Garden Retail Awards 2009: Retail Outlet of the Year -- Under £3m turnover

WINNER: Glendoick Garden Centre

Glendoick's garden centre and planteria was redesigned in 2008/09. Walls and barriers were removed to improve customer circulation. The A-Z shrubs were moved to the back of the centre leaving the main courtyard square to be used for seasonal and topical displays, increasing the number of "hot spots" and leading to more effective displays and promotions. Link selling with pots, composts, stakes and fertiliser has been integrated throughout the store.

A spectacular orangery was built in 2009 at the back of the garden to draw customers around the site. It is used to display conservatory furniture. New benching has been bought, mostly on wheels, to allow easy movement of plant displays and movement of tender stock inside in cold weather. Promotions can be moved under cover and outside according to weather conditions and forecasts.

The shop layout has been redesigned as a single, wider looping aisle around the building with themed bays leading off it.

Glendoick's award-winning restaurant, overseen by Jane Cox, with a turnover of £500,000 is now a major profit centre for the business and won the 2005 and 2008 Garden Retail Awards for the best restaurant/catering. The food library, food hall and restaurant are integrated and managed together.

Glendoick is a founder member of Choice Marketing, a group of 25 UK independent garden centres that market and buy together. Choice produces high-quality leaflets and point-of-sale and negotiates significant supplier discounts/rebates.

Glendoick owner Kenneth Cox's numerous books, leaflets, lectures and PR activities ensure Glendoick is one of the best-known names in Scottish horticulture and keeps the Glendoick name in the public eye. Cox's 2008 book, Garden Plants for Scotland, was so successful it reprinted after three months. Cox published his 10th book, Scotland for Gardeners, in 2009.

A G7 EPoS system was installed in January 2008 resulting in better stock control and tighter control of margins. Unprofitable areas including fencing, paving and water gardening were dropped to concentrate on core business, which led to an increase in profits and turnover. The 2008 season was a challenging time for UK garden centre retailing with most centres down, but Glendoick bucked the national trend with a modest increase in like-for-like sales and increased profits, to £176,000 on a £1.88m turnover.



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