Choice members look forward to £1.5m rebate

Last week’s 3 day conference and trade show, held by Choice Marketing, eclipsed the HTA Futures conference that it clashed with, by drawing 160 delegates. 90 suppliers exhibited at the trade show. Read more

Despite the boom of March and April the season evens itself out

Declining gifts sales and slow restaurant growth has knocked the performance of bigger garden centres according to the half year figures from the GCA. Read more

Summer displays at Bents

Wayfair becomes an important route to market for Solex exhibitors

The chat at Solex centered around topics like: Wayfair, empty warehouses and price rises. And has 2017 really been a vintage year? Read more

Woven and wood mixed from 4SO

Garden centres are still significantly ahead in 2017, despite a lull in May

Why, at the end of May, are small garden centres up +11% for the year while large garden centres are up +5%? And where's the houseplant boom? Read more

Old inspectors return as dates are set for GCA Awards meetings

Due to illness one of the new GCA inspectors has been forced to step down this year. So two, who had intended to retire, are back as judges and will address the newly announced regional awards meetings.  Read more

Staff from Brimsmore Gardens with their awards presented last year

GCA reveals 22% increase in April Sales

GCA garden centre sales were 13% up on last year after a strong April, with massive growth in plants and garden furniture in the warm, dry weather. What will they be after May? Read more

Caution after a buoyant Easter

Garden centres report an excellent Easter and April with sales up 40% on last year and storm Katie. But chief executives tell us, “We must keep our feet on the ground,” and it will get tougher, with increased competition and inflation. Read more

It’s the squeaky door that gets the oil

Suppliers, hit by Brexit and high transport costs, call for a task force as a lobbyist warns, ‘If politicians don’t hear from you they will assume there is not a problem.’ Read more

GCA figures confirm a slow start to 2017

Despite a strong start for plant sales, GCA statistics show total sales were down in January and February with restaurants and gifts faltering. Read more

Bedding displays at Hillier in Newbury

Lots for the Garden Press to write about

There was plenty to see and hear at the Garden Press Event including a snail fence, outdoor fragrances, a new urban compost from Scotts and news of some enhanced summer events. Read more

Woodlodge's Dorset rocking chair.

UK growers scoff at Dutch views of Brexit

At yesterday’s HTA Contact conference one Dutch grower told how he fears that Brexit will mean no UK nursery industry within 5 years. Read more

Jan de Vries

2016 - a year of change

2016 saw second tier garden centre chains and independents invest as Wyevale consolidated. Homebase and Argos are sold. The HTA moved offices and moved to become the lead association for all gardening related businesses. Glyphosate, Xylella and the weather made frequent headlines. Scotts and Bayer looked for a way out of distributing consumer garden chemicals. Read our review – open to all. Read more

Bunnings buys Homebase

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

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

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

Syngenta to be the new sponsor of Cultivation Street

Syngenta and their Calliope brand are to sponsor David Domoney’s community gardening campaign, Cultivation Street, which adds a mentor scheme in 2018. Read more

Glee reveals the short list of top garden industry buyers

Glee has opened the vote to find the UK's best garden buyers. They have revealed a shortlist of 25 buyers across 5 categories: independent garden centres, multiples, DIY / Builder Merchants, online and other. Read more

Westland and Smart Garden take the top GIMA awards

The top GIMA awards went to Westland for Product of the Year and Smart Garden for Supplier of the Year. Briers took the export achievement award. Read more

Westland hold the sword of homour for best product

How will the election result impact the garden sector?

Do we face opening the UK market to imports from the US? LOFA members fear exchange rate volatility. The HTA is concerned about retaining the relationship it has built with Government on ways to promote plant health and cut plant imports.  Read more

An average May fails to dent strong 2017 sales figures

Despite an only ‘average’ May, which fell well behind May 2016, most garden centres report they are still well up for the year. Cautious optimism defines their view for the rest of the year. Read more

Average spend falls as sales rise

GCA figures for March confirm that it has been a gardener’s spring. However, despite rising prices and sales, the average customer spend has fallen. What does this indicate? Read more

Garden centres cannot compete on price alone

Garden centre property consultant, Gilbert Evans, warns how discounters and online retailing are impacting smaller garden centres. Read more

Should garden suppliers sell online and through Amazon?

Should suppliers sell online and through Amazon or rely on Garden Centres to reach the consumer? Gardenforum hosted a debate at the GIMA day conference. The answer was clear – garden centres have an important place but they must adapt, the Internet is not going away. Read more

Suppliers assess impact of Brexit and look ahead

Suppliers reveal the impact of Brexit so far and look ahead. Imports costs have risen by up to 25%. Fears include the uncertainty, being outside the single market and customs bureaucracy. Read more

Squire’s and Cowells take the top GCA plant awards

It’s three awards each for Squire’s, Cowell’s and Barton Grange at The Garden Centre Association conference. Squire’s and Cowell’s are the best GCA plant retailers.   Read more

Colin & Sarah Squire,  Julian Winfield, Ian Hammond, Squire's plant manager& Roger Crookes

GC Christmas sales have ‘stalled a bit’ after a 7 – 10 year trend of huge increases

The majority of garden centres say Christmas sales were up but competition is increasing and December sales were disappointing for some. Read more

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

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

Innovation and trends at Glee

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

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

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive