GCA and GIMA join forces

by | Jul 27, 2020 | Associations, News | 0 comments

GCA

A new joint initiative between the Garden Centre Association (GCA) and The Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) has launched to enable debate and communication between retailers and suppliers (July 2020).

A programme of joint virtual forums between members of both associations has been created to aid healthy debate to enable a stronger, more resilient, and dynamic supply chain going forward.

Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive explained: “We are delighted to have joined forces with GIMA to create a space where members of both associations can come together to discuss the industry and how we move forward after the recent COVID restrictions and closures.

“Our first forum took place on July 14 and we heard from representatives from both the GCA and GIMA who discussed the pressures everyone faced and how we could work together to come up with improvements that will help us all in the medium to longer term.”

The panellists on behalf of the GCA were Mike Burks, The Garden’s Group Managing Director and GCA Chairman, Simon Bourne, Director at Perrywood Garden Centre and David Yardley, Chief Executive at Klondyke Strikes.

Representing GIMA was Simon McArdle from Westland Horticulture and newly elected GIMA President, Craig Hall of Deco-Pak and newly elected GIMA Vice President and Simon Taylor of Plantworks, which is a GIMA member.

Vicky Nuttall, GIMA Director, said: “After a prolonged and unprecedented period of heightened demand for gardening products, both retailers and the supply chain have been put under severe pressure. Many of whom have had to reinvent their businesses overnight. Iain and I posed a series of questions to our panel about their experiences over the last few months.

“It soon became clear that suppliers across all categories had experienced similar challenges keeping up with the nonstop demand for gardening products leading to stock availability issues and extended lead times. Issues where compounded by social distancing in factories and distribution centres hampering efforts to fulfil orders”

Attendees to the forum shared their experience during lockdown and how they managed the situation with regards stock, manufacturing, and personnel.

Iain added: “As an industry we were very fortunate to have been allowed to reopen ahead of other sectors. The GCA and GIMA worked with the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and others to help bring this about, showing what can be achieved when the industry works together. It is important we keep these lines of communication open between garden centres and their suppliers to ensure disruption to the supply chain is minimised in the coming months and looking ahead to 2021.

“The forum was extremely helpful for everyone who attended. The key thing that came out of it was that the season is going on longer, tailing off less quickly and we doubt we will see a stop to summer and a start to autumn, it will be more of a transition.

“Gardening has led the post lockdown recovery of sales – notably compost, plants but, also, furniture. All agreed there had been supply issues, often beyond the direct control of the garden product supplier themselves but retailers had been understanding, as had garden centre customers, in taking available alternatives.

“The important thing that must be learned is communication and honesty through the supply chain is critical, whatever the issue, as only with honest and realistic understanding of lead times and availability can centres plan ahead and give accurate information to customers.”

The virtual forums will continue to take place during the next six to 12 months and a range of topics will be discussed. Sessions are free and exclusive to members of both trade associations.

Registration details for the next event will be sent to GCA and GIMA members shortly.

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

GIMA is a membership organisation representing the majority share of suppliers and manufacturers operating within the UK gardening industry. Formed more than 20 years ago, its goal is to promote the commercial, trading and industrial interests of its members.

For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.

more latest news ➡

Handy drops new catalogue for 2024 season

Handy unveils the latest gardening and DIY products

British garden manufacturer Handy has announced the arrival of its new catalogue and Monthly Dealer Promotions Calendar, both designed to provide retailers with valuable increased margins on a wide range of gardening and DIY products and ensure they have everything...

HTA shows caution for garden retailers

Garden Centres cautious despite good start to year

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) releases its February monthly market update, which shows that despite the UK economy's recently announced recession, garden retail continues to show some green shoots to kick off the year. The resilience is a continuity of...

Mike Burks awarded GCA Honorary member

GCA inducts Mike Burks as honorary member

Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, which owns Castle Gardens in Sherborne, Brimsmore Gardens in Yeovil and Poundbury Gardens near Dorchester, has been awarded Honorary Membership of the Garden Centre Association (GCA). Presented by GCA...

Greenfingers

The GCA Conference digs deep for the Greenfingers Charity

The recent Garden Centre Association (GCA) conference was not only an informative and educational event, but it also featured a lot of fundraising for the garden retail sector’s adopted charities, including Greenfingers. In fact, delegates dug so deep into their...

Andy Hannan joins Dobbies as Commercial Director

Dobbies appoints Andy Hannan as Commercial Director

Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, has appointed Andy Hannan as Commercial Director. With extensive experience from across the retail sector, Andy will lead the delivery of Dobbies’ commercial strategy as it enters its new financial year. Andy has...

Read GCR's latest edition!
Read GCR's latest Made in Britain Supplement!

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