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GIMA director Gow dismisses GRO intitiative

Published: 3 January 2008
Calls for suppliers and retailers to discuss the buying group in some depth.
GIMA director, Neil Gow, has dismissed proposals for the buying group Garden Retailers Organisation (GRO) as having 'no benefit whatsoever' to his members.

While he said he could see benefits for retailers, he added that the proposals for suppliers showed a lack of detail.

"The general feeling from the membership is that it hasn't been thought through," he told

He continued: "So I'm calling on our members to put forward their views, and their concerns so we can get together with senior managers of GRO at the next GIMA business meeting on January 30 to see if we can get a level playing field we can both work off.

"As suppliers we are 100% behind the independent retailer as we are the multiples. We want to drive the industry forward, but obviously there has to be something in it for everybody.

"As one member said to me recently – it's give and take – we give, you take."

In November, the Garden Centre Association with the backing of AIS, the largest non-food buying group in the UK, set up GRO.

It is estimated that approximately 46 GCA members have signalled they wish to join GRO.

GRO is a subsidiary of AIS, which is offering improved buying terms on various non-horticultural goods from giftware, clothing, own-brand products, and exclusive lines.


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