Westland rising stars take masterclass

The Rising Stars class of 2015 attended the second GCA/Westland Merchandising Masterclass of the programme at Barton Grange Garden Centre near Preston.

The stars were after a place in the top 12 shortlist to go on the next masterclass in October.

Each Rising Star was asked by garden centre consultant Ian Boardman, IBBIS director who facilitated the day, to deliver a presentation showing the results of their merchandising project during the year.

Project topics included 'Sundries Sizzlers', 'Perennial Perfection', 'Project Koi' and 'Let Them Eat Cake'.

Year on year sales and profit increases were reported double or even triple in some cases - all by using the basic principles and adapting the type of product.

The final 12 Rising Stars who will attend the third and final Masterclass are:

  1. Will Clark (Barton Grange)
  2. Kathryn Bailey (Barton Grange)
  3. Zoe Willis (Perrywood)
  4. David Haynes (Sunshine)
  5. Jack Fillingham (Sunshine)
  6. Rhys Davies (Garsons Esher)
  7. Joe Murtagh (Burston)
  8. Sam Clark (Cowells)
  9. Frances Hambling (Armitages Pennine)
  10. Lyne Eden (Ayletts)
  11. Matt Tanner (Squires)
  12. Sophie Liebthal (Coolings)

Westland marketing director Keith Nicholson said: "This is the time of year when the competition really starts! Already the Rising Stars are achieving big successes for their garden centres and this will only continue as we move into the third and final stage."

GCA chief executive Ian Wylie said: "Each year I’m blown away by the standard of the entrants and their progress throughout the Rising Stars Programme. This year has been no exception and it’s certainly going to be a tough fight to make it through to the final."

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