GCA Christmas winners announced

Two North West garden centres have triumphed in the GCA Christmas competition.

Barton Grange Garden Centre and All in One Garden Centre have been announced as the overall winners of the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Christmas display competition.

The two garden centres will have their achievements recognised at the GCA annual conference in Oxfordshire in January.

GCA chairman Peter Burks said: "Earlier this month we announced the 12 regional winners of our Christmas display competition. All 12 were judged for a second time by finalist judge, Roger Crookes.

"Our congratulations go to Barton Grange Garden Centre in Preston, who were crowned winners in the Destination Garden Centre category for their Christmas displays and to All in One Garden Centre in Manchester who scooped the prize in the Garden Centre category.

"The garden centres were judged on the innovation, inspiration and excitement created from the way their Christmas products are displayed. The range of products available, accessibility, how easy it is for customers to find and select products and ‘wow factor’ were also taken into consideration."

The Destination Garden Centre category is for garden centres with a turnover of more than £4million and the Garden Centre category for less than £4million.

Crookes said: "I have been judging the Christmas display competition for the GCA for a number of years and I am amazed that the standard still seems to be rising year on year.

"There were three things that particularly struck me about the winning garden centres, firstly the inspiration, the displays were incredible and very good at grabbing customers attention. The second was impact, this helps ensure that having grabbed the customers attention, the garden centres make it easy for them to pick up some products through crisp, ‘easy to shop’ merchandising.

"Finally, and this is what really set the two winners apart from the runners up, were the ideas. Not only had the garden centres created beautiful displays with great products that would appeal to customers, they had also provided customers with information to help them understand how they could recreate the look at home.

"For example, both garden centres provided information on how to dress a wreath and included a list of all the items required, allowing people to very easily pick out these items and make the wreath at home. Not only is this great for customers because they can enjoy putting together their own decorations, but it’s also good commercially as the customer is likely to spend more on the individual items."  

The GCA annual conference will take place from January 27 until 29, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

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