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Paving the way for Garden Centres and DIY stores to adapt and flourish
Javier Lopez discusses how despite strong sales over the past few months, Garden Centres & DIY Stores need to be prepared for a changing retail landscape
Household and garden projects seem like they ought to be an evergreen fixture in consumer interests. As long as people inhabit homes and spend time in their gardens, there should be plenty of demand for DIY and garden supplies.
However, the pandemic has taught us that we must learn to prepare for the unexpected. There are many variables that can impact footfall and profitability in these retail categories and in an increasingly unpredictable world, these can be challenging to both plan for and overcome.
A growing set of challenges
Garden Centres and DIY stores have seen strong sales throughout the pandemic1 as many European nations allowed them to stay open2. With consumers spending more time at home, days have been filled with home and garden projects. This has been a positive period for this sector of retail while others have faced great adversity but keeping demand high presents its own set of challenges.
A number of home and garden projects that have been undertaken during the pandemic could well have been completed. On top of this, as restrictions ease, people will be spending more time out of their homes and spending their money in other segments of the retail sector as they re-open. However, Spring is traditionally the season for refreshing the garden and Garden Centres and DIY retailers will want to do everything they can to maintain the strong sales figures they’ve been experiencing.
There is also increasingly unpredictable weather to contend with. Garden Centres and DIY stores could traditionally predict which items would be in demand around the stable changing of the seasons. However, the more erratic weather we’ve experienced in recent years means that demand is harder to predict.
Preparing for a changing retail landscape
Like all retailers, Garden Centres and DIY stores need to be able to adapt quickly to evolving circumstances, such as maintaining healthy sales figures, responding to changing government-imposed guidelines or the unpredictability of weather. Having the ability to print in store will offer the speed and flexibility they need to respond to any unexpected challenges and keep customers coming through the door safely.
The range of applications required by retailers in these categories can be substantial. Signage, banners, posters, product labels, plant loops, plant pot stickers and beyond all need to be able to withstand indoor and outdoor conditions, be resistant to UV fading and robust enough to endure busy environments. With continuous changes in market trends and consumer demand this can be a cumbersome process and come at great cost.
Installing a compact colour printer or MFP from OKI that can sit neatly under the customer service desk or in the back office, will enable retailers to print on durable, waterproof and self-adhesive media in different sizes from A6 to 1.3m long, in-store and on demand. This empowers each store to quickly and easily create and customise store signage and customer collaterals as needed. From outdoor hanging and free-standing banners promoting the latest offers to coupons that drive loyalty, high resolution product images, plant information cards, floor and window stickers to direct customers around the store quickly and safely as well as providing customers the option to personalise purchases for gifts.
From helping customers visualise end products from the raw materials or seeds and fledgling plants, helping them navigate around vast and often complex indoor and outdoor product areas safely and efficiently, to highlighting promotions and products that are suddenly spiking in demand, printing in store gives Garden Centres and DIY retailers the speed and flexibility they need.