From The Editor - A great season starts here

Today we are delighted to launch our third Garden Retail Summit, which will bring together leaders from the garden retail industry for an unmissable day of knowledge, insight and networking on 23 February 2017.

What better way to prepare for what is set to be a pivotal year for the industry in 2017 than by hearing from and engaging with our confident independent sector leaders on their exciting development plans - and the new cadre of corporate retail leaders bringing fresh strategic approaches to the sector.

As contributor Andy Newman of mdj2 notes, there is nowhere else within retail that is seeing the level of investment and development that we are witnessing in garden retail today.

Says Newman: "What is clear is that garden centres are bucking the trend compared to the wider retail market where the appetite for investment, especially in store redevelopment, is very subdued. If the enthusiastic plans for 2017 are anything to go by, the sector's future is really bright."

But there are challenges too and the Garden Retail Summit will tackle them head on - starting with Brexit and how those charged with running garden centres can manage the potential impact on their businesses of price increases in imported goods and wider changes in economic conditions.

The summit takes place at the prestigious Grand Connaught Rooms in London's Covent Garden the day after the presentation of the Garden Retail Awards 2017 - two great events to kick off the start of the garden industry season.


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