Garden centres told to use all space

Garden centres can profit by using vertical space, using colour to sell more products and promoting all their services as a matter of course, Garden Centre Association (GCA) auditor Roger Crookes has advised.

Instead of leaving the "empty void" on top of shelves for cobwebs, they should display what is shelved underneath. "Colour sells, not just in planterias but in every department. People are drawn in - make volume work for you," said Crookes.

"Promote all your services. If you deliver, assemble, position and take away packaging, that is something B&Q won't do. It is good at promoting prices so you should make sure your customers know how good your service is."

More than 475 staff from 140 GCA member centres heard Ian Boardman, Andy Campbell and Crookes present their findings from the annual GCA garden centre inspections at regional meetings last week.

The staff received 230 awards for outstanding achievement in 13 different categories and 650 awards of merit were awarded to 130 centres.


South Thames: Haskins Ferndown (five awards). Shoots Washington (three). Thompsons Canterbury (two). Stewarts Country (two).

North Thames: Frosts Woburn Sands, Sunshine, Van Hage Great Amwell, Poplars, Frosts Brampton (three each).

Wales & West: Raglan (four). Old Railway Line (three). Monkton, Elm, Trelawney Wadebrige (two each).

Midlands: Webbs, Planters Tamworth (five each). Van Hage Peterborough (four). Byrkley (three).

North East: Langlands Shiptonthorpe (six). Armitage Pennine, Cowells, Heighley Gate (four).

North West: All in One (eight). Barton Grange, Bents (four).

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