Flower Expo



Nearly 110 owners, managers and employees of garden centers, as well as nurserymen, participated in a training conference held on the second day of the Exhibition, titled „Asset Management for Garden Centers”.  Eve Tigwell, a British consultant who has worked for more than 25 years as a business advisor, and more recently in the context of financial analysis for firms, was a special guest.   Eve Tigwell presented the mechanisms for asset control and management aimed at increasing business profitability.  The path forward is financial analysis.  The definition of key indicators of business efficiency show just how effective its assets are being used.  They reveal the reasons for weak income generation and facilitate the undertaking of corrective measures.

During the second part of the meeting, the lecturer discussed the most important factors for increasing profits, namely purchase price, selling price and the use of indicators to monitor efficiency.

The subject of the conference, though not easy, met with large interest by those present. Now is the time to put theory into practice.


Every manufacturer or vendor considers what to do to boost sales. At garden centres the trade in plant material is particularly important, as plants still account for 60–80% of the profit. 

For years, the seminar accompanying the Exhibition has featured the biggest authorities in the area of garden centre sales, who present solutions and ideas designed to improve profitability. This time, the starring role will be played by Ronald Brand (owner of Horticept BV and commercial director of the Floreac Group), who comes from a country where trade is sucked in the mother’s milk, i.e. from Holland. Participants will take advantage of his knowledge and 20 years of experience in close co-operation with garden centres. Plants and ways of supporting their sales occupy a particular place in his work. Consequently, most of the presentation will be devoted to this matter. Apart from marketing activities, logistics plays a significant role in the plant trade. A stocking philosophy consisting in small successive deliveries will be presented by a representative of the Polish Nurserymen Association. The seminar was addressed above all to the owners of garden centres, stores, as well as nurseries offering retail sales and all those who are interested in such sales.


Ronald Brand
 was born in Boskoop, the heart of the Dutch nursery sector. Breaking with the family tradition, he studied HR Management in Rotterdam. As a student, he spent almost a year in Poland gathering material for his master’s thesis. After returning to Boskoop, he took up a job at an international firm trading in plants. Initially, he was responsible for contacts with Central and Eastern Europe. He was then promoted to the post of commercial director. Thus began his almost 20 years of close co-operation with garden centres. The common goal has been to boost plant sales, and the main method of achieving that goal has been the introduction and development of sale support instruments. Another step was the establishment in 1994 of Horticept BV, which continues to organise and develop chains of plants supply and to introduce marketing concepts of plants sales at garden centres and stores. The firm co-operates with leading garden chains and centres in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia and Great Britain. Since 5 years, Horticept has been closely co-operating with Floreac – the main supplier of potted plants, thus extending its operations to also include these products.Ronald Brand, the current owner of Horticept, is also the commercial director at Floreac. 
During the seminar we will have an opportunity to use his knowledge and experience gained in the course of his long co-operation with garden centres.


August 2013

In response to participants requests and feedback, the conference stars was Polish garden centers. In order to obtain reliable information, we used the "mystery shopper" idea to value different in size and location points of sale. The realization of this project was commissioned to BMJ Doradztwo Personalne company. The project was also attended by representatives of the Polish Association of Garden Centres. When visiting garden centers auditors were considering and judging the key issues to customer. They went into the role of the buyer at the same time using the industry needs to prepare for the assessment of even width offer quality products and professional service. It was now invaluable for every garden center owner's knowledge of the needs and preferences of Polish consumers. The informations and the results of these researches was presented during the conference. 

Was discussed: 
• access and location
• place and layout of the center, 
• competence of employees and the level of customer service, 
• offer and assortment, 
• solutions, ideas and inspiration to support sales, 
• image on the Internet and on Facebook.

Another topic raised at the conference was to examine other distribution channels for horticultural products. Speaker - with years of experience in the management of DIY Network presented a brief analysis of the functioning of such centers versus garden centers, focusing mainly on the differences that can be translated into the advantages of smaller units.

namely the star of the 'green business' in Warsaw 
August 2011
John Stanley

Almost 350 buyers from the horticultural industry from the whole of Poland came together to the training conference named 'Garden Centre – guaranteed success', conducted by JOHN STANLEY – an Australian considered a marketing and sales guru. A consultant working in several tens of countries, author of books devoted to the mysteries of sales, was persuading the meeting participants that trade in a garden centre is not only a fine art of selling dreams of beauty, but also specific techniques which, applied effectively, increase turnover.

During the four-hour meeting, Stanley presented how to attract customers, as well as ideas inspiring them to spend more on the garden. He showed the impact of correct design and layout of the centre’s space on the purchasing decisions of customers. He illustratively argued the key role of the correct display of the goods and their arrangement, selected so as to focus the customer’s attention and to reach his needs.

The conference was attended primarily by owners and managers of garden centres and retail outlets (63%), nurserymen (24%) and representatives of contracting companies (10%). Participants of the meeting came from the whole of Poland. Visitors from the Czech Republic, Ukraine and the Netherlands also took the opportunity to meet the famous Australian in this part of Europe. 
The audience rated both the subject matter and the speaker’s presentation very highly in the questionnaires. He required active participation of the meeting participants – answers to frequently asked questions, concentration and supplements to the information provided in the conference materials on an ongoing basis. During the meeting, John Stanley has often referred to examples observed in Polish retail outlets and garden centres, of which he visited more than 20 before the conference.

Because of the enthusiastic reception and indicated needs of the conference participants, another meeting will be held with John Stanley next year at 'Green is Life'.
Participants about the conference:

„After the meeting, I was fully satisfied with the speaker, topic, and the conference organisation. I shall certainly be willing to attend next year’s meeting with John S. What I was missing was some book on marketing in garden centres.”...  “I really came out delighted with the meeting. I am impatiently waiting to see what you come up with for next year. ”

Katarzyna Pruchniewicz

„It is a great pleasure to listen to a man who is a great orator. John Stanley did not tire or bore the listeners with his appearance, very quickly moved to the point, using examples from life.
Despite the fact that I am a producer of plants and specific nature of operating a garden centre is foreign to me, I listened to the statements with great interest. A great deal of hearsay information is of universal value which can be successfully applied in other industries. For example, that man is the most important and he simply has to feel good in our business

Katarzyna Radzis

...'I have been on many training courses, but Mr. Stanley is a guru. My husband was with me for the first time. John confirmed his earlier thoughts. Upon our return, my husband managed to implement a few ideas, the effects of which are already visible. We always take a couple of employees on this type of training. At our last Open Day, in response to a question from a customer, “from where does such an approach to service come,” the sales person said that “we are not here by accident, the company owners care about our training.” I am waiting for the next lectures'.

Elżbieta Kapias