20September2021

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HortiTrends is NOW Horticulture Connected

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Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

It is now clear that the British people have made the choice to leave the European Union. The countr...


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HortiTrends Weekly News & Comment - Dobbies WOW - Rentes Spring Fair Today - IHNSA Plant Fair Next Tuesday - 18th Feb

We have been on the road promoting the new trade journal Horticulture Connected. Yesterday was Trolley Fair Northern Ireland. Today we will be joining Rentes Plant Fair which has established itself as the go-to event to kick off the plant buying season in Ireland. Interestingly even though yeterdays NI Trolley Fair clashed with the first day of Rentes own show, it did'nt stop them from having thier own stand at that event. Its all about the marketing which should be constant and in my oppinion is most effective when you have nothing to sell. More on that next week. Also on that trip north I stopped in to Dobbies and had a good chat with Richard the horticulture manager. Does WOW mean I am easily impressed or was it the association that I have made about Tesco and their inability, in my opinion to present a constant quality plant offering, that had led me to have such a low expectation? I was expecting blandness at best but came away impressed with the overall operation including its size, levels of stock maintained, professional merchandising everywhere, staff friendliness and the stores cleanliness. As was discussed at last weeks garden centre catering conference the money is all on the food and Dobbies have certainly embraced it. A delicatessen, bakery, butchers and table/self service restaurant were on offer. Its a model that would work, too well in the south and could have a major effect on the current sector. Depending on your standpoint as a consumer, it might be a case of the sooner the better as we all like choice. Growers and the existing garden centre will adapt and improve to meet any new challenge as they have already doing so, within the on-line marketplace and the relentless weather. If the Irish weather can't kill them off, then the local garden centre and nursery will endure regardless of Dobbies or anyone else.