Award: Best New-Build, Refurbishment, Refit or Extension
Comments: Nicola Harding, senior marketing and operations manager
What are your key goals/priorities as a business for 2020?
One of our main priorities for 2020 is implementing electronic point of sale (EPOS) fully across our two garden centres. We have applied a phased approach, already trialling integrated EPOS systems in our catering departments and food hall, and are looking to transition this into the main garden centre departments. This is in conjunction with a more efficient accountancy system. We are also fully under way with an exciting new strategy to transform the Garden Care department and this will be implemented within the first quarter of 2020.
What do you regard as the biggest opportunity for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2020 and why?
By integrating EPOS across the two businesses, we will have a much deeper insight into our figures, allowing us to be more targeted within our marketing, understanding our consumer buying behaviour and setting ourselves clear objectives for increasing customer retention.
The garden centre industry in general, we feel, has developed a shift in consumer — the mature millennial market segment is a big focus for Pugh’s in 2020. With the growth in houseplants and people wanting to have pride in their gardens, we feel there is a big opportunity to focus our communications, product offerings and customer journey on this sector, as well as traditional customer groups, with an integrated approach.
What do you feel will be the biggest challenge for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2020 and why?
We made a conscious decision to not implement EPOS fully until now because we have had a system that has worked extremely well for us over the years. Now is the right time for us, but culturally we feel this will be the toughest challenge — to change processes and habits of long-standing members of staff. Making the decision to phase this in has allowed us to take a softer approach and also to identify other cultural challenges that need evolving alongside implementing EPOS.
What was the best thing about winning a Horticulture Week Business Award for you as a business?
We felt extremely proud to be recognised for all the hard work our team has put in over the past couple of years. Our staff are a huge part of our extended family so being able to present them with something for their efforts made it all worthwhile.