This year Yates celebrates 130 years with the 78th edition of the Yates Garden Guide – the “Gardening Bible” as it is affectionately known by more than a million ardent fans. I’m one of those fans and I proudly own a much-loved 54th edition copy. Only the Bible and The Edmonds Cookery Book have sold more copies.
Yates’ Marketing Manager Fiona Arthur laughs heartily when I share this trivia. “Gardeners like you still hold on to the older ones but we continue to update and sell the new editions,” she explains, “and you can safely claim we’re the number three best seller in New Zealand.”
With it being entirely possible that many more people watch TV and videos than read, Yates continues to explore alternative media. For example: “Right now, one of my priorities is the Get Growing television show that airs on Choice TV for 10 weeks,” says Arthur.
“We’ve been describing it as the ‘Antiques Road Show for gardeners’. Each week we have a different Yates theme, for example week one is a citrus theme so we feature a citrus fertiliser and a Conqueror oil on our in-store display stands. We swap the relevant products on the stands to match the weekly themes.”