In March 2017, Van Hage opened its Elho branded store concepts within its main Great Amwell garden centre and experienced strong sales in the first week.
"We have been a customer of Elho's since 2010," says Ben Stevenson, Category Manager - Gardening. "It was in 2016 that we featured Elho as part of our Beautiful Gardens Magazine. From a small display, turnover greatly exceeded expectations. Through last year's success it's clear that our customers liked the product range and uniqueness. As part of the Tillington Group of Garden Centres, we had seen the success Bents has had with its Elho store, and were assured of the sales potential and customer satisfaction."
At Van Hage's Great Amwell site, Elho has 72m2 split across different product categories. The bright and colourful Loft and Corsica ranges have 16m2. For customers interested in grow your own and propagation, there's 16m2 for Elho's Green Basics range and the more traditional Algarve and Torino products. The inspirational design-led Allure and Pure ranges have 36m2.
Early indications are encouraging, especially the Corsica hanging range (pictured above), alongside the Pure range. The Great Amwell site is also looking to introduce a selection of indoor pots, which are a growing area for garden centres.
David Nicholson, Elho's Sales Manager for UK and Ireland, says, "The opening of the concept store was great. Even as we were building it up we had Van Hage customers come up to us, keen to find out more and purchase."
When launching an Ambassador store, Elho involves its store designers based in Holland to deliver a bespoke concept that's based on the individual garden centre's customer demographics and the ranges stocked. From design to delivery, Elho manages the whole process. "Their support, advice and enthusiasm has been second to none since the early conversations," continues Ben. "We know they can offer the delivery and product service we would require, and are sure we will receive all the support through the next few busy months."
Ambassador stores also receive strong lifestyle branding to help attract customers and inspire them instore. "Elho is a product range very much taken from the European market. We have seen a definite shift in interest and customer demand for more lifestyle driven items, bright complimentary colours and new bold inspiration. Elho ticks all of these boxes," says Ben.
"One of the key things we do at our Ambassador stores is to plant up pots," says David Nicholson of Elho. "We believe - and sales prove - that customers want to be inspired. We attract them with beautiful displays, inspire them with lifestyle imagery and then we make purchasing of products really easy with planted up pots. Working with our Ambassador Store garden centres we create a great customer experience from start to finish."
Elho is the European expert with 50 years experience in the development, production, marketing and sales of indoor and outdoor synthetic pottery and related products. Every year Elho launches dozens of innovations that continuously inspire the consumer with well-designed, functional and colourful products. Elho has been in the UK for over 15 years and works in partnership with garden centres and all outlets to create enticing instore displays that excite the consumer.