Garden Retail Awards - Categories & Criteria

Entries may be submitted individually or jointly by key parties involved.

Best Themed Promotion

Awarded to the garden retailer that demonstrates the most innovative themed promotion to reach and appeal to its customers. This could be a marketing or promotional campaign for multiple outlets, an individual business or a single branch and the initiative could be nationwide or local, or a shared cost activity with a supplier. Entrants must describe how the campaign or promotion was conceived, executed and evaluated for success, giving necessary data to support their claims. Each entrant must submit photographic evidence and relevant items of promotional material to support their entry. Garden retailer and their suppliers are eligible to enter.

Best New Plant Variety

The best new plant launched for sale through garden centres for the garden consumer. This must be launched within the qualifying period and demonstrate innovation and fill a gap in the market for the amateur gardener. Entrants will submit photographs of the product and information on how it was a) conceived b) the response to it c) show its commercial success. Entrants should explain why stocking the product is important or beneficial to retailers.  

Best New Product

The best product launch for sale through garden centres for the garden consumer. This must be launched within the qualifying period and demonstrate innovation and fill a gap in the market for the amateur gardener. Entrants will submit photographs of the product and information on how it was a) conceived b) the response to it c) show its commercial success. Entrants should explain why stocking the product is important or beneficial to retailers.

Best Business Development: New Build, Refit or Launch

Awarded to the best garden centre development built within the qualifying period. This may be a new build within the qualifying period. This may be a new build centre, an extension, rebuild or refit or relaunch. It should show best practice in design, innovation and environmental standards. Entrants should describe how the initiative was a) conceived, b) executed and c) quantified in terms of commercial success.  
Business categories


Commitment to Customer Service

Awarded to the garden centre that shows customer service above and beyond the norm, for instance delivery services, garden design services, advice leaflets, advice lines and well-run customer service desks. Please include any feedback available from customers and evidence of what your centre’s customer service offer involves. The award winner will demonstrate how it offers its customer’s advice, information, attention to detail and a pleasant customer service above and beyond its competition.

Best Catering Facilities

Awarded to the garden centre that can demonstrate it operates its catering operation to the highest standard no matter how big it is. The award will recognise innovation, success, customer service, quality of food and drink, ambience and efficiency. Entrants should submit written and photographic evidence showing commercial evidence of success.   

Best Pet or Aquatics Department

Awarded to the garden centre whose pet or aquatic department is of the highest standard. The award will recognise customer service, quality and range of product, commercial success, the best animal care and innovation. Entrants should submit written and photographic evidence.

Best Planteria

Awarded to the garden centre with the best outside plant space. It should reflect the best quality and range of plants and show a commitment to customer service and innovation in use of space. Entrants should submit written and photographic evidence.

Retail Outlet of the Year: under £3m turnover

Awarded to the garden retail outlet that most impresses the judges. The outlet will need to demonstrate excellence during the qualifying period for the awards in one or more areas, including for example: profitability, turnover, growth, customer satisfaction, awareness within the local community, staff motivation/retention, significant improvements in one or more aspects of the business etc. Entrants will submit written evidence with any relevant supporting printed and/or photographic material.  

Retail Outlet of the Year: over £3m turnover

Awarded to the garden retail outlet that most impressed the judges. The outlet will need to demonstrate excellence in one or more areas, including for example: profitability, turnover, growth, customer satisfaction, awareness within the local community, staff motivation/retention, and significant improvements in one or more aspects of the business. Entrants will submit written evidence with any relevant supporting printed and/or photographic material.

Urban Garden Centre of the Year

Awarded to the garden retail outlet that operates from an urban setting which most impresses the judges. The outlet will need to demonstrate excellence during the qualifying period in using often restricted space to bring in urban, perhaps non-core gardening customers through innovative events, displays and community involvement. Please also detail profitability, turnover, growth, customer satisfaction, staff motivation/retention, significant improvements in one or more aspect of the business etc. Entrants will submit written evidence with any relevant supporting printed and/or photographic material.

General categories

 
Commitment to Staff Development

Awarded to the garden centre with the best attitude and commitment to developing staff. Entrants will submit written evidence, with supporting printed material if available. Entrants should demonstrate how they are a) committed to training of the highest standard, and b) how they have enabled staff/students/trainees/apprentices to better their knowledge and career development.

Community Involvement Award

Awarded to the garden centre that shows the most commitment to getting involved in activities within its local community. This may include running kids’ clubs, older peoples’ clubs, gardening clubs, charity fundraising or any other activity that shows the centre is at the heart of local life. Entrants will provide written and photographic evidence, including media coverage, of how being committed to the community benefited business and added to the garden centre’s appeal. The Awards winner will show how a garden centre is more than just a retailer that sells plants and garden good.

Best Environmental Policy

Awarded to the garden centre that demonstrates the best attitude to environmental awareness within its operation. This could, for example, relate to peat use, or energy or water conservation, or any other environmental factor, including waste management, recycling, composting, etc. Entrants will submit written evidence, with supporting printed material if available. Written evidence should describe how the entrant’s policy was conceived, executed and quantified in terms of success.

Individual awards

Nominations are invited – and free of charge

Employee of the Year

Awarded to the individual who, in the opinion of the judges, has shown the most outstanding aptitude for a commitment to their role in the garden centre. Entrants must be nominated by their employer. Written evidence should explain why the individual nominee should be given the award, specifically: a) what successes/achievements have been accomplished to warrant nomination, b) how the entrant is regarded by their colleagues and customers.  

Sales Team of the Year

Awarded to the garden centre that can show its shop floor staff have improved sales, displays, offered ideas for better running of the garden centre and have shown they can work as a team to improve the turnover of the centre and the experience of customers. Please include feedback from customers and evidence of uplift in revenues.

Garden Centre Trainee of the Year

This category is open to anyone that has been working within a garden centre for less than two years. The Award entry should demonstrate how the trainee has made a difference to their business, be it excellent customer service, innovation or going that extra mile. Garden centres must nominate their member of staff and apply for a ‘Trainee of the Year’ promotional pack containing voting forms and promotional items. Garden Centres will need to encourage customers to vote for their nominated Trainee. All voting forms along with a supporting written entry must be sent in to complete the submission.

Written submission

Trainees will detail their personal or career gains that they have achieved from participating in their studies and job, how they have integrated on-the-job and off-the-job training and what benefits this has held. Trainees must show how they have developed their communication, skills including self-reliance, team participation, and assistance as well as customer advice.

Judging

Trainee of the Year will be judged on a 60:40 weighting relating to the written submission and the number of votes. The entries will be judged by the Garden Retail editorial team.

For additional information on Trainee of the Year click here.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded to the individual who, in the opinion of the judges, has made the most outstanding contribution to garden retailing. This may be awarded to someone who has 'lifetime achievement' status, or it could go to someone who has made a significant contribution to the industry within the past few years. Entrants must be nominated by a third party (for example, a colleague or employer). Written evidence should explain why the individual nominee should be given the award, specifically: a) what successes/achievements have been accomplished to warrant nomination, b) how the entrant is regarded by their peers, customers, colleagues, subordinates, seniors etc and c) why the nomination is particularly relevant to the current awards qualifying period.


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

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

There are 11,700 electric car-charging points across the UK but only eight at garden centres, so more can be done to take the opportunity in garden retail.

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

A wide range of first-time exhibitors and established names will showcase a wealth of new varieties at September's Four Oaks Trade Show, says Matthew Appleby.

Product and service showcase

Product and service showcase

Fresh solutions to production problems can be found among the array of products and services being introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show, Sally Drury reports.


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

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles