'Broad offer' behind Hillier buy

A broad offer is important to landscape customers who have limited time, says Hillier Nurseries.

Hillier Nurseries: firm boasts access to unlimited range of tree sizes
Hillier Nurseries: firm boasts access to unlimited range of tree sizes

Being a one-stop cash-and-carry is increasingly important to landscapers, though it can create more work for growers, according to Hillier Nurseries director Hossein Arshadi, who has bought the nearby Holmes Nursery business in Hampshire.

Having a broad offer is: "Very important to the consumer and maybe difficult for the nurseries, but the customers have limited time and if they have to go to a couple of nurseries it's all time - if there's no financial disadvantage, which there isn't because we're selling product at the same price as them.

"One call or email and they collect or we deliver. It's good for us as it's more business but we have to carry a wider range, which is an advantage and a disadvantage."

Arshadi said Holmes Nurseries was offered to Hillier by owner Colin Holmes and Hillier saw the advantages of adding the Holmes offer to its own. "They have a £1m business not far from us in Winchester and my aim was to take the competition away and tap into its customer base. Some overlaps but now there is one less around. The purchase gives us an unlimited range of tree sizes," said Arshadi.

"He traded a lot with his strength being a lot of hedging and trading a full package. He did a good selection of compost, bark and topsoil. Using two companies is a far more attractive package for the consumer."

Hillier is currently trading bark under Holmes's brand and Hillier will take over completely when Holmes stops that in a few months.

Arshadi said native trees are selling more. Betula pendula, Quercus robur, Alnus glutinosa and Tillia cordata have all seen sales rise, with Betula pendula now selling more than Betula jacquemontii for landscaping.

He added that local authorities are using more Pyrus chanticleer as street trees but Hillier has long stopped growing some trees, such as horse chestnut and Robinia frisia, because of disease issues. However, it sells up to 30 a year bought from other reputable nurseries, if they are specified.

Hedging Centre New concept to improve sales in garden centres

Hillier is offering new marketing approaches that aim to sell more mature hedging in garden centres. This is intended to replace the traditional bare-root seedlings sold online in bundles with more instant impact.

Managing director Andy McIndoe explained: "The Hillier Hedging Centre is a new concept for garden sales aimed at expanding hardy nursery stock sales from autumn through to spring. The package comes with robust metal frames to hold banners - it's big and bold.

He added: "Let's make hedges happen and make gardens greener. Don't just offer a few tired hedging plants this season - make hedging an important category on your planteria."

The concept includes new labels, banners and 24 evergreen hedging varieties as well as editorial and images that can be used on websites.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles