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To find out more about the business of lawn & garden, we spoke to two of the highest performing Mitre 10 stores.
In a repeat of its 2014 achievement, this year’s Mitre 10 Store of the Year was Mitre 10 Westport.
Selected from 40 other Mitre 10s, Westport is a fourth-generation, family-owned-and-run affair, led by Managing Director, Kevin Scanlon.
Mitre 10 CEO, Neil Cowie has praised the Westport store, saying: “Winning the award reflects the high standards of the team members in delivering first class service. It is not surprising they have the loyalty and support of their customers,” he says.
“Kevin, Troy, Casey and their team should feel very proud of this achievement.”
Kevin’s son Troy incidentally was Young Achiever in the 2014 Hardware Awards.
Giving lie to the assumption that everything is static on the West Coast, go-ahead Mitre 10 Westport quadrupled the scale of its garden centre last September.
Retaining the existing site but incorporating a vacant piece of land that the Scanlons had set aside for development, Mitre 10 Westport’s garden centre went from a modest 180m2 to a generous 800m2 at a stroke.
Obviously the extra space allows the store a much bigger selection of plants, pots and fertilisers.
“Everything that goes with a garden centre we’ve got more of now than we had before,” says Kevin Scanlon.
With the extra space came one and a half extra staff and a proportional boost to the store’s turnover.
And the response from the locals?
“It’s been absolutely brilliant! We’ve had plenty of positive comments,” says Scanlon senior.
EXPANSION LEADS TO EXPANSION
Travelling north and stepping up a notch in terms of scale, Mitre 10 Crofton Downs was recognised this year as Mitre 10 Garden Centre of the Year at the annual Mitre 10 Conference.
Mitre 10 Crofton Downs owners, Brendan and Nicole Hall, praised the store’s garden centre team, saying the accolade reflects a determined effort to deliver first-class customer service.
“We have a knowledgeable team who work incredibly hard and it’s great to see them formally recognised for all their efforts and their continued focus on quality service,” says Brendan Hall.
What does he think sets Crofton Downs apart from the competition?
“We’ve tried a few new things like when I bought the business we landscaped the side of the hill that our garden centre backed onto and created terraces that gave us extra footage to bring in a bigger grade of plant.
“Before I took over ownership they didn’t have much room so they kept away from the high grade fruit trees and bigger shrubs. But now, with the extra footage, we’ve been able to bring all those in.
“And then probably the biggest one is that I have invested quite a lot of time and training into the team,” says Brendan Hall.
What’s next for Crofton Downs’ garden department?
“Probably the next step for us will be linking further into trade and then even potentially offering a landscaping service.
“We have the expertise and, as our trade business grows, we’ll be looking at linking in other services to that offer.”
Tui says go farming…
Worm farming, that is.
Tui Products wants you to encourage your customers to make their own nutritious fertiliser from organic kitchen and garden waste with the new Tui Worm Farm.
The compact design makes the Worm Farm easy to place in almost any garden, or even on a balcony!
With just two working trays and a tray to collect valuable worm tea, it is also very easy to use.
Kärcher increases electric water blaster warranties
Effective this month, Kärcher has extended the warranties on its domestic water blaster range.
The warranty on entry-level machines that stood at two years will now be more than doubled, with an extra one-year extension and a further two years when registered through the Kärcher website.
The Full Control range also now offers customers the opportunity to extend their warranty to seven years – five years as standard, plus a two-year extension when registered online.
These extensions are an Australasian initiative, with both Kärcher NZ and Australia increasing their warranties across the electric water blaster range.
Kärcher says the changes indicate to consumers “that they can trust in the workmanship and machine longevity of a Kärcher water blaster”, whether they purchase an entry-level model, or the largest domestic offering.
Feeling hot, hot hot
The versatile Hot Devil Heat Wand not only kills weeds without poison but also lights BBQs Heat Beads, fire pits etc.
Powered by propane gas the Hot Devil Heat Wand is safe, simple and economical to use but will still permanently destroy a weed’s cell structure so it will not return.
With its ergonomic handle design and a piezo ignitor for easy lighting, this is an ideal all-year-round product, in wet or dry conditions.
The product has already seen strong retailer response in Australia, where some retailers have zip-tied a propane cylinder to the unit at point of sale (see photo), with the result that sales have been “going through the roof”.
GARDENA joins Garden to Table family
This week, there wasn’t a sugar-laden item in sight at Glenfield Primary School when new Garden to Table sponsor, GARDENA, visited to support the charity’s latest green fundraiser.
GARDENA delivered a new garden hose to the school, for being one of the first five schools to sign up for Garden to Table’s “Great New Zealand Seedling Sale”.
The other schools to be the first to sign up to the national seedling sale and receive a GARDENA hose include: Mairangi Bay Primary School; Konini Primary School; Ngati Toa School; and Casebrook Intermediate.
It was an apt way to celebrate GARDENA coming on board as a School Supporter for Garden to Table.
The children loved the new addition to their garden and were joined by a familiar face from TVNZ’s HomeMADE and Garden to Table Garden Ambassador, Dan MacKay, who enjoyed mucking in with the children and showing them the best way to water their growing produce.
Makita adds kits to outdoor power offering
Makita is extending its kit outlook into outdoor power with the LXT Gardeners Combo Kits.
The DLX2287M 18V LXT Cordless Gardeners 4.0Ah Kit comprises: a DUR189Z 18V LXT brushless cordless grass trimmer (short telescopic pipe, loop handle) and a DUB183Z 18V LXT Li-ion cordless variable 3-speed blower; also included are two BL1840B 4.00Ah batteries and a DC18RC Rapid Charger.
Second of the high value kits is the DLX2288S 18V LXT Cordless Gardeners 3.0Ah Kit (above), which comprises: a DUH523Z 18V LXT Li-ion cordless 52 cm hedge trimmer and a DUB183Z 18V LXT Li-ion cordless variable 3-speed blower; also included are two BL1830B 3.0Ah batteries and a DC18RC rapid charger.
These kits are available while stocks last.
Better, stronger, healthier
Yates has refreshed and launched a new 3L ready-to-spray pack format for the popular BioGro certified organic Yates Nature’s Way Citrus, Vegie & Ornamental Spray.
The dual action formula combines both pyrethrum and canola oil. This deals to both sucking and chewing insects on citrus, all edibles, flowers, shrubs, hedging and ornamentals.
Also new is Yates Lawn Fertiliser, a premium granular lawn food that dissolves when watered and quickly filters down to the roots.
Cordless mower thinks big
Following the successful launch of its XR 18V landscaping tool range, DEWALT has introduced the DCMW564 high performance cordless lawn mower that runs from a dual battery port to deliver 36V output from two 5.0Ah 18V XR batteries.
Able to tackle up to 800m2 on a single charge, DeWalt’s new mower features a powerful brushless motor a 51cm metal deck and 48cm cutting capacity, all of which make it ideal for tackling medium to large tasks.
DCMW564 also offers five adjustable cutting heights (25-86mm), 55L collection bag and mulching attachment, foldable arms and locking wheels for improved vertical storage/transport, and an electronic dashboard to show battery charge status
Comes with two batteries and a charger.
Keep those lawns grub-free!
New from Kiwicare, LawnPro Protect is a fast-acting granular product that eliminates and protects against grass grub, Porina caterpillar and other soil dwelling insect pests in lawns.
It comes in an easy to use sprinkle pack and is neonicotinoid free so safer for bees.
Available in a 350g, 600g and 3kg packs, it’s the fast, easy way to keep your lawn grub and pest free all year round.