Garden centres: threat or opportunity

The role of garden centres in housewares retailing is an increasingly hot topic in our industry, so The Housewares Conference is thrilled to be able to address the subject head on at this year’s conference.

Garden centres: threat or opportunity

We have confirmed our final speaker, garden centre owner and director of GIMA (the Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association) Neil Gow, who will lead a session examining: Garden centres – are they the next big threat to housewares retailers or could they be the next big opportunity?

With a similar customer demographic as cookshops (people interested in gardening tend also to be interested in cooking), large destination sites often with restaurants, food halls and ample free parking, garden centres appear to be an untapped market for cookshops, whether through concessions or co-locations. Or, could they represent the next major competition?

Mr Gow has more than 30 years experience in the garden centre market, on both the retail and supply side of the market, so is ideally placed to investigate the potential for housewares in the garden centre sector.

He joins a confirmed line-up, which already includes:

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, celebrity design guru

Kathy Tierney, CEO, Sur La Table, the fastest-growing housewares retailer in the US

Maureen Dunn, buying director home, John Lewis

Ben Phillips, MD, Steamer Trading Cookshop chain, one of the most respected independent cookshop chains in the UK

Pepita Diamand, retail director and founder, Wrapit, the UK’s largest, and most successful, gift list service

Erol Sukan, business group director, GfK Retail and Technology

The inaugural Housewares Conference has the full backing of the industry’s two largest trade associations, the British Home Enhancement Trades Association (BHETA) and the Cookshop and Housewares Association (CHA). It is sponsored by: Amefa, Lifestyle Products, Poole Pottery, Royal Stafford, Royal Worcester, Gaggia and Gilberts Food Equipment incorporating Absolut Form.

It takes place at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel, on London’s Grosvenor Square on April 1.

Delegate places are available now, simply visit to download a booking form and for more information about the event itself, or email us at

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