NOTTINGHAM, UK: Cultivating Retail, hosted by the Horticultural Trades Association in conjunction with the Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association, sponsored by Evergreen Garden Care, took place on 13 November at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. This new event, chaired by Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman, brought together retailers, suppliers and growers to look at the issues and opportunities that lie ahead for the garden industry.
The morning included speakers such as consumer behaviourist Ken Hughes discussing how personalisation is more important than ever, and the need for targeting an ‘Instant Generation’. Will Seymour talked about how people now wish-list for pleasure as well as for purchases and Trewin Restorick showed the many ways in which environmental charity Hubbub, has made recycling a fun activity that the public want to take part in. Paul Pegg, from Reynolds Catering Supplies, provided supply chain insight from the food service industry showing how collaboration is the key to success.
The programme included two panel sessions covering the topics of plastics in horticulture and supply-chain issues. Both sessions provided great insight into what the industry is doing to tackle such issues, from both the retailer and supplier perspectives. The day concluded with expert sessions from Claire Harper and Alan Roper, Managing Director of Blue Diamond Group, giving their experience of retail and how to ‘delight the customer’.
Cathy Newman summarised the proceedings and highlighted how agility was the watch word of the day as businesses need to be prepared for future change – whatever that may be.
The day concluded with dinner where Adam Taylor, HTA President, discussed the recent presentation of the HTA Pearson Memorial Medal to Baroness Fookes. Greenfingers Chairman, John Ashley, provided an update on Greenfingers’ activity and launched ‘The Big Greenfingers Garden Raffle’ – a new initiative supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.
GIMA President Richard Pyrah introduced the after-dinner speaker – record breaking cyclist James Golding who gave a compelling, honest and uplifting talk of this life experiences and motivations.