At garden centre Coppelmans in the Dutch town of Oss old and new buildings have been integrated to create a beautiful shop with a covered area of just over 6,000 m2. Manager Jos Coppelmans tells us in what ways this expansion has affected him.
How do the new premises influence your results?
The numbers of visitors have increased tremendously, especially in the formerly fairly quiet months of September and October. A lot of people visit us even on days of poor weather; they see it as an outing and come along for other reasons than just to buy garden articles. So we have easily realised the prognosis we had set ourselves beforehand.
What changes have you been able to make in your groups of articles thanks to the new premises?
The extra square metres of covered retail area have enabled us to expand our range with some new groups of articles such as pet products, cut flowers and a catering facility. This has led to an increase in both the number of visitors and the frequency of their visits. We saw our turnover grow by more than 100% relative to previous years in the months of September and October.
What do your customers think of the new building?
Our customers find our new garden centre very spacious. The paths are quite a bit wider, enabling people to pass by one another easily. That helps to make shopping a pleasant experience. There’s also more room for presentations intended to inspire our customers.
How is your garden centre’s new restaurant doing?
We experienced some difficulties with staffing and the ordering frequency at first, because we still had a lot to learn in this field ourselves. But twelve months later we have everything under control and now it would be impossible to imagine our garden centre without the restaurant. Customers use it throughout the entire day, especially at the weekends.
How would you rate your cooperation with Thermoflor?
I’d rate Thermoflor 9 out of 10, because everything was so very well planned beforehand and they thought along with us about every detail. And during the actual building work everything went according to our strict schedule so that there were no delays whatsoever in the operations of other companies and all the deadlines were met.
Do you have any tips for garden-centre managers considering a refurbishment or new premises?
Reserve plenty of time during the planning phase to obtain all the information you need and to study and consider every detail, so that the building work will proceed smoothly and entirely according to your requirements.