Plants remain key focus for Garden Centre Group, says representative

Garden Centre Group (GCG) head of horticulture Tim Clapp has insisted that plants remain the strategic focus of the company.

"Plants are our primary strategic focus and everything else is subsidiary to that," he told last month's Contact conference. "It's our mission to be the best in the industry for plants."

Clapp added that 90 per cent of the group's plants are British-grown and said the company is constantly looking at ways to improve its plant offerings.

"We are always asking how well are we doing it and could we do better. If you can give better quality, that's better value for money," he said.

Working with Harkness Roses on point-of-sale material has boosted rose sales significantly, Clapp added. He said the reliable supply of plants at the right times is important. "Fifty per cent of our sales come on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so if we sell out on the Saturday we miss a significant amount of sales. Stock has to arrive at the right time."

GCG sells 28 million plants a year, worth £90m, and the company is aiming for 90 per cent UK-grown. It is introducing central distribution for plants from two hubs by an unnamed logistics company that will collect from nurseries, which will no longer deliver themselves.

The move is due to start in March and will be phased in by October to help stop lines from running out in centres, while cutting deliveries from 60 to five a week.


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