The changing retail landscape on the agenda for HTA Garden Futures

Homebase managing director Echo Lu has joined the line-up for the HTA Garden Futures Conference which takes place on 30 September at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.

Described as an ?agent for positive change? Echo joined the Home Retail Group Board as managing director of Homebase in April 2015. Prior to this Echo worked for Tesco for 10 years in various roles in Asia and the UK and also served as a non-executive director for Dobbies Garden Centres.? With skills and experience across the retail sector joins Homebase as it shifts from a DIY chain to a home enhancement store.

The theme for this year?s conference, sponsored by Hozelock and Scotts Miracle-Gro, is ?Embracing Change? and the programme will include a panel session, chaired by Matthew Appleby of Horticulture Week, about what the changing landscape means for garden retail. Panellists include Matthew Bent, Managing Director of Bents Garden & Home, Sam Bosworth Director of Choice Marketing and Julian Winfield, Chief Executive of Haskins Garden Centres.

Other speakers include Simon Jack, business and economics presenter for Radio 4?s Today Programme who will provide a topical overview of the current economic climate and Dennis Reid from Retail Performance Specialists who will look at how retailers should respond to the changing retail environment.

Alongside high quality content the conference and dinner provide plenty of opportunity for networking with key players from across the industry. The dinner will include the presentation of HTA Pearson Medal and also The Greatest Garden Centre Team Awards. This year?s after dinner speaker is former BBC senior weatherman Bill Giles OBE who will provide an insightful and entertaining look at the subject that everyone, especially those in the garden industry, likes to talk about ? the weather!

Set in 400 acres of tranquil Oxfordshire countryside and with a purpose built auditorium and beautiful ballroom, Heythrop Park will provide a fantastic setting for this year?s HTA Garden Futures Conference and Dinner.

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