Wyevale Garden Centres, the UK’s biggest garden centre operator, today announces the sale of Brooks; Nailsworth; Aldridge; Keynsham and Shirley garden centres to individual buyers. Nailsworth has been purchased by Blue Diamond and Brooks by Homeleigh Garden Centre...
Wyevale Garden Centres, the UK’s biggest garden centre operator, today announces the sale of five garden centres to individual buyers.
The centres are: Brooks; Nailsworth; Aldridge; Keynsham and Shirley.
Brooks in Bude (above) has been sold to Homeleigh Garden Centre from Launceston and Nailsworth (below) to Blue Diamond. They are the only two that will continue to operate as garden centres.
Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive of Wyevale Garden Centres, said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of five of our garden centres. In the case of those centres which have been sold for alternative use, we are very pleased to honour our commitments to our colleagues and partners and will seek to redeploy our excellent colleagues in our other garden centres wherever possible in coming months. We would like to thank our great colleagues at these centres, who have been central to our turnaround in the past few years.”
Aldridge, Keynsham and Shirley have been sold in separate transactions to purchasers who are expected to develop the sites for alternative use. These centres were previously identified for potential redevelopment as part of the company’s active portfolio management strategy.
Aldridge and Keynsham are expected to continue to operate as garden centres for up to 6 months after completion of the sale.
Anthony Jones, Chief Financial Officer of Wyevale Garden Centres, said: “These sales reflect our continued pursuit of positive outcomes for our colleagues, concession partners, suppliers and customers as part of the ongoing sale process. We are very grateful for the dedication and commitment of the teams at these centres, and we’ll continue to support them through the transition.”
Nailsworth was designed by Alan Roper, who was MD and Investor, in 1994 and opened in spring 1995. Alan explained to GTN Xtra: "It was private equity financed back then and sold 3 years later for treble the investment. I founded my AB1 and point of difference mantra on that business which was the concept I took to Blue Diamond 20 years ago."
"I am delighted to have bought it back, it has great potential and there is a great customer demographic in the area," he added.
Wyevale Garden Centres has received a significant number of offers for all or part of the remaining Wyevale Garden Centres business from national, regional and financial operators as well as local entrepreneurs.
Bord na Móna has announced the launch of its ‘Growing Media Academy’, a brand new, educational initiative designed to strengthen retailers’ understanding of the Bord na Móna Growise range of products...
Bord na Móna has announced the launch of its ‘Growing Media Academy’, a brand new, educational initiative designed to strengthen retailers’ understanding of the Bord na Móna Growise range of products. This comprehensive training platform aims to create more informed, knowledgeable and confident sales champions for Bord na Móna Growise within retailers across the UK and Ireland, with multi-channel content and in-centre training to be rolled out in 2018/19.
The upcoming Glee event, taking place from 10-12 September at the NEC Birmingham, will provide a valuable launch pad for the Growing Media Academy to garden industry experts, buyers, retailers and media. Visitors to Glee will be taken on a journey of discovery with Bord na Móna [Stand 20U30-V31] to uncover the key ingredients that make up its award-winning products, along with their technical significance.
The Growing Media Academy will spotlight five core ingredients that go into the Bord na Móna Growise growing media range: coir, green compost, peat, composted bark and wood fibre. As part of the sensory experience at Glee, visitors will be invited to handle the organic materials to better understand their natural properties and growing benefits.
To further cement their understanding, retailers will be introduced to the Little Book of Ingredients: the ultimate handbook and training tool for understanding Bord na Móna’s approach to high-quality, responsibly-sourced products. Copies of the handbook will be available on the stand, providing a valuable asset for retail staff and consumers alike once the initiative is rolled out in centres.
Steve Harper, Head of Commercial for Bord na Móna, says: “The Growing Media Academy is an exciting venture for us and we’re delighted to be launching it at Glee, along with our Little Book of Ingredients. Our brand is trusted for producing high quality growing media products, and we want to ensure that all our customers, their staff and those that buy our products are fully understanding of what goes into them, as well as our environmental responsibilities and brand heritage.”
The Bord na Móna Growise range will be brought to life in a creative, trend-led showcase of sculptural and living plants, with a focus on specialist growing media products including those for orchids, cactus and bonsai, and houseplants.
Bord na Móna trades peat–reduced and peat-free growing media, soil improvers, bark and fertilisers mainly through garden centres nationally, and is the largest own-brand supplier of compost and bark in the UK and Ireland. With a focus on quality and responsible-sourcing, the Bord na Móna Growise range, which launched in 2010, includes multipurpose composts, specialist composts and grow-your-own planters, in addition to a range of barks, soil improvers and fertilisers.
To find out more about Bord na Móna and the Bord na Móna Growise range, visit: www.thegreenergardener.com and Stand 20U30-V31 at Glee.
Yorkshire-based start up company, Block Blitz, will be launching new large-size packs of its expanding product range of hassle-free paving treatments at this year’s GLEE show on stand number 20U70...
Yorkshire-based start up company, Block Blitz, will be launching new large-size packs of its expanding product range of hassle-free paving treatments at this year’s GLEE show on stand number 20U70.
Originally launched at GLEE in 2016, the original Block Blitz block paving treatment is specifically designed to clean and protect paving with no need for scrubbing, jet washing or sealant. Using SOFT WASH TECHNOLOGY ™ to lift dirt and grime, Block Blitz can be simply mixed with water, applied and left to wash away naturally. Benefitting from a mineral and plant-based formula, Block Blitz is the only paving treatment on the market to offer a unique non-toxic solution to cleaning paving. Incorporating a bespoke barrier detergent, Block Blitz goes on to repel dirt following initial application – as well as deterring algae, moss and weed growth – and offers UV protection for year-round usage.
Block Blitz will be launching new large packs for its original Block Blitz paving treatment, giving the consumer up to 30 car parking spaces of coverage. The company will be also be launching a number of new products in the new larger size, including Block Blitz Multi Pave, Block Blitz for Artificial Grass and Block Blitz Gravel Treatment.
As with the original Block Blitz products, these new treatments use the same powder-based cleaner which is made from a powerful mineral and plant-based formula and is non-abrasive, contains no bleach, acids or biocides and is biodegradable.
Block Blitz founder, Dave Moore explains, “This will be our third attendance at GLEE and our stand will be our biggest to date. We’ve had a great response to Block Blitz and with our new product launches and larger pack sizes offering coverage of up to 30 car parking spaces, we’re hoping to come away from GLEE with even more interested stockists.”
Block Blitz Multi-pave
Block Blitz Multi-pave can be used on paving slabs, tarmac drives and decking and is easily applied by using a watering can to deter algae moss and weeds and protect from the sun whilst cleaning the area.
Block Blitz for Artificial Grass
Block Blitz for artificial grass self-cleans and sanitises the area keeping it clean and germ-free. The treatment is not harmful to pets or people and is applied by dissolving the product in water and spreading over the area.
Block Blitz Gravel Treatment
Benefitting from a similarly powerful formula as the original block paving treatment, Block Blitz Gravel Treatment offers an effortless solution to cleaning both gravel drives and decorative aggregates, protecting the surface from future weed and moss growth with its easy to use, two-in-one formula.
One week into the integration of 8 previously Wyevale Garden Centres into the Blue Diamond Group, Managing Director Alan Roper has told GTN Xtra that the switch over went well; "For customers the main issue was the swap over of tills and that has gone very well. We have already started to recruit 8 chefs so that we can start to move the food offering up to Blue Diamond standards, none of the new centres had chefs employed."...
One week into the integration of 8 previously Wyevale Garden Centres into the Blue Diamond Group, Managing Director Alan Roper has told GTN Xtra that the switch over went well; "For customers the main issue was the swap over of tills and that has gone very well. We have already started to recruit 8 chefs so that we can start to move the food offering up to Blue Diamond standards, none of the new centres had chefs employed."
The Blue Diamond Trading Statement for last year contains information about how the £34.25m plus stock deal with Wyevale Garden Centres was financed. Chairman Simon Burke tells shareholders: " We are financing this transaction through a combination of £21m additional borrowing from NatWest and the sale and leaseback to BlackRock Investment Management of one of our existing garden centres, Brambridge, and two of the properties we are acquiring, namely Melbicks and Percy Throwers, which will yield £26m before expenses and taxes. This financing plan covers the cost of acquisition, and subsequent capex and working capital needs."
That means only the Sanders site of the 8 new Blue Diamond Centres will be freehold. "We have always operated with a mix of leasehold and freehold garden centres," explained Alan Roper, "at Sanders we need 13 acres for the garden centre which leaves a further 12 acres close to the M5 that we can decide what to do with in the future. "
Alan also commented that the cost of stock purchased from Wyevale was less than expected.
The Blue Diamond Trading Statement also includes details of the Orchard Park acquisition in May which is also leasehold: "We acquired a 25% shareholding in the company that owns Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham, Dorset for just over £1m, with a put and call option to acquire the remaining 75% of the shares in 2020. This is a centre producing a turnover of £2.5m that we believe can grow significantly within five years with the right investment. It is a leasehold site that we are now managing and operating on a daily basis. There is planning permission to extend the garden centre that we are currently reviewing."
At the AGM on 14th June 2018 I promised to write to you all if and when we agreed to acquire any of the Wyevale garden centres that they have put up for sale.
I am pleased to announce that on 23rd July we exchanged contracts to buy eight Wyevale garden centres for a price of £34.25m plus stock. Including the estimated value of stock, stamp duty land tax and other acquisition costs, the total outlay will be approximately £44m. In 2017 these sites produced a turnover of £35m and EBITDA of just under £4m. The deal is expected to complete on 13th August.
This agreement is the culmination of a dialogue that has been taking place with Wyevale and Terra Firma, its private equity owner, for several months - well before they put all 145 Wyevale garden centres up for sale in May. This is the reason we have been able to conclude this purchase in advance of the wider sale process.
The eight sites we are purchasing are the following:
Melbicks. This is a freehold site to the west of Birmingham that will be converted into a leasehold upon acquisition. There is currently indoor retail space of 75,000 square feet.
Sanders. This is a freehold site located north of Taunton with indoor retail space of 39,000 square feet.
Percy Throwers. This is a freehold site near Shrewsbury that will be converted into a leasehold upon acquisition. It is a modern garden centre that was re-built in 2015 and has 58,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
Bicester. This is large and busy leasehold site located to the north of Oxford and near Bicester Village. There is 130,000 square feet of retail space split between a mall with individual retail units and the garden centre.
Endsleigh. This is a large, purpose-built garden centre to the east of Plymouth with 86,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
Weybridge. This leasehold site is located between Brooklands and Chertsey close to the M25 with 32,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
Cadbury. This is a large leasehold site located to the south-west of Bristol with 127,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
Cardiff. This is a leasehold site located between Cardiff and Newport that was built in 2015 and has 58,000 square feet of indoor retail space.
We have chosen these sites because they all meet the following criteria:
All the buildings are modern and fit for purpose, with good internal infrastructure and no need for major reconfiguring in order to install the Blue Diamond offer. Two of the sites were built within the last three years, and all within the last twenty years.
All sites are in good locations that are very accessible and are within reach of a significant number of our core AB customers.
All of the garden centres are destination centres that can be refurbished to meet the standards and scale of Redfields and Bridgford.
There will be little if any cannibalisation of our existing garden centres.
All sites have a history of good trading, with some doing much higher sales in the period prior to Wyevale's ownership.
There is much potential to increase average spend and footfall, and to introduce our own offer to replace the concessions at these centres.
We anticipate that the acquisition will, over time, improve the profitability of the Group well beyond the current profit being made by the centres being bought. This will come from introducing the Blue Diamond product range, focusing on our core AB customer, raising the merchandising to our standards, investing in the refurbishment of the stores and removing concessions whose product we can offer ourselves. In addition, we expect that the significant increase in our scale will bring benefits for margins across the whole Group.
We are financing this transaction through a combination of £21m additional borrowing from NatWest and the sale and leaseback to BlackRock Investment Management of one of our existing garden centres, Brambridge, and two of the properties we are acquiring, namely Melbicks and Percy Throwers, which will yield £26m before expenses and taxes. This financing plan covers the cost of acquisition, and subsequent capex and working capital needs.
The Board continues to adopt a cautious approach to borrowing and has approved the acquisition on the basis that the ratio of net debt to EBITDA will remain under three times. We are planning to maximise free cash flow in the near term so as to reduce our debt levels as quickly as possible. We have budgeted for the capital expenditure necessary to deliver our plans for the acquired sites, and this will be deployed over a three year period.
There is also a robust operational plan in place to manage the integration of these sites that includes the temporary suspension of our existing development plans, the redeployment of existing Group employees and the recruitment of additional resource in key areas. Our main focus initially will be the assessment of the centres and their teams before moving on to make changes from 2019.
In summary, therefore, this transaction represents an excellent and very rare opportunity for the Group. It will lead to a 38% increase in the number of sites we operate, and an initial 30% increase in turnover. The Wyevale trading model makes wide use of concessions for products that we sell in-house, and so we expect turnover to grow significantly as we migrate the centres to the Blue Diamond format. In addition, the trading history of many of the sites indicates much higher sales potential and we believe that we can get back to these levels, primarily because our offer is more in tune with the catchments of the centres. This kind of re-gearing of newly acquired centres is something Alan and the team have done many times, with great results. Although the size of this acquisition will present some new challenges for us, I am confident that we have the skills and the resources to generate very attractive returns from the investment.
I am also pleased to be able to provide a positive trading update for the first six months of 2018.
After a very difficult start to the gardening season in March and April when the weather was cold and unsettled, trade in May and June has been exceptionally strong. Total sales for the first half of 2018 were 14% higher than 2017 and 6% higher on a like for like basis, excluding East Bridgford Garden Centre. Total sales increased by 14% in the UK and 5% on a like for like basis. It was also pleasing that sales in the Channel Islands rose by 9%.
The Group's overall sales growth in the garden centres was again higher than the industry in the first half of 2018 according to the latest report from the Garden Centre Association. There were notable outperformances in the Plants, Garden Sundries and Home categories.
At the end of March 2018 we opened East Bridgford Garden Centre near Nottingham after a £4.5m fit-out. The Centre has clearly resonated with customers and by the end of June it had already reached a turnover of nearly £4m. We are optimistic that it will produce a turnover greater than £10m in its first year of trading. We will be spending a further £0.5m on the Play Barn in the second half of 2018.
At the beginning of May, we acquired a 25% shareholding in the company that owns Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham, Dorset for just over £1m, with a put and call option to acquire the remaining 75% of the shares in 2020. This is a centre producing a turnover of £2.5m that we believe can grow significantly within five years with the right investment. It is a leasehold site that we are now managing and operating on a daily basis. There is planning permission to extend the garden centre that we are currently reviewing.
The improvement in profits in the first half is likely to be subdued, as I signalled in the Annual Report, not least because of the introduction of the retail profits tax in Jersey and we therefore remain cautious about the year as a whole. Although we have enjoyed a very welcome rebound from the poor trading conditions earlier in the year, many of the underlying concerns about the UK economy remain. Clearly the Wyevale acquisition will have a material effect in the second half, and we expect it to be the driver of significant profit growth in the medium term.
ISSUE OF SHARES
There are 360,520 authorised but unissued shares available. At the AGM, in response to a suggestion that we put them up for sale, I said that we had no plans to do so, but that this would be kept under review and the Board would remain open to issuing them if there were evidence of significant unfilled demand. Recent offers for the sale of shares have been significantly oversubscribed, the latest one by more than 400%, and we have had strong indications of additional demand for shares from a number of existing shareholders. There are also ten potential new investors on the waiting list to buy shares.
In the Board's view, this is evidence of significant unfilled demand. In the context of the Wyevale acquisition and the desire to reduce debt levels quickly, we now think it would be appropriate to offer these unissued shares for sale. In accordance with our normal practice, we will offer these unissued shares initially to existing shareholders in proportion to their shareholdings. You will have the opportunity to request additional shares should other shareholders not take up their full allocation. Any unsold shares will be offered to the potential new investors on our list. The law requires us to produce a prospectus and we expect to circulate it to shareholders in August.
With the dramatic changes in weather, the remarkable opening of East Bridgford, and now the Wyevale acquisition, this has been a very eventful year for Blue Diamond. We are taking some major steps forward this year, which are not without risk, but which have the potential to deliver a quantum increase in the scale and profitability of the business. In addition, the significant development opportunities at existing sites, which are being postponed to allow us to focus on the Wyevale integration, are still there as opportunities to be realised in coming years, along with the longer-term new site developments. We therefore believe that we have a substantial runway for future growth.
The support of shareholders, so warmly expressed at the AGM this year, enables us to pursue these opportunities with confidence. I look forward to bringing you further updates on our progress with our regular cycle of reports.
M&M Timber have a comprehensive range of merchandising units which are the perfect choice for garden centres, DIY businesses, nurseries, department stores and other retail businesses...
M&M Timber are manufacturers of market leading timber retail plant staging solutions.
The comprehensive range of merchandising units are the perfect choice for garden centres, DIY businesses, nurseries, department stores and other retail businesses.
Display tables and structures have been specially designed for both internal and external use with the benefit of pressure treated timbers to enhance durability.
They are ideal for:
Trees and shrubs
Gardening or building products
Seasonal product ranges
The wooden tiered displays are the perfect solution for showcasing product displays without using up floor space, creating height and merchandising a wider product range. Available as 3 tier up to height of 1400mm or as 4 tier display stands up to height of 1670mm.
The table displays can be interconnected to create feature displays whilst also utilising ground level for associated products. The range of accessories can be added to enhance displays creating height and segmentation of products. Tables are available as compact short and tall, classic or half octagonal.
Square & Hexagonal Displays
The square and hexagonal display units offer flexibility to created tiered displays of interlocked equal heights or with the different display units create a combination of varying heights, ideal where space is at a premium.
A range of accessories are available to complement display units that enable product ranges to be enhanced, provide additional height or showcase special offers. The range includes pot holders, trellis and feature boxes.
The M&M Timber retail plant staging can be delivered flat packed or assembled. Tailored sizes are also available for volume enquiries manufactured at our Worcestershire sawmill.
Call the M&M Timber team on 0800 333 5133 or click here to contact us.
A potential new site for Parkhill Garden Centre in Aberdeen has set the garden centre against Aberdeen boxing champion Lee McAllister's plans to create a £10 million health and fitness village...
(Image from Aberdeen Evening Express)
A potential new site for Parkhill Garden Centre in Aberdeen has set the garden centre against Aberdeen boxing champion Lee McAllister's plans to create a £10 million health and fitness village.
Parkhill Garden Centre are seeking to re-locate to the site of a former school building as a result of the Aberdeen Western By-Pass opening which will make their current location unable to sell plants outside during Autumn, Winter and early Spring because of salt spray from the new dual carriageway.
Nine months on from the opening of their Daventry warehouse facility which was devastated by fire in March, Gardman have now decided to move back to a dedicated fleet run by Robsons of Spalding for their deliveries to garden centres...
Nine months on from the opening of their Daventry warehouse facility which was devastated by fire in March, Gardman have now decided to move back to a dedicated fleet run by Robsons of Spalding for their deliveries to garden centres from their current warehousing facility at Kings Lynn.
The move means Gardman warehousing, picking and logistics will once again be managed by the teams, in house for warehouse and picking and Robsons for logistics, that provided excellent standards of service prior to the move to Daventry. TNT, who managed the warehousing at Daventry stopped being involved after the fire and now from 10th September 2018, XPO will not be handling the deliveries.
Here is the full statement from CEO Pete Utting about the change:
Gardman Logistics Update
Release Date: 21st August 2018
We are delighted to announce a very significant change to our delivery service.
We have conducted an extensive review of our logistics operation, specifically the service we offer to our customers and we have reached the conclusion that the pallet network we are currently using is not compatible with the unique demands of our industry.
Consequently, last week we served notice on our incumbent logistics partner XPO and from 10th September Gardman brands will be delivered on a dedicated fleet by Robson`s of Spalding Ltd.
As our previous logistics provider, Robson`s has substantial experience of servicing our customers and we are extremely confident the return to a partner with such a thorough understanding of our industry requirements will significantly improve the service we provide.
Our target is for at least 95% of all deliveries to UK mainland garden centres to be transported via our new dedicated fleet on scheduled delivery days. A controlled and managed handover will take place during the next month.
We again thank all our customers for their patience and support as we build our recovery from the devastating effects of the March fire.
Ouch! It feels as though we have fallen off a cliff since the end of June. July and August so far have brought us seven consecutive weeks of GTN Bestsellers All Sales Indexes that are down on last year...
Ouch! It feels as though we have fallen off a cliff since the end of June. July and August so far have brought us seven consecutive weeks of GTN Bestsellers All Sales Indexes that are down on last year. That means we now have an almost 3% volume sales gap to make up through the autumn and into Christmas. That’s not out of order, but we do need things to be less extreme, please!
As Martin Stewart told GTN Xtra this week, “we are an industry that works best without extremes.” Having coped with what’s been thrown at us this year, including the fire at Gardman, we really should be patting ourselves on the back. I doubt if any other part of retail can report trading performances near to those of UK Garden Centres.
We can now look forward to Glee where indications are that there will be more new products on show than last year with some interesting developments for garden décor and environmentally friendly gardening. You can find out more in the September, Glee Preview issue of GTN and in the Glee Daily news which we will be bringing you every week now until the show and live from each day at the NEC. See you there!
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 33
Glee has a proven track record of evolving and changing to meet the needs of the industry it represents. The latest update is a continuation of this theme, as it is confirmed that the 2019 event will take place on Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th September...
Glee has a proven track record of evolving and changing to meet the needs of the industry it represents. The latest update is a continuation of this theme, as it is confirmed that the 2019 event will take place on Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th September.
The simple act of moving Glee one day later in the week has been decided upon due to increasing demand from the show’s retail visitors. Visitor trends in recent years have hinted at the popularity of the show days later in the week and following a period of consultation with both suppliers/ manufacturers and retail partners the move to a Tuesday – Thursday format has been confirmed.
Matthew Mein, Glee Event Director, said: “Glee needs to adapt in order to be more responsive to the needs of our visitors. With Sunday trading continuing to dominate the weekly schedule within retailing, we are seeing more and more visitors attending Glee on Tuesday and Wednesday as many dedicate Monday as the day to reflect after weekend trading, to catch up with their teams and order additional stock for the weeks ahead. Recognising this, we have decided to amend our opening days to provide retailers with the opportunity to focus their attention post-weekend, before visiting Glee unhindered later in the week. During our period of consultation, the response to this was extremely positive so we hope the wider industry will be equally supportive.”
Find out more
Glee is the UK’s leading garden retail show, focussing on building year-round profits for buyers and suppliers within the core gardening and outdoor leisure product categories. To keep up-to-date on the latest Glee news visit www.gleebirmingham.com. To enquire about exhibiting at Glee 2019 call 020 3033 2160.
“Brexit Day on 29th March 2019 is only a matter of months away, so the Federation of Garden & Leisure Manufacturers Ltd is working hard on your behalf to gather as much tangible information about the possible implications of the deal’s outcome as possible,” says Amanda Sizer Barrett...
The Gardenex export federation has a major involvement in two important international garden and leisure exhibitions that attract buyers from around the world during September.
The Federation is organising the British pavilion at spoga+gafa in Cologne, Germany and a week later is hosting the International Buyers’ Centre at Glee in Birmingham. Both of these events will involve Gardenex and UK suppliers in productive discussions with a wide range of overseas buyers, with the aim of increasing Britain’s exports of garden, leisure and pet products.
In the lead-up to the shows, with the date of Brexit next year looming, the Federation’s team is working hard to help British companies plan ahead and to be prepared as much as possible for the potential changes in trading that may result.
“Brexit Day on 29th March 2019 is only a matter of months away, so the Federation of Garden & Leisure Manufacturers Ltd is working hard on your behalf to gather as much tangible information about the possible implications of the deal’s outcome as possible,” says Amanda Sizer Barrett, the Federation’s Director General in the latest newsletter to members.” Once the EU and UK stance becomes clear, in the early New Year we will be assembling a programme of practical help, support and advice in which we will be inviting you and your colleagues across the industry to participate.
“In the meantime, Gardenex has assembled a list of some of the business areas that may be affected by Brexit that you need to start making plans for. It’s not an exhaustive list but a prompt to consider in the light of your own business which you can use to identify the main areas where you can begin to prepare for the outcome, whatever shape Brexit actually takes. It seems a Herculean task but broken down into separate areas, this exercise will help you and your teams find some clarity as to the potential paths ahead.”
For more detailed information, member companies are invited to visit the Gardenex team at spoga + gafa or Glee, where they will receive advice and guidance regarding several key areas including the potential impact of Brexit on customers, data protection, contractual terms, tariffs and customs, environmental law and intellectual property.
Continues Amanda: ”Following on from the work involved in implementing the new GDPR regulations, companies will understandably feel beleaguered and that in Brexit planning, more precious resources are being directed yet again away from new investment, sales and innovation: but it’s a truism that forewarned is forearmed: and our teams are happy to help our member companies and to welcome new companies into membership who want the benefit of this kind of pragmatic advice.”
The Federation will be playing its part in tracking the progress of the twists and turns of the tortuous negotiations. As well as producing a packed day of help and advice at the Federation’s not-to-be-missed Future for International Trade conference in early 2019, in the interim the teams will be offering its member companies an on-line Brexit Impact Analysis that will guide you along the appropriate channels of action to consider to help ensure you are prepared for the springboard of Brexit Day itself and the transitional agreement beyond.
“Most importantly, businesses need to hold their nerve because it holds more evident than ever that firms that trade internationally are more resilient and more profitable,” concludes Amanda “Now is the time to keep close to your international customers and reassure them of your continued commitment to international trade.”
Companies wishing to learn more about the extensive range of export services offered by Gardenex, the trade association that works on behalf of British companies to help them increase sales worldwide, should contact:
Wyevale Garden Centres launched a ‘Thank you’ campaign with donations to be made to The Royal British Legion from sales of plants and garden related poppy products, Afternoon Tea events in September, October and November with donations made to Royal British Legion at centres and 50% off Fish & Chips every Friday from 24th August - 9th November for serving forces and veterans...
To mark the centenary year since the end of the First World War, Wyevale Garden Centres is partnering with The Royal British Legion, by joining their ‘Thank you’ campaign.
The campaign, which acknowledges and gives thanks to all those who served, sacrificed their lives and helped to shape our world during WWI, will launch on the 22nd August 2018 and run for 12 weeks until Armistice Day, 11th November 2018.
As part of its involvement, Wyevale Garden Centres will promote a British-grown range of plants, with a donation to be made to The Royal British Legion from each plant sold. In addition, the garden centre retailer will be selling a range of poppy-themed products in centres, including poppy feeders, bird houses and baths and decorative Apta Glazed Poppy Pots, as well as poppy pins at till points.
The campaign will extend to Wyevale Garden Centres’ restaurants and cafes, with three Royal British Legion Afternoon Tea events to be hosted on the 5th September, 3rd October and 7th November. Serving and ex-serving military personnel can also enjoy half-price fish and chips every Friday from 24th August – 9th November.
Richard Bruce, Director of Marketing at Wyevale Garden Centres, commented: “The Royal British Legion is a charity close to all of our hearts here at Wyevale Garden Centres and for our customers too. We’re proud to be supporting The Royal British Legion through this partnership and hope to raise over £100,000 from sales and donations at our garden centres, for those who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces.”
Roger Mclaughlan, CEO of Wyevale Garden Centres, added: “I was delighted when the partnership with The Royal British Legion was confirmed; both my parents were active in The Royal British Legion and my Dad had served for over a decade in The Royal Air Force, so I’m thrilled we’re supporting such a worthy cause, which means so much to so many people.”
With its 20th anniversary on the horizon in 2019, there are lots of exciting plans afoot for Greenfingers Charity, some of which are set to be revealed at this year’s Glee (10-12 September, Birmingham NEC).
With its 20th anniversary on the horizon in 2019, there are lots of exciting plans afoot for Greenfingers Charity, some of which are set to be revealed at this year’s Glee (10-12 September, Birmingham NEC).
Greenfingers, founded in 1999 by gardening journalist and broadcaster, Richard Jackson, will be joining one of the charity’s key supporters, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) who have generously donated the charity stand space.
The Greenfingers team will be on hand to speak to both visitors and exhibitors about upcoming activities to celebrate this important and prestigious milestone in the charity’s history.
Amongst these will be the launch of an exciting new product partnership with garden décor supplier, Vivid Arts, and a festive fundraising initiative with leading Christmas tree supplier, Needlefresh.
The charity’s annual fundraiser Garden Re-Leaf Day, now in its eighth year, has become a key event in the gardening calendar and sees many supporters, old and new, come together to raise funds for Greenfingers Charity. 2019’s event will be officially launched at Glee, there are loads of ways to participate in Garden Re-Leaf next year and the team will be happy to advise on ways to get involved.
Greenfingers will also be gratefully receiving donations from their industry supporters with cheque presentations taking place over the three days of the show. Leading indoor pot supplier, Ivyline, has been planting smiles throughout 2018 with their “Happiness Teacups” with thousands being sold across the country. UK and Ireland Sales Manager, James Brindle at Ivyline will present Linda Petrons, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Greenfingers Charity with a cheque for the total raised so far on Tuesday.
The charity has also been supported by leading garden and home PR agency, Hornby Whitefoot, who has been managing its marketing and communications since November 2017. Managing Director, Kimberley Hornby will present Greenfingers with a cheque for 50% of the services fee on Monday which will greatly aid the charity’s mission to build magical outdoor spaces in children’s hospices.
As well as this, the Greenfingers stand will be packed with information on how to get involved with the work they do. Whether it’s designing and building gardens, holding or participating in events, FUNdraising or donating gifts in kind or at cost, every penny raised, and every penny saved helps to make a difference to thousands of children and their families.
John Ashley, Chairman at Greenfingers Charity said: “2019 is an exciting year for us and we have a lot of great ideas up our sleeves for our 20th year celebrations. Our work is only possible thanks to all those in the garden industry who get involved and we couldn’t do our precious work, supporting life-limited children and families without you. Please do visit our stand to find out how you can get take part, we are grateful for any participation or donation, no matter how big or small. Special thanks to HTA also for allowing us to share their stand space. We look forward to seeing you at Glee.”
To find out more about Greenfingers Charity work, the team can be found on the HTA stand in Hall 19, stand no 19P69.
Customers at Wyevale Nurseries have helped them select four new plants from a Taster Menu concept launched last year to go into full scale production...
Customers at one of the UK’s leading nurseries have helped it select four new plants from a Taster Menu concept it launched last year (2017) to go into full scale production.
Wyevale Nurseries unveiled the Taster Menu in its 2018 promotional catalogue and retailers were invited to trial the eight plants. Now four of the plants have been incorporated in to the 2019 catalogue.
Andy Johnson, Managing Director at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, said: “The eight Taster Menu plants were at the commercial trial stage and their volumes were very small, under 500 plants, and we wanted to give customers the opportunity to feature these as something new.
“We offered retailers the chance to trial them in their plant areas before they would be available in commercial numbers. We also felt it would give us useful feedback as to what we should promote in larger numbers in subsequent years.
“The comments from our customers were indeed very helpful and it led to Phormium cookianum ‘Blondie’, Hesperozygis ‘Midnight Mojito’, Disporum cantoniense ‘Moonlight’ and Rodgersia ‘Bronze Peacock’ being incorporated in to the main 2019 promotional catalogue as full promotions.
“Due to the success of the concept we are now offering 12 Taster Menu plants in the 2019 catalogue. These include, to name but a few:
· Cordyline ‘Electric Star’ has a clumping upright habit with many narrow leaves that appear mostly green but have a deep burgundy central stripe – very unusual.
· Phormium ‘Sweet Mist™’ is an ultra-compact Phormium, with an exceptional bronze colour. This New Zealand native adds an exciting choice to landscape design. It has more compact foliage compared to other colourful Phormiums.
· Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ is a pretty anemone flowered dahlia, pinkish orange with a tangerine centre. Single petals surround a fully double centre, the reverse of the petals is rose-pink giving added contrast. A pretty introduction to our Dahlia range.
· Parrotia persica ‘Persian Spire’ will be grown for its stunning foliage that can match even Japanese Acers. In spring its leaves, which are narrower than standard Ironwood varieties, emerge a deep blushing purple. Then in summer they turn a rich deep green with a purple edge. Finally, in autumn, when the temperature begins to fall, they change into a cascade of red, yellow and orange tones. Upright in habit.
“We would love our customers to sample them, so we are asking for people to register their interest with our sales team as soon as possible.”
The product selection available from Wyevale Nurseries is envied across the industry and the talented team regularly introduces new, award-winning plant varieties.
Its main business is to supply garden centres, landscape contractors, local authorities, foresters and landowners with a comprehensive array of trees, shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and specimen plants.
For further details about Wyevale Nurseries, which is based in Hereford, please call 01432 845 200, visit www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk, follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WyevaleNurs or log on to www.facebook.com/WyevaleNurs.
Work on a £2.5 million Kent-mill style restaurant at Millbrook Gravesend has been completed...
Work on a £2.5 million Kent-mill style restaurant at a Gravesend garden centre has been completed.
The two-storey high 280-seat restaurant at Millbrook Garden Centre opened last month, with Malcolm Scott Consultants having created the designs for the building and obtained detailed planning consent despite the centre being located in the Green Belt.
The MSC team has worked with Millbrook since 2005, and was tasked with preparing a development plan for the site, and designing a new restaurant building that would create a point of difference from other competing garden centres.
Chris Primett, of Malcolm Scott Consultants, said: "In a competitive marketplace, it is important to create an individually designed building in which to house a restaurant - every garden centre has a restaurant, every pub serves food - competition is strong, so to attract repeat custom it's important to offer a point of difference, offer a memorable experience that people will recommend to others.
"We created a two-storey high restaurant replicating a Kent Mill, drawing on the heritage of the centre and the surrounding area and hopefully it would be an enduring design synonymous with Millbrook itself and adding to its destination experience."
Joint owner Ben Woodhouse said: "The building looks fabulous."
Chris added that the centre occupies a five-acre site, limiting the amount of Green Belt development allowed, and that the two-storey structure went against Green Belt restrictions, making a comprehensive planning case fundamental in being granted approval.
The nature of the project meant that a new Aquatics Centre had to be built prior to commencing work on the restaurant itself to make the land available for the site.
A 65th birthday, a 30-year business milestone; and an OBE in recognition of his services to business and charity all paved the way for a lavish celebration for John Athwal OBE of Premier Decorations Ltd in June, raising more than £20,000 for his favourite Fence Club charity to help sick and disadvantaged children...
A 65th birthday, a 30-year business milestone; and an OBE in recognition of his services to business and charity all paved the way for a lavish celebration for John Athwal OBE of Premier Decorations Ltd in June, raising more than £20,000 for his favourite Fence Club charity to help sick and disadvantaged children.
John, who is a well-known figure in the toy and gift industry took the opportunity to mark 2018 as a momentous year with a gala event at the Dorchester in London attended by 450 guests including industry stalwarts, family and friends.
Renowned for his outstanding hospitality, John’s latest celebration was no exception with 100 children from a stage school opening the ball, followed by a night of dancing to the Jersey Boys and Bollywood actress and singer Sophie Chaudry, who was flown in from Bombay to perform for his guests.
However, whilst festivities were high on the agenda, John also used the event to raise much needed money for charity. He requested that rather than gifts for himself, that guests make donations to The Fence Club – a charity supporting children’s hospices, homes and hospitals as well as disadvantaged children, for which John is the treasurer.
John comments: “2018 has been an amazing year for myself and Premier Decorations which celebrates 30 successful business years; and I extend grateful thanks to all of my industry colleagues and peers, and family and friends for sharing this special occasion with me. I would especially like to thank everyone for their incredibly generous donations to The Fence Club. £20,000 is a huge amount and we are still receiving cheques and cash in our office as well as online at www.justgiving.com/fenceclub.
Plant sales moved back up last week with over half of the plant groupings in the GTN Bestsellers Plants chart increasing sales. Plants for late summer and autumn colour were the big movers with Cyclamen moving back to No 1...
Plant sales moved back up last week with over half of the plant groupings in the GTN Bestsellers Plants chart increasing sales. Plants for late summer and autumn colour were the big movers with Cyclamen moving back to No 1. How many weeks will they be the Bestselling plant for this autumn season?
Pansy sales increased by nearly 200% as they moved up to No 3.
Calluna heathers were the highest chart climber, up 20 places to No 14.
Echinacea, looking great at the moment, moved up 15 places to No 7.
The UK Garden Centre Plants Bestsellers Chart
Week Ending Sunday 19th August 2018
Volume Sales Change
See the full GTN Bestsellers Plant Sales Top 50 every week with a subscription to GTN Bestsellers. Subscribe here
Christmas opened this Bank Holiday Weekend at GTN's Greatest Christmas Award Winning Summerhill Garden Centre, near Basildon, Essex...
Christmas opened this Bank Holiday Weekend at GTN's Greatest Christmas Award Winning Summerhill Garden Centre, near Basildon, Essex.
WIth one of their themes being Summerhill’s Once Upon a Christmas, the opening weekend featured the princesses from The Princess Emporium singing as they move through the department, meeting customers young and old, ready to pose for pictures with the little ones!
They say you can’t buy happiness, but you can take home some unicorns and glitter from Summerhill, which is basically the same thing!
This issue of GTN Xtra was originally compiled and sent on Bank Holiday Monday, 27th August 2018, however there was a fault in the content that stopped the mailing...
This issue of GTN Xtra was originally compiled and sent on Bank Holiday Monday, 27th August 2018, however there was a fault somewhere in the content that stopped the mailing being delivered to all readers.
While the tech team are still investigating the fault, we've re-compiled the issue to send this evening, we hope you enjoy reading.
Well-known horticultural journalist and consultant Peter Seabrook MBE will receive an Honorary Degree from Writtle University College next month...
Well-known horticultural journalist and consultant Peter Seabrook MBE will receive an Honorary Degree from Writtle University College next month.
An alumnus of Writtle, Mr Seabrook will be given the award at the Graduation Ceremony on Friday 7 September at Chelmsford Cathedral.
He is being honoured for being an ambassador for the University College and for his contributions to the horticultural industry.
Peter Seabrook has worked as The Sun’s gardening editor for over 40 years and was a presenter on Pebble Mill at One on BBC 1, Gardeners World on BBC 2, the BBC’s Chelsea Flower Show coverage and, for 20 years, Coast to Coast on PBS in North America.
He is well-recognised for his contributions to horticulture. He holds three RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Awards: the Victoria Medal of Honour, Associate of Honour and the Harlow Carr Medal (for services to Northern Horticulture) - and is believed to be unique in this respect.
His activities in the trade include being a founder member of The Garden Centre Association, the British Association of Landscape Industries and the Garden Media Guild. He promotes and represents the horticultural industry, continuing to inspire children to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers through a variety of school programmes.
A local resident, he has maintained strong links with Writtle since completing his diploma in 1956. He was awarded a Fellowship in 1997 and, over many years, has continued to make valuable contributions to the benefit of students. This has included being a regular visiting speaker, most recently in in March last year when he was the headline speaker of a public evening lecture about the value of community horticulture.
Peter said: “My two-year Commercial Horticultural course at Writtle provided a depth of knowledge and number of fellow student friendships, which have proved invaluable throughout my working life. I am proud to receive this award and do so in the certain knowledge many people and, not least my lecturers at Writtle, have helped and supported me in the things I have achieved and am still able to do. “
Professor Tim Middleton, Vice-Chancellor of Writtle University College, said: “We are delighted to recognise Peter Seabrook in this way for his promotion of the horticultural sector both as a well-respected gardening journalist and as a founding member of some of the key organisations in the land-based industries, which offers many exciting opportunities for our graduates.
“Peter has been a fantastic ambassador for the University College and we thank him for enriching the learning of our students over many years.
“Our Graduation Ceremonies are always a proud day for our graduates as well as their friends, families and our staff but this year’s event is particularly special as we celebrate our 125th anniversary. Peter shows what can be achieved with a Writtle qualification and we look forward to hearing of the successes of our graduates as they embark on their careers.”
Tom Sharples, currently Senior Horticultural Manager at Suttons is retiring after 44 years with the company.
Tom Sharples, currently Senior Horticultural Manager at Suttons is retiring after 44 years with the company.
Tom initially joined the group with sister company, Dobies as Trial Grounds Manager when the company was based in Llangollen, North Wales. He then took charge of young plants and was responsible for the introduction of the first seedlings and plug plants available to the home gardener, way back in 1977.
Tom then was additionally put in charge of Dobies catalogue, a position he held until the takeover of Dobies by Suttons and subsequently moved down to Devon. He was then given responsibility for the production of both Suttons and Dobies mail order catalogues.
A further move took Tom to the retail side of Suttons as Marketing manager with further responsibility for product development, which among other things involved considerable travel around the world, looking for new and interesting seed and plant varieties and growing techniques suitable for the home gardener.
Latterly in his time with the company, Tom adopted a training and advisory role, mentoring young horticulturalists joining the company.
Tom is not planning to put his feet up in his retirement and will continue with his judging Britain in Bloom and RHS trials, together with lecturing, writing, copy proofing etc.
He is also hoping to get involved in ‘putting something back’ in an industry he loves by working with schools, parents and children to encourage and improve gardening knowledge.
Tom has made a huge contribution to both Suttons and Dobies over all those years and his legacy lives on in those with whom he has shared his immense knowledge.
Although he is ‘retiring’ he will be continuing to help us develop our Group discount scheme for allotmenteers and horticultural groups and we look forward to also continuing to see him around the office and playing an active part in the development of our trials grounds over the coming months and years.
Garden Product sales are really suffering this summer. Last weeks volume index of the GTN Bestsellers Garden Products Top 50 dropped to the lowest weeks aggregate since the snow in March...
Garden Product sales are really suffering this summer. Last weeks volume index of the GTN Bestsellers Garden Products Top 50 dropped to the lowest weeks aggregate since the snow in March and was the lowest week total we’ve ever seen in August. We will all be looking forward to see the Garden Product innovations at Glee to see how sales can be re-invigorated next year.
Smart Solar Radiance Stake Light became the No 1 Bestselling garden products line last week, overtaking Fito Orchid Drip Feeders and Tomorite.
Grange Fencing U-Shaped Trellis Clip 32mm were the highest re-entry at No 13.
Kelkay RHS Wildlife Stepping stones were a new entry at No 46.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Garden Products Top 50 every week with a subscription to GTN Bestsellers, buy your subscription here.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has announced the appointment of Brian Fraser, General Manager and Director of Oakover Nurseries near Ashford, Kent, to the HTA Board as a non-executive director...
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has announced the appointment of Brian Fraser, General Manager and Director of Oakover Nurseries near Ashford, Kent, to the HTA Board as a non-executive director.
Commenting on the appointment Adam Taylor, HTA President, said: “We are very pleased to announce Brian as our latest recruit to the HTA Board. Brian has represented HTA growers as Chairman of the Tree & Hedging Committee for a number of years and his appointment to the Board recognises his continued support for the HTA. Oakover Nurseries Ltd has had a long association with the HTA with one of its founders, Tom Wood, acting as HTA President in 1988/89. More recently Brian has helped lead the development of the plant health agenda and this appointment considerably strengthens grower representation at Board level.”
Brian Fraser said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of the HTA and representing the interests of all members. In particular, I look forward to using my knowledge and experience as well as that of my colleagues and peers to provide additional support and advice from a grower’s perspective.”
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) AGM takes place at Glee, Concourse Suite 30, NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT on Tuesday 11 September 2018 commencing at 8.30 am (refreshments from 8.00 am).
The HTA Board consists of:-
Adam Taylor – Taylors Bulbs – President Adam Wigglesworth – Aylett Nurseries – Immediate Past President
Alex Vick – HTA Senior Executive and Finance Director Bob Hewitt – Klondyke Garden Centres – non-executive director Matthew Bent – Bents Garden & Home - non-executive director
Richard Pyrah – Kelkay – GIMA President - non-executive director
Sandy Shepherd – Ball Colegrave - non-executive director Simon Fraser – Ben Reid Garden Centre - non-executive director
Sales of young winter veg plants, seed potatoes for Christmas and herbs, all provided a much welcome uplift in Veg 2 Gro sales last week. The keenest of gardeners are clearly determined to carry on gardening depsite the extremes of the summer weather...
Sales of young winter veg plants, seed potatoes for Christmas and herbs, all provided a much welcome uplift in Veg 2 Gro sales last week. The keenest of gardeners are clearly determined to carry on gardening depsite the extremes of the summer weather. Overall Veg 2 Gro sales are still down on last year to date, but a good run of sales this autumn with an Indian summer should make up some of the lost ground from March and April.
Quantil’s young Leek plants were the highest new entry at No 8.
Taylors Autumn Planting Seed Potatoes, Duke of York, moved up one to be the No 1 Bestselling Veg 2 Gro line of the week.
The Healthy Herbs 6 Pot Carrier from Colour Gro moved up one place to No 4.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Veg 2 Gro Top 50 every other week with a subscription to GTN Bestsellers, buy your subscription here.
Buddleja davidii 'SMNBDBT' (ROCKETSTAR INDIGO), submitted by Valkplant BV from Boskoop, has been chosen as the best Novelty of Plantarium 2018...
Buddleja davidii 'SMNBDBT' (ROCKETSTAR INDIGO), submitted by Valkplant BV from Boskoop, has been chosen as the best Novelty of Plantarium 2018.
The jury particularly liked the distinctive and innovative combination of properties of the plant. The shrubs have abundant branches and a dense and low growth. There is a beautiful contrast between the dark-green leaf and the warm colours of the flowers, which are deep violet with an orange eye. Because of the large influence of Buddleja davidii in the hybrid, the plant is very hardy and suitable for different uses.
Four gold awards
Apart from the best novelty, four other plants were awarded gold by the jury. Carex morrowii 'Everglow' (EVERCOLOR), submitted by Cammeraat Potcultuur BV from Boskoop, Echinacea 'IFECSSSAL' (SUNSSEEKERS SALMON) of Gootjes-AllPlant BV from Heerhugowaard, Hydrangea arborescens 'NCHA8' (BELLARAGAZZA LIMETTA) of Valkplant BV, and Hydrangea macrophylla 'ROCO131801' (ROCO BLACK KNIGHT) of RoCo Young Plants BV from Reeuwijk were presented with a gold medal. The jury also awarded eight silver and eight bronze medals.
63 plants judged
For the 36th edition of Plantarium, 95 novelties were submitted. Of these, 88 were accepted for the showcase. Eventually, 63 plants were judged. According to the jury this is a good number. Unfortunately, a number of participants were forced to withdraw their entries due to unforeseen circumstances. The judging of the novelties is done by a professional judging committee from the Koninklijke Vereniging voor Boskoopse Culturen (The Royal Society for Boskoop Cultures).
After the trade fair, the best Plantarium novelty gets a place in the Harry van de Laar assortment garden in Boskoop. The Best Novelties of the past years have been planted in a dedicated Plantarium border. The plants here can count on a lot of attention from the public. Besides this, it can be observed how the plant performs in terms of ornamental and practical value when planted in the garden.
Plantarium 2018 and GROEN-Direkt's autumn trade fair take place under one roof from 22 to 24 August 2018 at Denemarkenlaan 11. The site can be reached via the familiar car park at Greenpark Boskoop (Denemarkenlaan 9). The opening times are from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm and until 4.00 pm on Friday. Entry is free with a promotional ticket or by digital pre-registration. For further information, visit www.plantarium.nl.
Growing media sales picked up again last week in line with an increase in plant sales, particularly winter veg plants. That’s good news because it shows people do want to get on and garden...
Growing media sales picked up again last week in line with an increase in plant sales, particularly winter veg plants. That’s good news because it shows people do want to get on and garden, it was just the good old weather extremes and holidays getting in the way. With good weather forecast for September and October there is every chance growing media sales and gardening activity could still get back to parity with last year, even afte all those weeks of cold, snow and rain!
Westland Jack's Magic All Purpose Compost, 40 litres, a favourite with keen gardeners climbed 15 places too No 14 with sales doubling week on week.
Evergreen Garden Care’s Levington Multipurpose + John Innes, 56 litres, remains the No 1 Bestselling line in the GTN chart.
The boom in houseplants has worked its way through to growing media sales; Growth Technology’s Cactus Focus Compost, 8 litres, is the highest new entry at No 36.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Growing Media Top 50 every week with a subscription to GTN Bestsellers, buy your subscription here.
Vitax Limited has appointed a new director to its board as it merges the Organico 6X brand with the Vitax business...
Vitax Limited has appointed a new director to its board as it merges the Organico 6X brand with the Vitax business.
Andy Gurney, who was formerly the managing director of Organico, will take on the role of operations director at Vitax from 01 September 2018.
Based in Somerset, Organico Limited was acquired by Vitax in 2014 and is well known throughout the gardening industry for the manufacture of the 6X and Grow Organic range of products.
The move will see Andy support Vitax’s new managing director, Carl Welsh, as Vitax continues to build on its plans to take the business forward and to meet a growing demand for its products.
Commenting on the appointment, Paul Gooding, Vitax’s chairman, says: “Andy has been with Vitax for over 10 years and has a depth of knowledge which is invaluable to the business across all its sectors including both retail and professional.
“More recently Andy has also been instrumental in overseeing the extension and development of the manufacturing facility at Coalville and will bring his drive and industry knowledge to the business at a critical time. We believe in nurturing talent from within and are delighted to have him on board.”
Andy joined Vitax from DRC Surfacing Limited, specialists in the construction and refurbishment of sports surfaces, before taking on a variety of sales and internal management positions within the company.
“This is an exciting time to take on this new role within Vitax and I’m looking forward to utilising my skills and experience to support Carl in the development of the business,” says Andy Gurney, Vitax’s new operations director.
Wild Bird Care sales were static for a second week as the summer holidays continued. Since Springwatch, Wild bird care volumes in the GTN Bestsellers Top 50 chart have been consistently 20% down on last year...
Wild Bird Care sales were static for a second week as the summer holidays continued. Since Springwatch, Wild bird care volumes in the GTN Bestsellers Top 50 chart have been consistently 20% down on last year. Either someone else is stealing sales form garden centres or there is just less garden feeding going on.
Jacobi Jayne Rowena's Hedgehog Mix 500g is proving popular climbing 24 places up the chart to No 23.
Gardman Seed Mix, 4kg pack size, was the highest chart re-entry at No 25.
Tom Chambers Sunflower Hearts, 2.5kg, moved up 3 places to No 15.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Wild Bird Care Top 50 every other week with a subscription to GTN Bestsellers, buy your subscription here.
Ficinia Ice Crystal of F.N. Kempen bv from Mijdrecht won the Plantarium Press Award 2018 in the category Garden, balcony and patio plants. In the Concepts category, this award went to Triple Beauty, also submitted by F.N. Kempen bv...
Ficinia Ice Crystal of F.N. Kempen bv from Mijdrecht won the Plantarium Press Award 2018 in the category Garden, balcony and patio plants. In the Concepts category, this award went to Triple Beauty, also submitted by F.N. Kempen bv.
As regards the Triple Beauty, the jury was enthusiastic about the nice combination of three colourful perennials and grasses in a single pot. Easy to use and very user-friendly for the consumer.
The jury was unanimous about the Ficinia Ice Crystal, a new plant with a modern look. Ficinia Ice Crystal is highly suitable for use in a small garden or on a balcony. The beautiful colour and fine hairs on the leaves give the plant an icy style.
Second and third place
In the category Garden plants, seven entries were judged by the jury. Second place went to Amelanchier alnifolia 'Saskatoon Berry', submitted by Joh. Stolwijk & Zn. from Boskoop, and third place was for Pinus nigra ‘Aron’ (Summer Breeze) of Van Son & Koot bv from Kaatsheuvel. There were six entries in the category Concepts. Good Roots of Hoogeveen Plants from Hazerswoude ended up second, and the third place went to Create your own garden of Koetsier Vaste Planten from Boskoop.
The jury for the Press Award consisted of 18 journalists, representing the following countries: Germany, England, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Switzerland. The award was presented by the chairman of the Jury, Andreas Henk, trade journalist at Gabot – Das Gartenbau Portal from Germany.
Plantarium 2018 and GROEN-Direkt's autumn trade fair take place under one roof from 22 to 24 August 2018 at Denemarkenlaan 11. The site can be reached via the familiar car park at Greenpark Boskoop (Denemarkenlaan 9). The opening times are from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm and until 4.00 pm on Friday. Entry is free with a promotional ticket or by digital pre-registration. For further information, visit www.plantarium.nl.
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
On Friday 17th August 2018, the Blue Diamond Group became the third largest Garden Centre group in the UK, following the integration of 8 centres purchased from Wyevale Garden Centres...
On Friday 17th August 2018, the Blue Diamond Group became the third largest Garden Centre group in the UK, following the integration of 8 centres purchased from Wyevale Garden Centres.
Leading Garden Centre Groups by number of outlets
Wyevale Garden Centres
British Garden Centres
Source GTN - updated 13-8-18
The feedback from Blue Diamond Melbicks (above) was: "Great day here at Melbicks yesterday! The team here are on fire and extremely lively… we had an awesome day! The picture says it all!
Thanks to RST for all their vital support, the day ran with very little issues here. The energy this morning around the centre is electric as we get in to day 2!!"
And from Blue Diamond Cadbury: "The reaction to Cadbury going over to Blue Diamond has been incredible both staff and customers are over the moon. A great team here."
Managing Director Alan Roper was full of praise for his teams who have integrated 8 large centres with tills working, teams in uniforms, centre signage changed and nothing seriously falling over within two weeks.
"To achieve all of this on the first day is a major credit to them all," Alan told GTN Xtra. "Well done Team Blue Diamond. I feel very proud and thankful to have such a great team. Many years in the making but we got there.
"Thanks too to the volunteers who in some cases were up until 3am making sure day one would run as smoothly as it did."
Hilco Capital, the new owners of Homebase, who bought the DIY chain for £1 from Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers in May, have named 42 planned store closures, some of which may be bought by Amazon Logistics...
Hilco Capital, the new owners of Homebase, who bought the DIY chain for £1 from Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers in May, have named 42 planned store closures.
Meanwhile, results posted by Wesfarmers for 2017/18, underline the disastrous impact that buying Homebase for £375m two years ago has had on the company’s finances before they pulled the plug on the Bunnings UK and Ireland venture.
Wesfarmers posted a 58% drop in net profits to $1.2bn, after more than $1.3bn in losses and costs.
Wesfarmers said the Homebase purchase cost $1.02bn in impairments, write-offs and store closure provisions. The group spent $156m on Bunnings UK in 2017 and $141m in 2018.
Hilco have said they plan to re-store the Homebase brand to the 24 stores converted to Bunnings by this autumn. In the last 12 months, 17 branches have been closed which combined with the latest announcement, brings the total to 59 - near to the 60 that has been suggested in recent weeks.
The closures are believed to affect a further 1,500 jobs at Homebase after the massive reductions in head office staff.
Reports are now starting to emerge that Amazon Logistics may be interested in some of the Homebase sites as there is a shortage of UK warehousing space with large locations at a premium. As the sites are close to urban areas they could be a perfect fit for the Amazon Prime service.
With rural security a hot topic in the nursery trade of late, Flornaplants in West Lancashire is the latest victim of plant thieves...
With rural security a hot topic in the nursery trade of late, Flornaplants in West Lancashire is the latest victim of plant thieves.
Last Thursday night, raiders broke into Florna Plants, a wholesale nursery based between Preston and Southport that has Homebase as one of its customers, and stole a crop of six-pack primroses. The 3.5acre Keder double skinned multispan polytunnel was cut open to gain access. In a separate block, glass was smashed to gain entry and a crop of 10.5cm mini cyclamen was trampled across, creating significant damage before more plants were stolen.
Proprietor Ian Howard told GTN Xtra the raiders probably used a vehicle to make off with the plants via a farm track running alongside the blocks.
“Neither products are ready for sale yet so I’m wondering if the thieves have facilities to grow them on,” said Ian. “We can't get our heads around the theft of product that has just been transplanted!”
With limited police resources in the countryside, how can rural nurseries protect themselves? In their 2018 Rural Crime Report, countryside insurers NFU Mutal say rural crime cost the UK £44.5m in 2017, the worst year since 2013, with rural Wales among the hardest-hit areas.
They say farmers and growers are resorting to medieval-style security measures like earth banks and fences in an effort to keep intruders out. Volmary at Wisbech St Mary in Lincolnshire constructed 12-14ft deep moats around their site. Others rely on the tried-and-tested use of geese and dogs to raise the alarm. More and more are using reinforced gates, high yard fences and single entry points.
Has your businesses been targeted by thieves? Let us know…and tell us how you are dealing with it.
Hilliers Garden Centres have made a family's dream come true in a charity project inspired by the TV show ‘DIY SOS’...
Hilliers Garden Centres have made a family's dream come true in a charity project inspired by the TV show ‘DIY SOS’.
Having decided they wanted to do something extra special for their charity partner, the Wessex Cancer Trust, they have completed an ambitious makeover on a garden for one of the trust’s clients, the Burrell family.
The video above tells the story or click on the picture below:
Chelsea duo Sarah Eberle, Chelsea’s most decorated designer, and Mark Tomlinson from MJT Landscapes, were as excited as Hilliers when they heard about it and readily agreed to take on the challenge.
Volunteers joined in from the group’s successful Gardening Club, whose members have also been invited to make donations to help with the cost of materials needed to create a dream garden for the Burrell family.
Since 2016, two-year-old Sebastian Burrell has been undergoing treatment at Royal Hospital London for a tumour behind his eyes. Wessex Cancer Trust have been supporting the family at their support centre in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire.
They love gardening and spending time outdoors together and had a lot of ideas for their garden when they first moved in, but they had inherited a challenge. With broken patio and walls, poor lawns and flower beds, it would take them some time to transform this into their dream garden with space to cook and eat, colourful plants, a herb garden and a play area for Sebastian.
However, between Sebastian’s hospital treatments, working, and the day to day of busy family life, they have not had the time to achieve it.
The Hillier and MJT landscapes teams transformed the garden for the Burrell family this summer 2018 whilst they were enjoying a holiday in France. They knew the transformation was happening but not exactly how the end result would look, so had a lovely surprise on their return when they discovered an entirely new garden complete with play area for Seb. They were also completely taken aback by the added surprise of a new front garden that they had no idea was happening!
Enjoy this film showing the full transformation from beginning to end including the big reveal.
Hilliers have expressed appreciation for donations from a number of partners and friends in the garden industry, including:
Recent results from a survey commissioned by the Common Sense Gardening Group and conducted by Yolo Communications has revealed that 43% of gardeners say they use garden care chemicals to control weeds...
Recent results from a survey commissioned by the Common Sense Gardening Group and conducted by Yolo Communications has revealed that 43% of gardeners say they use garden care chemicals to control weeds.
In fact, 17% of gardeners agree that garden care chemicals are the only successful solution to manage weeds.
Organic alternatives don’t have the same impact, as 41% say they needed a faster impact on problem areas. Unfortunately, organic options don’t provide the instant gratification that many gardeners are after.
Other findings from the survey show that 20% people don’t have time to weed their lawn by hand, and 31% of people say they find weeding their driveways by hand too difficult.
Gary Philpotts, chair of Common Sense Gardening Group, says: “Our findings reinforce an industry-held ideal: that gardeners need to have a wide spread of options to help them tackle their daily weed regrowth issues.”
For 14% of gardeners, the cost of garden care products is not important if it solves the problem.
The Common Sense Gardening Group is an alliance of five companies involved in garden care products – whether that’s manufacture or just sale – and works with the Royal Horticultural Society to endorse its ethos and champion the growing concerns associated with consumer gardening. It is part of the Crop Protection Association, an integral player in the UK plant science industry.
The group works to ensure the safety of garden care products and provide consumers with tips on the safe usage, storage and disposal of garden products.
Research carried out by the European Crop Protection Association, revealed that:
• Gardeners need suitable and strong solutions to weed, pest and disease problems; ones that aren’t time-consuming to implement.
• Home and garden products can provide cost-effective control for challenging weed species, including invasive ones. They tend to be relatively affordable compared to some of the alternatives.
• Hand weeding, although practical in some situations, is too time-consuming and is not always effective as roots and parts of weed species are left to re-grow.
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts...
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.
As the year goes on we give sales volume comparisons with 2016 as well as 2017 to allow your teams to see variations over a three year period.
Access is by subscription only. For £145.00 per year you and your team can have access to the most up-to-date gardening sales analysis that has already helped many UK garden centres increase their sales. To subscribe call 01733 775700, e-mail email@example.com or buy on-line using this link.
Highlights of the GTN Garden Products Bestsellers chart for this week are here
Highlights of the GTN Garden Plants Bestsellers chart for this week are here
Highlights of the GTN Growing Media Bestsellers chart for this week are here
Highlights of the GTN Wild Bird Care chart for this week are here
Highlights of the GTN Veg 2 Gro chart for this week are here
WARNING the GTN Bestsellers Charts seriously improve the business of our subscribers. Invest 15 minutes each week in improving your sales using the GTN Bestsellers charts and your turnover and customer satisfaction will improve too.
Get the GTN Bestsellers charts in full every week in the GTN Bestsellers newsletters for only £145.00.
GTN Bestsellers is the only industry source of weekly garden centre sales information, collating Epos data from centres with an aggregate turnover in excess of £120m.
Use the weekly Garden Products and Growing Media Top 50 sales volumes charts to plan your hotspot and other promotions and ensure you have the right products in stock to satisfy the needs of your customers.
The tax on plastic carrier bags is likely to rise to 10p and be extended to all retailers according to stories in National Newspapers and TV News services...
The tax on plastic carrier bags is likely to rise to 10p and be extended to all retailers according to stories in National Newspapers and TV News services.
The Sun reveals: The 5p charge for plastic bags is to double to 10p, and the levy - which has lead to a dramatic drop in the use of supermarket bags - is to be rolled out to smaller retailers amid fresh environmental measures to be unveiled within days.
In the Mail Online they report: The plastic bag charge is to be extended to every shop. Theresa May will announce the move next week – and consult on proposals to double the levy from 5p to 10p. She will confirm the charge will affect all stores rather than just large retailers, lifting the exemption on small businesses with fewer than 250 staff.
And on Sky News the initial 5p charge is credited with reducing the use of plastic bags in the "big seven" British supermarkets by 86% since 2015. The 5p charge for plastic bags is set to double to 10p, according to reports. The measure will apparently be introduced across supermarkets and smaller retailers after the initial levy led to a dramatic drop in their use. Ministers are reportedly set to include a discussion on the move in a consultation on the government's plan to end Britain's "throwaway culture" next week.
Last year Squires Garden Centres donated their carrier bag tax of £4,219 to the Greenfingers Charity, pictured above.
Linda Petrons, Head of Fundraising for Greenfingers, said of the tax: “The government carrier bag tax provides an easy opportunity for retailers to donate to good causes. We are extremely grateful to British Garden Centres, Squire’s, Haskins, Langlands and others who have already been kind enough to select Greenfingers as their benefiting charity. We urge others in the horticultural industry to follow suit and select us as their beneficiary – we have a waiting list of hospices who need our help to create gardens; contributions from the carrier bag tax can help us help them sooner.”
Any retailer who would like to donate their profits from the carrier bag tax to Greenfingers should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01494 764749.