HortiTrends Weekly Comment & News Digest 23rd Nov

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If I had a euro or dare I say ‘Deutchmark’ for every new trend that we come across in the horticulture sector I’d be a rich man. Ironic I know, coming from a company called HortiTrends! It’s great then to come across something refreshing every now and again. Tayto Park outside Asbourne could be the answer that many lifestyle centre’s are looking for, or at least a mini version of it. Trying to engage the spending parents while keeping the kids happy is one of the ‘holy grails’ of retailing. I met and spoke with the owner of Largo Foods C.E.O. Raymond Coyle who owns the venture. He was meeting and greeting his customers and thanking them for visiting and that hands on approach came across from all the staff. There was a big crowd there and talking to staff it was generally seen as a quiet day.

The park is in many ways like a bag of Tayto. Generally one bag is just enough. Rather than feeling overcome by some of these fun park destination it was just very relaxing and enjoyable. We stayed to eat a hearty but great value dinner and then shopped and spent more in the store. It has something special apart from the fun and games. The wonderfully landscaped gardens. Anthony Ryan of HayesRyan who were involved in the design will be doing a background article on their input next week. Raymond Coyle was very involved in the building of the park from day one. He could talk about the prices of individual trees that at the peak of the Celtic Tiger were costing him €300 but are now being bought for as low as €120. Sounds very much like house prices. Proof if you ever needed it of the new business reality out there.

There were three garden/lifestyle centre’s who received an accolade of the being in the Top 50 2011 Retail Excellence Ireland Stores 2010 included florists Lamber De Bie who dropped out of the top 50 in the 2011 which is probably testament to the difficulties that sector is facing. Orchard and Arboretum are still in the top 50 along with the new entrant ‘Griffins’ of Cork which has been investing heavily in its operation down there.

Adverts in the new GIY Annual Magazine are selling fast. 50% gone in the first week is testament to the fact the in retail amenity horticulture, it is still one of the few areas of good news for suppliers. Deadline for copy is December 4th.

Don’t miss you chance to feature in our ‘Landscape Winter Products & Services Feature’. Also we have had a great response to out advertising special of ‘Buy one month Get one free‘. The deadline is November 30th and there are only two banner positions left so contact kate@hortitrends.com now.

Thank you.

Joseph (Editor at HortiTrends)