England’s Supermarkets Add Gardening Products to Their Assortment

Large English supermarket chains are stocking up on live plants, flower pots, seeds and gardening tools. Morrisons recently opened over one hundred small garden centres outside their supermarkets, Waitrose contracted the renowned garden reporter Alan Titchmarsh to promote their gardening products and Next is going to open twenty “Home & Garden” stores in which they tell to sell “literally everything for gardening”.

The latest Garden Products Distribution Market Report published by industry analysts AMA Research in March forecasts that sales of gardening products will grow 15 per cent by 2016. The supermarkets see their chances and  expand into this market.

Owners of garden centres are not happy with this development. They fear a decline in the value of gardening products. Iain Wylie, CEO of the Garden Centre Association told the Daily Telegraph: “Supermarkets can’t stock the depth or have the knowledgeable people garden centers have. […] Quality suffers and there are more imports. Conversely it gives garden centres a greater opportunity to sell more varieties and demystify growing.”

Further Information: telegraph.co.uk

New CEO at Weber-Stephen

On April 1st Tom Koos joined grill manufacturer Weber-Stephen as new Chief Executive Officer. He follows Jim Stephen who will be staying in the company as Executive Chairman.

Koos has been head of the Jacuzzi Brands Corporation for the last six years. He had full strategic and operating responsibility and developed consumer marketing programs. Weber-Stephen chose him due to his worldwide business experience, passion for building brands and deep knowledge of the distribution channels.

“I am honored and excited to join the Weber team, a global barbecue pioneer and one of America’s most recognized and trusted brands,” said Tom Koos. “I am committed to continuing the tradition of delivering high quality products and customer service the world is expecting from Weber.”

Further Information: weber.com


Hardware Store Industry in Germany, Switzerland and Austria – Stable Development

Hardware- and building supplies’ stores in Germany, Switzerland and Austria look back on a positive year 2012. Germany registered a slight sales drop while the markets in Austria and Switzerland increased slightly.

Hardware stores in Germany made a turnover of 18.6 billion Euros which is 0.6 per cent less than in 2011. BHB speaker Erich Huwer commented: “This means that the sales figures are still at a good level and nearly stable.” The BHB declared that considering the European debt crisis and the bad weather conditions in 2012 these numbers are satisfactory.

The Hardware store industry in Austria made a combined turnover of 2.2 billion Euros which means a sales growth of 1.7 per cent compared to last year. For comparison: The total retail industry of Austria had a sales growth of 1.1 per cent in 2012.

Switzerland shows a positive development as well. While 2011 was more of a difficult year for the industry, the combined turnover in 2012 was 1.85 billion Euros, which is a growth of 4.6 per cent compared to last year.

Further Information: bhb.org


Study Shows the Desire for Green Spaces

Nature is good for our health and good for our well-being. We know from many recent studies that green spaces relieve us from stress and raise our overall health in many ways. But growing urbanization and tighter schedules prevent us from spending time outdoors in green environments.

The Husqvarna Group published its Global Green Space Report 2013. 4676 citizens from nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Sweden and USA) were asked about their relationship to gardens, parks and forests. Two third of the people surveyed believe that visiting and interacting with green spaces contributes a lot to a person’s quality of life and even 89 per cent consider having access to green spaces a human right. On the other hand up to forty per cent of all people asked admitted that they only visit a park once every three months, when it comes to forests people go there even less.

The overall numbers about how much time we actually spend in nature are declining year after year. There is a widening gap between what people tell and how they behave. No doubt, there is enthusiasm for nature, however, people tend to stay at home or spend their free time with activities indoors. For 35 per cent of the surveyed people the desire to interact with nature is so intense, that they think of becoming a landscape architect or a gardener if they could start their lives all over again.

There is no easy solution to reconnect people with nature but one important finding of the study is that the more contact people have with green spaces the more they long for it. People with gardens tend to spend more time with nature and take other people with them outdoors. Involved people involve others.

 Further Information: greenspacereport.com


Unique Youngstar: Designer Contest at spoga+gafa 2013

For the 3rd time the garden unique Design Contest will be held at the spoga+gafa trade fair in Cologne. 15 young designers and design students will have the opportunity to present their work at garden unique, the high-quality segment of the fair. Three of them will be awarded by an expert jury as Unique Youngstar and a separate winner will be chosen by public vote.

At this year’s contest creative ideas around the topic “outdoor living” will be acknowledged: Furniture, lamps, weatherproof flooring, plant holders, barbecues, everything that makes the garden more enjoyable is allowed to enter. The 15 nominees will have their pieces displayed at the spoga+gafa for the duration of the fair from 8th to 10th September.

The registration is open since March 18th; design students and young designers who have completed their studies no more than three years ago can enter the Garden Unique Design Contest on the contest website. Personal information as well as a short description of the product is required, up to three pictures can be uploaded. Lecturers of design schools have the possibility to recommend individual students of theirs for the contest. Participation is free.

The jury will start choosing the nominees in May. The main criteria for them will be overall concept, originality of design, conceptual and visionary quality, functionality and the presentation of the product. The nominated design pieces will also be put on the contest’s website so that the public can give their online votes for the Audience Award. The winners of the jury award will receive a prize money of 3,000 € (first place), 2,000 € (second place) and 1,000 € (third place). The award ceremony will be held on the first day of the fair at the “unique hour” event.

Further Information: gardenunique.de and spogagafa.com

garden unique 2012 from garden unique on Vimeo.