First Riverside open day hailed as success

An open day at Europlants subsidiary Riverside Nurseries in Buckinghamshire marked a step away from a 'diabolical' start to the year.

A good turnout and a 20 per cent bounce in March sales were further indication of a strong return to confidence in premium Italian stock used for prestige developments.

General manager Paul Hayden said: "We had a lot more people than we expected and there was real buoyancy about those who came. I think both the bad winter and the increasing confidence got people buying.

"Last year was tricky sales wise - this year we are expecting it to be much better and certainly so far it is living up to that." More than 100 trade visitors attended the event.

January and February proved "diabolical," according to Hayden, but the 23 March event helped things "really kick off".

At the Europlants open days earlier this year, owner Renato Canale said they had switched to higher volumes of lower-value and smaller stock to help navigate the recession.

But Hayden said he had seen almost the opposite effect. "People doing prestige jobs have been going crazy," he explained.

"So we have been seeing good sales in top lines. High-value builds are on the increase and there are rumours about a couple of large swathes of more affordable housing bubbling under - but that's got a way to go before it comes up to speed so I'm not expecting the affordable side to bounce back particularly quickly."

He attributed the trend to the area's affluent economic microclimate. The company has experienced some stock damage from the harsh winter but has also seen increased sales as a result.

Hayden added: "It takes with one hand and gives with the other. We have certainly had some stock roughed up and we had a few problems with things you would normally expect to be fine, like Phormiums and Pittosporums.

"On the up side we have sourced new stock and there is plenty of production going on and ultimately people don't seem to be that shy about replacing plants because it was a particularly difficult winter," he continued.

Sales were boosted by 30 per cent discounts for Italian stock bought on the day and 25 per cent off everything else.

The business has been open for four years now and Hayden said this would be the first of annual events to promote the company.

Canale added: "Riverside is able to punch well above its weight in terms of the range of stock and stock levels. I am really pleased with the progress here and it is a real compliment to the team that the day has been such a success."

- See feature, page 21.

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