Launched at Glee 2017, the Retail Lab was a key focal point for the annual garden retail exhibition. Unlike anything before seen at Glee, it was a place to experience the beating heart of the industry, with a view to what the future holds. Combining interactive content, with inspirational product displays and tangible business advice, The Retail Lab cemented itself as a thriving hub of inspiration and knowledge at Glee.
Here we catch up with Michael Wooldridge, Director of Woodlodge, the UK’s leading garden pot supplier and one of the 2017 Retail Lab sponsors, to find out more about their experience and why the company has confirmed its place within the 2018 Retail Lab feature.
What made you decide to become a sponsor of the Retail Lab at Glee in 2017?
We wanted to demonstrate how garden centres can harness their current status as a destination for consumers, one that offers a real experience with nature, whilst promoting linked sales between garden pots and plants.
What products/ranges were included?
We included an attractive selection of planters from our exclusive Heritage Garden Pottery flagship range, our premium Duxton range made from traditional terracotta and our Potting Shed Essentials range. Container gardening is on the rise due to its ease and ability to complement any outside space, whether it be growing on a balcony, patio, yard or indoors. What’s more, our product ranges reflected last year’s themes of the Retail Lab perfectly; Well-being, Family, Community, and ‘Re-wilding’ as consumers look to container gardening as a way to brighten up their garden and connect with nature.
How did being part of the Retail Lab benefit your business?
The Retail Lab focussed on key trends and the ever-changing needs of the garden centre consumer. Woodlodge is keen to tap into these so we took away some great insights from both the Retail Lab and garden centre buyers that will help us define and shape future products. Merchandising was also a key feature of the Retail Lab so speaking to garden retailers who were looking to achieving volume sales was important to us as it gave us tips on how we can improve our merchandising and POS services to ensure we remain one of the UK’s leading and most trusted supplier.
What advice would you give any other brands thinking of getting involved in 2018?
I would definitely recommend the Retail Lab to other brands in the industry. Working alongside Romeo Sommers and WGSN gives you an invaluable insight into upcoming retail trends and fresh, innovative ideas in the garden industry. The key to it is creating inspiring concepts to entice customers which will benefit both garden centres and your own business.
Have you implemented any of the Retail Lab ideas within your own business? Has it inspired you to think differently about your ranges/ how you work with retail customers?
We are always on the look-out for visually attractive display solutions to display our product ranges in garden centres. We have tailored some of the cart units used in the Retail Lab for displaying our decorative stick flowers.
Find out more
Glee is the UK’s leading garden retail show, focussing on building year-round profits for buyers and suppliers within the core gardening and outdoor leisure product categories. To keep up-to-date on the latest Glee news visit www.gleebirmingham.com.