Best Business Development: Multiple

Winner: Redfields Home of Garden & Living, Blue Diamond

Redfields Home of Garden & Living is designed to target the seven-out-of-10 consumers of an AB1 demographic profile who live within a 30-minute drive. Located in a highly competitive area where three garden centres achieve combined sales of more than £22m, it has been able to achieve large increases in turnover and sales in the first year of this targeting.

Blue Diamond took over Redfields, in Fleet, Hampshire, in 2010. It delivers a strong point of difference coupled with an aspirational retail offer to encourage significant drive times to the destination centre.

Objectives set were to create a unique environment that perfectly matches targeted customer desires and shopping habits. AB1 customers are stimulated by aesthetically pleasing environments and spacious and light interiors, feeling reassured that they have crossed the threshold of something unique that bucks the norm and provides exclusivity coupled with value for money.

The restaurant is also a key component as it drives footfall by offering a diverse range of enticing fresh home-made food in an unexpectedly opulent environment with table service.

Unique products normally associated with boutiques and specialist stores create a top tier of indulgent and lavish purchasing opportunities for the customer. Locally grown plants, local food, bathroom products made by British artisan craftsmen, statement pieces for the home, kitchen and dining table, and bespoke ranges unique to Blue Diamond sourced globally combine with known brands sold at competitive prices.

The ambition was to challenge conventional practice and innovate through retail design at every juncture. Created by Blue Diamond managing director Alan Roper, this led to a wholly unique, quirky and groundbreaking approach. The distinctive covered planteria is inserted into the actual building and surrounded on three sides by restaurant and retail.

Normally in a building of 7,200sq m the customers would have to travel some distance to the rear of the indoor retail building to access the planteria, but at Redfields plants are the hub of the retail space, only a few metres away from the core of the building. This design innovation prevents plants from becoming detached from the indoor retail space, which is a common symptom of modern garden centres.

Redfields' design removes the sterile, high street approach of new-build centres and creates a perfect fusion between home and garden. Other modern centres have a home retail offer and the challenge was to break down the normal home retail experience and inject an unexpectedly domestic homely "garden" feel.

Hillier Chichester
Hillier Braishfield

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