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New outdoor lifestyle concept store launches

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palmers_art.jpgIconic New Zealand gardening brand Palmers is seeking franchisees to come on board its exciting venture as it launches a new garden store concept unlike anything New Zealand has ever seen before.


The first store, based on Auckland’s North Shore, is in developmental phase at the moment, and expected to open its doors in September 2011. Palmers are confirming plans for opening a second store in Hamilton and anticipate approximately eight to be operating across New Zealand in the next five years.


This new store will appeal to garden lovers and the every-day Kiwi woman alike due to a diverse retail offering. The sheer size of the store will encompass a garden centre, café’s / restaurants, clothing, giftware, BBQ’s and spa pools, plus much more.


The store will offer a high-quality retail experience where shoppers can not only fulfil their every gardening requirement, but also meet a friend for a coffee, peruse the clothing isles or purchase a special gift.


Palmers recognise the importance of training to ensure staff members in different store departments have specialty skillsets. 


The concept is modelled on European garden centres which, with stores such as Haskins, Wyvale and Dobbies, have long-led the garden market worldwide. Palmers have formed a close alliance with Haskins during the planning for this new venture and have modelled the first concept store very much on their stores.


General manager of Palmers, Garry Stone, says while the majority of retail formats in New Zealand are up to world-class standards, Kiwi garden centres are yet to follow European trends.


“When comparing the sales mix of European garden centres, it’s easy to see the amount of success a venture like this will achieve,” he says.


At least 50% of the sales in Europeans garden centres are from food and merchandise. At present, sales in the New Zealand garden market are 90% garden product and 10% general merchandise, but Palmers introduction of these new stores will see a huge shift in the market.


“There is absolutely nothing like this in New Zealand, which provides a huge platform to launch on and become a success story for others to follow. We are delighted to have the opportunity to become market-leaders in this area,” Stone adds.