China Direct UK, formed by Frank Sandford, Neville Stein and head of the China Horticultural Association, Larry Lee will help with direct purchasing from Chinese manufacturers.
Stein will continue to run his consultancy practice, whilst taking a role in this new company. He will support the business development alongside Sandford.
Sandford, who has been with Boningale Nurseries, has run a retail plant supply firm in the past. He has a solid background in the garden retail industry. Together and with Larry Lee, they have formed Direct Garden Source.
Stein says: “There are opportunities for garden centres to better profits by buying from Chinese companies. Yet many people get put off by the complexities of the process.
“Our new joint venture aims to take the hassle out of purchasing direct. It will allow garden retailers to merge purchases from many manufacturers into one delivery.
“The process handles all the customs forms, quality control processes, paperwork and delivery”.
Lee and Stein trialled the process last Spring. Several garden retailers took part in the first buying trip.
Thanks to the success of that buying trip, February 2019 will see another one.
Lee says; “We encourage garden centre buyers to attend a buying trip. There is nothing like a visit to China to understand the opportunities for the UK.”
The company website enables direct buying from Chinese manufacturers, without frequent buying trips.
Sandford comments; “It’s a brilliant opportunity for all retailers to reap the benefits of direct purchasing from China. The smallest order is 1 x 20ft container of mixed product. With certain products, retailers should be able to achieve well over a 60% gross margin.”