Roger Crookes cites passion as key garden centre sales driver

Consultant urges garden centres to inspire their customers with plant ideas and colourful displays.

Horticulture retail consultant Roger Crookes has said a passion for products being sold is essential for garden centres and their suppliers.

He told growers and retailers attending a British Protected Ornamentals Association meeting at Meadowcroft Garden Centre in Essex that they had to think like their customers.

"If you lose passion for your product you have to get it back," he said. "That passion will rub off on staff and customers."

Crookes suggested that messages in the media about the benefits of single flowers for wildlife could increase demand for these plants this year and that Union Jackthemed products would also sell more.

Among his suggestions for boosting sales were colourful background displays, painting benches and demonstrating how plants could be grown and displayed in the garden. Endcaps sold seven times more products than other displays and so it was important to make them work well, he added.

"We need to be doing more than just selling a plant - people buy ideas," he said. "We need to show them what they can do. Gardens are getting smaller and the more we can show people how to garden in containers the better."

Crookes also pointed out that catering was now an important part of garden centre business.

"Good catering can mean people make visits once or twice a week, instead of once or twice a year," he said. "That's a lot of visits and catering is how garden centres have grown their business."

On the agenda - Sector advances

The British Protected Ornamentals Association event also included talks by LS Systems sales director Darren McDonald on water collection and storage equipment, ProVeg consultant Clare Dyson on new varieties of edible ornamentals and Seeds of Success commercial director Simon Whiteley, who presented his hardy petunia Vesuvio range that flowers from April to October and can overwinter for a second year.

There was also a tour of WD Smith & Son nursery, including its recently installed wood chip-fired biomass heating system.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Papaver

Papaver

These compact, brightly coloured flowers can be very attractive for impulse sales, notes Miranda Kimberley.

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Using the right fertilisers on your crops can make all the difference when it comes to securing repeat customers, Sally Drury advises.

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

Venue modernisation will mean better display space for exhibitors at Europe's largest trade fair for the horticulture industry, says Gavin McEwan.


Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Generations of ordinary British people have been let down by weak, visionless leaders -- politicians more engaged by the next election than our national best interest.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles