Retail Lab at Glee themes explained – Easy Gardening

With amateur gardeners taking their first intrepid steps into the world of gardening, the Retail Lab – in association with the HTA – at Glee 2018 will look at the many ways that retailers can help create a new generation of garden ‘lifers’ through the Easy Gardening theme.

Many would be gardeners would love to spruce up their outdoor space but don’t know where to start.   With younger gardeners lacking the basic horticultural knowledge of older generations, gardening to them is perceived to be complicated, time consuming with too much maintenance and responsibility for their busy lives.

According to the RHS, there is a whole section of gardeners between the baby boomers and millennials that they refer to as the ‘lost generation’.  There is little interest in gardening from people their late 30’s and 40’s as they see as it as ‘hard work’ so late in life.   This has seen a rise in pre-planted containers, rather than plug plants or seeds, amongst the younger generation and families, who both want a low maintenance and instant look without any hassle. This in turn has led to a 25% increase in sales of grown-to-maturity plants over the last three years, and today’s gardens are more likely to be full of decking, patios, potted plants and hardy evergreens.

Those that lack gardening skills or have little or no outdoor space are increasingly turning online for their skills with 67% of British gardeners now get their gardening knowledge from the internet and social media.  With the surge in bloggers and vloggers posting their gardening triumphs or fails online, newer gardeners are using these knowledge bases to learn as they go and take inspiration from.


We expect to see a growth in the use of gardening apps and smart planners that will act as guides for millennial gardeners who are far more comfortable with technology as an everyday planning tool. Garden retailers could harness this opportunity by collaborating with the developers to place products or feed expert advice into these planners as a way of becoming a trusted advisor to these millennial gardeners.

Millennials and the social media generation are made up of younger than average renters who don’t own their own home and often have a very small garden or balcony. Those that do have a garden are reluctant to spend time and money on their outdoor space in case they move on to another property and often live busy lives, meaning they don’t have the hours to spend on gardening.  They instead make the most of their outdoor space, or ‘nano garden’, be it with the use of containers, wall planters and pre-potted plants to transform their tiny spaces into something that is unique and individual to them.

Easy Gardening is one of the easiest trends for garden centres to interpret in store and this will be demonstrated in the Retail Lab this year, to show there is no right or wrong way to garden and it’s ok for amateur gardeners to make mistakes. With some great take-home ideas to implement straight away in plant areas. From smart product placement that leads to customers being able to benefit immediately from plants in bloom, your online presence and social media channels, to styling choices and pre-planted containers made by your category managers working together to smartly place products together, this is a theme that can be embraced by all retailers to inspire customers, as well as encourage sales and return footfall.


The Retail Lab @ Glee – in association with the HTA – will be created in partnership with a panel of industry experts, led by Creative Director, Romeo Sommers of ByRomeo, with Paula Parker of PP8 Marketing heading up the day-to-day management of this pivotal show feature. Lisa White, Head and Creative Director of WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors, has once again shared her wealth of industry and trend insight to help shape the Retail Lab content in 2018, whilst GES has also been confirmed as the 2018 stand contractors, helping to bring the Retail Lab concepts to life.

In additional to the amazing team behind the Retail Lab, the area will also be supported by a number of sponsors. Woodlodge, Hozelock, Scheurich, Capi Europe BV,, Elho, Kaemingk, PTMD, Ivyline, Meadow View Stone, Key Essentials, Gardena and Air So Pure, and are confirmed as 2018 Supplier Partners, providing them a wealth of opportunity to promote their brand and latest product innovations.


Find out more

Glee is the UK’s leading garden retail show, focussing on building year-round profits for buyers and suppliers within the core gardening and outdoor leisure product categories.  To keep up-to-date on the latest Glee news visit  To enquire about exhibiting at Glee 2018 call 020 3033 2160, or email to find out more about sponsorship opportunities within the 2018 Retail Lab at Glee.




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