Conifer week hailed success as 650 garden centres take part

More than 650 garden centres took part in the fourth annual National Conifer Week promotion, which ran earlier this month.

The Association of British Conifer Growers (ABCG) and the HTA's Plant For Life campaign promoted the event, which included high-profile media articles and in-store activity to deliver the message that conifers are back in fashion, highlighting colour, structure and style.

Marketing included in-store retail promotions and a Modern Day Conifer "look book" for the media "to challenge the stereotypical views of conifers". Circulation of the book reached 25.5 million, representing an estimated advertising value of £163,000.

National Conifer Week point-of-sale materials were produced and participating retailers used these along with their own resources and initiatives to attract the attention of customers towards conifers.

Aylett Nurseries representative Dennis Andrews said adaptable point-of-sale pictures "really worked well, as they helped give people a nudge". Coolings Nurseries ran a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) offer on its one-litre pots.

Golden Acres Nursery used promotional materials on its website. Representative Judi Watkins said: "We like the new-style point of sale and feel that it has generated an interest in conifers".

HTA promotions manager Jennifer Thwaites said: "By commissioning our own photography for the first time and making it available to members, we provided promotional tools that retailers were able to adapt to suit their own needs.

"Through a combination of BOGOF deals, 20 per cent reductions, point-of-sale materials and promotions though customer mailings and websites, participating members certainly raised consumer interest in conifers in the lead-up to and during National Conifer Week. Time will tell, but we are positive that this resulted in additional conifer sales."

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