Changes to Christmas trading tactics pay off for Gloucestershire?s Highfield Garden World

by | Jan 16, 2017 | News | 0 comments


Highfield Garden World in Gloucestershire has reported a 50% year on year increase in takings across their Christmas category in the last quarter of 2016.? Annual turnover for the business as a whole currently sits at ?6.2m, with concessions on the site bringing in an extra ?3.5m (exc. VAT).

The management team at the long-established independent is putting the buoyant festive figures in part down to some tactical decisions made hot on the heels of Christmas 2015.??Joan Greenway, of the Greenway family which owns and runs the business, explained:? ?Christmas has always been busy for us, but this year has been especially good.? With our Christmas category (covering decorations plus some gift and homeware) gaining ground every year, we took the decision to expand the range and dedicate significantly more floor space to it in 2016 – around 40% more.? It worked.? In fact during one peak week our Christmas category generated even more sales than the restaurant.?

?Maximising Christmas throughput in the restaurant

Takings were up by 11% overall across the business for the same period year on year, and by 12% in the restaurant.? Referencing the strong restaurant sales, Joan commented: ?We might have 450 covers, but there are times when we could still do with more.? This year we found a way to change the restaurant layout a little to fit in a few more covers in time for the Christmas rush without compromising on the spacious feel and walkways.? We also decided not to take Christmas group bookings.? That was a tricky one as we enjoy good links with many local groups and usually cater for quite a number of their Christmas events.?? But having groups in the restaurant can interrupt the flow of customers in and out, and impact on the wider customer experience.?

Better queue management on bumper shopping night

Every year Highfield stages a Christmas shopping evening at the end of November.? With a 20% discount offered across almost the entire store, the event attracts big crowds.? Joan commented:? ?We?re used to being busy, but managing such a sudden and massive influx of shoppers requires a different approach.?? We learn something new every year.? This year we were sure to have clearer cashpoint and queueing areas, plus a member of staff in a central position who was dedicated to directing customers to specific queues, and well placed to interact with them and keep the Christmas spirit alive when the tills were at their busiest!?

Early tree sales rush and late bargain hunters

Elsewhere in the business, Christmas trees were sold in higher numbers and with even more speed than in previous years.? Around 75% of the 1100 trees sold had been snapped up by the end of the second weekend in December.?? And Highfield reported some strong post-Christmas sales of high ticket garden furniture which was fresh out on the sales floor as soon as the Christmas shop had been packed up.? As Joan commented:??It just goes to show that people are always looking for a bargain!?

more latest news ➡

GCA members to compete in Worrall Cup

GCA members to compete in Worrall Cup

Members of the GCA are being invited to put their marketing and community campaigns to the test as part of the organisation’s annual Worrall Cup competition. The Association will be awarding a cup to the garden centre with the best marketing and community...

Westland growing media products added to Westland Live

Westland adds growing media to Westland Live

Westland Horticulture, home to brands such as New Horizon, Boost, Resolva, Peckish, and Kent & Stowe, has announced it has added its growing media category to Westland Live, giving its customers a one-stop shop for its brands and products. Westland Live is an...

British Garden Centres

How big is Christmas for British Garden Centres?

The highly-anticipated Christmas season has arrived early this year for British Garden Centres, as it opened its doors to customers in September to an influx of pent-up shoppers. Following a temperamental and wet summer and a few years of subdued Christmases due to...

Bradford garden centre group wins award

Bradford garden centre group wins community award

The team at a Bradford-based garden centre group is celebrating after winning a regional business award. Yorkshire Garden Centres, owner of Tong, Tingley, Bingley and Otley Garden Centres, won the Community category of the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business...

Feverfew launched new gardening apparel for women

Meet the supplier: Feverfew Garden Co

Taking the gardening glove market by storm, Feverfew Garden Co is the UK’s first garden wear brand exclusively designed for women, by women. Garden Centre Retail catches up with Rachel Eunson, the driving force behind the brand. As with many recent ventures,...

HSBC economist

Ex HSBC economist to speak at GCA conference 2024

Former HSBC Head of Economics will be helping delegates at the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) annual conference understand the resurgence of inflation and the challenges that it continues to bring (January 28 until 31, 2024). Mark Berrisford-Smith, who worked...

Primeur Whiskey Barrel

Primeur launches new range of recycled planters

Looking to the 2024 season, garden retailers can step up their sustainability game and enhance their outdoor offer with a brand-new Primeur range of recycled planter designs and colourways. If you are keen to stay ahead of the curve and meet the increasing demand...

Read GCR's latest edition!

Subscribe ToThe Wednesday Word

Subscribe To
The Wednesday Word


Get all the latest news, events & more straight to your inbox every Wednesday.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This