GROW’s festive modules with the GCA

With Christmas just behind us, we eagerly await the new year – and it’s never too soon to start preparations for next year’s celebrations. Earlier in December, The Garden Centre Association (GCA) released two festive modules as part of its e-learning initiative Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW).

The latest modules for the scheme, which helps member garden centres keep their customer service at the highest standards, include real Christmas and artificial Christmas trees.

Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: ?Christmas is one of the busiest times at garden centres. With Christmas trees being one of the main selling points it is important staff are able to competently help customers and answer any questions they may have, which is why we released these two modules ahead of this important selling period.

?In the real Christmas trees module, staff will learn about the different types available, their needle holding properties and shapes and sizes.

?It also covers the different ways the trees are sold i.e. cut, potted, bare-root or container grown, how to care for the trees when they are at the garden centre, plus information to give to customers to ensure the tree retains its freshness once it is at home.

?The artificial Christmas tree module focuses on helping ensure staff understand the different material types available, how realistic the tree looks, the different shapes available and the construction tip count. There is also a section on pre-lit trees.?

GROW is available to all GCA members to ensure their staff are fully trained with minimal input required from management.

The aim of the GROW e-learning modules is to give garden centres an opportunity to train all their staff to ensure they have a basic horticultural understanding.

Iain added: ?We understand a lot of our members don?t have the time or resources to fully train all of their staff, so we came up with this idea to keep their customer services standards at the highest level possible.

?There are now 57 modules available on a range of topics with more in production for 2014. We are currently have in excess of 5,000 staff members from more than 70 garden centres who access GROW.

?Members who would like to find out more should contact me via?iain@gca.org.uk<mailto:iain@gca.org.uk>.?

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.

For further information, please call 0118 930 8918. Alternatively, please visit?www.gca.org.uk<http://www.gca.org.uk/>, log on to?www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation<http://www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation> or follow the organisation on Twitter at?www.twitter.com/GC_Association<http://www.twitter.com/GC_Association>.

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