Garden centres have been a vital link in Forest Garden’s 2018 success

Company: Forest Garden

Garden centres remain at the very heart of sales planning for Forest Garden, the UK’s leading producer of decorative timber structures, wooden fence panels, trellis, outdoor storage and sheds.

“Garden centres remain a key channel where customers can physically see and touch a selection of our extensive range of products, learn about our products from informative Point of Sale Material and pick up a brochure to be introduced to our full range,” says Forest Garden’s sales director, John Gomersall.

“Adding a decorative structure to your garden can make a real difference and because of the nature of our products, not all customers are happy to buy without seeing them first.  They want to see a range of different styles and examine them so they can really picture them in their own gardens.   Being able to walk round an arch or arbour or hold up a trellis panel is important and the garden centre affords them this opportunity.

“For those customers that choose something from our extended range, they still have the opportunity to order in store, with delivery from Forest typically within 5 days,” says John.

Forest Garden makes in excess of 7,000 deliveries to garden centre customers each year and that is growing. The Forest Garden Field Sales team make around 1,500 visits a year to ensure these customers are looked after and displays look as good as possible.

Regular merchandising is essential in keeping displays at garden centres fresh and attractive.  Forest has a real focus to drive and develop this in 2019 to increase sales further.

“Decorative lines such as trellis and lattice remain very popular and we continue to support sales at garden centres through innovative stock and display systems,” says Gomersall. “We have seen an increase in demand for the more difficult to display products such as sheds and garden buildings due to the garden centres promoting our home delivery options. Our innovative brochure display options which allows these ranges to be showcased and ultimately ordered by the customer for us to deliver directly. We have over 500 product lines to select from, covering all timber categories and have recently added flexible and easy to shop fencing project solutions to enable retailers to offer even more options to their customers”

He sees the ongoing success being driven by combining these more difficult to handle, traditional products via home delivery with promotional impulse led lines such as edging, grow your own and structures that can be taken home there and then.

“We have changed our support strategy to cater for this with market leading offers on high volume sales lines that can be bought and taken home in the back of the car,” he adds.

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