Choice Marketing members attending their recent AGM heard that membership continues to grow and solid supplier partnerships have been established following the disruption in the supply chain during 2014.
Tony Blake of St Peters Garden Centre, was elected Chairman and Mark Winchester of Blackbrooks Garden Centre was elected Vice Chairman. Tony reported that Choice had increased the number of centres to 36 and was now seen as the leading UK buying and marketing group for independent garden centres. Commenting on the changes in the supply chain, Tony said that the group had seen these changes as an opportunity to take a fresh look at their supply base and as a result, Choice is stronger and has negotiated solid partnerships with the industry’s leading suppliers.
Mark Winchester who also heads up the marketing forum said: “The quality of our marketing campaigns is second to none in the industry. We are able provide members with hard hitting advertising, in-store support and professional marketing services whilst enabling each member to retain their own individual identity.
Michelle de Lavis-Trafford who heads up the Choice purchasing and administration operations said: “2014 has been an extremely challenging year for the garden centre industry. Our many suppliers have gone to enormous lengths to ensure that Choice members continue to grow their sales and I would like to put on record our appreciation for their efforts.”
Michelle was able to report that once again the annual rebates from suppliers for achieving targeted sales will be in excess of £1m. Choice Marketing is planning to continue its expansion into 2015 with a number of garden centres waiting to join.