The supplier, which is part of the Boningale Group, opened the boutique plant shop, the Apley Plant Centre within the Apley Farm Shop in the summer, and the business venture is playing an important part in Worfield Plants’ sales and marketing strategy.
Apley Plant Centre, which is managed by Worfield staff, is located close to the company’s head office in Shropshire, and offers unusual garden plants, in addition to the expertise of the staff.
Now, customers are able to test out new plant varieties and retail ideas – and their feedback is being used to inform Worfield’s future product development for the benefit of its wider trade customer base.
For example, Apley customers are able to buy Worfield’s Heuchera plants in larger pots than usually available to consumers. If sales and feedback are good, Worfield will use the data to help it decide if it should put larger volumes into production next year for its trade clients.
Worfield Plants sales manager Mark Lavers said: "This is an exciting new concept for us as a plant producer that specialises in the garden centre trade market, because it gives us the opportunity to test new ideas and get informed feedback from a very discerning customer base at Apley.
"By using our own real world testing methods, we will be able to collate data on what works and what is less successful, which we can then pass on to our trade customers for their sales benefit.
"It’s yet another example of how we are thinking differently in the marketplace and we are very excited by the potential."