In January, over 100 people crowded into the first GIMA meeting of the year, eager to hear the prospects for 2009. The consensus, echoing the GCA conference earlier in the week, was “we are cautiously optimistic.” The first speaker was Caroline Owen managing director of Scotsdale Garden Centre. She said that only good garden centres major on gardening and in a recession this is where you need to be.
She called for value driven promotions, single, low-priced lines rather than two-for-one or ‘bogof’ offers. Dan Thurlow, the GLEE show director, said his team is listening hard to suppliers and retailers and he welcomed their pressure for him to maximise their return on their investment in the show. “Make us work for you,” he said. Planalytics predicts weekly weather patterns up to 11 months ahead for its clients and claims 75% accuracy. At the meeting, the company offered GIMA members, with turnover of less than £15m, a group deal costing £1500 per annum each, as long as 20 or more companies join the scheme. Peter Groves is the leisure category director at Tesco, he promised GIMA members that if any of his buyers refuses to see them, he wants to know immediately and will rectify the situation. Stephen Watts from wk5.com, the company who provide credit reports and business monitoring for GIMA members on their customers, emphasised the importance of tight administration towards managing debtors. The next GIMA Business Meeting is scheduled for the 26th March 2009 for more details visit the website – www.gima.org.uk