Haskins Garden Centres CEO appointed chair of the Garden Centre Association

Julian Winfield, chief executive of Haskins Garden Centres (www.haskins.co.uk) has been appointed chair of the Garden Centre Association (GCA), following a year of service as chairman elect.

With more than 200 garden centre members across the country, comprising many independent and family-owned garden centres, the GCA works as a collective, sharing knowledge and information to ensure high standards of garden centre retailing.

The organisation runs an annual inspection and scores each centre on plant areas, service, entrances, restaurants, marketing as well as other categories, ensuring best practice and good examples are then shared with all participating centres.

Having been involved with the GCA for more than 20 years, Julian has worked with its executive committee and chief executive, Iain Wylie, on a successful strategy to help the organisation grow from strength to strength.

These include delivering an aspirational annual conference, encouraging great regional activity and engagement between members, offering a monthly barometer of trade, providing GROW; its e-learning initiative and facilitating a highly-respected annual standards inspection.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the GCA, and Julian was sworn in at its Golden Jubilee conference in Brighton.

Commenting on his new role, Julian said: “As businesses grow it is very easy to become wrapped up in your own way of doing things. However, in order to maintain the success of a company and the industry it belongs to, you need to continually evolve and improve existing processes.

“The GCA is a great organisation for friendship and collaboration, providing a fantastic forum to share the successes of other garden centres, and learn best practices when venturing into something new. With so many members across the country, there is always someone to ask for advice, and working as a collective keeps the industry strong in the overall retail sector.”

Haskins Garden Centres are located in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex.