Award sponsors HTA, Greenfield Software, Town & Country, Sinclair Horticulture, Quinton Edwards, Mr Fothergills and Westland Horticulture said the awards, which attract the top people in the garden centre industry, provide excellent marketing and networking opportunities as well as an opportunity to celebrate success.
Lead sponsor HTA director-general David Gwyther said: "As the trade organisation for the garden industry, we place great value on our sponsorship of the awards. Not only do they showcase best practice but they provide a great source of inspiration and innovation."
- Urban Garden Centre of the Year (new) - awarded to the outlet operating from an urban setting that most impresses the judges.
Entrants to this new award will need to demonstrate excellence during the qualifying period in using often restricted space to bring in urban, perhaps non-core gardening customers through innovative events, displays and community involvement.
- Best Retailer Marketing Campaign (2009 winner, Burleydam Garden Centre-Good Life Garden).
- Most Successful New Plant (2009, John Woods Nurseries Cornus Venus).
- Most Successful New Product (2009, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Miracle-Gro Singles).
- Best Business Development: New Build, Refit or Launch (2009, Coolings Green & Pleasant).
- Best Customer Service Award (2009, Whitehall Garden Centre).
- Best Catering Facilities (2009, Langlands Garden Centre).
- Best Pet or Aquatics Department (2009, Planters Garden Centre).
- Best Planteria (2009, Planters Garden Centre).
- Retail Outlet of the Year: under £3m turnover (2009, Glendoick Garden Centre).
- Retail Outlet of the Year: over £3m turnover (2009, Scotsdale Garden Centre).
- Best Garden Retail Website (2009, Whitehall Garden Centre).
- Commitment to Training/Education Award (2009, Garden & Leisure Group).
- Community Involvement Award (2009, Gordale Nurseries).
- Best Environmental Policy (2009, Garden & Leisure Group).
- Westland Garden Centre Trainee of the Year (new - see box below).
- Employee of the Year (2009, Amy Goldsack, Shoots).
- Outstanding/Lifetime Achievement Award (2009, Sue Allen-Millbrook Garden Company).
HOW TO ENTER
To enter, visit www.gardenretail awards.com. For further details, call Lucy McLaughlin on 020 8267 8057 or email email@example.com. The deadline for entries is 6 July.
WESTLAND GARDEN CENTRE TRAINEE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Garden Retail and Westland have worked together to create an award to incentivise new entrants in the garden industry.
The Retail Trainee of the Year Award, to be presented at the Garden Retail Awards 2010 at Grosvenor House in London on 1 November, rewards garden retailers who show initiative and make a difference in individual garden centres.
The winner will have helped customers enjoy gardening more through their advice and guidance and have generally added something to the industry.
Keith Nicholson, head of marketing at sponsor Westland Horticulture said: "The industry does offer a great career and sometimes it is difficult to recognise people. New products get recognised but it is the people in garden centres who make a huge difference with areas such as merchandising and attention to detail. That shouldn't go unnoticed and will all hopefully lead to Westland being more successful. Our industry needs to be more attractive to customers."
The winner of the Retail Trainee of the Year Award will receive a free place on the HTA diploma in garden retail, a course that is certain to improve their career prospects and skills. Three shortlisted candidates will receive VIP invitations courtesy of Westland for the awards night at Grosvenor House in London.
The category is open to anyone who has been working in a garden centre for fewer than two years. Garden centres must nominate a member of staff and apply for a pack containing voting forms and promotional aides from the contact above.
Garden centres will need to encourage customers to vote for the nominee. Then they send voting forms and a supporting written entry, including personal and career gains they have achieved from work and study.
The qualification has been well received by garden centres, some of which are running extra workshops to support staff.
Squires in the South East, Grosvenor in Chester, Barton Grange in Lancashire, Burleydam in Merseyside, Webbs in Worcestershire and Englefield in Berkshire are among the garden centres involved.
Squires human resources manager Jo Ripley, who has enrolled 11 staff onto the diploma, said: "It's our people who make the company successful. It is very important to our business that our customers receive the best possible knowledge from our staff."