Retail Lab at Glee themes explained – Pets

This year, the Retail Lab – one of Glee’s leading trend-led features, created in association with the HTA – will focus on “Happy Gardening”, as well as the changing consumer purchasing patterns and delve into the many ways that gardening can enhance our lives. The innovative and interactive show feature will be split into five key areas of trends and insightful knowledge. Here we explore one of the key themes of the Retail Lab, “Pets” and how garden centres can capitalise on the increasing “pet-pound” trend.

 As a nation of pet lovers, we are unapologetic about treating our pets like members of the family. The humanisation of pets, in particular dogs, is a fast-growing trend in the UK and consumers are increasingly putting their money where their hearts are.  In a 2017 study by Mintel, it is estimated that the size of the pet market in the UK sits at around £16 billion a year, with owners spending on average £95 a month on their pets, with that increasing in times of accidents or large vet bills.

As pets have become part of the family, consumers have started to reflect their own habits and lifestyles on them. Social media has played a significant role in the humanisation of pets.   The surge in coats and designer outfits for dogs, the popularity of dog grooming as a pamper treat and other human-like goods and services for pets has seen them feature heavily on their owners’ social media channels. It is estimated that adult dog owners post a picture or talk about their dog on social media six times per week.

The quality of the food, or the terminologies now used on pet food packets is also changing. For instance, it’s not unusual to see the terms ‘casserole’, ‘pate’, ‘terrine’ and ‘soup’ on food packets and vitamin-enriched treats.  With an increase in people wanting to live healthier lifestyles, eating cleaner diets and partaking in more exercise, consumer spending indicates that we are projecting this onto their pets also.  It is now common for consumers to seek out natural, grain free, organic and raw pet foods.  Price is not a barrier for pet owners, so retailers shouldn’t shy away from premium foods.

With factors such as smaller families, single-person households, loneliness and ageing populations, owners are turning to their pets to provide social comfort and regard them as their ‘best friends’.  This opens a whole new sales opportunity for garden centres as pets offers an abundance of opportunities to drive revenue and create returning footfall each month.

With pets often travelling to stores with their owners, impulse purchases are more likely, so making your centre pet friendly is key to increasing spend with this pet loving consumer and encourages repeat visits.


Whether it be dog grooming franchises, premium foods or luxury gifts that you wouldn’t find in a supermarket, garden centres that invest in an excellent pet offering are opening up a range of additional touchpoints with their customers, giving them yet another reason to spend time in-store. There has been a surge in pet concessions and services popping up in garden centres in the UK, a garden retail trend that is here to stay.


With almost 50% of the UK now owning a pet, the additional revenue potential that pet products can offer garden retailers is unrivalled by any other product category.  The Retail Lab this year will have a dedicated pet section, providing retailers with ideas for effective product displays, educational tips and advice, as well as a showcase of the latest pet products on the market.   With the garden centre market offering enormous potential growth for pet suppliers, this is an area not to be missed if you are looking to expand into this booming sector. A visit to Pets at Glee will also hep visitors to Glee maximise their pet offering in 2019 and beyond.


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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About ITE Group plc

ITE Group plc was founded in 1991 and is now one of the world’s leading organisers of international exhibitions and conferences.

ITE Group’s strategic vision is to create the world’s leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events delivering an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers. The Group recently launched its Transformation & Growth (TAG) programme, which is designed to transform the Company from a geographic-led business to a product-led business that focuses on market-leading events, wherever they are in the world. ITE strives to run the best shows and offer the best service to its customers throughout the world regardless of location. By putting exhibitors and visitors at the heart of everything we do, we plan to drive sustainable growth for our shareholders.

ITE Group is a public limited company and has been listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange since 1998.