Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker told growers: "You need a point of difference, good ranges, strong offers and good customer service. Good multi-buys will be important, and three is the magic number."
Consultant Andy Campbell said plant areas will become smaller and visual displays will be seen more, using props, backdrops and colours and grouping plants by colour rather than name. "Products will be more impulse-driven," he said. "One good example on show can drive the result."
He added that labels would become larger. "We will also see more own brand labelling and more exclusivity to set us apart." Promotions would also be key, he said, and garden centres will offer more volume-based multi-buys.
Henderson Brown Recruitment director Martin Brown added: "Garden centres will move away from nurseries to be retail destinations - almost out-of-town department stores."