Independent garden centres find business success more difficult to achieve these days. Garden retail is a highly competitive environment
For large destination garden centres with a turnover greater than 3M turnover these difficulties can be mitigated, but they still remain.
Garden centres between 600K and 3M turnover are the ones most likely to benefit from joining a Group. Garden centres below this can benefit, but only if basic group costs are kept to an affordable level.
The three main types of Group structure:
In theory the one most likely to be unsuccessful is in fact one of the most successful. The Garden Independents Network (GIN Group) in New Zealand is a non-branded independent members cooperative.
The group has SUPPORT as a basic foundation of philosophy. Another basic tenet was to make sure all members clearly wanted to be amongst the BEST garden retailers in New Zealand with a clear POINT OF DIFFERENCE that is a tangible CUSTOMER BENEFIT.
Once the foundation was in place, sales grew rapidly for group members through word of mouth. Some members have gained significant market share even where there is strong competition from Big Box Stores
Recipe for growth:
The group started in 2006 with 10 members doing a combined turnover of $7.8 m. There are now 13 members doing a combined turnover of $17m. During this time all members have had sales growth with one achieving 250% sales growth. Bottom line profitability increase has been even greater than sales.
The key to success that made it all happen is Garden Retail Success Ltd. Starting from day one in 2006, GRS have been consultants to the GIN Board and to members.
Garden Retail Success services to GIN Group (on behalf of members) –
To fund the Group and the support from Garden Retail Success, GIN members opted for a scaled membership fee based on turnover which ranges from approximately 0.4% to 0.8% of sales. In addition there is a small income from a levy on exclusive products, some of which are also sold through other independent garden centres.
In nine years not one member has chosen to leave the group. Members say the reason the GIN Group is so successful is because they focus on being the best garden retailers. This could not be achieved without an emphasis on networking and providing member support through Garden Retail Success.
Testimonials from members of the Garden Independent Network