Garden centres are realising that online is providing tough competition for in-store shopping. To attract customers, your business has to offer not just interesting products but also something unique, an experience, a day out.
Charlotte Speculo has extensive experience and knowledge of the Horticultural industry. Starting as a garden centre assistant at the age of 16, she has managed centres, run her own floral design business, worked as an interior design consultant, and from 2014 – 2017 was Head of Merchandising for Hillier Garden Centres.
While at Hillier, Charlotte’s main role was to design and organise the refit of 10 out 12 of their garden centres within a year. This included a fit out of a new build restaurant and farm shop from design through to procurement and merchandising.
Charlotte’s knowledge and experience in product and customer shopping behaviour was vital. Hillier was refreshing its USP and the products sold. She determined the layout, marketing equipment and style concept required to launch a ‘New’ Hillier successfully
Charlotte has now set up her own company; Ki-Design, assisting Garden centres, restaurants and farm shops in the Design, procurement and refit.
One of Charlotte’s projects this year has been working with Leeds Council on their new Production Nursery and Garden Centre called Arium.
Leeds Council had a vision for future growth and decided to build their own nursery to grow all their own produce for city’s parks, roundabouts, flower beds, schools and other location around the city.
They added a garden centre on the site to increase income by selling over-stocks, plants and garden products to the general public. A restaurant was also developed within the centre to give an additional much needed service to the area.
Charlotte was asked to design the garden centre and restaurant seating area which overlooked the production growing greenhouse.
Charlotte’s brief was that the centre had to appeal to a wide range of customers, with a natural style suitable for a plant centre and seasonally adaptable shop fitting.
After much discussion with the team at Arium about the product range and space planning, Charlotte started the layout and equipment drawings, making the view into the production a greenhouse a main feature.
Charlotte then worked alongside the nominated shopfitters, Target shopfitters LTD, turning her vision into reality. Target manufactured, project managed and installed the fit out from start to finish.
The main challenge with this project was the launch date, from the initial meetings with the client in early July this project needed to be finished by the end of September. With careful planning and an efficient team Ki-Design and Target achieved this task successfully.
For further information on Ki-Design please contact Charlotte