Experience in the store, knowledge sharing of employees, the vital role the garden can play in biodiversity, rainwater harvesting and energy generation. The pre-pandemic themes are back and they are more relevant than ever.
And there are many opportunities in these areas. Opportunities that, if we wait too long, turn into threats. If we wait too long, the garden centre will lose out to other activities. If we wait too long, other sectors will jump on the opportunities of rainwater harvesting, energy generation and biodiversity in the garden. If we wait too long, even online stores will win from garden centres again.
‘But we are suffering from declining profits!’ is a common lament from garden centre entrepreneurs. True! But that’s only because profits were so incredibly high at the time of the pandemic. Profits that were thrown at us by government measures. Profits that can be used right now in order to lead in the future.
Give visitors back their days out, inspire customers with vertical gardens, offer in-house workshops on biodiversity and show how meaningful gardens can be in a world where climate change is such a major issue. Invest in the future of your garden centre.
The time to stock up is really over now. It is time to invest NOW. Because tomorrow, next week or next season may just be too late.
Kees de Haan, founder of De Haan Group