The Garden Centre Association has this month (March, 2019) welcomed Jane Lawler as its new inspector. Ms Lawler, has more than 35 years’ experience in marketing and business development, will be responsible for inspecting member garden centres in North Thames, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Iain Wylie, GCA chief executive, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Jane join Alyson Haywood, Michael Cole and Gordon Emslie on our team of inspectors.
“She will be integral in helping us to ensure consistency and raising standards through our membership and will visit approximately 40 of our members’ centres each spring, scoring each one to given criteria, using our detailed inspection form, and giving objective and honest feedback on what she has seen.
“She will also make presentations at our regional meetings and during our annual conference in 2020.
“The 2019 inspections for member garden centres commence on March 18 and the inspectors are out visiting them until June 14, so those in North Thames, Scotland and Northern Ireland can expect to see Jane soon.”
Ms Lawler began her career in horticultural field trials with Pan Britannica Industries Ltd and then went on to work in customer services, advisory roles and technical product development before expanding her interest in marketing.
She developed her business and marketing skills in the 1990s through Cranfield School of Management, Henley Management College, Irish Management Institute and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. From 2008 she was Marketing Director with Gardman until 2013 when she left to establish her own business and marketing consultancy.
Speaking of her appointment, Ms Lawler said said: “It’s a real privilege to be able to use my years of experience in the UK garden sector to support the GCA’s continued drive for excellence in garden centre retailing.
“I’ve seen from the outside how seriously members take the inspection and awards process and how it has contributed to continuous improvement in retail standards. So, I’m delighted to now have the opportunity to support and contribute to that process personally.”
Ms Lawler has run customer service teams, technical and regulatory development departments, international new product development groups and conceived and successfully launched online businesses. Some of her most notable achievements include the creation and development of brands for garden centre distribution in the UK and across Europe.
Ms Lawler is also the past chair of Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) and the garden product committee of the Crop Protection Association (CPA). She also served on the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and Garden Industry Marketing Board (GIMB).
Mike Lind, GCA chairman, said: “Jane is very knowledgeable about consumer insight and purchasing behaviour, so she is the ideal person to inspect our member garden centres for us and the knowledge and feedback she will pass on to our members will be extremely valuable, it’s great to have her on board.”