With linked sales and effective merchandising in mind, DIY Week takes a look at Dutch design company Elho’s partnering with two leading independent garden centres in a bid to step up sales of pots and planters.

B Bents

ents Home & Garden, which shared its merchandising secrets

in the last issue of DIY Week,

is still reaping the rewards of a store- within-a-store concept with Elho, giving the Dutch firm’s pots and containers pride of place in the centre. The concept store opened at the

end of April last year in time for the May Bank holidays and primed for the spring and summer season, boasting more

than 50sq m of

outdoor displays and over 35sq m for indoor containers. The

and Elho team

specifically selected every display, as well as the placement and planting of each pot to appeal to different consumers and meet their individual gardening and decorative needs. Pots and containers were planted up with plants from Bents’ nursery and then placed in front of full-size lifestyle images, which are designed to inspire shoppers and give them ideas of how to use the products in their own setting.

The outdoor collection in the Elho shop is vast and colourful, with products from seven ranges in 70 different sizes and a choice of more than 15 different colourways. In a

bid to appeal to Bents’ wide variety of shoppers, the offer starts with basic pots and planters that cost just a few pounds and stretches up to containers designed for urban living and a super-contemporary selection, which have a more premium price tag.

sticks to

The indoor collection, meanwhile, a more

neutral and

contemporary colour palette, with pots planted up and ready for consumers to pick up and put in their basket, helping make impulse buys even easier.

Bents buying and e-commerce manager Emma Kelly says: “We wanted to make it really easy for our customers to create inspirational indoor and outdoor spaces. From balconies in urban settings, to allotments and gardens for keen growers, and then into the home with contemporary-designed containers - Elho’s photography and point of sale gives our customers ideas for how to create a stylish look at home and in their gardens.” The latest garden retailer to team

up with Elho, Van Hage, says the strategy is already paying off. Last month Van Hage opened its Elho- branded store concepts within its main Great Amwell garden centre and reported strong sales already in the first week.

A member of the Tillington Group,

like Bents, Van Hage was inspired by the success Bents had with its Elho store and wanted to increase its sales potential in the category. The

Great Amwell space site has

given over 72sq m to the Elho in-store concept and has split that

product categories. Bright and colourful modern ranges,

across different ideal

for terraces and balconies, occupy 16sq m, with the same amount of floorspace allocated to more traditional pots and planters in blacks and terractotta and those aimed at customers interested in grow your own and propagation. The largest space has been given over to more inspirational design- led and premium ranges, with one of the collections in this area already showing great signs. Early indications are encouraging, says Van Hage, with sales of one of Elho’s modern hanging ranges also doing particularly well. The Great Amwell site is now planning to introduce a selection of indoor pots.

Elho’s new sales manager for the UK and Ireland, David Nicholson is delighted with the results: “The opening of the concept store was great. Even as we were building it up, we had Van Hage customers

come up to us, keen to find out more and purchase.” He adds: “One of the key things we do at our ambassador stores is to plant up pots. We believe – and sales prove – that customers want

to be inspired. We attract them with beautiful displays,

inspire them

with lifestyle imagery and then we make purchasing of products really easy with planted-up pots. ” Van Hage category


for gardening Ben Stevenson explains why he thinks the concept is proving so popular with the centre’s customers: “We have seen a definite shift in interest and customer demand for more lifestyle driven items, bright complimentary colours and new bold inspiration.”


“This year younger people have challenged non-gardening stereotypes by going crazy over houseplants, including traditional air-purifying greenery, orchids and stylish succulents,” says Westland Horticulturehead of insight and communications, Jo Wilkinson. “This trend started in 2016, following the popularity of Hygge and Ikea, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Houseplants have always been big in European countries like Germany, where home ownership is lower

and renters are more prepared to spend on greening up their interiors. Our research tells us households are

recognising they have a lack of nature in their lives and are tackling this by including more living greenery in the homes. Houseplants are the perfect introduction to gardening for all generations as they look great and mostly only need a little feed in with their weekly water to keep them at their best.”

28 APRIL 2017 DIY WEEK 19

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