Throughout selected weekends in April & May JTF held special ‘Garden Event Days’ at each of its stores. The programme was organised by JTF marketing manager Rachel Hammond and supported by Priory Roses, Scotts, Westland & Hozelock.
Each day had a pre-planned set of activities designed to engage both younger and older customers with having fun in the garden. The Garden Works agency was appointed to do demos in each store on ‘planting the perfect hanging basket’. In addition there were demonstrations from Priory Roses on plant care, Hozelock on its watering systems plus activities for children including face painting and pot painting. There was also complimentary food and drink for all.
Some stores had local radio stations present, while others had fire engines & ambulances on site with support from the emergency services. Characters such as Mickey Mouse, Mr. Blobby & Del Boy also made appearances in selected stores.
Gerrard Smith, JTF senior buyer, said: "The events were a great success with both our customers and staff alike. Feedback has been so positive that we will look to hopefully repeat them again next year. Store footfall rose significantly on the day of the events in each and every store and with it our sales too. Rachel and the store teams did a tremendous job."
JTF are trading around 20 per cent up on gardening versuses last year following a strong May/early June after a disappointing, weather impacted, April. The back drop to this is that the growth is up against JTF’s record ever year last year, so extremely pleasing, said Smith. Performance has been driven by strong growth in Horticulture, Watering, Garden Buildings & Garden Furniture. May 2016 was JTF’s record ever month for gardening sales.
Staff from each JTF store and some from head office have also attended a plant care training day at Priory Roses. Sessions were led by joint MD, John Greensitt. JTF staff were taught and refreshed on topics such as watering, pest control, plant merchandising and planting the perfect hanging basket.