The Garden Centre industry in the UK was estimated to be worth around £5 billion in 2017. The Horticultural Trades Association estimates there were 2300 garden centres and retail nurseries in 2017. It's a busy market sector that be tough for for smaller independent garden centres.
We've put together some marketing ideas & events to help promote garden centres during peak selling months and to make the most of National Gardening Week 2020.
The garden centre industry is a very seasonal business and is busiest during the Spring and Summer months. The weather is warmer and people are ready to work on, and relax in, their gardens. There is a lot of pressure to make enough money in these key months, but there are many ways to expand your offering and market your brand to keep the tills ringing all year round.
Many garden centres have diversified from purely selling plants, seeds and gardening products. Many now sell homewares, clothing and gift items as well as adding cafes and leisure facilities to their offering. These are just a few ways to boost profit margins but there are many other ways to can market and promote your garden centre.
Three Marketing Ideas for Garden Centres
1. Offer Courses & Workshops
Offer courses and workshops where people can come and learn about different aspects of gardening. There are a whole host of possibilities from flower arranging, creating an urban/small garden, gardening basics for beginners to growing your own fruit and vegetables.
Courses don't have to be based around gardening skill either. Offer cooking classes using allotment produce or edible flowers and wild plants. Make perfumed oils and lotions using certain plants, or organise an Art class where participants use flowers as inspiration. There are so many possibilities for courses & workshops and they are a great way of generating some extra revenue from selling places.
National Gardening Week takes place from 27th April - offer a workshop that fits the theme for the week. At the time of writing (10th Feb 2020) the RHS have yet to announce the theme for 2020 so visit their website to keep updated.
Educational workshops can be catered to all ages groups and interests, contributing to extra footfall in your garden centre. You could also offer participants a discount or special offer on selected plants & flowers to thank them for attending and encourage them to buy once they've completed the course.
Workshops are also great for brand marketing and building a trusted reputation. It will help you to reach new customers and also help you to be perceived
as the go-to gardening experts.
2. Work with Local Children To Transform Gardens
Kids love gardening and it's a great way for them to learn about how plants grow and where fruit and vegetables come from. Get local school kids or children in the community involved in transforming a school garden, local park or patch of wasteland.
To get interest in the project going, why not create a garden design competition where the kids can submit their own ideas. The winner will get to see their ideas become reality. You could also offer some plants and gardening equipment as runners up prizes.
Get local children involved via their schools, local sports clubs, youth centres and community centres. Go into school and tell the kids about the project - what you hope to achieve, how they can help and what are the ecological benefits of transforming land into a finished garden. Get them interested and involved.
When it comes to doing the actual work, get as many local people to come along and help with clearing, digging and planting. Tell the local press and get
local personalities like the Mayor, Councillors or a local celebrities to come along. This will get you a spot in the local paper and shared on social
media. It will create valuable positive PR for your garden centre brand and help to spread brand awareness.
3. Take Advantage of 10p Bag Tax with a Branded Bag for Life
In 2020, it's expected that all retailers will have to charge 10p for any single-use carrier bags. (Full details yet to be announced). Read more: 10p Bag Charge To Be Extended To Small Retailers in England.
The solution to this is to create a branded, heavy-duty Bag for Life that you can either sell or give-away for free to your customers. It's a practical promotional product that is perfect for carrying bulky goods like garden furniture and plants home in. A laminated bag is also waterproof and easy to clean.
The added bonus is that your branded Bag for Life will promote your business name and brand every time it is reused. A large Bag for Life can be reused for shopping, picnics, camping, day trips to the seaside and much more! It will help your brand get noticed throughout the year, but particularly in the Summertime when everyone is out and about more.
To find out more, read our case study: Green Bags for the Green-Fingered.
Great Heavy Duty Bags for Life for Garden Centres
Click through our photo gallery to view some of our Heavy Duty Laminated Bags. Click on the link below to see our full range.
These Heavy Duty Bags are the perfect choice for garden centre - custom print to order with 100% full colour printing on all sides of the bag. Economical and long-lasting - these are the ideal practical promotional product for promoting your garden centre.
Ordering a Branded Bag for Life for your Garden Centre
Make sure you leave enough time to place your order and wait for most economical SEA delivery. This takes 12-14 weeks.
If you need your bag for life in a hurry, Express orders take around 4-6 weeks. It will cost about a third more but it's a great choice if you have a deadline to keep.
These are a just a few ways to promote your garden centre this Spring & Summer. If Smartbags can help you to create a stunning promotional bag, just get in touch with us today.