Thank you to invite me here today. There is a good occasion to turn my dream into reality: “Enhance the Green world’s value”.
I aim to do my very best to increase the flowers and plants use and expand the gardening philosophy in the world.
I can’t realise this dream alone and that’s why my mission today is to convince you investing in Garden Centre areas in your DIY stores and the best argument I know is profitable business, money, money, money.
I’ve already done that in Ukraine when, few years ago, the company Epicentr, the biggest National
DIY Company in Ukraine, called upon me, Marco Orlandelli, proud 3rd
generation in this line of business, to design and finalize the first Garden Centre Chain in Ukraine.
When we started this project Epicentr had about 20 stores and, thanks also to the success of the Garden Centre, in 4 years they are more than double.
Why Epicenter wanted me?
The answer is simple.
Consumers in Ukraine were not really interested in buying flowers and plants.
The answer is as simple.
Nobody was offering flowers and plants in the right way.
The success of our close collaboration did, of course, not pass unnoticed by the competition and in few years Ukraine was crowded with new Garden Centres and the volumes and profits were booming. Ukraine has become one of the biggest plants and flowers importers from Holland.
It was the success of the Green Value.
Why DIY should invest in Garden Centre?
The reason why we are here today is to find arguments to improve our business. We are here to understand where the consumers want to spend their money. The answer is very simple: the consumers and we too spend money to improve the life quality and the life quality of the people we love!
Let me tell you something about my philosophy: Flowers and Plants trade can take a good example from the Pet Industry. It is a proven fact that during the crisis years the Pet business has continuously flowered.
Why people spend more money in times of crises on their pets?
The answer is simple.
Pets are essential for the quality of life and pets are our best friends.
In the recent statistics of Stock market Tourism Award, the Tuscany Region is one of the most appreciated places in the world to spend holidays and where the people would like to live. The statistics also said that people make a first mental connection between nature relaxing holidays and the Tuscany Region. The magnificent and spectacular hills of Tuscany with the high Cypresses plants and different nature colours transmit to the people the sense of quality life.
The eco-sustainable Megatrend is growing very fast and Garden Centre has this essence inside. Consumers and we are conscious that our cohabitation with flowers and plants has a lot of positive benefits on life’s quality but we don’t use this potential in the retail. I’ve spent all my life in Garden Centre and I’m definitively convinced that what we have done in our business till now it’s nothing compared to the big passion that the consumers have in this kind of hobby. In the past this business was at the margin of the DIY investments but now, it is the right moment to open our mind and start to look at the Garden Centre in a different way.
There is a new Green Culture waiting and if we understand it and we educate our Consumers, we will build a huge new market that nobody has seen before!
I have many many ideas to tell you about how you have to create and maintain your profitable Garden Centre but today we remain concentrated on three main points and “improve life quality with flowers and plants” is the first one.
Now the question is: what I have to do to have a success in Garden Centre business? (slide)
You have to study what the Garden Centre do and copy just what you can replicate in your DIY and that’s why, now, I’ll introduce you what we have done till now in our Garden.
For those among you, who don’t know me, I am Marco Orlandelli from Mantua, historic city located in Italy. We are Floricultural and gardening family. Our company is a typical Italian family business; papa, mamma, my sister and my brother. Our staff is very loyal, active since many years and treated like family.
Our 4 companies are:
Garden Center Valle dei Fiori, in English Valley of the Flowers
Giardini Valle dei Fiori, our landscaping company
Entergreen our consulting Company for Garden Centres and DIY
Organizazione Orlandelli for design, manufacturing and production of trolleys;
We are really active also in America with our direct office. With our services and our products we supply some of the most beautiful Garden Centres and most efficient Home Centres in the world.
Let me tell you what we do in our Garden
In our Garden we organize different courses for consumers with the following themes:
· About how to prune the fruit plants
· About how to maintain the Orchids
· Specific courses about roses
· We explain the right way to have beautiful and long life flowers
We also organize shows dedicated to:
cacti and succulents
aromatic and Citrus plants
shows where we present the biggest, oldest and strangest plants. During the show we explain history, origins, use of those plants etc. We explain about the right maintenance, in order to have beautiful and healthy plants.
All these actions have a special goal: CULTURE. TO CREATE CULTURE
What is the best format for my DIY?
Of course, you can’t replicate this format in your DIY, don’t do that! Not in the same way! The perfect format for everybody or for everywhere doesn’t exist. For example:
· Tvoy Dom (Crocus Group): their costumers need luxury and we created for them a specific format different than
· Ikea Italy: this is an Italian project and they need a specific format for their philosophy
But if you want to invest in Garden Centre you have to follow some important topics:
Professional structures: transmit professionally-right place to maintain the plants
Professional service with professional staff to sell the right plant in the right moment and for the right costumer’s demand- Metasequoia
We made several studies about people’s attitudes in relation to the Garden Centre and there is a big difference between the DIY and the Garden Centre customer. The first one is moved by what he/she needs, and the second one, is moved by the Emotions. People are attracted by the colours of flowers, if we consider this during our layout study we will have a great success and we can sell all the plants we want.
Let me tell you some secrets about the layout:
When I speak about my company I like to use the word Garden and not Garden Centre because when the Consumers are inside they need to have the same feeling as they would be in a Garden and not in a commercial area. I remember the words of my friend Gianfranco Paghera, one of the most important Landscapers in the world, who designed the green areas on the Palm Island in Dubai; we come from the same horticultural school but he is much more famous than me…Paghera says that the first step to create a good atmosphere in a Garden is to create three big points of interest with three big plants or groups of plants: the biggest on the right side, the medium on the left and third quite in the middle if not more on the left side. We have to do this to create automatic proportion and we have to do that with Plants and not with posters or signals.
Flowers and plants are not items that we sell by the pound. We sell the feeling and the emotion the plants transmit to the clients.
Normally the Garden Centre layout is like this: a corridor in the middle, right and left the same tables with the same heights and as a result we’ve a flat presentation just with few emotions. Show plants on 3 different levels for example or create displaying like an island with different kind of plants and you’ll discover more dynamic in your Garden.
In order to obtain the maximum result we have to follow two layout secrets:
· Think like a landscaper
· Play with heights and colours of plants
Creating emotions with flowers and plants is the second keyword of today.
Summing up of the first two keywords:
Improve life quality with flowers and plants
Create Emotions with flowers and plants
The last keyword of today’s speech is:
If we follow the rules I explained in my lecture, to make money is the logical conclusion because:
Garden Center is Green Market and Green market is PROFIT earnings and the incoming
The Garden Center, if handled with proper passion and care, will boost your profit margin
The Garden Center will bring much more and new prospects into your store
Outdoor business will grow in the future and you’ll needed to complete your merchandise
Your investments in the Garden Centre will also expand the global passion for flowers and plants and the global passion for flowers and plants will enhance the green world’s value.
If I gave you, today, a new Garden Centre vision, faithfully you’ll invest in a different way and extend the new green generation
What I told you today it’s all true and all right but what really makes the difference is what I learned from my Australian friend Nick Sammut, the owner of Flower Power, one of the biggest Garden Centre chain in down under. I was there several times and I asked to my friend “Nick, how can you create a profitable business like this? What is your secret?”
He told me: “Listen Marco, upkeeping of plants and flowers require constant supervision all the time. If you want to make success in this business:
Find the answer in the Greenhouse and not in the office!
and if you don’t find it…give me a call!!!