Start-up Stock: What Your Garden Centre Should Sell
When we think of garden centre stock, it is easy to think about the plants and gardening supplies that they sell. The horticulture business is larger than the UK aerospace sector, with it being worth £24 billion. This makes it a great investment for anyone looking to get into business with an interest in greenery.
But as with any business, you will want versatility. Garden centres aren’t simply a place for people to find inspiration for their own natural spaces. Instead, they can offer a wide range of products and produce.
Here, we will explore what stock you should consider when starting up your own garden centre.
Besides the traditional plants, turf, and gardening equipment, your garden centre might want to invest in garden furniture as part of your stock. More than 7 million people have taken up gardening since the pandemic and so many will want to experience their handiwork by spending the time outdoors.
Offering benches, sheds, and summer houses means that people can spend their time enjoying their time enjoying their garden during the warmer months, as well as working in them.
Garden centres are the perfect place for customers to buy their gifts, not only during seasonal moments but all-year-round. Partnering with a card supplier could keep you well stocked in all greetings cards and gift wrap, from birthdays and celebrations to consolations. These cards can then prompt your customers to buy a gift too, for example, one of your lovely arrays of plants or even the further gifting options you provide.
Stocking for the season could see you have an influx of interest. Whether your customers can meet Santa in his Grotto at Christmas or having a special event for young children to find the Easter bunny in your plants, you can ensure your customers relate your garden centre to an experience rather than just shopping. As customers begin to expect more from their brands, many companies are attempting to provide this experiential retail to succeed.
One survey found that 70% of millennials call themselves “plant parents”. But those consumers with an especially nurturing disposition for plants are likely to have other dependents to care for too. Namely, their “fur babies” or pets.
Ensuring you have pet products in your garden centre could see your business have a large turnover. According to the Office of National Statistics, £9.66 billion is spent on pets and pet products annually, as of 2021. And 57% of pet owners claim to spoil their pets constantly – after all, how could they not?
Providing anything from dog beds to rabbit hutches and catnip could be the perfect answer to getting your customers interested in your garden centre. You can also have a section of fur-baby friendly plants within your traditional garden centre section. You could label all household plans which are toxic towards animals. If possible, you could even consider making your garden centre pet-friendly, meaning that your customers could bring along their dogs for a trip out.
Many are enjoying a garden centre with their little ones, not only as a shopping trip but also as a day out. This means that your customers could be spending a significant amount of time at your new business venture.
Being able to provide food could see that your customers are sticking around longer and being able to enjoy a full day at your garden centre. This can be done through a small café or coffee shop, given that your garden centre has the space. This could give your customers time to ponder on their purchases, or even to enjoy the day with their families – making your garden centre not only a store but an experience.
When starting up a garden centre, you might be focused on what plants you can populate your stockroom with and while many will be looking for their new rose bush or terracotta pot, many people are visiting garden centres for the experience rather than the products. Stocking your garden centre with everything from birthday cards to a café could see your customers spending more time - and more money - inside.