floral clothing – be it a hat, dress, suit, socks or shirt – will be invited to purchase a raffle ticket which will enter them into a prize draw.
Glee Event Director, Matthew Mein, said: “One of the many great things about Glee is the fantastic value-added content that is free to all who attend. This is always an important aspect of the show but now more so than ever before as the changes affecting our industry continue to accelerate at what seems like lightning speed. Retailers who want to stay ahead of the curve and ensure they don’t get left behind in the rush to realign will hugely benefit from the business advice and trend information that’s available during the show, so I highly recommend visitors try to catch up with some of this exclusive content while they’re on site with us at the NEC.
“We are also very excited about this year’s Buyers Power List Awards, now in their fourth year, which recognise the incredible efforts and achievements of retail staff up and down the country, from businesses large and small. So many staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty over the past 18 months and their recognition at these awards will be incredibly well deserved, I’m sure. I hope many of you can join us at The Stage on Wednesday September 15th to show your appreciation for our industry stars”.
The full Glee 2021 Seminar Programme can be found here. All content from ‘The Stage’ will be available to live stream via Glee Connect - the exhibition’s dedicated app for smartphones and desktop - as well as on-demand post-show.
Glee 2021 - don’t miss out!
The thousands of retailers who’ve already registered for Glee this year include such industry giants as B&Q, Bents Garden & Home, Blue Diamond Group, YTC Ltd, National Trust, British Garden Centres, Robert Dyas, Flowerland, crocus.co.uk, Tesco, RHS, Dobbies, Sainsburys Argos, Poundland, Notcutts, John Lewis, Center Parcs, TJ Morris, Pets at Home, Dunhelm and Aldi, all keen to source the latest new product innovations and secure stock ahead of Christmas and the New Year. If you haven’t yet signed up, ensure you don’t miss out by registering for your free ticket via the website: www.gleebirmingham.com
Glee 2021: COVID-19 measures FAQ
As the Glee team gets ready to welcome you back to the leading garden retail exhibition (14th-16th September, NEC Birmingham), they answer some of your burning questions regarding the COVID-19 measures that have been put in place...
As the Glee team gets ready to welcome you back to the leading garden retail exhibition (14th-16th September, NEC Birmingham), they answer some of your burning questions regarding the COVID-19 measures that have been put in place to ensure the event can take place safely and securely; measures that the team are confident will offer peace of mind for all those that attend.
What COVID-19 related conditions of entry are there for Glee 2021?
All attendees will be required to show proof of COVID-19 status on arrival at the venue, this will need to be one of the following:
- Proof of completion of a full course of vaccination at least two weeks prior to arrival
- Proof of negative Lateral Flow Test taken within 48hrs prior to arrival
- Proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test result for COVID-19, lasting for 180 days from the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period
What is meant by a ‘full vaccine course’?
The UK government website defines a full course vaccination as:
“Two weeks after completing a full course of vaccination, whether that requires two doses or one dose (that is, two doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, or 1 dose of the Janssen vaccine) (according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency authorised schedule).”
Will my vaccine card be enough for entry?
No. Vaccine cards will not be accepted. Instead we ask that you use the NHS COVID Pass which lets you share your COVID-19 vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.
How do I access the NHS Covid Pass?
Your NHS COVID Pass can be accessed via the NHS App (NB: this is NOT the NHS Track & Trace App).
You can access your NHS COVID Pass through the free NHS App on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 status will be shown within the NHS App.
Alternatively, you can access the NHS COVID Pass through the NHS website, where you can download or print a PDF document.
If you do not have access to a smart phone, computer or tablet, it is possible to request a NHS COVID Pass letter by calling 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’).
If I am attending the show for the duration, will I have to keep showing proof of my COVID-19 status?
Double vaccinated people will not need to take any further action but do retain proof of vaccination for the duration of the show as checks will continue. Lateral Flow Tests will need to be repeated after 48hrs with negative results recorded in the normal way.
How do I register the results of my negative lateral flow test?
To make sure you have proof of your negative lateral flow test you must report your result to the NHS. You can do this via using one of the below options – you will need the QR Code, or the ID number from the test strip to report your result.
To report online visit: www.gov.uk/report-COVID19-result
Or telephone: Freephone 199 (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) / 0300 303 2713 (Scotland)
You can show proof of a Negative lateral flow test via the NHS COVID-19 Pass, an email or text message.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Glee will be a mask friendly event. Although it is no longer mandatory to wear masks, it is encouraged for all attendees especially when in enclosed or crowded spaces.
I am travelling from outside of England to attend Glee. What do I need to do to enter the show?
Advice for entering the UK can be found at https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control. These guidelines must be followed in order to enter the country. For entering Glee, proof of vaccination status and test results demonstrated via the EU Digital COVID Certificate will be accepted.
Those travelling from Scotland, Wales and Ireland will be subject to different rules of entry which can be found via their own governing bodies (please see links), including Northern Ireland where you must supply paper proof of vaccination from your GP, or alternatively show a negative lateral flow test result.
Will my airport antigen test result be an acceptable form of entry?
Yes, providing it has been undertaken within 48hrs prior to entry to Glee. Do note, such tests only provide details of COVID-19 status for 48hrs and therefore will need repeating before expiration.
Will there be social distancing in place at Glee?
Whilst the legal limits on social distancing have now been lifted, Glee will benefit from wider three-metre aisles, which are designed to provide additional space and minimise contact with others.
Will hand sanitiser be available?
Hand sanitising stations have been installed throughout the NEC at high touch points. Exhibitors and visitors are also advised to carry additional sanitiser with them. Hand washing facilities will remain available throughout the venue’s toilet facilities.
Is there anywhere on-site to buy Lateral Flow Tests?
Lateral flow tests are available for free from the NHS website or via your local pharmacy. Attendees of Glee 2021 are advised to order their tests ahead of arriving at the show.
Why do I need to show proof of my COVID-19 status?
Current information and guidance including that following the Events Research Program, suggest that verifying attendees COVID-19 Status is an effective way of reducing the risk of transmission among large groups; a risk that provides important peace of mind for all attendees.
What do I do if I am “pinged” by the NHS Track & Trace app whilst at Glee?
If you are contacted by Track & Trace whilst at Glee you will need to follow the current government advice. This can be found here.
Do I need to take a PCR or NHS lateral flow test post attending the event and report this?
Find out more & register today
To keep up to date on the latest Glee news or to register for free entry to the exhibition please visit www.gleebirmingham.com.
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts and weekly bestsellers sales tips.
The full charts which provide useful insight into product sales peaks, new trends and new link sales opportunities are published in the weekly GTN Xtra newsletter.
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Highlights of the GTN Garden Products Bestsellers chart for last week are here
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All the latest news from the world of pet products
As a leading showcase of pet product suppliers, trendsetters and emerging brands, PAW at Glee 2021 is set to be a thriving platform for any retailers wanting to optimise the ‘pet pound’.
Focusing on the health and wellbeing of our pets, PAW will provide a true destination for pet buyers who want to source the very best pet and animal products; products that are designed in response to the latest trends and consumer demands. The sector is also supported by leading pet trade associations PetQuip and the Pet Industry Federation, together providing access to a raft of information and business support for those navigating the pet sector.
Talking about the association’s support of PAW, Alexandra Baker, Chief Operating Officer at the Pet Industry Federation said: “The Pet Industry Federation is delighted to have partnered with PAW at Glee this year. As the first face-to-face trade show for the pet industry since restrictions have eased, PAW will provide a welcome platform for pet retailers and other pet businesses to browse new products and speak to suppliers from a wide range of exhibiting companies. Whether you want to find new products, pick up new tips or just get a feel for what’s happening in our industry at the moment, it promises to be an exciting event and our team are looking forward to connecting with pet businesses there.”
PetQuip’s Director General, Amanda Sizer Barrett, added: “The PetQuip team is looking forward to meeting buyers at the first face-to-face event for the sector this year. PAW and Glee are showcasing a wide variety of products and we are looking forward to seeing members and prospective members on the PetQuip stand 6C01. There pet products companies can find a wealth of information about exporting internationally, advice on emerging markets, details of our forthcoming meet the buyer events. We are also looking forward to meeting pet product buyers from the UK and internationally on the International Buyers’ Centre and in the Club (20J-50), where accredited buyers can take advantage of a range of facilities and register their pet product and garden sales leads with the PetQuip and Gardenex team.”
There is no doubt that the role of pets has changed dramatically in the last decade. Our furry and feathered friends (and everything in between) are no longer regarded as just pets, instead they are being viewed as one of the family. Even in turbulent economic times, pet owners are putting their pets’ wellbeing before their own – and that’s music to the ears of pet retailers everywhere. However, the events of the last 18 months have further cemented the importance of some themes which were just started to take shape in early 2019, with many of the brands at PAW 2021 offering products that fit these vital trends.
Pet brands both new and established are quickly developing an offering that taps into the demands of pet parents and pets alike. Whether it’s providing options to suit organic or vegan diets, finding the balance between nature and science, developing age-specific ranges and ranges that focus on the mental wellbeing of pets, or committing to reducing their ecological paw print, the pet care sector is so much more than just ‘food’ and ‘toys’.
Additionally, in stark contrast to declining High Street spending, the pet care market is buoyant as consumers spend more disposable income on luxury pet accessories and treats. No matter political or economic pressures, our pets will still need feeding, grooming and caring for, underpinning the strength of the sector and helping to explain why the pet care market in the UK is now worth an estimated £6.2billion ((Statista report, June 2021).
This ongoing expansion of the pet sector is a key reason why PAW, part of the Glee exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC on 14th - 16th September, is a vital area of the show. This year’s PAW will be a hotbed of seven sub-categories – grooming, pet food, pet accessories, wild animal wellbeing,
bird feeders, pet toys and wildlife gardening – and promises to guide buyers across all sectors to more innovative products than ever before thanks to the plethora of new and emerging brands that have confirmed their attendance at the show.
Look out for brands such as Edgard Cooper who will be making its debut at Glee in 2021, bringing with it a new range of naturally tasty pet foods, which includes its first-ever plant-based offering. Backed by sustainable packaging, Edgard Cooper will also be using Glee to tell the market more about its Zero Pawprint Plan – a special strategy to make a positive impact upon the planet by 2025.
Why not also make a beeline for Hownd. Established in 2015, Hownd has evolved into a multi-award-winning ethical lifestyle brand for dogs offering 100% plant-based health, wellness and hygiene products under one roof.
Echoing this trend for healthy and natural foods will be Kelso and Titch, whose treats are handmade using only natural human-grade ingredients, with no salt, sugar, artificial colours or flavours added.
At Vetark the company mission is to change the landscape of exotic and companion animal nutrition with its unique range of nutritional supplements and treatments. Founded in 1988 Vetark has established itself as market leaders in animal nutrition and are used and recommended by vets, universities, zoos, scientists and pet owners, offering peace of mind for retailers looking to stock the Vetark ranges.
Pet grooming innovation will be presented by Sniffe & Likkit, a brand-new pet-centric range of luxury naturally scented grooming products, fun gifts and tasty treats. Quintessentially British, the boutique collection has been specially created with a 100% natural calming aromatherapy oil scent made of a blend of cedarwood, vetivet, petitgrain, ho leaf and juniper berry essential oils, along with a natural plant-based deodorant to help waft away woofy whiffs!
Joining the grooming line-up will also be Furrish, who has developed as an at-home grooming brand with everything needed for a pleasurable home grooming experience, using trusted and gentle products for every stage of a dog’s life, and Bugalugs. Based in the Lake District, Bugalugs, offers vegan, pH balanced, shampoos, nose and paw balm, colognes, deodorising sprays, detangling and sprays, all suitable for puppies aged eight weeks and above.
Elsewhere, Scoff Paper will be launching the world’s first greetings cards made entirely for dogs to eat, whilst Collarways - an independent distributor – will be showcasing its range of high-quality accessories for dogs and cats.
Goodchaps – a passionate team of dog lovers who have created healthy, high-quality treats and toys – will also be using PAW at Glee to make more noise around its environmentally friendly practices, including sustainably sourced ingredients, 100% unbleached cotton in its toys, and its packaging which is 100% plastic-free and biodegradable, compostable or recyclable.
Another pet accessory brand retailers won’t want to miss will be Mimi's Daughter. Specialising in 100% eco-friendly pet products meticulously handcrafted with love and care by expert artisans in Nepal.
Pet tech will be on display from Weenect, leaders in the field of GPS tracking for pets, whilst Aqueos will display its collection of alcohol and bleach-free pet disinfectants, shampoo and first aid products, and PawPride will be showcasing mass appeal pet products such as cooling mats, pet travel essentials and grooming musts.
In addition to this profile of exciting brands, pet products will also be celebrated within the annual Glee New Product Awards. Shortlisted-entries will be presenting their products to the judges at 10:30am on Wednesday 15th September, with the 2021 judging panel having the tough of choosing a winner for each of the pet-related categories including Garden Wild Bird and Wildlife Products (Wild bird feeds, feeders, wildlife products etc), Pet Clothing Product, Pet Toys and Entertainment, Pet Accessories (Collars, Leads, Muzzles, Harnesses), Pet Health, Grooming and Cleaning, Pet Bedding and Travel (housing, carriers, cages, baskets), Pet Food and Treats and Pet Technology.
Find out more
With so much to see under one roof – including Glee’s wider portfolio of brands across seven other key product sectors – this year’s event is a must-attend for retailers wanting to expand their offering (and profitability!) in 2022.
Registration to the 2021 event is now live. Simply visit www.gleebirmingham.com/visitor-registration to secure your free ticket.
Kelly Davis, star of the prime-time BBC One dog grooming series Pooch Perfect, is appearing at the UK’s number one pet industry exhibition, PATS Telford, on 26-27 September 2021.
Kelly, of KD Grooming Studio in Somerset, admitted the TV exposure had given her business a massive boost and was now using her new-found fame to promote an industry she loves so much.
She was crowned champion of Pooch Perfect earlier this year after beating off 15 other professional groomers during the eight-week series.
“Since winning Pooch Perfect I have been overwhelmed with people's responses,” said Kelly. “Customers are travelling from all over the country for me to groom their dogs. I have been offered loads of opportunities to attend schools to share my knowledge with younger generations, and that’s a huge passion of mine.
“Then there have been the ribbon cutting events, judging opportunities and much more. I am busier than ever and loving every minute of it.”
Kelly’s next guest appearance will be at PATS Telford where she will be helping with a full programme of grooming demonstrations and workshops. She will also be judging a unique competition for novice groomers called Groom-off Sunday.
“I am extremely excited to be judging the grooming competition at PATS Telford this year and educating groomers and members of the public,” said Kelly.
“PATS is a fantastic free trade event that never disappoints. It provides the perfect opportunity to learn about grooming, mingle with the masses and find out about the latest products. I look forward to seeing everyone there.”
Kelly admitted being a contestant on the series was the hardest thing she’d ever undertaken but accepted it had now paid huge dividends.
With an increasing number of pet retailers introducing grooming salons into their stores, the PATS programme of talks and demos will provide invaluable insights into this side of the business.
On both show days, state-of-the-art grooming demonstrations and talks will be given by some of this country’s leading dog groomers in association with Mathew Spry, Barkingham Park, and The Welsh Grooming Academy.
The demonstrations will highlight the knowledge and expertise required to complete traditional grooming techniques successfully as well as showing off a few modern and creative ideas. There will also be information on tools and products for the everyday groomer, plus tips and tricks to increase salon revenue.
To register to attend PATS Telford visit www.patshow.co.uk
The increase in National Insurance payments announced by the government will put increased pressure on small pet businesses already struggling to survive. That’s the view of Ravi Sharma, director of leading wholesaler Vital Pet Group.
“The issue with this proposed increase is it will increase the burden on the pet businesses who have already been hit hard by the pandemic and Brexit,” said Ravi.
Larger pet suppliers and retailers will also find it challenging to meet the extra costs.
Ravi added: “It will make recruitment of staff more expensive, but also affect those who plan to return after furlough ends.
“With the furlough scheme and business rates reliefs shortly ending, the cumulative effect of freezing of allowances on incomes and pension pots, an increase in corporation tax, and an increase in council tax, the changes of increases to the national minimum wage and national Insurance contributions to fund social care will put many smaller pet stores under pressure.
“Here at Vital we’ve made a key appointment in Harvey Lees, our head of commercial, buying and procurement, who will be putting together promotions that work for stakeholders across the industry, to help combat these challenges.”
Pedigree Wholesale appoints new managing director
Gerard O'Mahony has been appointed managing director of leading pet food wholesaler, Pedigree Wholesale, allowing previous MD Steve Brown to move into the newly created position of CEO of the Pedigree Group, which includes the Just for Pets specialist retail chain...
Gerard O'Mahony (above right) has been appointed managing director of leading pet food wholesaler, Pedigree Wholesale, allowing previous MD Steve Brown (above left) to move into the newly created position of CEO of the Pedigree Group, which includes the Just for Pets specialist retail chain.
Previously commercial director for Pedigree Wholesale, Gerard was responsible for the sales, customer services, marketing and buying teams.
Over the past five years, the Pedigree Group has seen significant growth. With the commercial mission to be the 'wholesaler of choice for its customers, suppliers and people', the core wholesale business has continued to innovate in how it operates and serves customers. It has increased its exclusive specialist pet brand portfolio and delivered strong results by growing its overall sales and customer footprint.
In this time the group has also entered the specialist pet retail arena with a successful Just for Pets acquisition and turnaround. Pedigree Group continues to invest in its people with a 100% growth in the workforce over the same period.
Gerard said: “This is an exciting and challenging time for Pedigree and the specialist pet market, and I'm delighted to be taking up this position. I look forward to continuing our work with customers and suppliers to maximise the commercial opportunities and benefits for all in the channel.
“We have a great team here at Pedigree Wholesale, they've shown courage and resilience over the last 18 months. We find ourselves coming out stronger than ever, looking forward to seeing out the year positively and further developing our strategic aims in 2022 and beyond.”
Since being founded 49 years ago family-owned Pedigree Wholesale has grown and developed into one of the key players within the pet industry, offering a range of over 10,000 products servicing pet, aquatic and garden centre retailers across the UK. It won Wholesaler of the Year in the 2020 Pet Industry Federation Awards.
Steve Brown said: "I'm delighted that Gerard has agreed to move into the role of managing director. Gerard's affinity with our values and purpose alongside his commercial expertise will help guide Pedigree Wholesale into the future to benefit our people, customers, and supplier partners.
“After spending almost 25 years very much in the detail, we now have a leadership team in place to allow me to focus my energy on the strategic direction of the group whilst continuing to lead on product and brand innovation and our store and operational expansion plans.
“I look forward to supporting Gerard and the team through the next phase of Pedigree Wholesale's development and growth."
Gerard added: "The next three to four months will be particularly challenging for Pedigree Wholesale as we continue to serve and support our customers' needs, whilst wrestling with the challenges brought on by macro supply chain issues impacting us and the marketplace. The team will remain focused on tackling these every day and can rest assured that the British people's love of pets remains unwavering. With more pets than ever in the market, the future looks bright for Pedigree Wholesale and our customers.”