More evidence of pressure on retailers

Three reports from the BRC show the pressure on retailers. Sales were the worst for 6 months in November, down 1.6%. Business rates will increase by 5.6% next year. Yet, price inflation is the lowest for 2 years. See more... Read more - members only

Now is the time to fly the flag for Made in UK

Following the lead given by John Lewis to highlight products made in Britain, Gardenex is challenging UK companies to capitalise on the organisation, tradition and pageantry of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics to tap into pro-British sentiment abroad. See more... Read more - members only

Minister rips up prepared speech

Lord Taylor ripped up his prepared speech at the House of Commons last night and promised he would not let the interests of ‘our industry’ go by default. He backed the Localism Bill and the need for ‘near-market research’. See more... Read more - members only

VAT ruling to hit mail order young plant suppliers - UPDATED

The closure of the sales tax loophole on goods imported from the Channel Islands announced by the Treasury this week will hit young plant retailers. Early payment may not avoid the VAT. See more… Read more - members only

2010 profits fall for many garden retailers

2010 seemed to be a good year for some nurseries but a significant proportion of garden centres showed a small reduction in sales accompanied by a larger fall in profits. There were losses for The Garden & Leisure Group and Webbs Garden Centres. Solus and Decco both performed strongly. To see summaries for over 50 garden companies, See more... (This article is open to all readers) Read more - open to all

Garden Re-leaf Day gathers momentum

With 6 months before the inaugural Garden Re-leaf Day, it is already set to make a big impact with over 500 outlets, The Sun and major suppliers backing the event. See more... Read more - members only

Other news in brief...

Other news last week includes a new operations director for Dobbies, a Restaurant of the Year award for Beckworth Emporium and news that the DIY chains are in regular talks with HMG to cash in on the Coalition’s ‘Green Deal’ being launched next year. See more... Read more - members only

Garden Re-Leaf Day to kick-start the 2012 gardening season

Garden Re-Leaf day is planned as the gardening version of Comic Relief, a fun way to get people to start gardening in 2012. Already 120 companies and a number of celebrities are backing the idea. See more... Read more - members only

A round up of gardening articles on the web

Articles on the web last week included an explanation of the hermit crab syndrome, events to encourage the London vegetable grower launched by the Prince of Wales and a piece in The Ecologist supporting the Garden Organic campaign against peat use. See more... Read more - members only

Olympics sets landscaping standards for the future

Innovative landscaping will be central to the Olympic Park 2012. Last week the APL hosted a debate to discover the lessons this world class project has for UK landscaping. The days of blocked bedding have passed. The future lies with meadow planting. See more... Read more - members only

Difficult spring trading will impact the rest of the year

After an excellent start it has become a very difficult season for the garden industry. Sales are back to par with last year and there is a big hangover of stock, which could affect the rest of the year. See more... Read more - members only

'I don't dig peat' is not industry bashing says Garden Organic

There’s a spat between ex-presenters of Gardener’s World arising from the 'I don’t Dig Peat' campaign launched by Garden Organic. See more... Read more - members only

More Garden Centres to be Leased

Mike Gilbert is predicting that more garden centres will change hands in the coming months, because banks are being more restrictive with their lending criteria. He also believes that leasing is becoming more acceptable to both the freehold owners and operators. See more... Read more - members only

Sustainability, a great opportunity for the garden industry?

The pressure for a sustainable UK offers a great opportunity to the garden industry. But what is it and who will put the argument that gardening is a great way to live a healthier and more sustainable life? Gardenforum attended the debate at Garden Organics. See more... Read more - members only

Retail Gloom but Garden Centres Boom

Gloomy figures released today by the BRC contrast strongly with the generally buoyant sales experienced by garden centres, with some increasing sales by 25% and more in March, despite Easter and Mother’s Day falling into April. See more... Read more - members only

£20 million fund available to support greener working

Defra has announced a new £20 million fund to help farmers, foresters and horticulturists to invest in green projects and new machinery so that their businesses can continue to grow in an environmentally friendly way. Read more - members only

Chelsea to get a Fringe in 2012

There will be a Fresh look to Chelsea 2012, reflecting the more informal approach of the new director general. There is to be a Fringe and, a little earlier, a National Gardening Week. See more… Read more - members only

Warning: The Bogus Order Scam is back

GIMA is warning suppliers to double check orders if delivery is requested to an "off site" store. The order could be a scam. See more... Read more - members only

Growers say retailers must sell Impatiens at their own risk

After the worst outbreak of Downy Mildew on Impatiens yet, it appears that it has become resistant to the key fungicide and can overwinter in soil. Growers are saying they will continue production as long as retailers accept there can be no guarantee against infection. See more... Read more - members only

Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction

The Key Message from the platform of the HTA Garden Futures conference was that big changes are looming but they are yet to have much impact on the garden industry. See more... Read more - members only

Midlands garden centres hit by a sophisticated series of break-ins

At least 8 garden centres have been hit by a sophisticated wave of break-ins across the Midlands. 3 were hit last weekend. See more for comments from other garden centres affected... Read more - members only

Tough times for non-food retail sales

Retail is under pressure as August figures from KPMG/BRC show like-for-like sales down 0.6% in August despite inflation and the VAT increase. See more... Read more - members only

Thefts top local garden news

Local garden news on the web this week includes solar powered car charging at Dobbies, thefts from garden centres, a €250,000 fine for B&Q and a report suggesting that garden projects increase property values. See more... Read more - members only

GCA names best regional garden centres

Judging in the first round of The Garden Centre Association audit has completed, with the top garden centres in each region being named. The overall winner will be announced at the GCA Conference in January 2012. See more... Read more - members only

Garden retailers hit the headlines around the UK

A new restaurant for Brigemere, Adrian Hall to close Hampstead GC, M&S to open on Trent Valley Garden Centre, B&Q cleared to buy 30 Focus Stores. See more... Read more - members only

Results show last year was difficult for many garden companies

Latest results on Gardenforum show a tough year for furniture manufacturers as results from Alexander Rose and Hartman Outdoor Products show. Van Hage & Company (Holdings) and Hillier Nurseries published losses. It was a good year for Grange Fencing, Hozelock, Spotless Punch, Mr Fothergill’s Seeds and Klondyke Group. See more... (This article is open to all readers)... Read more - open to all

Massaria arrives in London

A worrying disease, Massaria, that attacks the capital’s most iconic tree has been confirmed in London. Previously it was found only in Germany and Holland. See more... Read more - members only

Chelsea medals for 2000 school pupils

It’s Silver-Gilt for 2000 school children backed by Peter Seabrook and Scotts. There’s gold for Hillier, Bulldog Tools, Crocus (twice) and B&Q. See more... Read more - members only

Were April sales as good as they should have been?

Now that the figures are in for April, it should be asked if gardening sales were as good as they should have been with such fine weather, Easter, Mother’s Day and an additional Bank Holiday. See more... Read more - members only

Garden Organic hosts national gardening sustainability conference

The ‘greenest government ever’ and the movement towards more sustainable living present a commercial opportunity for the garden retail industry. But will garden centres leave it to the sheds and the supermarkets? See more... Read more - members only

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