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It’s showtime for the Garden Industry

Here we are in the middle of the consumer selling season and it’s time to be getting ready for 2019.

Commentary by Paul Grinsell, Home Improvement and Garden sector director at BHETA.

SOLEX is already upon us with its array of garden furniture, barbecues, outdoor lighting, parasols, gazebos and outdoor play equipment. Hard on its heels will be Spoga+gafa, Glee, Four Oaks and Saltex to name just a few and collectively they will be a massive opportunity to preview the garden industry in 2019 and beyond.

While I’m keen to support all these events, it’s equally useful for garden suppliers and retailers to explore what closely related industries have to say about future trends and opportunities if possible. I’ve just recently returned from the Global DIY Summit in Barcelona, an event which very much includes the garden industry, and there, while analysts continue to predict a positive future for the garden sales, the overall theme of the event was a challenging one:

Reinventing our Industry – three revolutions at once – geographic, demographic and technological.

The expectation of the arrival, by 2030, of a billion new consumers in China and 500 million in India, the change in the consumer behaviour due to the rise of the millennial consumer group – now at perfect home-making age – and the global penetration of mobile phones are the main factors. With social, economic, technological and environmental change continuing and accelerating, suppliers and retailers will both need to be agile to survive. The view that the best way to prosper is to take the lead is increasingly prevalent and many companies are changing their strategies, structures, and business models….

“A global perspective that may be, but nearer to home another closely related sector has also been exhibiting. Last month we saw ‘the best ever’ Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical with visitors 10% up and sales aplenty during the show.

For the garden centre buyers who attended it was the perfect opportunity not only to source cookshop and gift ideas, but also trend predictions and the latest trading intelligence. It’s all vital knowledge as retail metamorphoses towards online and the experience economy, demanding flexible operating models with customer data and integrated ‘tech’ solutions such as social media and mobile apps to drive customer engagement and loyalty.

“So, what did Exclusively have to offer the garden market? The answer – many relevant products, an attractive bira Bonus buying initiative, the Sirius small electricals presence and an inspiring seminar programme, sponsored by BHETA. From outdoor living and camping-friendly ranges to the latest in eco and recycled products, tips and advice for using social media to drive footfall and promote offline shopping experiences, seminars including GFK market updates, Scarlet Opus, highlighting the trends in home and housewares sector over the next couple of years, advice on where to advertise online – it was all there.

“Moral of the story – there is so much to learn at exhibitions and a wider perspective is always beneficial. This applies equally to suppliers and retailers, so whichever shows you are planning to attend, do some preparation about the opportunities they may present. Don’t just wander round – or indeed – exhibit – without a plan. There is lots to be gained, so just turning up is never going to be good enough.”

To find out more about BHETA membership, contact BHETA on 0121 237 1130.

Source: BHETA July 2018
July 2018

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