Keeping the new wave of gardeners engaged during the cost-of-living crisis

by | Mar 22, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Holly Daulby, founder of Honest Communications, explains how garden centres can keep customers gained in lockdown still engaged during the cost-of-living crisis

As PR specialists in the gardening sector, we have a unique insight into the industry from a brand, retail and customer point of view.

As we all know, in recent years the gardening industry saw a boom like never before. But we now find ourselves faced with the most serious cost-of-living crisis the UK has experienced in years, plummeting us into another recession. Customers have, understandably, tightened their belts, and the gardening bubble is at risk of bursting.

What does this mean for retailers and what can you be doing to keep these customers engaged and spending?

Be social 

Establishing successful social media profiles goes far beyond publishing posts; the key is to get creative with your content. 

Ditch the hard sales messaging and instead share content to inspire and entertain – beautiful and interesting plants, live updates from the centre, and expert tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your garden. Don’t be afraid to “go live” too; whether it’s showcasing events in-centre or inviting a guest speaker to discuss the latest hot topics. You can also boost engagement by coordinating competitions with brands you stock and teaming up with influencers to further your reach.

Don’t underestimate the importance of engaging with your customers and other accounts too – just a few minutes a day of liking, commenting and sharing will boost your profile significantly. 

Sharing exclusive discount codes for followers is another way to help drive footfall into the centre and give people a reason to spend with you.

Build PR presence 

Building a presence in the local media is vital in helping raise awareness and keeping you front of mind within the community. 

Newspapers are key to tapping into the local audience, and there are many ways to get your business featured. One way is to celebrate the centre’s stories – do you have a longstanding member of staff due to retire, or have you taken on a horticultural apprentice? These milestones may seem small but make a great feel-good story for a local newspaper. 

Don’t forget to explore beyond the papers and consider reaching out to bloggers, influencers and online outlets in your area too. 

Inspire in-store

Organising in-store events and workshops is a great way to encourage people to visit – you could even team up with local companies, brands and shops to see if there is any crossover for added value. Sessions could include anything from “how-to’s” and seasonal advice, to hands-on workshops in anything from floral design to creating hanging baskets. It’s likely that the new wave of gardeners are less experienced than your regular customers, so make yourself a valuable resource of content and tips for the garden. Offering tips to help your customers’ money go further is also key in the current climate – think along the lines of guides on upcycling, growing from seeds or propagating houseplants. 

The most important thing is to continue communicating with your customers. It can be tempting to scale back on communication when the financial climate looks uncertain, but continuing to nurture your customer relations and reach a new audience means that when they do come to spend, it will be with you. 

If you’re looking for support communicating with and engaging your customers visit or email

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Print Friendly
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn

About Holly Daulby 

Holly Daulby is the founder of Honest Communications, the chosen PR and social media agency of many home, garden and lifestyle brands including Hillier, Cobra, Baby Bio, Phostrogen, Elho and Wilkinson Sword. She has a varied background in the sector and has worked on launching new products, arranging events, and offering ongoing strategic PR and social media support.

more latest news ➡

Burgon & Ball wins four stars at RHS Chelsea Flower Show


Burgon & Ball, creator of beautiful garden tools since 1730, has won four stars from the Royal Horticultural Society for its stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024. In its twenty-seventh year at the show, the Sheffield-based company has been honoured for the...

BOT shows catering performing well

Clothing and catering strong in April’s BoT figures

The Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) for April is out and shows clothing and catering leading the way when compared to the same month last year. There was also a positive, 3.77%, year-to-date variance, but 10 of the 13 categories recorded...

Hozelock auto reel mobile

Hozelock unveils ground-breaking automatic hose system

The demands of modern gardening have evolved as consumers search for more convenient and efficient methods for an array of tasks, from planting and pruning to garden watering. This year, Hozelock has expanded its’ extensive hose storage offering with the launch of...

Squire's achieves peat free milestone

Squire’s achieves peat free milestone

Squire’s Garden Centres has confirmed that it no longer sells any bagged compost containing peat. The UK government proposed to ban the sale of bagged compost containing peat to home gardeners in England by the end of 2024. Although the ban is not yet in force,...

Horticultural manager wanted

Opportunity for horticultural manager

A garden centre in the Ipswich area is looking for a new horticultural manager to run the plant area. The new recruit will lead and develop a small team whilst enjoying the freedom to make decisions. Garden Centre Horticultural Manager £32 – 35,000 + Package &...

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