The sustained good weather this summer helped create a buoyant mood at this year’s show, whilst retailers and suppliers waxed lyrical about the uplift they have seen in sales thanks to consumers’ ongoing love of houseplants.
Buyers and exhibitors were extremely positive about the industry’s future at this year’s Glee and were also full of praise for the new-look show. Stands were busy and suppliers and manufacturers were pleased with eth quality of visitors, having seen a number of good calibre buyers and gained strong leads over the three days.
Visitors commented on how much bigger this year’s show felt – whether that was due to an increase in the number of suppliers and products on show, with 550-plus exhibitors this year, or because of the new footprint and layout for 2019, which saw the show relocate to halls 6-8 and 19-20 at the NEC this year.
Centurion Europe sales and marketing director Peter Stone, who visited the show, told DIY Week: “The sector always receives a boost after a good summer, with people feeling really positive and new products on show. It’s been a long time since we had a great summer like this and you could really tell the difference in the halls. Everyone was so positive – there was a great buzz.”
Once again, the Retail Lab installation proved incredibly popular. This year the show feature was created by trend forecaster and concept developer Romeo Sommers, who also gave a number of presentations on the main stage and in the ‘Pets at Glee’ section of the show about how trends and opportunities in the industry and how retailers can capitalise on these changes. Amongst the key trends he identified were grow your own, including botanicals and what he described as “houseplant mania”, as well as ‘happy gardening’ – helping to make gardening fun for consumers and “moving away from the whole ‘you’re doing this wrong, you should do it like this’ mentality,” he said.
The trend for houseplants shows no signs of abating and is creating further opportunities for suppliers and retailers alike, as it picks up steam and develops to incorporate more plants, different uses and new ways of gardening. An arrray of plants, pots and planters in all shapes and sizes, terrariums and houseplant care products and tools were showcased by exhibitors.
Speaking to DIY Week at the show, Bents Garden & Home managing director Matthew Bent said: “It’s such an exciting time for houseplants at the moment. The category has gone from being in a decline to one that is seeing such fantastic growth.”
Scheurich vice president of sales Keith Turbett told DIY Week that the indoor pot company was enjoying a boost to sales as a result of the houseplant revival. “I’ve seen figures from retailers who are seeing between a 50-80% increase in houseplants depending on where they are in the world. I’m happy to see that our industry is .. A few years ago it was not a happy place to be but now young people are droving into stores for plants.”
He added: “Scheurich is up 10% this year. We are seeing great growth and the plants market is on a roll.”
The firm is also seeing a significant increase in the category over in Bunnings Australia. Despite its disastrous foray into the UK market, the Wesfarmers-owned chain has made major changes to the way it presents indoor pots instore and is now able to take advantage of the uptake in houseplants. “We have seen a 40% uplift in sales in Bunnings Australlia,” explained Mr Turbett. The company supplies Bunnings via Tuscan Path – now part of the AMES Group, which owns La Hacienda and Kelkay – and says the sales increase has come from “tapping into social media and looking at how people use the plants they are buying,” as well as improved in-store merchandising. “They are doing more category management – moving pots and plants together and creating linked sales.”
Read more in DIY Week’s full Glee review in the October 12 issue. Don't receive the magazine? Subscribe here.