David Coton was recently invited to the exclusive launch of Grange's new products for 2018, the result of significant investment that the garden structures and fencing firm have received from their Polish parent company.
Robert Hall reflects on a visit by leading Swedish lighting manufacturers Konstsmide to our garden centre in Sutton Coldfield. Here they saw their Christmas products on display both in the store and online.
Recently the GardenSite Christmas show site in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, was visited by several very important visitors from Konstsmide lighting, including Jonas Johansson (Director) and Toni Josifovski (Product Manager of Outdoor and Garden Lighting).
The Konstsmide delegation was on a tight schedule and on their way back to Birmingham International Airport, however, they were keen to see their products on display and gather feedback from the UK market. So the UK Konstsmide representative David Smith suggested they call in to meet with the GardenSite Konstsmide buyer Simon Whitehead.
During the visit, Jonas Johansson described how 'the packaging that customers encounter in store is something we are very particular about. It needs to be robust, distinctive and uniform, instantly recognisable and giving our products long-term protection'.
Gnosjö Konstsmide is a Swedish family-owned company established in 1942. They manufacture and import electrical consumer goods for the European market and are market leaders for Christmas items, as well as decorative and outdoor lighting.
Most of their products are produced in mainland China where the company has been manufacturing since 1980. It has a global turnover of 500million SEK (£44m) and employs 170 people.
Konstsmide place great emphasis on tradition. it is vitally important that their products and brand offer the consumer a sense of security and longevity, ensuring that traditions quite simply live on from year to year and from generation to generation.
The same high standards are carried across to their Christmas ranges which are generally developed in-house by their design team. They may not be as well known as IKEA but they have the same thorough attention to planning, style and development. They are often first to show innovative Christmas products, often to find them quickly copied by the competition. Amongst discerning Christmas shoppers, this quality control is soon noted. Konstsmide Christmas products bought today will be collectables tomorrow.
By using a form of spun acrylic, and embedding LEDs which shine through, they can create figures, animals and motifs that look good during the daytime but come to life when the lights go down. As they are LED driven, they can be battery operated or cabled. Either way, they are cheap to run.
Polar Bears are not vegetarians so I definitely recommend a Konstsmide Polar Bear over the real thing if you don’t want to be eaten out of house and home. Penguins and seals fall into the same category.
Whether you want to create a scene, or just want to bring Santa to life, their range of acrylic figures are the must-have accessories this Christmas. Although there are no small bits to easily get into a child’s mouth, safety is always important when selling Christmas lines and it should be stressed these creatures are not toys but decorative Christmas figures.
"Of course we believe in Santa Claus." — Konstsmide
In order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our wildlife, there's a selection of habitats and boxes you can purchase that are specifically designed to attract various small animals and insects to your garden. Here we look at some of the products available which also make unusual and very engaging gifts.
With warmer weather and an early Easter, the garden centre is busy at the moment with customers stocking up on summer bedding plants - snapdragons, cornflowers, cosmos, verbena, phlox, petunia, As well as filling planters, hanging baskets and borders with colour that will last all summer, there are always plenty of jobs to do in the garden during April and David Coton has these suggestions.
Every gardener must have noticed a decline in the bee population over recent years. Intensive farming that demands the use of toxic chemicals, climate change and parasite infestation have all been put forward as potential causes, it's a worrying trend but one that we can all help to reverse.
As an excellent alternative to conventional products, Trimetals' storage solutions blend top quality manufacture with contemporary style. Their range has now been extended to include two new maintenance free sheds and Robert Hall has all the details.