The organisation has experienced a 20% increase in people requesting details to join, which it believes could be a result of the current economic climate.
Peter Burks, Chairman of the GCA, explained: “Compared to the same time last year we have seen a 20% increase in new members enquiring to sign up, which is fantastic.
“We believe that one of the reasons for this is due to the current economic climate. In difficult times being part of an organisation like ours enables businesses to easily share information and ideas helping them to make decisions with the help of their fellow members experiences.
“The GCA also helps its members to achieve high standards in areas like customer service and plant quality, which are important in making sure they stand out from their competitors.
“Other benefits include access to the Barometer of Trade results, this allows members to compare their trading positions with other GCA garden centres and our annual conference, which aims to provide pertinent information on key aspects of the garden centre industry.”
GCA members are also able to access the organisation’s e-learning initiative Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW), which helps member garden centres keep their customer service at the highest standards.
Peter added: “In addition to this, we had our own stand at GLEE and we think this presence helped contribute to the rise. During the show we had a lot of interest from people who wanted to find out more about the association and the benefits for members.
“GLEE was also a good opportunity for us to get feedback from our current members.
“There were a few suggestions that we are going to be working on to improve our service for members, such as a regular newsletter and the structure of area meetings.”