Helping Garden Centres Bloom Post Covid-19 Lockdown

Springtime is traditionally a busy season for garden centres as warmer weather draws people out of their homes and into their gardens. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has effectively kept the garden centre industry closed across EMEA.

While it has been a challenging couple of months, many garden centres will be gearing up to get back to business and open their doors to eager gardeners as governments across EMEA begin to ease restrictions. However, they will need to adjust to a new normality and visual communications will play a significant part in helping them operate safely, effectively and profitably in these new trading conditions.

A new set of responsibilities

As lockdown measures are slowly lifted, retailers must demonstrate responsibility to protect their staff and customers by enforcing measures that are likely to remain in place. Depending on each nation’s specific government guidelines, those measures could include limits on the number of customers in-store at any given time, ensuring customers stay a safe distance from others, and encouraging them to wear facemasks.

For garden centres, this means signage must become about more than simply engaging with customers and communicating product offers in-store. Signage has become a critical tool to reflect official guidance and encourage safe shopping while specific measures remain in place. This can include self-adhesive floor stickers to ensure customers keep a safe distance when browsing the aisles or queuing when entering the store or waiting at the checkout.

Window stickers can help garden retailers communicate temporary opening times and educational outdoor signage can keep customers informed of queuing policies at the store entrance to help police social distancing. Once customers are through the entrance, hanging and freestanding banners can help shoppers navigate the store quickly and safely.

As government guidance develops and restrictions change, signage will need to be quickly updated to ensure each garden centre is communicating the correct restrictions. Flexibility will be key and retailers that can adapt and create professional quality signage in-store and on-demand will be able to approach the situation with more agility than those dealing with the lead times of external print suppliers.

A helping hand with Free Social Distancing Media & Artwork

Recognising that it can be challenging for businesses to create and implement vital social distancing signage quickly, OKI Europe Ltd is offering garden centres free* social distancing media and artwork to create self-adhesive floor stickers that can be printed quickly and easily. This will enable garden centres to become operational while protecting the wellbeing of staff and customers.
The complimentary designs include three formats: a self-adhesive floor circle (285 x 285mm) and rectangular floor banners in two sizes (215 x 900mm and 297 x 1,320 mm), each with various messaging options to remind shoppers to keep two metres apart.

Fit for purpose printers

Beyond professional quality floor and window stickers, banners and posters, garden centres have a unique requirement for all manner of waterproof and small format media. From waterproof signage to plant labels, plant loops, bed cards and self-adhesive pot labels, garden centres will benefit from being able to print all of this from the same media flexible device.

This is entirely possible with compact printers that give retailers the diverse printing capabilities of a print shop from one single A3 printer. OKI’s multi award-winning C800 Series A3 colour printers take up a minimal footprint while enabling garden centres to produce a wide variety of media, formats, and finishes – including waterproof media – in professional quality and high definition colour.

As the retail industry prepares to resume business, garden centres will be one of the first to re-open and need to be ready to make the most of opportunities provided by seasonal demand and consumers excited to get out of their homes. The ability to quickly and flexibly print all manner of essential media in-store and on-demand will help them grow healthy revenues as safely and effectively as possible.
Please note, for information on specific media that should be used with OKI printers for the applications specified on this page, please contact your local certified dealer or contact us.

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