I recently ran a poll on “What are the main challenges facing Garden Centres in 2023?”
Worker shortage & skill gap topped the poll with 49% of voters choosing this. Garden Centres rely on skilled and knowledgeable staff to provide quality service and care to their customers and plants. However, finding and retaining such staff can be challenging, especially in times of labour shortages, high turnover rates, and rising wages. During COVID a lot of people who previously worked within Garden Retail went into alternative career paths due to retail operations closing.
Speaking as a recruiter for the industry, finding candidates with good horticultural knowledge can be very tricky!
Changing habits & expectations came in 2nd at 26%. There’s no doubt that since COVID Garden Centre’s have faced more challenges and are continuing to come up against a number of problems within the industry.
Another problem since COVID is that customers have more options to buy plants and gardening products from other retailers, such as supermarkets, online platforms, and discount stores. Consumers were forced to find alternative shopping behaviours whilst confined to our homes. These competitors can offer lower prices, wider selection, and convenience to customers. Garden Centres have to differentiate themselves by providing more value-added services, such as expert advice, workshops, and loyalty programmes just to name a few.
They also have to invest in digital technologies and AI, such as e-commerce, social media, and mobile apps, to reach more customers and improve their experience to keep them coming back. AI can hold lots of benefits if you’re able to understand how it works. For a lot of people like myself it’s a minefield, but the potential benefits it could bring to Garden Retail could be immense and are unlimited.
Our Garden Centre team can help with your recruitment strategies and finding the perfect, skilled and experienced employees for your centre.