Van Hage opens Elho ambassador ‘store within a store’

In March 2017, Van Hage opened its Elho branded store concepts within its main Great Amwell garden centre and experienced strong sales in the first week.

Van Hage gardening category manager Ben Stevenson commented: “We have been a customer of Elho’s since 2010. It was in 2016 that we featured Elho as part of our Beautiful Gardens Magazine. From a small display, turnover greatly exceeded expectations. Through last year’s success it’s clear that our customers liked the product range and uniqueness. As part of the Tillington Group of Garden Centres, we had seen the success Bents has had with its Elho store, and were assured of the sales potential and customer satisfaction.”

At Van Hage’s Great Amwell site, Elho has 72sq m split across different product categories, including the bright and colourful Loft and Corsica ranges, Elho’s Green Basics range and Algarve and Torino products for customers interested in grow your own and propagation, and the inspirational design-led Allure and Pure ranges.

The Great Amwell site is also looking to introduce a selection of indoor pots, which are a growing area for garden centres.

Elho UK and Ireland sales manager David Nicholson said: “The opening of the concept store was great. Even as we were building it up we had Van Hage customers come up to us, keen to find out more and purchase.”

When launching an Ambassador store, Elho involves its store designers based in Holland to deliver a bespoke concept that’s based on the individual garden centre’s customer demographics and the ranges stocked.

Ben added: “Their support, advice and enthusiasm has been second to none since the early conversations. We know they can offer the delivery and product service we would require, and are sure we will receive all the support through the next few busy months.

“Elho is a product range very much taken from the European market. We have seen a definite shift in interest and customer demand for more lifestyle driven items, bright complimentary colours and new bold inspiration. Elho ticks all of these boxes.”

David continues: “One of the key things we do at our Ambassador stores is to plant up pots. We believe – and sales prove – that customers want to be inspired. We attract them with beautiful displays, inspire them with lifestyle imagery and then we make purchasing of products really easy with planted up pots. Working with our Ambassador Store garden centres we create a great customer experience from start to finish.”