The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is set to form a new cash & carry group to assist the sector in growing the market and improving profitability.
More than 20 representatives from cash & carry operations across the UK met last week to identify key areas when the industry can work together to improve business performance.
The group heard presentations from HTA Nursery Business Improvement Scheme (NBIS) chairman Will George and from marketing consultant Neville Stein, and was then given a tour of Greenfingers cash & carry by Alan Beaumont.
Key initiatives to be developed by the group include the development of a cash & carry Business Improvement Scheme, a market research project to understand market size and share within the sector, a promotional campaign to raise awareness of quality plant cash & carry businesses across the UK and a training programme for cash & carry staff.
Doug Reade from Wyevale Nurseries said: "Cash & carry businesses have seen growth in recent years but they have to run to a different model to a normal nursery operation. These businesses need staff with customer service skills and we need to be able to understand and access our local markets to promote what we do. A new HTA group for this sector will help us in all of these areas."
Cash & carry businesses that did not attend the meeting can still get involved in the group, which will meet again on February 2, 2011. For more information contact the HTA on 0118 930 3132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.