THE Garden Centre Association (GCA) has seen a surge in membership enquiries this year and recruited nine new members in July.
They include three from the Notcutts chain, two additional Squires centres and a new Stewarts’ site as well as a handful of other independent garden centres that are new to the organisation.
Chief Executive of the GCA, Iain Wylie, explained: “This is great news and we’d like to welcome all our new members. They include: Bell Plantation in Towcester, Busy Bee Garden Centre in Ryde, Wentworth Garden Centre, Stewarts Abbey in Hampshire, which was taken into the Stewarts family just over a year ago, Squires at Chertsey and Woking and Notcutts in Staines, Tunbridge Wells and Wheatcroft.
“There are so many benefits for centres to join an organisation like ours. We’re a friendly and inclusive bunch and membership enables businesses to easily share information, experiences and ideas, which helps them make decisions.
“We also help members to achieve high standards in areas like customer service and plant quality, which are important in making sure they stand out from their competitors.
“Other benefits include access to the Barometer of Trade results, this allows members to compare their trading positions with other members garden centres and our annual conference, which aims to provide pertinent information on key aspects of the garden centre industry and inspirational and motivational speakers.”
GCA members are also able to access the organisation’s e-learning initiative Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW), which helps member garden centres keep their customer service at the highest standards.
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.