Challenging themes from the HTA Marketing Forum

How one garden centre used only Facebook to promote its Christmas opening evening and took £25,000. Social Media is about building relationships and engaging the community around you. Are you marketing to attract strangers or friends? Read more - members only

Alan Down of Cleeve Nurseries

Can the EU survive as UK heads for a hard Brexit?

The current status of the Euro is not sustainable and a hard Brexit has risks in the medium term says the Future Foundation. Read more - members only

Innovation and trends at Glee

Gardenforum highlights innovation and trends from a successful Glee. Read more - members only

Latest results include Klondyke, Westland, Vitax, Grange & Kelkay

2014/15 results published this month show profits fell at retailers such as Klondyke, Clifton Nurseries and Thompson Bros (Esher). Several suppliers, such as  Kelkay, Keter (UK) MPB Garden Buildings and Vitax grew strongly. Read more - members only

Keep calm and carry on

During the GIMA Awards evening there was a presentation to Richard Bence, Garden Re-Leaf Day announced a huge increase in funds raised and there was Brexit advice from the GIMA president. Read more - members only

Chris Ramsden, Peter Utting, with Linda Petrons and John Ashley of Greenfingers

Consumer confidence shaken by Brexit vote

The GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer has shown its sharpest drop in 21 years, leaving home, living, DIY and grocery sectors particularly vulnerable. Read more - members only

Stay of execution for glyphosate - UPDATED

EU grants an 18 month extension for glyphosate based products as the Health Commissioner expresses concern that that member states could not accept EU commission proposals. Read more - members only

Health Commissioner V Andriukaitis

Brexit vote creates great uncertainty

Brexit vote has created uncertainty about exchange rates and in the minds of consumers, even though nothing changes legally for 2 years. Read more - members only

Challenging time for retailers despite online boost in May

According BRC / KPMG retail sales lifted in May after 2 flat months, but they warned that it's still a challenging time for retailers. Read more - members only

Cold weather holds back spring sales

The strong start to May will have consigned the woes of April to history for many retailers. That will make reading of the April figures from the Garden Centre Association easier. Read more - members only

St Peter's Garden Centre Worcester looks ready for business

Why didn’t someone ring me to sort it out?

Who is holding back the business and who is getting it right. Derek Bunker of Altons Garden Centre tells suppliers at GIMA. Read more - members only

Derek Bunker

Has TV publicity started a revival in houseplant sales? 

Garden centres are reporting several noticeable trends such as:- the strength of garden furniture sales and the revival of houseplants, but will the referendum hit sales? Read more - members only

The National Living Wage comes into force

The National Living Wage comes into force on April 1st.  Garden centres differ on how they will recoup the extra costs. Read more - members only

Parliament votes against changes to Sunday Trading regulations

An alliance of Labour, Scottish Nationalists and 26 Tory rebels defeated Government proposals to devolve decisions on Sunday trading hours to local authorities. Read more - members only

Sunday Trading debate likely to be controversial

Sunday Trading is likely to be controversial with MP’s as it is debated in the House of Commons on March 8th and 9th, both for its substance and for the way the Government has added it to the Enterprise Bill. Read more - members only

Who pays for the cost of Brexit?

Production costs are going up, so who pays? – Will it be the manufacturer, the grower, the retailer or the customer? Gardenforum chaired a debate of suppliers and retailers. Read more - members only

Neil Grant, Sheila Hill, George Bullivant, Carol Paris and Alex Newey

Garden furniture sales up 12% in August

Garden furniture sales helped garden centres to +4.4% in August, but giftware sales fall again according to the GCA. Read more - members only

Clothing sales were up 14% in August

July sales continue a roller-coaster year

The sales pattern in recent months shows how unpredictable garden retailing can be.  The biggest garden centres were up 6% in July but this brings them just level for the year. Read more - members only

Garden centre sales are slightly up at the half year

After a strong start, June sales fell behind last year due to political distractions and the weather. But year-to-date they are up according to the latest figures from the GCA. Read more - members only

Plant areas are scary places to visit

The HTA Plant Retail conference was held at the spectacular Ball Colegrave Grounds in Oxfordshire. Trends for the future included urban gardening and why the smart phone is at the heart of change. Read more - members only

Will prices rise with a volatile exchange rate?

With the £ dropping to below $1.30 during yesterday’s Solex garden furniture trade show, Gardenforum asked suppliers how and when prices might be affected. Read more - members only

Turn old stock into gold for Greenfingers

Old stock donated by Scotts, Wyevale Nurseries and Wyevale Garden Centres has raised £2,300 at auction for Greenfingers. The charity is asking any company with unwanted stock to donate it to Turn Old into Gold. Read more - members only

Adam Dunnett at Wyevale Nurseries

GIMA golfers raise thousands

Glorious sunshine shone all day at the Telford Golf Resort where 20 teams of garden suppliers and retailers took a break from the season to play a round and raise funds for charity. Read more - members only

Spencer Goodall drives for his birdie

May puts a bounce back in sales UPDATED

Sales figures reveal May was a good month and helped put centres back on track for the first five months of the year. Some chains were up 25% in May. Read more - members only

March sales were up 5.6% says GCA

Official figures from the GCA show sales were better than expected in March.  The South-East did least well.  Scotland and Ireland fared best. Read more - members only

Garden re-Leaf has already raised £57,000

With £57,000 already pledged for Greenfingers, Garden Re-Leaf is on the way to raising £100,000. Here’s a round-up of events around the country. Read more - members only

Boyd Douglas-Davies at the end of his Plant-Athon

Scotland up, while the South is down - mostly

The warm wet winter and cooler spring has produced a big variation in performances.  But generally business at Scottish garden centres seems to be up while many (not all) Southern garden centres are behind last year, especially if sandbagged against flooding. Read more - members only

Can garden centre restaurants continue to grow?

This is one of the questions discussed in the latest fact sheet issued by Malcolm Scott Consultants. It also gives the example of Fairways GC which has permission to be built in Green Belt near Coventry. Read more - members only

Tillington tops £200m

The Tillington Group that pools the buying power of some of the country’s top garden centres has broken into the £200m turnover band. Read more - members only

Restaurants and gifts kept tills ringing in January

Restaurants and gifts kept tills ringing in January as the dull, wet January delayed the purchase of plants, seeds and bulbs. But it was not an even picture across the country. Read more - members only

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive