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Vol. 7, Issue 2 | June 2015
News from the UK
By Iain Wylie
Now that the general election is out of the way, the weather continues to be the critical factor for sales at UK garden centres this spring. So far, we haven’t seen the extremes of weather experienced a couple of years ago. While the weather in May wasn’t fantastic, March and April were good months. Overall members appear to be having a good season without breaking any records. There is a good mix of sales with plants and gardening performing satisfactorily and catering continuing to put on steady growth.
Industry consolidation is still featuring heavily in the news. Wyevale are continuing to acquire centres and, at the time of writing they stand at a total of 149 outlets.
We are in the middle of our annual inspection season and all centres will have been visited by one of our four inspectors by the end of June. Each of our areas will then host an Area Awards meeting where the area inspector give a presentation covering his or her visits this spring and the highest scoring centres in each category will be announced, including the overall area winners. The top scoring centres are then re-visited by a different inspector to determine the national winners. The national winners will be announced at our conference in January 2016.
We have announced the venue and dates for our 2016 conference. It will be held at the Grand Hotel, Brighton on 24 – 27 January. It is due to be a very special event as the GCA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.
GCA GROW, our e-learning system continues to prosper, we have released a further 6 modules this year, bringing the total to 66 and we are approaching a total of 10,000 staff at member centres registered on the system.
Area Awards meeting dates:
North Thames Awards Presentation Evening, 20 July, Perrywood Garden Centre
Midlands Area Awards Presentation Evening, 21 July, Stratford Garden Centre
South Thames Awards Presentation Evening, 22 July, Haskins West End Garden Centre
Wales & West Awards Presentation Evening, 23 July, Monkton Elm Garden Centre
N West / East Awards Presentation Evening, 24 July, Bents Garden & Home
The Garden Centre Association
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