Karcher enters watering market

Cleaning equipment company identifies significant growth potential for future watering sales.

Water water everywhere: going the garden centre route
Water water everywhere: going the garden centre route

Karcher sales and marketing director Nigel Scott said the cleaning equipment company sees "significant growth opportunities in the future" for watering sales as it targets the watering market.

The company has had a watering product range for some years, but it was not fully available in the UK. The £200m retail brand is best known for pressure washers and window vacs, but Scott said his recent research had found a lot of Karcher customers are buying watering product, but not Karcher's.

He said there was an opportunity to sell through garden centres because "that's where people who know what they're looking for go to shop". He said Karcher had not previously "done a fantastic job selling effectively into garden centres".

Karcher also sells to B&Q and Homebase but says selling to multiples beyond that is "counter-productive".

He said it is "better to work with retailers who can bring your brand to life" adding that "displays are our forte. It's not just about covering wall with a product. That baffles the consumer."

Scott said pricing comparisons between multiples and retailers can be a "challenge" but being careful around promotions avoided retailers getting their "noses out of joint".

He said Karcher will "inevitably steal some market share" from watering companies Hozelock and Gardena but added that retailers are looking for choice and Karcher could grow the market through its above the line marketing, such as promotions through the likes of Diarmuid Gavin and point of sale material, as well as product differentiation, particularly micro-irrigation systems with digital sensor timers and moisture stocks that know whether to water.

He said he hopes 10-20 independents and a couple of groups will stock Karcher with many others "dipping their toe in".

Danny Adamson, who set up the Karcher garden retail division, said multiples also have their own brand but many garden centres only have one watering brand, which is unusual in any product sector. He added: "If you don't explain it, no-one's going to buy it."

A two-week event at Karcher's UK base in Banbury has been open to garden centre buyers.

Watering brands

- Gardena

- Hozelock

- Karcher

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