Greenfingers cash and carry launches instant Plant Fest

West Midlands-based cash and carry Greenfingers has said its new format fair Plant Fest was a success, with more than 200 buyers attending the two-day event.

Managing director Alan Beaumont said: "This event was a variation on the successful samples fairs we run three times a year. The difference with Plant Fest is that all stock was on site and ready to take away.

"We thought that if we made it instant it might well fulfil what the customers wanted a little better and the visitors certainly felt it was a concept they really liked."

He added: "The idea is that it takes a lot of cost out of the supply chain and from the growers point of view it meant that all they had to do was deliver the stock. Because it's an in and out process, we work on lower margins so the customers benefit in price."

The event featured plants from growers from the UK, Italy, Holland, France and Belgium, with shrubs in twoand three-litre pots selling particularly well and Lavender Hidcote being the top-selling shrub.

Beaumont added: "Our sales are up on last September and now we are questioning whether we want to do the same for the spring event, and from talking to some of the growers, they've already said that whatever we decide to do for spring they will back it again because it works both ways for them."

Commenting on the new style of the event, he said: "It's about pulling people together to work together. The industry needs to think about more cooperation between companies particularly because it's such a fragmented industry."

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