This year at Glee landscapers and retailers can expect to find everything they need to take advantage of the improving market trends, including the latest product innovations and exclusive show offers from some of the biggest names in the domestic and contract landscaping industries.
Glee show director Daniel Thurlow says: “Glee is the hub of the UK garden industry and this year it will once again supply the products and trend and business advice that will allow landscapers, retailers and suppliers alike to make the most of opportunities that exist in the market.”
The demographics of garden industry consumers are changing fast and it’s important to stay abreast of what these groups want and need from their outdoor space. In the Landscaping hall this year, Glee will be teaming up with garden designer, David Everitt, to create the Garden Themes area, a series of retail concepts based on consumer trends, including sustainable and value gardening. The gardens are designed to showcase a complete garden lifestyle, and provide retailers with ideas for communicating that lifestyle to consumers using products from exhibitors across the show.
Daniel Thurlow continued: “This is the most important new feature of the show. It’s all about cross-selling and link-merchandising, based on buying themes and trends that garden centres will be seeing. One key theme will be value; people are having a tough time financially at the moment, but why not put a positive spin on that and merchandise entry-level products that show consumers how they can get value and more for their money in their gardens’”
GROW YOUR OWN: A fast-growing trend
Grow your own isn’t a flash in the pan, sales of big-ticket items such as greenhouses have increased dramatically over the past year (at B&Q, greenhouse sales have risen by more than 150 per cent year on year); proof that consumers are investing in home-grown fruit and vegetable production. Veggie beds sales have also rocketed; brightly coloured raised beds were a favourite among garden designers at the Chelsea Flower Show and they have been latched onto by the urban gardener as the ideal solution for growing in a limited space. At Glee, exhibitors such as Eden Greenhouses, Forest, M&M Timber, Jagram, Elite Greenhouses and Vitavia will have grow your own structures for all sizes of garden.
Forest marketing manager Vicky Nuttall said: "One of the product areas we’ll be expanding this year is grow your own. All of the industry is doing fantastically well in this area; products in our range such as cold frames and raised beds are selling well, so we’re looking at adding more to this category. The industry expects the grow-your-own trend to continue for a number of years as consumers invest their money and energy into growing their own produce. For those consumers who have dipped their toe into it this year, hopefully when they start to see the fruits of their labour it will encourage them to do it again next year, but bigger and better.”
HARD LANDSCAPING: Paving the way
Government legislation demanding that front gardens are paved with permeable materials to reduce the risk of flash flooding has driven demand and innovation in this product segment. Visitors to Glee will be able to speak to manufacturers of specialist paving and aggregates and see decorative paving ranges from big-name manufacturers such as Bradstone, Lafarge, Kelkay, Deco-Pak and Strata Stone.
GARDEN BUILDINGS: The great indoors
Due to the slowdown in the property market, many people are staying put in their homes. Those looking for a bit of extra room are moving out into the garden, creating offices and extra rooms. At Glee, exhibitors such as Walton Garden Buildings, Lugarde, Timber Garden Buildings and Albany Shed Company, will be showcasing garden offices, houses and log cabins, many of which can add an extra room without the need for planning permission. Pavilions, gazebos and all-weather dining and leisure areas are also becoming increasingly popular. M&M Timber says it has added new products in this category, to cater for the increase in demand.
DECORATIVE FEATURES: The finishing touch
Small changes can make a big difference when every penny counts. That’s why paints, wood treatments and decorative accessories are crucial tools in a difficult economic environment. Glee exhibitors, including Cuprinol, which recently launched Cuprinol Sprayable for fast coverage, Sika, Artform UK, Vivid Arts and A Bit Quackers will be showcasing paints and products designed to bring a bit of colour into the nation’s gardens. Large-scale garden art and statuary is also thriving, as consumers embrace the garden as the fifth room, adding décor and points of year-round interest among seasonal foliage and planting. English Garden Statuary, Haddonstone, Pheebert’s Garden Statuary, Iron and Stone, Seliger and Lucas Garden Statuary will be among the brands exhibiting a diverse range of stone garden features and water features at the show.
THE INNOVATOR’S ZONE: Tomorrow’s bestsellers
The Innovator’s Zone is a new area at Glee dedicated to the entrepreneurs and start-up companies taking their first steps into the sector. The zones will champion innovation at grass roots and showcase genuinely new products that are guaranteed to cause a stir in the garden industry.
GLEE NEW PRODUCTS: Discover Innovation
Hundreds of new products are set to launch at Glee this year; to make navigating them that bit easier, they will once again be collected in the Glee New Products area. The dedicated stand will provide landscape buyers with a whistle-stop tour of the newest innovations on the market. The products featured will also be entered into Glee’s New Product awards, where industry experts will select the next big thing.
For more information on exhibiting at Glee, Sept 20-22 at the NEC, visit www.gleebirmingham.com/EE05 or call 0207 728 4262. Visitor enquiries at 01923 690 663