April 26, 2011 — It’s spring, or at least that’s what the calendar says. This season’s countrywide cold spell (with intermittent flurries) has a lot of retailers pondering how they can make up sales when the sun comes out.
Enter Eve Tigwell, Europe’s best-known garden centre inspector.
Tigwell thrives on figuring KPIs for garden retailers, and showing how to boost them. Raising those “key performance indicators” (units sold to customers, sales per square foot, average sales, conversion of browsers into buyers, etc.) is the best way to make up sales in an off-season.
Since we can’t add more warm shopping days to spring, the next best thing is to add more sales within the days ahead. Tigwell began inspecting garden centres in the United Kingdom, where getting a leg up on the competition is key in a fiercely competitive, mature, and saturated market.
Her travels to garden centres around the globe informed the development of an inspection program to highlight areas of improvement that would add dollars to the bottom line.
The response to the inspections was so great that the UK’s Garden Centre Association added annual inspections to their membership program, and bestows awards of excellence to top scoring stores.
It has since been replicated in Germany and Denmark, and has now become available in Canada. Any garden centre can participate in the inspection, say the folks at the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, and retailers can elect to book a consultation instead.
The services are extended at a savings, of course, to CNLA members – and only members are eligible for the member awards. Half-day inspections are $850 for members and $1,300 for non-members; consultations are $1,000 for members and $1,450 for non-members. Full-day sessions are also available.
With Tigwell scheduled to arrive in June, and spaces filling quickly, interested retailers will want to register right away. Full details can be found online at www.canadanursery.com (click on Garden Centres Canada > 2011 Inspection Program).
For more information and to sign up for the inspections, contact Rebecca at the CNLA office at 866-383-4711, or