THE FOUR Garden Centre Association (GCA) Westland Rising Stars finalists have recently (May, 2013) successfully completed their second workshop as part of the competition. George Bishop, Will Michieli, Charlotte Prentice and Matthew Schindler experienced a guided tour of the Westland Packaging Unit at Alconbury in Cambridgeshire and visited Notcutts Peterborough Garden Centre.
Ian Boardman, who facilitated the Rising Stars workshop, said: ?The four stars have been working incredibly hard. During the workshop they had to present what they have achieved since the previous workshop, I was very impressed by their drive and determination.
?They had really got stuck in and learned a lot about planning, hot spots, promotions, aisles and gondola ends. They are very aware that the business is all about people and how important it is to make sure all the team are involved, even across departments.
?During the visit to Notcutts the stars had to critically review merchandising in a real situation and note the issues that managers have to overcome. The manager there, Andrew Coverdale, was very helpful and gave lots of practical hints and tips.?
The GCA Rising Stars programme is sponsored by Westland Horticulture. The stars are nominated by their garden centres and the final four were selected by a GCA panel.
Ian said: ?The stars are a great group and they are working really hard. I?m looking forward to their next workshop, which will take place in September. May the best star win!?
All four stars will attend the GCA conference, which takes place from January 26 until 29, 2014. The venue is to be announced. The overall winner will be announced at the conference.
George is Assistant Manager at Squires Woking Garden Centre in Surrey, Will is Plant Advisor at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre in Somerset, Charlotte is Senior Sales at Squires Long Ditton Garden Centre in Surrey and Matthew is Lifestyle Manager at Armitage?s Pennine Garden Centre in West Yorkshire.
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, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.