HTA Market Update shows indoor and outdoor plants lead strong July garden centre performance

The strong year for garden centre sales across the country continued in July, with year to date comparisons up on last year for all of the product categories reported. Despite the more unsettled weather this July, garden centre sales continued to experience significant growth and are up by 17% on 2018 for July, and up by 11% on the calendar year from January to July comparisons.
HTA Director of Membership Martin Simmons comments “Both indoor and outdoor plants lead healthy July garden centre performance and a continued strong year for garden centre sales in 2019. Houseplant sales have seen exceptional growth – up by 45% compared to July 2018, Hardy plants sales were up by 25%. Non-garden categories like gifting and pets, also performed well in July.”
Weather reports show that July 2019 was considerably wetter and not as sunny as July of last year across most of the UK, despite being the 8th warmest July on record. Rainfall was extremely variable across the country with below-average rainfall over most of Wales and the south-west, but more than twice the normal amount in the North and Midlands.

Read more: HTA Market Update shows indoor and outdoor plants lead strong July garden centre performance

Westland has announced the final 10 in its Rising Stars program.

The campaign, ran in partnership with the Garden Centre Association (GCA) sets out to find and support the best up-and-coming garden centre employees.
The shortlist of 20 candidates was announced last month and this has since been whittled down to the final 10 who will now progress to the next stage. 
To get to this stage they had to devise a create a sales campaign based on one of Westland’s four key categories (indoors, lawn care, growing and wild bird care), which was then reviewed by Gordon Emslie from the Garden Centre Association who has been leading the program. The next stage will see the 10 candidates giving their presentations at the GCA Conference in January 2020.
Jo Wilkinson, Head of Communications and Insight at Westland, commented: “The final 10 have done incredibly well to get to this stage. The standard this year has been exceptionally high, which is great to see as it is our tenth year of Rising Stars, and really says something about the future for the industry. All 20 candidates involved until this point should be very proud of themselves. They all ran successful projects, designed to drive sales in categories outside their normal everyday work area and we were all very impressed by them.”

Read more: Westland has announced the final 10 in its Rising Stars program.

Foodie focus for garden centre's Tasting event

Tong Garden Centre's ‘Big Food Tasting Event' takes place on the 14th and 15th September, just a week before British Food Fortnight begins, and will shine the spotlight on the artisan producers from the region.
Tong's Food and Gift Manager, Janice Astbury said: "We are excited to host our fourth celebration of food and drink and to welcome some of our fantastic local and regional suppliers to the Food Hall.
"We have some fantastic local producers in the Food Hall and, over the weekend, visitors will be able to meet the makers and try many food and drink products before they buy, hopefully discovering something they have never tried before. Many of the producers will have special offers on too, so it's definitely worth a visit."

Read more: Foodie focus for garden centre's Tasting event

PAWExpo to launch in 2020

PAWExpo – a new high-end pet focused exhibition – will launch in September 2020, supported by the team behind the annual Glee trade event. A special ‘first look’ at what is to come will be unveiled at the official PAWExpo reveal party on Wednesday 11th September at the Pets Café area, in Hall 19.
PAWExpo – Pet & Animal Wellbeing Expo – will offer a fresh look at pet product and accessories. Pet care, wellbeing, premier and luxury products will take centre stage, showcasing brands that cover everything from food and health, to accessories, technology and retail solutions.
Matthew Mein, Glee and PAWExpo’s Event Director, said: “The way our pets are integrated into our lives has changed exponentially in recent years. Animals no longer regarded as pets, but as one of the family, and it is this that is driving category growth, and why we have seen unprecedented level of premium and artisan products launched over the past five years, projecting luxury pet goods into the mainstream market. Pet owners are willing to offer animals their own products and unique items, which often carry a higher price tag. This is a great opportunity for retailers who want to optimise this long-term (and recession proof) potential, and to offer a new generation of pet products. At PAWExpo everything retailers need to create a strong and future-facing retail experience – from core products to exciting gifting ranges – is presented under one roof, at a time of year when ranges for the following season are most commonly selected. PawExpo is an exciting prospect, and one that we are looking forward to bringing to market.”

Read more: PAWExpo to launch in 2020

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