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Growth opportunities stimulate debate at GIMA day conference

Published: 10 December 2014
Opportunities offered by exporting, online shopping, app-based selling tools, media events and marketing and charity initiatives generated enthusiastic interest from garden product suppliers at last month's Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association (GIMA) day conference.
Growth opportunities stimulate debate at GIMA day conference
Particular interest was sparked by an insight into private members' shopping sites, the fast-growing face of online gardening retailing.

Simon Woolgrove, senior buyer at Achica - which specialises in premium homeware, garden and lifestyle brands - told his audience: "We have more than 4m affluent, predominantly female UK members, with 15,000 more joining every week. We email them daily about more than 12,000 product promotions each year. Home and garden products are extremely important to these customers. It's a huge new retailing opportunity for garden suppliers who have something different to offer, backed by great lifestyle images."

Aspin Management Systems group sales manager Doug Mendes prompted garden suppliers to harness tablets and apps to boost field sales performance. "The latest mobile technologies mean that sales teams can have incredible customer, catalogue, stock and sales data, as well as images and videos, at their fingertips," he said.

And Amanda Sizer-Barrett, director general and Charlie Parker, commercial manager at Gardenex, urged companies to optimise its wide-ranging support to help expand their sales internationally.

Garden Industry Marketing Board campaign manager David Arnold spoke about opportunities available through its Love the Plot You've Got marketing initiative, aimed at attracting under-45s to gardening.

The audience was also encouraged to get involved with fund-raising for children's hospice garden charity Greenfingers by participating in Garden Re-Leaf Day on March 27, and to take part in the Garden Press Event on February 12, which attracts 250 gardening journalists.

GIMA director Vicky Nuttall concluded: "The mood amongst GIMA members, both at this conference and other recent events, has been comparatively buoyant, with talk of a generally positive and lengthy 2014 sales season. It has been extremely encouraging to hear today about the very many additional opportunities and new ideas for continuing that momentum into next year."

GIMA's events calendar for 2015 includes its Charity Golf Day on June 4 and the GIMA Awards and dinner on July 16.


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