THE GARDEN Centre Association (GCA) has seen a record number of new members join in 2019 – with 10 signing up so far this year (2019).
These include three centres from the Klondyke Group, an additional centre for Perrywood Garden Centre, as well as six other independent garden centres from across the country.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, explained: “We’d like to welcome all of our new members, Bellis Brothers Farm Shop & Garden Centre, Buckingham Garden Centre, Dunbar Garden Centre, Haddenham Garden Centre, Parkers Garden Company, Waresley Park Garden Centre, Klondyke Garden Centres in Edinburgh, Livingstone and Polmont and Perrywood Sudbury.
STAFF at garden centres across the Wales & West region are celebrating after scooping awards during a presentation evening at Castle Gardens this week (Tuesday, July 23, 2019).
Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category and The Old Railway Line Garden Centre scooped the award in the Garden Centre (GC) category.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “Our Wales & West regional awards meeting was a huge success and we’d like to thank all those who attended. It was great to hear our GCA Inspector, Michael Cole’s feedback from his inspections on the centres and now our members can take this vital information back with them to their centres and make any changes needed.
“A big thank you must also go to Castle Gardens, who were fantastic hosts for the evening. We now have a bit of a break until our Scotland and Northern Ireland regional awards meeting, which will take place on August 29 at Klondyke Mortonhall.”
THE START of spring saw sales in outdoor plants soar at garden centres across the country (2019).
During March, outdoor plant sales were up 90.85% compared to the same month the previous year (2018), according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “Garden centres across the country have enjoyed a fantastic start to the spring season thanks to the milder days we’ve been experiencing, which have brought customers out and about in their droves to stock up on plants and products.
“The weather has been very kind to us and we also had the added bonus of Mothering Sunday at the end of the month, when lots of families chose to pop to their local garden centre.
“We’ve also seen great sales in hard landscaping at 88.16% up, garden sundries at 58.53% up and furniture and barbecue sales up 55.33%.”
THE POSITIVE start to 2019 continued into February (2019) as garden centres across the country saw outdoor plant sales soar according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Sales in outdoor plants were up 61.1% compared to the same month the previous year (2018).
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “This year’s sales figures just prove what a difference the weather can make. In February 2018 we were greeted by the Beast from the East followed by an early Easter washout, which made for a very miserable start to the year, however this year the weather has been much milder, with only a dusting of snow very early on in the month.
“Gardeners have been able to get on with readying their plots for the season. They’ve also been working on hard landscaping as sales are up 58.79% compared to last year.”
THE GARDEN Centre Association has this month (March, 2019) welcomed Jane Lawler as its new inspector.
Jane, who has more than 35 years’ experience in marketing and business development, will be responsible for inspecting member garden centres in North Thames, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Jane join Alyson Haywood, Michael Cole and Gordon Emslie on our team of inspectors.
“She will be integral in helping us to ensure consistency and raising standards through our membership and will visit approximately 40 of our members’ centres each spring, scoring each one to given criteria, using our detailed inspection form, and giving objective and honest feedback on what she has seen.
GARDEN centres across the country saw a positive start to the year (January, 2019) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report with houseplant and outdoor plant sales dominating.
Compared to the same month the previous year (2018), houseplant sales were 16.96% up and outdoor plant sales were up 13.03%.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “Towards the end of 2018, we saw much milder weather than we’re used to and our customers were able to spend more time outdoors preparing their beds and plots for the coming season. This continued into January with good sales in outdoor plants and houseplants bringing a positive start to the year and the expectation of a buoyant spring season.”
Seed and bulb sales were up 5.32% and sales in garden sundries were up 9.02%.
SALES in outdoor plants continued to dominate other categories for a third month running in December (2018) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
THE GARDEN Centre Association (GCA) has recently (January, 2019) announced its Chairman Elect for 2020/21.
Mike Burks, who is the Managing Director of The Gardens Group, was revealed as the GCA’s Chairman Elect for 2020/21 during its annual conference, which took place at Luton Hoo Hotel, Luton.
THE GARDEN Centre Association (GCA) revealed the winners of its most prestigious awards at its annual conference including its 10 Garden Centres of Excellence.
The awards were presented to the winners during a ceremony at Luton Hoo Hotel.