Garden Retail

This month Edwin Meijer from Garden Connect poses some very interesting questions about your Garden Centre!

Are your Garden Centre Amenities 'up to scratch?'

Do you like the coffee you serve? Do you go to the same bathroom as your customers? Where do you park your car? Three questions that might seem strange, but to get online attention, there is nothing quite as powerful as a weird pick-up line. However, there is a element of truth: good coffee, a clean toilet and the parking area say a lot about your garden centre. Edwin Meijer explains how this works.

How is the Coffee?

About a year ago, I was visiting a garden centre in the Netherlands. A major, well-known garden centre, but I won’t mention any names of course. I had an appointment with the owner of the garden centre but had to wait a few minutes. I was waiting at the coffee corner, and after a few minutes, he appeared. He asked whether I would have liked to have a coffee and of course, I said “Yes”. His reply “then we will go to my office because the coffee is not very nice over here”. I felt honoured to be served nice coffee, but found it remarkable that the owner of this garden centre did not think it was a problem to serve his clients awful coffee!!.

Those clients are the ones who are paying for his house, food and salary. Hospitality starts with a smile, greeting someone and good coffee for your visitors, even if they are customers!

Toilet Facilities

"I have heard many weird stories about toilets in garden centres. At three centres, I have been informed that the toilets were anything but flushed! You can also attract customers with your toilet!

The Garden Centre Association in the US has an election each year for the “Toilet of the Year”. The garden centre with the most beautiful or creative toilet wins. Here is a winner from last year:

I personally know a garden centre in the South where the owner prefers to park his car very close to the entrance. Probably to show off his fancy car, but here too the client should be your number one priority, not your own personal interests!

The Moral of this Story

Why have I, as an owner of an online marketing agency Garden Connect, opened this debate about coffee, toilets and parking areas?

Easy. When a family with a two household income wants to buy something, there are two options: your store or a web shop. If you are bold enough to give them bad coffee, a disgusting toilet where you don’t even want to go to yourself and let them drag three bags of soil, a container to grow a kitchen garden and a shopping cart full of plants to the backend of the parking area, the choice is easy.

Turn it Around!

Turn it around: do you have nice, fresh coffee, a clean toilet and a parking spot available next to the entrance, then it’s a lot more attractive to visit your garden centre. You cannot beat the internet in terms of price or supply, but you can beat the internet on many other points, so make sure these are first-class!

Call Edwin on +44 203 475 5541 if you want to learn more.