Garden centres advised to plan bedding sales better

Retail consultant Alistair Lorimer tells garden centre owners how they can improve bedding sales.

Alistair Lorimer
Alistair Lorimer

He said: "If you want a tip on how to grow your sales this year, look no further than your bedding plant department during the next three months.

"After reviewing 36 garden centres and retail nurseries in the Midlands last May and June, I concluded that many businesses were falling into the main bedding season rather than planning for it. Turned around, this represents a great opportunity for growth."

Lorimers top tips are:

Give bedding more space. Bedding sales in May will be around 3-4 times those in March for many garden centres. Plans to at least double the amount of space need to be made now.

Get the balance of space right. Lorimer says that his analysis of EPoS data over the last few years shows that bedding plants in pots are generating more than 2-3 times more gross profit than pack bedding during the April - June season but for many pack bedding is still given the majority of the space.

Know your winners and back them. In the rush of peak trading, the big profit earners are often lost. Here are the big 4 that Lorimer suggests are given the strongest backing:

  • 13cm zonal geraniums (especially red and white)
  • 10.5cm Osteospermum (pink, pale yellow and burgundy)
  • 9cm Sweet peas
  • 13cm New Guinea Impatiens (in May and June)

Get your pricing right. An average sized garden centre is likely to sell around 50,000 bedding plants between April and June. Is there an opportunity to make 5, 10, 20 pence more on any of your plants without sales being hit? It can soon add up and it goes straight to the bottom line.

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