Will you be joining the GCA's new buying group?


"It's one of those things - if you don't, you never see the benefit to the business. We're also joining because of the type of product ranges that are available and the buying power of members.

"We've been considering it for a while and it is something that's needed in the industry. The other aspects of the offer have attracted us, too. The marketing opportunities and the centralised payment scheme will be of benefit to us.

"The suppliers get guaranteed payment, so they know the money is coming in and they will want to be involved, too."

- James Ducker, director, Langlands Nurseries


"Why not? I think it will be worth it, even if we won't buy everything.

"I've heard a lot about AIS (GCA's buying group partner) and it is convenient for us because we're only about 20 minutes away.

"We've had experience with other groups. We're in one of them for cards because of the benefits, and we know the advantage of the reduced administration.

"There is a danger if we all start buying the same, we could end up looking like clones, but we can pick and choose. I think it will add to the bottom line and help sales."

- Gerald Ingram, director, Planters Garden Centre


"We're joining for all the reasons that have been explained in the presentations (outlined by the GCA). There's good value to be had in making use of the professional services that are tried and tested.

"It's a leap into the dark, not a leap of faith because we know the resources it has.

"We like to think we're good at negotiating deals and we will still be able to do this; however, in terms of being more effective, it will give businesses the edge we need."

- Steve Myatt, managing director, Warbreck Garden Centre


"I think the potential is huge and we want to be in it from the start.

"For the initial cost we can test the waters and see the benefits over the next year and go from there.

"Many garden centres have already joined, so if we can keep the numbers up at a high level, then it will be profitable for all of us.

"It's going to give us an edge over our competition, and if it helps draw in new customers, then it's got to be a winning option. I would hate to turn down the opportunity and look back on it as a missed chance."

- Tammy Woodhouse, operations director, Millbrook Garden Company.

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