Garden Centres are traditionally horizontal businesses. One of the reasons for this was they were located on city fringes on wholesale nurseries, the land was relatively cheap and Baby Boomers were happy to drive into the country for a day of leisure.
Zoom forward to 2023 and is this the right model?
Danny Puan from Singapore would tell you that the traditional model is out of date The new consumer often does not have a car and land prices in Singapore are too expensive. What was horizontal has to become vertical.
The result is that in late September 2023 the first vertical nine story garden centre opened in suburban Singapore. The Far east Flora Company is already a highly successful garden centre chain. The new store moves the barriers in garden retail thinking..
The basement targets the younger consumer whilst the ground floor is more targeted towards the older consumer. The next level focuses on providing a fresh food offer and outdoor plans are displayed on the roof retail area.
On the ground floor is also a café come restaurant.
Apart from the new retail concepts, the plants are an exceptionally high quality and look like they have just arrived from a Dutch nursery wholesaler. Whilst some do come from Holland, the majority are coming from China.
On my last visit to China I was not over impressed with the quality of nursery stock, but clearly they have come long way quickly and are matching what the Dutch are doing and I suspect at a lower price.
I look forward to seeing how this concept matures over the coming year. Singapore is well recognised for its innovation in amenity horticulture and it is now also I leading the way in horticultural retailing