LifestyleGarden®’s ethical and sustainable furniture holds the key to transforming outdoor living showroom sales

There’s a quiet revolution underway that’s changing the face of retail in Britain. A decade ago, savvy shoppers kept their eyes peeled for a bargain, paving the way for the rise of discounters who rode the crest of a wave in the wake of the Credit Crunch. Fast forward to 2020 and the consumer mindset has radically shifted. Now, shoppers no longer make decisions based on price alone: ethics and sustainability have risen to the top of the agenda.
 
A report in industry title Retail Week laid bare the ramifications of the spending transformation: “Eco-conscious consumers vote with their wallets. Actions speak louder than words.” The magazine added: “Consumers no longer buy simply on price or brand name. There are a variety of macro-trends that influence how they live, feel, communicate and shop.” The editorial pointed out that where discounters locked in price wars had led the agenda for years, “diversity and sustainability” were the new battle lines. Retail experts pinpointed how younger consumers see through hollow messages and demand real action instead.
 
Environmentalism has been propelled into mainstream thinking by the likes of teenage activist Greta Thunberg who put the climate crisis on the world stage. A rise in activism, driven by growing occurrences of weather extremes such as wildfires and record-breaking heatwaves, is disrupting the traditional consumer marketplace, as shoppers become more aware of the effect of their actions on the planet.

Read more: LifestyleGarden®’s ethical and sustainable furniture holds the key to transforming outdoor living...

Top Plant Trends For 2020

The Hawkesmill Nurseries team have to keep an eye on trends when producing perennials, wildflowers, grasses, ferns, herbs and more.  Fashionable colours and varieties are more important than ever when choosing ornamental plants.  And with all of us being much more aware of climate change, it is also important to look at growing your own herbs and vegetables to ensure the food on our plate has a smaller carbon footprint.
 
The Pantone colour of the year has now been announced as 'Classic Blue', a hue that will instil calm and confidence, not only in your wardrobe and on your living room wall but in your garden too.   
 
New to the Hawkesmill Nurseries range this year is the superb form of Monkshood ' Aconitum arendsii' which has dark blue flowers in August and September and a height of 100-120cm.  Salvia 'Mystic Spires' also has a stunning deep blue and long flowering form which is attractive to bees and butterflies.
 
With the carbon footprint of cut flowers at the

Read more: Top Plant Trends For 2020  

A look to Glee 2020: where the garden retail sector thrives

 
The future is looking bright for garden retail. According to AMA Research’s 2017 Garden Market Analysis Report the UK Garden Products market* is currently valued at £5.7billion and is expected to benefit from a 2% annual increase until 2023. With technology, sustainability, ethical living, and millennials driving this growth, the long-term picture offers a stark contrast to the doom and gloom that is shaping the UK high street.
 
One place where this thriving industry can be seen is Glee -the annual garden and outdoor living expo, held at the centrally located NEC each September. The 2019 event perfectly demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of suppliers from across the garden retail spectrum. Spanning eight carefully edited show sectors which became home to over 550 different brands, the 2019 show saw over 7,800 people visit the event, representing 40 countries. Of these visitors 41% were brand new visitors to Glee, with retail buyers with sole or joint purchasing responsibility increasing year-on-year, accounting for 75% of Glee’s total visitors. Of these, almost a quarter had a purchasing budget of over £1million, meaning order books were quick to fill and meaningful retail partnership conversation were the order of the day.

Read more: A look to Glee 2020: where the garden retail sector thrives