Garden centres see roadshow and training give barbecue sales lift

Two garden centres have cited brand backing as the reason for increased barbecue sales this summer.

Ruxley Manor Garden Centre BBQ and garden furniture buyer Marion Burch saw a 53 per cent increase in barbecue sales compared with 2011 and attributes this increase to the training her staff received at the Weber Grill Academy in Oxfordshire: 

"We sold two Genesis E330 in 2011 and this year it was 25.  In 2012 we sold about 10 times the amount of chimney starters, briquettes and other accessories when compared with last year.  And to top it off, we sold three Summits this year in comparison with only one last year.

"The Grill Academy training has been beneficial in so many ways.  Most importantly it has built our confidence in barbecuing and given us a better understanding of Weber products which has meant we can offer more help to customers when they are deciding which barbecue to buy.  Learning how to use the accessories to their full advantage, especially the chimney starter, was particularly useful.  We also learnt so many great recipes which we can share with our customers."

Hayes Garden World furniture sales manager and buyer Ian Hodgett has had the Weber BBQ Roadshow Experience visit his store for the past two years maned by chef Dan Cooper.
Hodgett said: "The Weber Experience is a brilliant way of creating theatre at your store.  It has an incredibly strong impact on the day, and then for weeks after.  On the Sunday of the Experience, we sold four times the amount of barbecue accessories compared with other summer weekends, and in 2011 – the first year we had the Experience –total barbecue sales were up around 25 per cent.  We promoted the event heavily which ensured it was a success and our customers absolutely loved seeing the products in action."

Weber North West Europe vice president John Cooper added: "At Weber, we’re always looking to drive the growth of British barbecuing as a whole.  The total market in the UK & Ireland is dramatically underdeveloped, and our strong conviction is that it should be at least four times its current size."

"Our 2012 experiential activity at a number of high profile foodie events ...have inspired thousands of visitors to become barbecue enthusiasts."

"These events will continue to be a key part of Weber’s 2013 marketing programme."

The company has moved its UK mainland warehouse provider to Yusen Logistics in Wellingborough.

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