Chris and Alex recently enjoyed a visit to the Netherlands to experience Leurs Garden Centre in Venlo.
Having presented at the world’s largest garden trade fair, Spoga & Gafa in Germany last year, focusing on the future of UK garden centres, MSC was asked by a client to arrange a tour of Dutch garden centres.
Chris said: “We chose Leurs garden Centre because it has a fabulous reputation and Peggy Leurs kindly spent a morning with us explaining her retail philosophy, We came back with some useful ideas – Venlo has a high number of both Dutch and German visitors and the centre has been beautifully designed to attract visitors and keep them on-site for some time.
“We were particularly struck by three things – firstly, the quality of the merchandising at the centre, second, the extensive product range, and finally, the use of live plants throughout the shop area.
“Peggy’s philosophy was very much that plants are an essential part of creating a feel good factor for customers and so throughout the extensive shop area there are indoor plants (including a living wall in the restaurant). Peggy employs a full-time team of three, all tasked with watering, arranging and pruning the live plants to keep them looking their best – something I’ve certainly never come across before, but something I’ll be recounting to clients moving forward.
“This kind of visit is always really eye-opening. After attending Spoga & Gafa last year I found it fascinating to see the differences in the way European centres operate. This kind of insight is a valuable asset when it comes to tailoring plans for our UK clients, and particularly for the larger garden centres, he added.