The design consultancy director told suppliers they need to "love and nuture their products in the way we would care for our children", then he drew the analogy with choosing a babysitter to care for your child.
Garden Retail magazine columnist Pleydell explained:
"In our supply chain the product babysitters are the retailers and the consumers." He cited five types of retailer and explained how customers see products: "They aren’t buying a BBQ, they are buying a wild social life."
He said: "In short think how others see and use your products and work with this. Think like the end user and think like the retailer."
Pleydell explained about how retailers need to compete with home shopping so garden centres need to actively engage with customers and suppliers should be supporting them with ideas for events and activities.
He also told of how Pleydell Smithyman designs retail outlets through a robust a tested process that is bespoke to each centre and how products are positioned in a structured and reasoned way for the good of the whole business, so if you aren’t happy tough.
Paul Pleydell ended with a strong suggestion that suppliers encourage garden centres they deal with to use his services so "we can make the garden centre businesses better and the suppliers can sell more products."
Pleydell added that he was very pleased by the genuine enthusiasm that the GIMA members show for understanding and engaging with retailers in real partnerships – positive and refreshing.
Other speakers included Julian Winfield talking about Haskins £27m investment programme, recent Garden Retail interviewee Haskins' Philip Evason on the supply chain and a speaker from Glee.
Dennis Espley, another recent Garden Retail cover star, is speaking at the next GIMA event on 23 March at Squires Shepperton Garden Centre. The event will host GIMA’s AGM, and Colin Squire and Sarah Squire are speaking about Squires history, with Squires MD Dennis Espley covering the commercial aspect. The meeting is in afternoon in the Orangery building, with a meal afterwards in the new garden centre restaurant.