Garden centre focus on lightweight tools

Gardena, Crest Garden and Fiskars display new ranges.

Davies: Kent & Stowe garden tool range now in 400 stockists after launch in 2015 and will be advertised this year
Davies: Kent & Stowe garden tool range now in 400 stockists after launch in 2015 and will be advertised this year

Lightweight tools was a big theme at last month's Garden Press Event, which saw on display Gardena secateurs, Crest Garden's Kent & Stowe tools, Gardman's children's/lightweight range, Budding Gardeners and Fiskars lightweight range (promoted by James Wong). Fiskars said its ranges are great for small gardens, fitting in with current trends, and still feature string with aluminium shafts.

Gardman was joined by young garden designers Harry and David Rich to raise awareness of their newest range, Budding Gardeners. The Rich brothers have a three-year deal to promote the tool range and will feature on a new BBC1 series with Charlie Dimmock this summer.

The range comprises eight tools that are smaller and lighter than their standard counterparts but made to the same standards as Moulton Mill. They are designed for children and gardeners seeking a lighter-weight tool. Gardman's Rebecca Griffiths said the range suits not just children but older gardeners and with the demise of the Solus Joseph Bentley range in 2015 "there is a gap in the market to step into".

Former Solus managing director Nick Davies, now running Crest Garden, said his Kent & Stowe range of garden tools is now in 400 stockists and will have "heavy advertising" this year. He added that the range for "ladies who don't want standard spades and forks" launched in October 2015 and is "now moving" into independent garden centres and bigger chains. "I wouldn't be surprised if something of that ilk took over from the standard-sized tool," he said.

Davies pointed out that post-Solus, Decco, Stax and Toolbank are doing a good job at distributing, but there is "an opportunity" in the market for another wholesaler/distributor. He said the big thing in today's supply market is being "nimble".

Gardena said it is keen to remarket itself in the UK market, with watering and secateurs that are lightweight and adjustable for small hand sizes.

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