Watch the LIVE announcement and see all the results here
The winners of GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards 2020 have been announced LIVE! on-line during Glee's Festive Focus Day today.
And the winners are...Watch the LIVE announcement during Glee's Festive Focus Day here or click below
GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards 2020 – The Winners
- The Greatest Christmas Houseplant Team – Sponsored by Woodlodge - £500 stock for the winner – Barton Grange.
- Highly Commended: Pengelly, The Old Railway Line
- The Greatest Outdoor Plant and Christmas Tree Team – Sponsored by GTN Bestsellers -subscriptions worth £580 for the winner – Pughs Radyr.
- Highly Commended: Aylett Nurseries, Barton Grange, Pengelly
- The Greatest Festive Food Hall Team – Sponsored by Garden Radio – 1 years’ service with bespoke messages, worth over £500 for the winner – The Old Railway Line.
- Highly Commended: Barton Grange, Colemans Garden Centre, Planters Tamworth, Squires Badshot Lea
- The Greatest Christmas Sizzle Team – Sponsored by SOLEX - 2 x Hotel Rooms at SOLEX 2021 for the winner – Altons BBQ World
- Highly Commended: Hillmount
- The Greatest Christmas Pets Team – Sponsored by Smart Garden Products, Zöon -£500 stock for the winner – The Old Railway Line
- Highly Commended: Planters Tamworth, Squires Badshot Lea
- The Greatest Christmas Community/Charity Initiative – Sponsored by Kaemingk – A display from their UK showroom for the winner - Pengelly
- Highly Commended: Daisy Nook, Dobbies, Perrywood, Thetford
- The Greatest Social Media Christmas Marketing Idea – Sponsored by Glee – 2 x Hotel Rooms at Glee 2021 for the winner - Groves
- Highly Commended: Altons BBQ World, Hillmount, The Old Railway Line
- The Greatest Garden Centre Christmas Video – Sponsored by Premier Decorations - £500 stock for the winner – The Old Railway Line
- Highly Commended: Bosworths, Glendoick, Pengelly
- The Greatest Winter Garden Care Sales Team – Sponsored by Elho - £500 stock for the winner - Baytree
- Highly Commended: Lakeside Plant Centre
- The Greatest Covid Safe Christmas Display Team – Sponsored by Global Journey - £500 stock for the winner – Aylett Nurseries, Barton Grange
- Highly Commended: Baytree
- The Greatest Group Garden Centre Christmas Team – Sponsored by DCUK - £500 stock for the winner – Squires Badshot Lea
- Highly Commended: British Garden Centres Thatcham
- The Greatest Small Garden Centre Christmas Team - Sponsored by Ascalon - £500 stock for the winner - Pengelly
- Highly Commended: Jacksdale, Lakeside Plant Centre
- The Greatest Mid-Sized Garden Centre Christmas Team – Sponsored by Kaemingk - A display from their UK showroom for the winner – Busy Bee
- Highly Commended: Glendoick, Planters Tamworth, Sapcote, The Old Railway Line
- The Greatest Large Garden Centre Christmas Team – Sponsored by Festive - £500 stock for the winner – Barton Grange
- Highly Commended: Baytree, Hillmount, Perrywood
- The Greatest Christmas Supplier – As voted for by garden centres taking part in The Greatest Christmas Awards - Kaemingk
- Finalists: Festive, Gisela Graham, Noma - Leisuregrow, Otterhouse, Premier, Smart - Three Kings, Snowtime, Swift Imports
With almost 100 individual entries for the awards submitted before the New Years Eve deadline the judges spent many hours reviewing the entries, scanning websites and social media to produce the following list of Finalists:
Altons, Aylett Nurseries, Barton Grange, Baytree, Bosworths, Busy Bee, Christies of Fochabers, Colemans Garden Centre, Daisy Nook, Dobbies, Garden Centre Overstrand, Glendoick, Grange Farm Nursery, Groves, Haskins, Hillmount, Jacksdale, Lakeside Plant Centre, Millbrook, Old Barn, Otter Nurseries, Pengelly, Perrywood, Planters Tamworth, Planters Bretby, Pughs, Rosebourne - Weyhill, Sapcote, Squires Badshot Lea, St Peters - Worcester, Thatcham - BGC, The Old Railway Line, Thetford, Waresley Park.
See photos from all the Finalist centres below. Well done to them all!
Watch out for more detail about the winners in future issues of GTN Xtra and the January issue of GTN which will be published later next week.
It’s never too early to get your Christmas strategy in order. Festive Focus Day equips you with everything you need to know to make sure your 2021 Christmas ranges fly off the shelves.
Take a look at Christmas future with forecasters, Trend Bible as they dive into the emerging trends that will define Christmas 2021 using this link or click below
Who could have foreseen another lockdown post-Christmas. The stark reality is that lockdowns or not, social distancing is here to stay with us this year so it is important that any design changes you make now in your garden/farm centre reflect that, but also that those changes can be easily adaptable for a post-Covid trading world.
Garden centres hold important places in our community, and now more so than ever. With that, comes the responsibility of keeping customers and staff safe.
Catering Design Group (CDG) continues to advise and work with clients within the garden/farm centre market, providing a full design service, from concept to completion, based on their experience and knowledge of this market. They share some insight here on how to make the most of your current spend to future proof your business while keeping your staff and customers safe.
A balanced approach
- With garden centres and farm centres remaining open during lockdown, there is a heightened awareness of this market now. This has the potential to broaden the customer demographic/base as people seek out destination retail/eating experiences at this time, such as young families and mums with new babies. Garden/farm centres are fortunate to be open during lockdown but that comes with a responsibility to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
- The customer experience is still key but social distancing and the use of masks is making this challenging. With talk of social distancing possibly carrying on into next winter, the way garden/farm centre restaurants and cafes operate will need careful consideration.
- As designers, it is our responsibility to create visually engaging yet safe environments so that any designs or food offers implemented reflect that potential changing demographic, capture the same sense of excitement and experience as pre-Covid times and support customer safety.
- As humans, we are wired to connect, and there is no doubt that we all miss the interactions we took for granted in a pre-Covid world. As we move out of lockdown, people will be keen to get out and about and will expect/want the experience to be the same, whilst feeling safe to do so. This is where good design experience is essential. It takes a professional, creative and thoughtful design approach to balance these two important elements.
Designing in flexibility
- Regardless of your budget, whatever you spend now has to be adaptable to this changing commercial reality. For example, if you are investing in new furniture, make sure that it can be easily moved, and ideally, transformed from booths/pods with divider screens into a long, fixed seating in the future.
- Keep in mind the potential changing demographic of your customer-base. Lockdowns have created a whole new generation of young gardeners and a growing interest in home-based and garden activities, from growing your own vegetables to using gardens as essential and much-loved outdoor social spaces. Think about introducing contrasting styles of furniture to suit all ages ranges.
- Consider introducing flexible counters and ambient tables that can be used for collections. Plug & play interchangeable table top equipment such as K-Pots and roll-in theatre stations have full flexibility built in for future use and can add a sense of drama and entertainment to enhance the customer experience.
Making the most of technology
- Think about new ways of operating such as ‘call order’ or Apps to minimise physical contact and the risk to your customers and staff.
- Many existing Apps can be easily tailored to reflect your branding and food offer, and will allow customers to order from their table, whilst browsing the garden centre or even when they are on route.
- Consider the use of food collection cubes or lockers for customers to pre-order and collect their meals to minimise physical contact while adding a novelty factor. Again, with the right design expertise, these can be customised to suit your brand.
At one with nature
We call it biophilic design. This is about creating designs that provide a visual connection with nature, such as natural forms, patterns and textures. These design elements can be introduced into materials, the use of colour such as earthy tones or vibrant, nature-inspired hues, natural finishes and organic shapes to evoke a welcoming and restful environment for your customers. It’s all about the customer experience and anything that can provide a momentary respite from reality is welcome at this time. This doesn’t have to cost the earth but could reap benefits in terms of footfall and reputation. Designing planting in creates an added retail element to enhance the overall design and maximise retail sales.
A taste of what this might look like
The design team at CDG has put together some concepts of how all of these elements might work together.
Catering Design Group (CDG) is one of UK’s leading restaurant and commercial kitchen design companies, offering a full design service to clients throughout the retail, leisure, hospitality and education sectors. http://www.cateringdesign.co.uk
If you would like to know more about how CDG can support your vision, contact Steve Hutchings, director of CDG on 07736 479342 or email email@example.com
Scotch Corner Designer Village has announced that it has just signed a lease for a 160,000 sq ft home and garden centre with Blue Diamond, which will be the largest in the UK.
This large space will showcase the company’s superb range of plants, all seasons, indoor and outdoor as well as homeware, garden furniture and fashion and will be an integral part of Scotch Corner Designer Village. The store will not only surprise and delight first-time visitors, but it will also serve as a regular pit-stop for the local community. Visitors will also be able to entertain their children in the soft-play area, enjoy some lunch or a drink in the Gin Bar.
With an increased emphasis on making one’s home a haven and creating inspirational outdoor spaces, this announcement comes at an opportune moment and demonstrates Scotch Corner Designer Village’s commitment to creating the leading outlet shopping and leisure destination in the North of England.
Alan Roper, Managing Director of Blue Diamond, said: “I am delighted to have signed this partnership with Scotch Corner Designer Village. As attention to detail is fundamental to both companies, I am truly excited at the prospect of working together to create a stylish destination for tourists and the local community alike. The plants, product and food that we curate will all serve to create a memorable experience for all.”
The Blue Diamond Home and Garden Centre will extend Scotch Corner Designer Village’s luxury environment designed in the Yorkshire architectural style.
Simon Waterfield, developer and co-owner of Scotch Corner Richmond LLP, said: “Blue Diamond will be a huge asset to Scotch Corner Designer Village. It will prove to be a great resource for the local community as well as a stylish inspiration for our visitors. It will also provide a wonderful spot to relax and entertain the family.”
Scotch Corner Richmond LLP submitted plans for the Blue Diamond Garden Centre to be built next to the Designer Outlet Village that already has planning consent, adjacent to the A1(M) and the A606 near Richmond last week.
The garden centre plans, which have a similar look and feel to the East Bridgford Blue Diamond Garden centre, allow for 10,761 square metres of new internal floorspace, bigger than East Bridgford, and 624 car parking spaces.
Alan Roper told GTN Xtra, We are planning to be open autumn next year. The build starts autumn this year."
Scotch Corner Designer Village is set to be the leading outlet and leisure destination in the North of England. Phase One will cover 50 acres, comprising of 80 luxury boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
Located on the major A1(M)/A66 Scotch Corner junction, the scheme will benefit from 44 million people in 27.5 million vehicles travelling through the area every year and being one of the most accessible retail and leisure opportunities in the UK. The site will be a great location for a day-out, as well as an enjoyable break in a road journey between England and Scotland.
The scheme will also benefit from an immediate catchment of 4.5 million residents within a 60-minute off-peak drivetime, with more than double that (9.8 million) within a 90-minute off-peak drivetime. The site is expected to attract annual footfall of 4.0m visitors in Phase One and will rank 4th in the UK for estimated sales density when complete.
Located on a wider 100-acre site, also owned by Scotch Corner Richmond LLP, the developer has ambitions for further leisure and sporting facilities, a hotel, drive-thru food offer, petrol filling station and employment units. This will create a unique destination, offering a wholly different experience to other outlet centres in the North of England.
Developed by Scotch Corner Richmond LLP, the scheme is the creation of property developer Simon Waterfield and his long-standing colleague Peter Mullen, who has a wealth of retail experience having founded Thomas Pink and made Hunter the brand it is today.
Lockdown #3 creates the slowest start to the year, but Veg 2 Gro sales are up
Exclusive GTN Bestsellers Epos data analysis
Sales in the first week of the year were 68.5% down on the same week last year as Lockdown #3 took effect, according to the weekly garden centre EPOS data analysed by GTN Bestsellers.
The only sector, as recorded by GTN Bestsellers, that showed any year on year improvement was Veg 2 Gro...
Sales in the first week of the year were 68.5% down on the same week last year as Lockdown #3 took effect, according to the weekly garden centre EPOS data analysed by GTN Bestsellers.
The only sector, as recorded by GTN Bestsellers, that showed any year on year improvement was Veg 2 Gro where seed sales exceeded last year's levels by 11%. Could this be the first indicator of a bumper year for grow you own activity?
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 1
- Garden Products Top 50 – down 63%
- Growing Media Top 50 – down 29%
- Veg 2 Gro Top 50 – up 11%
- Wild Bird & Wildlife Care Top 50 – down 52%
GTN Bestsellers All Sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 1
- All Plants with Barcode index – down 72%
- All Items with Barcode index – down 68%
The weather was also a contributory factor to the decline in gardening sales with Wild Bird care product sales volumes outselling Growing Media for the first time in over a year.
Next week we'll be back to normal with GTN Bestsellers week on week analysis, so to make sure you are ahead of the game in knowing which products and plants are selling fastest take out a subscription to the GTN Bestsellers newsletter today.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a years subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
Harrogate Christmas & Gift moves to early May
Harrogate Christmas & Gift has secured new dates for its 2021 show – Sunday 9th May to Tuesday 11th May 2021 – with the event scheduled to take place at the Harrogate Convention Centre...
The last year has without doubt left the majority of us feeling an air of uncertainty regarding our business and social lives alike; and the gift industry has been no exception.
Harrogate Christmas & Gift was fortunate enough to be one of the few UK trade shows able to experience ‘business as usual’ in 2020, celebrating another bumper event in January – just weeks before the news of COVID and subsequent social restrictions hit the national news.
However, in 2021 we have not been as fortunate and the restrictions and logistics for staging such a huge trade event have, as expected, been numerous and unprecedented. Simon Anslow, Harrogate Christmas & Gift show organiser explains: “After the first lockdown in spring 2020, our January show seemed a long way off and believing that the COVID situation would be under control by then, we carried on with plans as usual. By the autumn, it became blaringly apparent that this was becoming less likely and with the Prime Minister stating that it could be a further six months before exhibitions could re-open, we started to look at Plan B.
“The usual home for Harrogate Christmas & Gift – the Harrogate Convention Centre – is currently being used as a nightingale hospital, so our first challenge was to find an alternative venue. Fortunately, The Yorkshire Event Centre (YEC) situated on the edge of Harrogate ticked all of the boxes with excellent modern facilities, great accessibility and close to the town and amenities. We pencilled in a new show date of 28th February 2021 and were delighted to have the support of some of our bigger exhibitors such as Premier Decorations, Festive Productions and Gisela Graham, who were all impressed with the proposed new venue. The YEC team is already very COVID aware, with special measures in place to ensure the safety of those using the facilities. We had also planned to extend the period of the show to dilute the concentration of visitors over a longer period.
“On Friday 18th December, just a week before Christmas, we received information from the local authority that multi-day exhibitions would be allowed providing correct COVID measures were put into place. Our elation at this news was quickly deflated the following day on the 19th December with the announcement of a new variant of COVID and the rapid spread throughout London and the South East. This situation saw much of the country plunged back into Tier 4 lockdown and the Prime Minister’s announcement of a countrywide lockdown on the 4th January meant there is no chance of the show going ahead as planned in February.”
Simon continues, “Ultimately the most important thing is the safety of everyone involved in the show and the majority of the exhibitors signed up are keen to participate in Harrogate Christmas & Gift as and when it is able to happen. The festive and gift industry is quite unique – unlike industries where items are mostly branded and familiar to consumers – with these types of products, buyers really need to see and feel them to get the vibe of whether they will suit their store and customer requirements.
“We are delighted to confirm that we have now secured new dates for the show from Sunday 9th May to Tuesday 11th May 2021 at the Harrogate Convention Centre and will keep everything crossed that the Covid situation is under control and we are able to continue with plans by this time.”
Harrogate Christmas & Gift is one of the UK’s favourite trade shows not only for festive goods, but novelties and gifts for all occasions. Buyers attend from numerous sectors including garden centres, department stores, independent retailers and gift shops, tourist attractions and heritage centres and even cathedrals and places of worship seeking souvenirs and gifts and decorations for special occasions.
Simon concludes: “This has been such a difficult year and we hope that everyone has managed to stay safe and enjoy some semblance of celebrations over the Christmas period. We thank all of our exhibitors and visitors for their patience and understanding of the predicament facing not just Harrogate Christmas & Gift, but everyone involved in the exhibition industry and retail sector – and we look forward to welcoming you all back sometime in 2021, when hopefully we can return to our businesses as normal.”
Visit the website at www.harrogatefair.com for the latest information and updates.
First Hillier trees in place at new Maggie’s Centre Southampton
The first of more than 100 British-grown trees supplied by Hillier Trees have been delivered to their final destination at the new Maggie’s Centre in Southampton. The Centre and surrounding grounds, which will be the first for Maggie’s in the South of England, is designed to create a tranquil oasis for visitors...
The first of more than 100 British-grown trees supplied by Hillier Trees have been delivered to their final destination at the new Maggie’s Centre in Southampton. The Centre and surrounding grounds, which will be the first for Maggie’s in the South of England, is designed to create a tranquil oasis for visitors.
Hillier is proud to be supporting charity partner Maggie’s as they create a brand-new Maggie’s Centre in Southampton, adjacent to the hospital. The centre will have cutting edge architectural design and beautifully landscaped surrounding gardens. Having viewed plans, Hillier saw how they could use their horticultural expertise to offer support through the supply of trees. Hillier is providing more than 100 British-grown trees from the company’s nurseries in Hampshire at no profit to the company, the first of which have now arrived at the centre.
The Centre is being created in partnership between award-wining architects AL_A, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and Sarah Price, one of the country’s most sought-after landscape designers. The design will create an oasis in the grounds of the hospital’s suburban campus. Almost three quarters of the 1,470m2 site is being given over to four distinct gardens that are inspired by the ecology of the nearby New Forest. The intention is for the garden to look as if it has always been there, providing seclusion from the outside world.
A conceptual design image of the new centre
In keeping with Sarah Price’s design ethos, the tree selection includes species that will create a natural, woodland look and feel; offer a colour palette that blends with the striking architectural design and provide year-round interest.
Following a number of visits to Hillier Trees field and container tree nurseries in Hampshire, individual container and root-ball trees were selected by Sarah. The timing of the national lockdown in late March, as a result of COVID-19, inevitably created a delay to the originally planned planting schedule. This meant that the season for planting root-balled trees had passed. Fortunately, this did not create an obstacle, thanks to Hillier having a container as well as field tree nursery. Trees growing on the container tree nursery can be planted all year around, which meant it was possible to simply substitute some of the planned root-ball trees for container grown ones.
“Sarah is a very visual, creative designer,” comments Caroline Swann, Account Manager at Hillier Trees. “With us unable to conduct an in-person tour of container trees due to Coronavirus restrictions, we had video calls instead to re-select trees. This allowed us to give a 360° walk around each one to make sure it was perfect!”
Tree species selected for the new Centre include Betula pendula (silver birch), Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine), Sorbus aucuparia (Mountain ash), Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry) and Prunus avium (wild cherry). Many of these have been specified as multi-stem or more naturalistic forms, as opposed to a more traditional neat clipped form, fitting with the design ethos.
The trees are all being delivered from Hillier Trees container tree nursery in Hampshire and planted over the space of a few weeks in January; an almost military operation requiring the brief closure of roads around the grounds to facilitate delivery.
MJT Landscapes and Yoreland Design were contacted by Hillier and are supporting with hard and soft landscaping.
MJT Landscapes, who have contributed to a number of gold-medal winning Hillier exhibits at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, will be responsible for the hard landscaping element of the build, which includes creation of planting bunds requiring nearly 1,500 tons of sub and top soil.
“MJT Landscapes are thrilled to be working with the Hillier Team on the project for Maggie’s at Southampton,” says Mark Tomlinson, Director of MJT Landscapes. “We hope the finished garden will bring comfort to those who visit.”
A partial view of some of the large planting bunds
"On behalf of the Yoreland Design team, I can say that it’s a pleasure to support such a worthwhile cause,” says Leigh Richards, Founder and Director of Yoreland Design Ltd.
Supplier partners of Hillier Garden Centres have also offered their support for this project, including Westland, who have donated 12 pallets of mulch.
Generous support has also been given by Platipus Anchors, who have provided all the tree anchors used to support and stabilise the trees at a reduced cost, as well as making a company donation towards Maggie’s Centres.
The official opening of the new Centre is planned for early February 2021.
“Maggie's are delighted to be working closely with Hillier to realise Sarah Price's landscape at University Hospital Southampton,” says Siobhan Wyatt, Property Projects Lead at Maggie’s. “Our New Forest oasis will be a haven for anyone living with cancer, and their loved ones, while they receive support from our staff.”
“We are delighted that trees are now being delivered and we look forward to seeing them all in their final position,” comments George Hillier, Director of Property at Hillier Nurseries. “This Centre is going to bring a huge benefit to the community and we are proud to have been able to lend our support.”
Southern Trident national sales team hits the road
High quality coir product company Southern Trident Ltd, has recruited a team of salespeople to cover the UK, aiming to develop the business’ presence in garden centres. The team of 9 hit the road in the New Year with shipments for the new season...
High quality coir product company Southern Trident Ltd, has recruited a team of salespeople to cover the UK, aiming to develop the business’ presence in garden centres. The team of 9 hit the road in the New Year with shipments for the new season.
The team will be offering an exciting range of Coco & Coir™ branded compressed high-quality coir compost and door mats with plenty more in the pipeline to follow. The Coco & Coir™ compost product is a new concept for the garden centre, lightweight, compact, easy to pick-up and carry. It is easy for the consumer and even doesn’t take up too much space in the trolley, leaving plenty of room for other purchases. In addition, the team have a wide range of tough hard-wearing coir door mats, available in a large number of attractive printed designs to suit any taste.
Steve Harper, CEO at Southern Trident, says of this exciting announcement: ‘This is the next step of making Southern Trident a force to be reckoned with in the garden centre sector, bringing genuinely new and exciting products to market. Our peat-free coir blocks fit perfectly with the industries transition away from peat and meet the consumers changing requirements to be more environmentally conscious.’
Southern Trident Ltd, through its brand Coco & Coir™ in the last 12 months has enjoyed substantially beyond budgeted, increased sales growth. Southern Trident is a UK company with strong roots in India supplying high quality coir based growing medium and eco-friendly doormats. Customers are supplied direct from source to market in a fully Southern Trident managed seamless operation. Sustainability is at the heart of Southern Tridents foundation believing that the coconut is the perfect crop that will work for the consumer, the environment and meet the aims of the Southern Trident strongly held company values, Green today, Greener tomorrow.
To book an appointment with your local sales representative please click this link: https://southerntrident.com/sales-agents/
For more details on our range of products visit: www.southerntrident.com/product-range
Click through to our short video to see our range https://youtu.be/I5rO9EaBpO0
Weber has acquired June, a smart appliance and technology company that created the June Oven and JuneOS, a connected operating system for smart appliances.
Under the terms of the deal, Weber has acquired 100 per cent of June, including its proprietary software, technology, intellectual property, and the June Oven line of products and accessories. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Previously, Weber and June collaborated to develop Weber Connect™, a precision barbecuing technology platform that makes grilling the perfect meal simple for every level of cook via a breakthrough WiFi and smartphone-enabled grilling experience. Weber Connect won the Award for Best Connected Home Product at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
“This acquisition is a significant step in the advancement of our strategy to revolutionize the outdoor cooking experience through digital products, services, and experiences that make grilling more dynamic and exciting,” said Chris Scherzinger, CEO of Weber-Stephen Products LLC.
“June has been an invaluable partner in developing our Weber Connect platform. Adding June’s expertise and technology to our own allows us to accelerate our connected innovation programs and better address grillers’ needs with new products and services that offer simplicity and fuel barbecuing discovery through enhanced capabilities.”
For June, Weber’s global business footprint, infrastructure, resources, and expertise, open significant scale to June’s products and technology, including broadening the roadmap for future product and technology development.
June co-founders Matt Van Horn and Nikhil Bhogal join Weber and serve as President of June, and Senior Vice-President, Technology and Connected Devices of Weber, respectively. Mr. Bhogal will work across all Weber research and development programs and product categories. Mr. Van Horn will continue to lead and develop the June Oven products and accessories business, which will become a strategic business unit within Weber. June Oven products and accessories are available in North America on www.juneoven.com or via selected retailers.
“We are proud to join Weber, the global leader in barbecuing and a partner we have enjoyed a meaningful relationship with for some time,” said Matt Van Horn. “This deal immediately broadens the reach of our technology and gives all June team members exciting new challenges to continue to bring intelligent cooking to households worldwide.”
Dobbies releases podcast to mark Stroke Prevention Day
Dobbies Garden Centres teamed up with the Stroke Association to mark Stroke Prevention Day, which took place on Thursday (January 14), when people were encouraged to make one small change to reduce their risk of stroke...
Dobbies Garden Centres teamed up with the Stroke Association to mark Stroke Prevention Day, which took place on Thursday (January 14), when people were encouraged to make one small change to reduce their risk of stroke.
To mark the day, Dobbies recorded a special podcast episode with the Stroke Association, discussing how gardening can have positive physical, mental, social and emotional benefits to those rebuilding their life after stroke.
In the first episode of the new year, podcast host Louise Midgely was joined by Claire Fincham, Prevention Manager at the Stroke Association, to talk about the various benefits that gardening can have as well as sharing a host of practical advice and tips to help people affected by stroke.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, said: “We started working with the Stroke Association during 2020 and this collaboration has enabled us to emphasise the impact gardening can have on those rebuilding their lives after stroke. Thank you to the Stroke Association for giving us the opportunity to help support the launch of the first ever Stroke Prevention Day.”
The Stroke Association is encouraging people to get involved on Stroke Prevention Day and make one small, simple change over the next three months. Whether its getting up and moving regularly during the day, stopping smoking or swapping an alcoholic drink for a soft one, the Stroke Association will support you during your three-month pledge.
Claire Fincham, Prevention Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “The biggest thing you can do reduce your risk of stroke is to start by making one small change and getting into gardening as a form of exercise is perfect for this. We’re delighted to be working with Dobbies to spread the word about its many benefits.”
Dobbies’ latest podcast with the Stroke Association is available to listen to and download now via Apple Podcasts and Spotify https://www.dobbies.com/content/podcast.html
Previous episodes are also available and include seasonal gardening tips ahead of spring, practical advice for beginners and handy insights from Dobbies’ experts on growing your own produce at home.
To get involved on Stroke Prevention Day visit www.stroke.org.uk/PreventionDay, follow the Stroke Association on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and share your own posts using the hashtags #strokepreventionday and #onesmallchange
For more information visit dobbies.com
Tuscan growers look to further expansion in 2021
Two nurseries in Tuscany that work as one, are looking to significantly expand their market in 2021. The campaign for the New Year will target further sales across both the U.K. and Europe including the Netherlands plus Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia...
Two nurseries in Tuscany that work as one, are looking to significantly expand their market in 2021. The campaign for the New Year will target further sales across both the U.K. and Europe including the Netherlands plus Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia.
Tuscany Growers 'Brand'
Operating from Pistoia, the two nurseries, Vivai Masetti Sabino and Vivai Biagini co-operate together under the brand Tuscany Growers which is entirely owned and operated by women, making it the only female run organisation in the Italian nursery industry.
Evergreen Pleached Trees
Pleached Trees such as Photinia, Quercus Ilex and Ilex Nellie Stevens are amongst the most popular varieties grown and sold this unique nursery. Loropetalum Black Pearl Ball, cones shrubs and half standards plus climbers such as Rosa Banksia, grafted Wisteria and Rhyncospermum are further examples of the variety of plant material these growers are propagating in Pistoia.
Trend Towards the 'Green Home'
Following a sustained period of sales ahead of the festive season, General Manager Barbara Fontani commented, 'We have seen a trend towards 'greening the home'. Covid has resulted in people staying home but has allowed them to consider how their gardens look!'
'We are here to help provide suggestions and to supply plants and trees of their choice. Both the retail plant market, wholesalers and professional landscape sectors are looking for new ideas. We pride ourselves in a good and rapid service of supply.'
More than ready for Brexit!
Tuscany Growers have already set in place an extensive programme to alleviate potential issues with their supply chain. By using the REX exporter system, this provides certification for the origin of goods. It simplifies export procedures and reduces custom fees.
Impressive Video 'Tour'
Click this link to view their impressive video tour of their Tuscan nurseries.
Tuscany Growers are always available via the various message channels, email, phone and wapp, so feel free to contact them today!'
Henry Bell Wild Bird Care has launched a brand-new range: The Sterling Collection. Beautifully made and finished in silver, the Sterling Collection includes a 3in1 Squirrel Proof Feeder, the Grand Feeders Range and a Feeding Station, plus a range of stylish Feeders which feature the unique Henry Bell forward-facing perch design.
Designed to enable and enhance garden birds’ wellbeing, whilst providing elegant garden style, the new Henry Bell Sterling Collection includes a variety of products with unique features. Leading the range are the Sterling Feeders for Seed, Fat Balls, Peanuts and Sunflower Hearts (RRP £12.99), which are robust and long-lasting.
Crucially, the feeders feature the Henry Bell ring perch design that enables garden birds to feed in their natural forward-facing position. This allows wild birds to look out for predators with greater ease, as well as being able to feed for longer and in greater comfort. In addition, the Sterling Feeders have easy flow bases with easy opening lids making them easy to use, clean and refill.
Complementing the Sterling Feeder range is the innovative 3in1 Squirrel Proof Feeder (RRP £29.99), where a Fat Ball, Seed and Peanut feeder are encased with a decorative cage that will deter the most tenacious of squirrels. The collection also includes the Grand Feeders range (RRP £17.99) which stand at a majestic 60cm tall and come in fat ball, seed, and peanut feeder types.
Henry Bell’s Sterling Collection additionally offers a selection of multi-purpose Shepherd’s Crooks (from RRP £9.99) that deliver easy and effective hanging solutions. These will make a stunning silver statement in the garden and include all of Henry Bell’s garden bird wellbeing features. Finally, the collection is completed with Henry Bell’s magnificent Sterling Feeding Station (RRP £19.99). An elegant display of decorative leaves and hanging hooks, the feeding station is distinctive – standing at 218cm in height.
Henry Bell & Co is a fourth-generation family-owned British business that produces quality small bird, wild bird and animal feeds. Henry Bell Wild Bird Care features 120 quality products catering for every type of garden bird, all designed with health and wellbeing of birds in mind. Henry Bell has also made sustainable packaging a priority with all their Wild Bird Food packaging being 100% recyclable whilst protecting the integrity of the elements inside each bag.
Henry Bell Wild Bird Care is available in 400 garden centres nationwide includingDobbies Garden Centres and online, as well as selected independent garden centres, pet shops and retailers.
For more information, please visitwww.henrybell.co.uk
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At a meeting of the HTA’s Ornamental Management Committee on Thursday 14 January 2021, members unanimously backed a resolution calling for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to be given the chance to reform to be fit for purpose for our sector, but is conditional on the provision of a further ballot being written in to the organisation’s remit.
The backing for this call was made by OMC members, along with James Alcaraz, chairman of the British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) and other guests (Howard Braime and Jamie Dewhurst), following the 14 January meeting with AHDB chairman, Nicholas Saphir and senior members of the AHDB.
The full resolution was:
- We recognise the role the AHDB has played for our industry, bringing some important functions and benefits.
- We absolutely agree on the need for reform in order to make the AHDB fit for purpose for our sector.
- We have confidence in the chairman, Nicholas Saphir, that he can deliver these reforms, including more direct accountability to levy-payers in the ornamental horticulture sector.
- There is an expectation that in delivering these reforms, Nicholas Saphir will work with the OMC and others to ensure the needs of Ornamental Horticulture are met.
- This confidence is absolutely dependent and conditional on the principle of the provision for a further ballot that happens in a timely fashion and certainly within the next five years.
This statement is from the HTA’s Ornamentals Management Committee as individuals, rather than representing the agreed views of their businesses and BPOA chairman James Alcaraz.
Martin Emmett, OMC Chairman said:
“This unanimous support shows the strength of interest for a reformed AHDB that better responds to the needs of our sector. Nicholas Saphir outlined a compelling case for reform, building confidence with members that ornamental horticulture can have a strong future and benefit from being a part of the AHDB. However, this is not a ‘blank cheque’. The AHDB know they have a considerable amount of work to do to build trust and communication with ornamental horticulture levy payers. A backstop of a future ballot must be taken up by the AHDB. With the chance for ornamental horticulture to be better represented in AHDB decision-making, our sector should take the opportunity to back a reformed AHDB, funded by a statutory levy.”
Martin Emmett – OMC Chairman, Tristram Plants
Jonathan Whittemore – OMC Vice-Chairman, Johnsons of Whixley
Geoff Caesar, Bordon Hill Nurseries
Adrian Marskell, Bransford Webbs
James Coles, Coles Nurseries
Richard Hopkins, Fargro and West Sussex Growers Association
Nick Dunn, Frank P Mathews
Charles Carr, Hilliers
Mike Vickers, JA Jones
Guy Massey, Joseph Rochford Gardens
Jonathan Marquis, Lovania Nurseries
Steve McCurdy, Majestic Trees
David Higginson, New Leaf Plants
Brian Fraser, Oakover Nurseries
Martin Brijs, Palmstead Nurseries
Jamie Dewhurst, J&A Growers
Howard Braime, Double H Nurseries
James Alcaraz, Chairman - BPOA.
Alex Newey, Newey Varfell Group
Vitavia sends their Happy New Year wishes everyone! We hope you all managed to have a lovely festive break, albeit a little different this year.
We at Vitavia normally spend Christmas Day together as a family, so it was definitely a quieter one for us without the 6 grandchildren running riot! Fingers crossed the craziness can resume for 2021, as let’s be honest, it only feels like Christmas with copious amounts of chaos doesn’t it?!
We had hoped to be writing this with a new and exciting year ahead, but unfortunately, we’re now back in a lockdown number 3! Not all is doom and gloom though as fingers crossed there is light at the end of this very long and winding lockdown tunnel.
We cannot thank you enough for your support during these crazy times. We have faced many challenges over the last year, including transit delays and lockdown rules restricting scheduled deliveries, however, you have all been extremely understanding and patience during this pandemic. Despite all the challenges we faced, we have managed to deliver more greenhouses than ever before, so we are thrilled to be able to add some pleasure to those whilst staying safely at home.
Please keep safe everyone and hopefully we will be set free soon and can get back to seeing our loved ones and sharing all our wonderful tales of erm… lockdown!
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
Garden centre owners share their thoughts on being open during Lockdown 3
After the first full week of operating during lockdown 3, several garden centre owners and directors have shared their views about being allowed to be open for business.
"With the classification as “Essential” I believe they are looking at the science and evidence of the mental and physical benefits that gardening brings..."
"Even in this cold weather you only have to spend an hour or two outside to know how much better it makes you feel..."
"Its ironic that centres were heaving before Christmas with the potential hazards and now we are empty some choose to close..."
"I felt more uneasy about staying open during the November lockdown when our focus was Christmas..."
“It would be a desperate shame to be open now, and then get shut down when we desperately need to be open..."
"This of all years, with the disruption to the supply chain, is not the year to delay deliveries..."
After the first full week of operating during lockdown 3, several garden centre owners and directors have shared their views about being allowed to be open for business.
Adam Wigglesworth at Aylett Nurseries said: “Three times the government has taken the specific decision to open garden centres. In May ahead of mainstream retail, in November and now last week. With the classification as “Essential” I believe they are looking at the science and evidence of the mental and physical benefits that gardening brings. As soon as the weather improves many people will be keen to get in their gardens and by being open we are facilitating that.
“Garden centres have been exemplars of safe retailing and we are encouraging customers to “shop and go”. Centres have packed away areas, such as their Christmas sales, to discourage browsing and because January is traditionally a quiet month customer numbers are low, allowing customers and staff even more space. Helping to keep people busy at home, thinking and planning for lighter, brighter spring days is surely one of the things that our industry can help with.
“Our team are on site preparing for spring, as we would normally be, and it is vital that we are supporting our growers and suppliers by being here to receive deliveries and also to prepare to have the full range and stock that customers will need when spring and summer is here . There will not be capacity in the supply chain if goods cannot be delivered early in the year. We will be here to receive those goods and the team that are on site recognise this important issue . Organised retail areas leads to less customer queries, interactions and problems, reducing time spent in store and resulting in safer efficient shopping for all.
“We are offering online purchases for delivery and click and collect, but one size does not fit all. There are many customers who cannot order this way, or experience problems finding a delivery or click and collect slot from other retailers – they are pleased to be able to come in and frequently thank us for being open . Every centre will make their own decisions based on their risk assessments and circumstances – situations are changing all the time.
“However, we should also never take lightly the importance of the Governments view that we are “ essential retail “ and the responsibility this brings.”
Chris Francis at Hillier told GTN Xtra: “I fully respect any individual’s decision to do what they feel is right for their business. I have read a number of comments recently from Mathew Bent, Adam Wigglesworth and Martin Stewart, amongst others who all make excellent comment and clearly well-judged reason as essential retailers for remaining open. The HTA have shown great leadership throughout this situation and have also made a very balanced statement.
“At Hillier, as a designated essential retailer, we feel it is right to be available for our customers essential purchases. Fuel and Gas is currently our top selling product category (after food probably one of the most essential products at this time of year) closely followed by seed potatoes, seeds and propagation. Although the weather may not be conducive to spending too much time outdoors there are still the more dedicated hardy of our customers out in their gardens. Many gardeners are sowing, working in their greenhouses and generally getting ready for the moment the weather improves enough for them to spend more time outdoors. We have received many appreciative comments from our customers that we have remained open for them and thanking us for, in their words not mine “being responsible in regards to their safety and our staff safety” with the measures we have put in place.
“Even in this cold weather you only have to spend an hour or two outside to know how much better it makes you feel, I am pleased we are able to assist our customers in getting outdoors and hopefully improving their mental wellbeing at such a difficult time.”
Gerald Ingram at Planters agreed with Derek Bunkers thoughts: "One of the things constantly at the back of my head is how hard the HTA have worked to keep us open and it’s a bit of a slap in the face for them if we close. And as Derek suggests some have furloughed their workers simply to reduce losses in a month we would normally lose money anyway. I also think it weakens the case for getting Welsh and Scottish centres open when English ones have volunteered to close.
“I appreciate Covid and how we react is a very individual response and some centres will have been touched with it more than others. Some centres have been slow to reopen or kept their restaurants closed and it’s those same centres that have chosen to close in January and February.
“However its ironic that centres were heaving before Christmas with the potential hazards and now we are empty some choose to close.
“The teams at all three of our centres have been very supportive of staying open and inventive in ways of keeping safe at the same time delivering a first rate service. We have been getting a lot of support on Social media for our measures etc, as well as some “how are you essential?” remarks.
“Interestingly one of the reasons we launched our call and collect service last March was because a lot of reptile owners are dependant on us for live and frozen food. We are essential but not necessarily for the reasons most people think! However, I do think seeds, plants, fruit bushes and trees, compost are all essential to the hardened gardener and those looking for an activity at home.
“Also, if we close we are sacrificing our trade to The Range, B&M, B&Q, Home Bargains etc, not to mention online retailers.
“Fortunately, we have not had crowds descend on us just to spend an hour out of the house, however this is the first weekend so it may test that.
“We have split our team at Tamworth and to a degree at Bretby into two so that also helps reduce numbers in store.”
Charlie Grove, Groves of Bridport, who's "We Are Here for You" message to his customers has been used widely by other centres gave us his view on the situation: “Personally, I feel that garden centres should be staying open where they can. The HTA and GCA worked hard to get us open in the spring and like it or not we have been classed as an essential retailer, so we have a duty to do our best to remain open in a safe way. We don’t have a food hall at Groves, but we do offer a large ranges of items that I would deem as truly essential such as pet food, farm supplies and household fuel as well as a traditional range of grow your own and these are all things that our customers rely on us for. I felt more uneasy about staying open during the November lockdown when our focus was Christmas.
“Having said that, garden centre offerings vary a lot and we all rely on different footfall drivers such as catering that are not there right now. If you are in a particularly high COVID case area I completely understand the risk to staff verses the reward of opening just might just be too high. It’s a fine balance and we all have to be able to sleep at night.
“To be honest I am constantly reviewing the local situation and if I felt that the cases in our town were rising rapidly or things were becoming tense and unmanageably busy, like it was just before the first lockdown, then I would be prepared to close for the sake of our team but as things stand we have had nothing but positive feedback about staying open. Customers are coming in for the right reasons in slow but steady numbers (I don’t have much heating in the shop, so they aren’t hanging around!) and it honestly does feel safe and under control in our centre at the moment.”
Sam Bosworth, who owns two garden centres in Northamptonshire also echoed Derek Bunkers comments. “I understand we all have our own reasons for doing things, but HTA and GCA have worked so hard to get this status, it is a shame it is not being supported wholeheartedly, even if this means supported very quietly. Some areas have bigger Covid problems than others, and our businesses are very different - plant nurseries to virtual department stores - so different approaches are understandable.
“It would be a desperate shame to be open now, and then get shut down when we desperately need to be open because we are not considered essential. In reality, February through to June is when we really are essential to mental health due to our Gardening offering, a few weeks of keeping our heads down now may be essential to keeping us open in Gardening season.
“We all need to be stocktaking, putting Christmas stock away and getting gardening out, so it is not too difficult to serve the few customers that are venturing out, and as long as we are not actively seen to be promoting footfall at present, we should be OK. There is no way anyone can afford to not have staff on site, so even though we may furlough some people, keeping a till open is good for everybody's sanity.”
Martin Stewart, Stewarts Garden Centres, adds: "It is impossible to lock the doors of a Garden Centre, walk away and turn off the lights.
"Plants need watering, heating needs to be on, deliveries need to be accepted in preparation for the busy spring months ahead, seasonal lines need to be packed away, admin including payroll and bill paying needs to happen. The 31st Jan is our, and many others, end of year so stock takes have to take place.
"Suppliers need to continue to move stock from their greenhouses and warehouse. It cannot be simply ‘put on hold’ until later. Chaos would ensue. We have to be there to accept them. This of all years, with the disruption to the supply chain, is not the year to delay deliveries.
"None of the above is any different from operating an online operation except we don’t have people packing in the warehouse! People seem to forget that. Why online is deemed safer I don’t really know.
"By putting a till operator on we are able to serve the very few customers who are coming in. We are quiet and will remain so. What a sensible time to get those gardening essentials. Far better now than when we are busier after lockdown.
"Any staff that do not wish to be in are willingly furloughed, many others are keen to be in, but we don’t need many. We have so much space to socially distance and those few customers who are coming in for garden supplies are very grateful.
"We have so much to offer, we should not have to remind ourselves of the significant benefit of being able to enjoy working outside in your garden preparing for spring.
"Clearly it is for each business to decide what is best for them, their staff and customers. But for us, and we are constantly reviewing how we feel about the situation, we are remaining open."
Alton's praised for tough stance on facemasks
Following on from last weeks issue GTN Xtra received the following statement from Derek Bunker about the response to his COVID-19 update and his views on garden centres staying open during lockdown 3...
Following on from publishing the Groves – We Are Here For You – story in GTN Xtra last week (by far the most read story of the issue) GTN Xtra received the following statement from Derek Bunker about the response to his COVID-19 update and his views on garden centres staying open during lockdown 3.
Derek told GTN Xtra: “We posted this message on our website on the 4th of January:
Obviously, we are so pleased that we have been allowed to continue to remain open however, we would ask you to please make sure that you always wear a mask whilst in the garden centre. If you are exempt, please bring proof of exemption and show us. We are aware that in law you do not have to show us but if you are not willing to do this then we are sorry, but we will not allow you in. This decision has been made to protect our staff from anyone claiming to be exempt when they are not.
We have checked out this decision and we are within our rights to implement this procedure.
We look forward to seeing you and please be assured our garden centre is as COVID safe as we can make it.
“The response we have had has been amazing and very heart warming. Comments such as "wish more businesses would follow suit", "thank you very much for what you're doing" and many, many more messages of congratulations on the stance that we've taken.
“The government has put garden centres in the essential class. Let's be sensible, this is not because you need to buy compost seeds, plants, etc. at this time of year. This is more for mental health than anything else. It is to give members of the public somewhere that is fairly safe so that they can get growing as soon as the weather improves.
“Are the centres that are choosing to stay shut, therefore, sending out the wrong message. If you were happy to be open throughout the previous lockdown when you were selling Christmas, are you not sending out a message that whilst it is quiet, you are going to close to save money?
“It is up to individual centres to choose what they wish to do. But after all the hard work that the HTA and the GCA have put in to allow us to open, I feel we should respect that.
“Are those that are closed now going to stay closed until the restrictions are altered, maybe not until March or April?”
Team Smart’s Sue Sharp retires
After working 32 years in the garden industry – including 21 of them at Gardman and six at Smart Garden Products – Sue Sharp is retiring...
After working 32 years in the garden industry – including 21 of them at Gardman and six at Smart Garden Products – Sue Sharp is retiring.
“What a fabulous industry the gardening Industry has been to work in,” said Sue. “I feel very privileged to have had the opportunities that have come my way throughout the years. There have been challenges of course but that has been what has made the experience so rewarding. It has been like a large family and I have made so many lasting friends in the industry over those years.”
This is not the first time that Sue has retired. “I originally retired from Gardman in Autumn 2013 only to join Smart Garden Products in January 2014 which was initially for a year. Working with Paris Natar again – together with some previous and new colleagues as part of the Smart team – has been fantastic.
“I am proud to have been part of Team Smart whilst it has been so actively growing the business.
“Over the past few years it has never seemed the right time to retire and leave – there has always been another challenge and something else to be done. I have really enjoyed helping all the customers to grow their businesses and although I am sad to leave, as with everything there does come a time to say goodbye.
“I do want to thank all the garden centre customers I have been working closely with, for all their support over the years, and wish them together with Smart Garden Products all the very best of luck for the future.
“In the meantime I am hoping for a little more leisurely time to spend with my family and longer term, to support my hobby of travel just as soon as it is safe to do so.”
HTA President, Boyd Douglas-Davies, has decided to give up chocolate and cake to raise money for Greenfinders charity...and he's already causing a stir with justgiving.com putting his effort into the top 10% of New Year fundraisers.
Boyd’s chocolate and cake fast is set to last a whole year and follows on from his 2020 year with no chocolate.
“If I get to £1,830 that will be £5 per day of no chocolate. I decided to add cake to the challenge this year so now it is 365 days of no chocolate or cake,” said Boyd.
“Who knew that NOT doing something could raise so much money.”
If you'd like to donate to Boyd's fundraising visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/boyddouglasdavies4
Meanwhile, Natalie Porter has been doing her own fundraising activity for Greenfingers and Perennial. She had the “Most Jumperful Time of the Year”, saying: “Each day of advent I wore a different Christmas jumper,” and so far has raised £2,185.
To help Natalie reach her £2,500 target you can donate at https://themostjumperful.co.uk/
Read more and see GTN Xtras photo tour of the new centre
Haskins Garden Centre in Snowhill, Crawley, has opened its doors to customers following a 12-month refurbishment costing £15m.
The new centre boasts a retail space of 11,813 sq.m., 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.
Up to 70 new jobs have been created to accommodate the centre's expansion. Car parking has increased to 346 spaces. See GTN Xtra's photo tour of the new centre below.
Chief executive Julian Winfield said the Snowhill team worked tirelessly to ensure the centre was able to remain open for the majority of the project, with minimal disruption.
“We can't wait to receive our customers' feedback on our new and improved facilities,” he added. “Over the years, we have built a loyal customer following and we are proud to be able to give back to them in this way with our new expanded centre.”
Haskins acquired the Snowhill site in 2003, inheriting a number of ageing buildings.
Haskins also has centres in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone in West Sussex. The family business recently acquired Forest Lodge Garden Centre, Bird World and Garden Style in Farnham.
Pictured (left to right): Julian Winfield, Jamie Haskins, Ally Haskins (married to Jamie) and Warren Haskins, the group's chairman.
The opening event was attended by the current GCA Chairman Mike Burks and three past Chairs; Warren Haskins, Sue Allen and Julian Winfield.
See Perrywoods Christmas Awards Entry Photo Tour here
Here's a sneak preview of Perrywoods photo tour entry in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards for 2020, including the vital ingredient for all entries, team photos. See the gallery of photos below. Apologies for the wrong photos being included in yesterdays edition.
There's over £7,000 worth of prizes to be won in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards so get snapping and enter today. Full details can be found here.
See GTN Xtra's exclusive photo tour of the new centre
Charles Stubbs, Lewis Fox and Nemanja Tintor, along with the rest of the BGC team, were proud as punch yesterday as their 58th centre at Thatcham in Berkshire opened.
The centre had been handed back to the landlords during the Wyevale Garden Centres sale of the century in and closed in September 2019 as the owners looked for a new leaseholder. British Garden Centres took on the site in September 2020 and since then have refreshed the centre, enclosing a walkway at the Restaurant end to allow for extra covers, extending the covered sales area out into the planteria and hard surfacing the overflow car parking area which was previously a field.
See GTN Xtra's exclusive photo tour of the new centre below:
In advance of the launch of GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards 2020, GTN's Northern Correspondent, Steve Myatt, paid a visit to Barton Grange to bring you this first GTN Xtra Christmas photo tour.
To add your garden centre Christmas photo tour to GTN Xtra simply get snapping and enter The Greatest Christmas Awards. See the categories here. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
See Squires Bashot Lea's Christmas Awards entry photo tour here
Here's a sneak preview of the photo tour submitted by Squires at Badshot Lea as part of their entry in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards 2020.
There's over £7,000 worth of prizes to be won in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards 2020 so get snapping and enter your garden centre team today!
Full details are here.
Garden Centre Photo Tours
If you've missed one of our popular photo tours of garden centres then click on the links below:
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 2018 as well as 2019 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 07973 504214, e-mail email@example.com or buy on-line using this link.
Highlights of the GTN Garden Products Bestsellers chart for last week are here
Highlights of the GTN Garden Plants Bestsellers chart for last week are here
Highlights of the GTN Wild Bird & Wildlife Bestsellers chart for last week are here
Highlights of the GTN Christmas Products Bestsellers chart for last 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 £100m.
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.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07973504214.
Buy your subscription today and start receiving the GTN Bestsellers charts this week.
All the latest news from the world of pet products
The team at Tong Garden Centre have introduced a new range of products for dogs and cats which minimises environmental impact.
Over 200 lines from the popular Zoon range of pet bedding, collars, leads, treats and toys are now available in a bespoke area in the Tong Lane's 2500sq.m two storey extension that is also home to the Mezzanine restaurant.
Of the launch, Garden Sundries and Christmas Buyer, Phil Hemmings said: "I wanted to introduce a new range of pet products and Zoon fits the bill perfectly. The range is very good value for money and the quality of the product is excellent.
"In addition to the value element, we really like the fact that Zoon have created this range with the environment in mind. They have minimised the use of single-use plastic packaging, using fully recyclable cardboard hangers instead and made their pooh bags from a corn starch-based polymer that is bio-compostable.
"I also love the fact that the range is coordinated: the designs for pet bedding are also used for blankets, leads and bowls. It's a great idea and is already proving popular, as is the Mezze Menu offer of four for £10 on chews and treats."
BBC Pooch Perfect set to drive sales of pet pamper products
Garden centre p[et departments are being urged to take advantage of dog grooming’s prime-time TV exposure with a strong pet care offering throughout their stores. BBC One’s new show Pooch Perfect, hosted by celebrity Sheridan Smith, features professional groomers competing for the honour of Best in Show, and the eight-week series is predicted to boost sales of grooming products and services...
Recent research by OnBuy.Com found that Brits have been spending more on pets than their partners, with hundreds of pounds being spent on gifts for dogs, cats and other domestic creatures.
With more than nine million dogs in the UK alone, there has never been a better time for retailers to focus on this important product category. Dogs grooming has also become prime time viewing with new BBC reality show, Pooch Perfect, a competitive reality show hosted by Sheridan Smith and her dog, Stanley, which aims to crown the UK’s best dog stylist.
The Thursday night programme is an extension of the original Australian show which put ten professional dog stylists through their paces last spring. The series got off to a strong start on January Thursday 7th at 8.00pm and was the perfect distraction for households in lockdown, which have become more focused on their pets than ever before and dog ownership on the rise.
As Pooch Perfect puts dog grooming centre stage, the award-winning Be:Loved range from Podium Pet Products – launched just 12 months ago - is a must-have for pet stores, garden centres and gift shops that want to offer something a bit special to their dog-loving customers. Products in the range are full of natural ingredients that are so safe they have been tested on humans not animals, whilst all the packaging has been designed to be recyclable or repurposed to align with the brand’s EcoPledge.
Be:Loved’s CEO, Carina Evans, says: “With pet pampering now prime-time viewing, consumers are sure to want to replicate some of the looks they see with their own pets, or at the very least be inspired to get some dog shampoo out! Having a strong pet care offering will help retailers make the most of this brilliant sales opportunity and take a bigger slice of the enormous consumer spend on products in this sector. We work very closely with our retail customers to ensure the Be:Loved range will stand out in store and our design-led packaging offers an excellent merchandising opportunity. Our packaging is also very informative, whilst the overall range offers a selection of uses and applications so pet owners have choice at the point of sale”.
There are four varieties of environmentally sustainable pet shampoo bars – Be:Clean, Be:Bugfree, Be:Vegan and Be:Calm – whilst the wider Be:Loved range also features three nose & paw balms (including a new-for-2021 sun protection formula), skin and coat oil, and two home fragrance products - home & kennel spray and a boot room candle.
Prices for the Be:Loved offering range from just RRP £7.99 to RRP £20.00 making them superb for both impulse and gifting sales opportunities.
For more information about the full Be:Loved offering and to find out how you can become a stockist, visit the website - www.wearebeloved.co.uk or call: +44 (0)1628 822247