Invitation to Retail meets leisure

In the retail sector we are known as the largest builders of garden centres in Europe, but did you know that we are active in the leisure branch, too? With our modern glass structures we offer unique forms of accommodation for recreation areas, water parks, hotels, trampoline parks, bowling alleys, family entertainment centres, etc. Under the name of ‘Bright Buildings‘ we design and build transparent accommodation: light, flexible buildings with movable roofs and walls that can be opened or closed at the push of a button.

From 6 until 8 October Bright Buildings will be represented at the largest fair in the field of leisure in Europe, the IAAPA European Attractions Show in Gothenborg. You are most welcome to visit us at our stand (F 365). For free admission tickets, please send an e-mail to




Four creative ways of attracting customers 

Deserted streets and boarded-up shops: the greatest nightmare of retailers and consumers. They are blamed on the economic crisis, the Internet, municipal policies or all three. Shops must make more effort to attract customers’ attention, says the German EHI Retail Institute. “Shop owners must become more creative”. But how? 

  1. Your premises are of course a key factor in this respect. Give your shop a distinctive ‘signature’, for example by including relaxation areas with free wifi or free childminding.
  2. In the event of new build, carefully consider such aspects as the incidence of daylight and the use of colours and materials. A building often has a much greater influence on customers’ state of mind than you may think.
  3. Focus on service and break routine: offer your customers unexpected extras such as a gardening workshop, a fresh produce market or a ‘personal butler’, as at this Canadian garden centre:
  4. Enhance your shop with art to raise its standard and make it more attractive. Art exhibitions are increasingly often being organised in shopping centres all over the world, such as here in Paris:


The latest experience in food: the fresh produce market

Food halls, market halls and covered fresh produce markets are becoming ever more popular. Now that people are more concerned about what they consume they like to visit such markets to buy sustainably produced food and regional produce.

Early this year garden centre Bents in Glazebury (UK)  opened an impressive Food Hall with a varied range of products. Take a look here.

Creating room for a covered fresh produce market can be beneficial for a garden centre: it will tempt your customers to spend more time in your shop, it will greatly  expand your range and grant you the possibility of expanding your catering service. You will be offering your customers a new experience that may generate extra turnover and that is not in any way dependent on the weather. 



Inspire hobby gardeners with seasonal workshops

Every spring, garden centre Ebert’s in America organises a behind-the-scenes tour. A total of 75 customers took part in the fifth edition of the tour, which lasted for 1.5 hours and started with drinks and a snack at the restaurant.

The customers were taken on a tour of the garden centre in groups, and at different points experts told them all about fertilisation, irrigation, how to prevent plant diseases and different cultivation methods. At the end of the tour the experts met up in the gift shop to answer questions.

According to Ebert’s the visitors found the tour very interesting: “Visitors came to us and told us what a great time they had, and some posted it on Facebook. It’s been a great success.”

(source: Jeff Morey, USA) 



Retail Experience Center ‘House of Inspiration’ opened

If you want to continue to inspire your customers you will of course have to find inspiration yourself, too. A good place to do that is the recently opened Retail Experience Center of Ter Steege in the town of Rijssen. In an unusually designed new showroom these international pottery wholesalers offer retailers a world of exciting experiences.

More information House of Inspiration: