Bayer Garden decides to use agencies to cover more outlets

Bayer Garden managing director Colin Golding says he has 20 approaches from agencies wanting to sell Bayer products after the garden-care company decided to switch from using reps to an agency system.

He said using agents could more than double the number of outlets covered: "We were not getting deep enough penetration. There are 3,000 outlets selling gardening products - we can only call on 600 with our sales team, so there's a big untapped potential. We had the option of recruiting more staff or going down the agency route."

Denholm, which already handles Mr Fothergill's, Alexander Rose and William Sinclair, will represent Bayer in northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Golding added that Gardman, Town & Country and Growing Success all use agents, which he said help with shelf audits, stock replenishment and merchandising, "which is what garden centres want".

New marketing head Steve Mead, who has experience with Homebase, Sainsbury's, Westland and Scotts, said: "Trust in products is missing in the garden-care industry. Consumers are confused. Bayer can use its brand to get across the trust message. Bayer has access to technology that competitors don't. We have R&D in Germany; we have knowledge and opportunity."

He added: "We have new people growing and the danger is their plants start suffering diseases. It's up to us to show them how to use the right products."

Bayer is launching Baby Bio for Herbs, Green Clean (for cleaning off algae and mould) and Fruit & Vegetable Disease Control, which uses copper oxychloride as its active ingredient.

With the withdrawal of bifenthrin in June 2010, Bayer will replace Multirose Ready to Use with Multirose Bug Killer. Fungus Fighter Disease Control is being introduced and Organic Bug Free will replace Bug Free. Sprayday Greenfly Killer Plus will contain a new active ingredient, deltamethrin.

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