THE GARDEN Centre Association’s (GCA) recent Barometer of Trade (BoT) report for February has revealed furniture and barbecuesales at garden centres saw a 79.17% year to date increase during the month (2021).
Although Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish centres were closed in February, as essential retailers, English centres remained open and recorded positive sales in seven of the 13 BoT categories.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, explained: “February is normally a quieter month for our members and with centres in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland still closed, it was a very difficult month for many and, subsequently, the majority of our members recorded figures that were down from previous years.
Consumers in Northern Ireland are desperate to get back into garden centres, with a recent survey showing that 78 per cent feel confident in visiting one. The Horticultural Trades Association survey showed that only people in Scotland have more confidence (79%) in the safety of the retail environment of a garden centre, something they put down to rigorous good practice outlined in their Safe Trading Protocols.
But as we prepare to enjoy extra daylight from next week, gardeners can only dream about how much more they could achieve in that time as they remain unable to shop at their local garden centre. To be a gardener in Northern Ireland right now is a frustrating and unsatisfying hobby.
ESSEX FOOD LOVERS can indulge in flavour sensations from across the county and the UK, as well as homecooked treats, at a new designated Food Hall at Poplar Nurseries. The all-new 3,000sq ft Poplar Food Hall, located next to the garden centre entrance, will house an extended range of foodie delights. Opened on Wednesday, 24th March, the new Food Hall will create to up to ten new jobs and support local producers, not just in Essex but the whole of Britain.
Built to cope with growing demand for more local produce in the farm shop, the new larger premises will enable the team to serve up more of their homecooked treats, such as cakes and other baked goods, ready meals and much more. The new building will house everything from a larger selection of local fruit and veg, fresh fish and a variety of delicious treats in the deli, through to an increased number of goods from small batch British food and drink suppliers.
As the spring season gets underway, Primeur – the award-winning supplier of the Eco Garden range of recycled rubber planters, stepping-stones and borders – is raring to go with a warehouse full of stock, new lines added and proven merchandising displays set to drive up the average basket spend. Here the company outlines five reasons why you should make Primeur your top choice for driving sales this year.
1) Record breaking sales
2020 marked a truly record-breaking year for Primeur and the company is hoping to replicate that success in 2021 as the popularity of environmentally conscious products continues to drive the consumer agenda.
The former Food Hall at Tong Garden Centre has been rebranded ‘Hearty's' by Huddersfield branding and design specialists, Picture Smiths and features a new branded range of all Yorkshire products.
Hearty's now occupies a 425m2 space at the Tong Lane centre and is the result of a six month, £250,000 project to deliver a superior food hall shopping experience.
As part of the rebrand, space has been given to a new range of Hearty's branded products, including beer, sweets, jams and gins from Yorkshire ‘heartisans' Wold Top, Farrah's, Bracken Hill, Raisthorpe Manor and Hooting Owl Distillery respectively. Hearty's feature beer wall now includes 135 craft ales and there is an increased range of artisan spirits.