The ball is well and truly rolling. Our second and third editorial meetings took place today – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – so it seems we can barely keep our minds off our new publication. Our countless ideas and plans are coming to fruition and taking a definitive shape on paper.
Something we have stressed since day one and haven’t backed down on is the need to get out there and do the research, meet the people, and generally get to know the garden retail in as much depth as possible. This is something we have been doing, and now that our first issue (March 2014) is moulding into shape we can continue to do so with even more drive and ambition than before. On Friday we travelled round the vicinity of West Sussex and visited three large garden centres, which really opened our eyes to the vast array of products, amenities and services that they provide. Even though we just visited three that were fairly close to each other, each one was unique in aspects like product selection and store design. We noticed the vast array of amenities and concessions that took up a great deal of floor space in all three, and even though we all agreed that garden centres are for more than just gardens, we were still surprised at the sheer variety of what they have to offer. It’s an aspect of garden retail that we’re only just touching the surface of, and we really can’t wait to delve deeper into the world of concessions, from coffee shops to jacuzzis, when we launch our magazine in March.
Last week also saw the launch of our weekly news round-up entitled ‘Wednesday’s Word’. We sent out our bite size chunk of the week’s news to over 7000 people and it was a big step for us – we’re finally getting our name out there and building a following. Already our number of Twitter followers is fast approaching 1000 (a number we hope to surpass by the end of the year), and it’s starting to feel like we’re gaining speed and reputation. Our aim, before March, is to spread the word of who we are and what we do – and the best way to do that is by circulate the news as much as we can. We’re working on our Garden Centre Retail LinkedIn group, as we’re very keen to build up business connections as well as inside-industry professionals, in order to develop our knowledge and contacts within the garden retail sector.
I think, to sum up, this next stage is about reaching out – not for help, but for the purpose of development. We want you to know who we are, and we want you to read our magazine. If you’re in the garden retail industry and feel like you want to be involved, or even if you just want to know more about who we are, feel free to get in touch. For us, now is the time for making friends and building relationships to make sure the magazine we put together is the best in the industry.
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