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


DIY-Industry Ready to Meet New Environmental EU-Regulations

A new EU-wide environmental law concerning illegally harvested timber and timber products will be enforced from March 3rd, 2013. The German trade association for DIY, building and gardening products, BHB, presented a compliance-tool which will help meeting the new regulations by tracing the trade chains of timber products.

The new regulation says that every timber merchant within the EU has to declare where he got his timber from and whom he sold it to. If someone brings timber or timber products onto the market he is obliged to keep records of his suppliers and customers. These records are required to contain information about the traders, the country of origin, the suppliers and verification on compliance with national legislation. Based on this data a risk assessment has to be issued. If it is not possible to exclude the possibility that the timber may be harvested illegally it is prohibited to continue dealing with it.

BHB developed in cooperation with the IT-Company Global Traceability Solutions (GTS) the online compliance tool “RADIX Tree”. This program will document all required information in a database and create risk assessments. Andreas Back, speaker for the BHB and head of quality management and environment at the hardware store chain Hornbach said about this tool, that it is a “substantial improvement for the DIY-industry when complying with the new regulations.”

Further Information: ec.europa.eu

ebertsankey – double brand, double service

Ebert and Sankey, two of the largest plant container brands in Europe, merged to create and market an inspirational range of plant container products more efficiently. The fusion of these two companies is the result of the growing synergies between the brands. Both companies have been part of the Fiskars family for over 10 years, with Sankey based in the UK and Ebert based in Germany.

The new double brand ebertsankey puts its focus on retail and consumers. By means of an extensive research and development programme, marketing and POS new potentials can be exploited, for the benefits of retailers and consumers.

Kostja Ebmeyer, Business Unit Director Container Gardening, at Fiskars underlines, “There is a tremendous potential for the trade to increase sales of container gardening. ebertsankey is focussed on helping our customers to reveal this potential and to make the best of it. We offer great new products with a fantastic brand creating a better platform for communication at point of sale. Simultaneously, we restructured our collection of products for a better overview, leading to faster buying decisions. The fresh and modern new brand, efficient point of sale communication and a great assortment of products will be supported by our commitment to provide the best standards in service, delivery and quality.”

On spoga+gafa 2012 Ebert and Sankey already represented themselves together as ebertsankey in one stand in hall 6.1. From 2013 a mutual website is supposed to be online.

Further information: ebertsankey.com

Improving the Garden Centre Industry Worldwide!

The International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) provides valuable benefits for members around the world. Its key event each year is the International Garden Centre Congress held in a different country every year and provides unrivalled networking opportunities for members. The Congress sees over 200 of the best Garden Centre operators in the world meet together for one week and visit the best in Garden Centre retailing that the host country has to offer.

Milton Vadoulis from Vadoulis Plants Plus, Australia said: “We are a long way from the rest of the world in Australia but by attending IGCA Congresses, I have been able to see the latest trends in plants, catering, giftware and all other garden-related products. The Congress has helped me improve my business plus lift sales and profitability. The networking and communication opportunities with my peers provided by the Congress are an added benefit for my business.” John Zaplatynsky from Gardenworks, Canada said: “I have attended five Congresses now and there is no doubt that the ideas I have picked up have made a huge difference to my business. I now have friends in Garden Centres around the world and we discuss trends as well as very important business statistics such as wages to sales, average sale and many other areas that help us all. We are able to exchange ideas with members via Facebook and get great value out of the quarterly International E-News. One important aspect of the Congress is a working programme for younger employees and managers.”

The International Garden Centre Association is an independent not for profit organization committed to the continuous improvement of the international garden centre industry through co-operation with global partners to align international, regional and industry agendas. The Congress was held in Germany this August and will be in Australia in 2013 and Ireland in 2014. We ask you to contact us, enquire about joining and start benefiting.

For further information: intgardencentre.org