She has been working with Kelkay since autumn 2015 on a "full review" so the supplier can "stay ahead, keep innovating and investing, and growing the business". She said: "We want to keep product range on trend, try to anticipate the next trend and develop the aggregate category. You could say it's just a bag of stones, but it's about making an attractive retail prospect and getting customers to trade upwards and spend more money."
Lawler has worked primarily on Kelkay's aggregate and water features, and secondarily on the Borderstone paving range. "It's about explaining the proposition to the end user in a bite-sized, easy-to-access way and the different benefits of products," she said. Some are more for decor, while others are for driveways and more practical uses. The "segmentation project" includes new packaging, collections and point-of-sale material designed to "make it easier to shop".
"Accessing information can be tough in garden centres as there's so much coming at you," said Lawler. "You need to explain the category to customers and get them to trade up and explain what they're going to get for it. It's also then about design and trends, and how to navigate that, so they can create a look in their own garden."
Further plans will be unveiled at Glee (12-14 September), as they will for another Lawler client, Bonningtons, which she has helped give a complete reposition, part reorganisation and a relaunch of the business, which she said was "not visible" before apart from its Kingfisher arm, known for "trading at value end" in hoses.
Lawler said the company now has a "credible offer" at higher price points, including lighting, furniture, outdoor decor and a new category, electrical heating and cooling including fans, as well as the Pacific hydration brand, which offers pick-up hot and cold drinks from a display stand.
Bonningtons will have three stands at Glee - one for the business launch, one for brands (45m long in hall 20) and one for outdoor leisure products (hall 17).