Hot sellers: Bedding/houseplants/planting service/events

Retailer: Coolings Outdoor Inspirations, near Sevenoaks, Kent

Managing director Gary Carvosso said plans for a redevelopment at the Coolings branch are stepping up with advice from design consultancy Pleydell Smithyman. Coolings has appointed Burton-on-Trent-based Hodges, which redeveloped Raglan and Poplar, to do the work, due for completion by February.

Bedding/houseplants - Like-for-like sales are level with last year, which was 21 per cent up on 2006. Carvosso said: "We've had a successful year with bedding plants and houseplants up 16 per cent. We have had new till fronts with hotspots for houseplants for the past five months."

Planting service - "Our planting service and garden advice is paying dividends and we're selling larger trees and shrubs to those who can't plant them themselves. We can offer the whole package," Carvosso said.

Events - A 35-piece concert band played on 20 July in Coolings' coffee shop gardens. Carvosso said: "The Coolings summer showcase worked well for us and may be of use to other centres around the UK. Over the past three weeks our annual display of bedding plants grown by us - staged in the 1,100sq m greenhouse used for growing customer baskets in the spring and selling autumn bulbs - has been seen by thousands of people."

The company will host a classic car day this Saturday.


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