HOW HAS GARDEN CENTRE RETAILING CHANGED INDEFINITELY?
Andy Campbell, independent business development consultant, specialising in the gardening and DIY sectors, looks back on 2020 and the various challenges the sector has faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
change with core gardening being on the receiving end of even greater focus moving forward. Houseplants were on the ascendency anyway and this looks set to continue. Garden plants and all the related support ranges can only get stronger, outdoor living in its widest sense including, hard landscaping, furniture, barbeques and accessories are expected to grow with an increase in ‘staycationing’ at home and within the UK. All of the above playing to the significant number of new entrants to the gardening market introduced throughout 2020 and much greater recognition of just how
ne thing is for certain after this year, garden centre retailing will never be the same again. The category mix
is likely to
important plants and gardening are to mental health, social and personal well-being.
Operational adjustments Those categories that tend to rely more
heavily on the browsing
customer visiting the catering outlet, such as gifting and clothing, could well be scaled back to a certain extent, particularly as the mid-term picture for reinvigorated the cafés and
“As always, the garden centre sector has shown itself to be remarkably resilient, innovative and determined”
restaurants in garden centres remains unclear.
For some, the additional services of home delivery, call and collect, click and collect and comprehensive eCommerce activity, brought about out of necessity during 2020, will remain an essential ingredient in their channel strategy. For others, it is likely to be kept on the ‘back-burner’ as a contingency, preferring to focus on the experiential side of being a bricks and mortar retailer. There will inevitably be some
profound operational adjustments to how garden centres trade moving forward. Specific entry/exit points, customer flows, layout, spacing and fixturing changes, could well be retained as a permanent feature, especially at peak trading times such as spring and Christmas.
Different approach A very different approach to stock management seems to be evolving at the moment, with retailers doing more multi-sourcing, placing larger pre-season orders and planning to maintain higher stock levels
key lines throughout the season. Whether these changes in buying and purchasing behaviour are permanent or a short-term reaction to current circumstances, only time will tell. Prior
to Covid-19, sustainability
as an issue was gaining significant momentum, but not surprisingly took a backseat during the pandemic itself. This is already starting to re-emerge as an opportunity and challenge for the industry to address. As always, the garden centre sector has shown itself to be remarkably resilient, innovative and determined during this period of intense uncertainty and will come out the other side a lot stronger and more robust as a consequence.
Andy Campbell is an independent business development consultant, specializing in the gardening and DIY sectors at both the retail and production ends of the supply chain.
ADVERTORIAL STAX SETS THE STANDARD WITH NEW ISO AUDIT
A leading supplier to the hardware and gardening sector - Stax Trade Centres - has cemented its place as the quality leader in its field thanks to re-accreditation carried out by the British Assessment Bureau, which confirmed the company meets the standards of the internationally recognised ISO 9001:2015 quality management system.
T he ISO 9001:2015
certification lays out a predefined criteria of business processes,
all of which demonstrate
Stax’s ability to provide products and services which consistently go above and beyond customer and regulatory requirements. Whilst it’s another great achievement to add to
the UK’s biggest non-food wholesaler has no plans to slow down, as Operations Director, Tim Ball explains: “We first achieved ISO accreditation in 2017 and have successfully passed annual assessments to retain that status. This time, however, we underwent a more stringent and detailed audit which takes place every three years. Despite the pandemic, the process went very smoothly, and we passed
with flying colours as expected. “Accreditation assures people that Stax is committed to adhering to world-class trading standards and operating processes,” adds Tim. “This is especially beneficial when we are tendering for contracts in the public sector, such as the supply of PPE to local authorities, where ISO certification is a standard requirement. However, it also means thousands of independent retailers throughout the UK whom we support can rely on us to work to the highest standard. “It’s extremely rewarding to see recognised in such a
high-profile manner, but this is by no means the end of the story. We will continue working hard to ensure we maintain and further improve our quality standards.” Stax is
the UK’s number one non-food wholesaler and provides
Left: Stax Trade Centres cemented its place as the quality leader in its field thanks to re-accreditation by the British Assessment Bureau, which confirmed the company meets the standards of the internationally recognised ISO 9001:2015 quality management system.
genuine trade-only support for independent retailers throughout the nation. Its offering spans an extensive selection of market sectors including gardening, hardware, building, decorating, electrical, plumbing, homeware, bathrooms and kitchens.
For more information, visit www.staxtradecentres.co.uk
Stax supplies over 50,000 businesses right across the UK on a cash & carry wholesale basis, but does offer a delivered wholesale service should you prefer – so if you’re a retailer or trade professional then look no further than Stax for your trade partner. Stax stocks more than 45,000
product lines from over 1,000 top trusted brands. Its range includes outdoor & gardening, tools & hardware, DIY and much more.
DECEMBER 2020 DIY WEEK 23
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