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vie w fr om the t op


your business, but you should go toward what you’re good at, and that’s what I think all garden centres should be aiming to do.


Isn’t there a risk that in doing that your plants and gardening sections could suffer? Yes, there is a risk, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. It’s up to the management of the business to make sure it works and that the risk is worth it.


The GCA is all about sharing and working


together with likeminded individuals


What’s coming up for garden centres in 2014? I think they will be pleased to have a straightforward spring with plant sales back at the heart of their businesses. I can see a lot of people buying into artifi cial grass, because of how advanced it is and it looks like real grass these days. Garden centres selling artifi cial grass as display and order is benefi cial, and some even involve professional installation, so there’s nothing wrong with that. I can see it becoming more popular. At the conference Lionel Smith talked about his ‘fl owering lawns’, and the GCA Trust has supported his research project. I think that’s great, and innovative things like that are defi nitely worth looking at; I can see there being an increasing market for it. For the association, the main objective is defi nitely pushing


on with GROW, which is still a very young initiative and it has got lots more to give the members. Along with the inspections, the conference and the Barometer of Trade, GROW is one of the primary reasons to think about joining the GCA because it is a very economical way of offering training. The GCA is all about sharing and working together with likeminded individuals, whether it’s talking to peers at a conference or sharing fi gures on the Barometer of Trade. We are keen to reinvigorate Area Groups so that members can gain greater benefi t from the GCA at a local level.


Outside of work, what do you like to do? I have two daughters that keep me on my toes, and I spent a lot of my time being a taxi. I also have two dogs that keep me fi t. I enjoy going out walking and experiencing the outdoors. I was born and bred near the coast, so I’m really in my element by the sea.


CONTACT Iain Wylie


Chief Executive


The Garden Centre Association www.gca.org.uk


28 APRIL 2014 / GARDEN CENTRE RETAIL


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