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Tates of Sussex Garden Centre Group, which has four garden centres in the county, has switched to WinRetail from Corby & Fellas. Tate’s director Darren Clift explains how the system is proving to be a success for the group.

In 2020 we decided to review our EPoS and Retail Management systems, as we felt that we needed to take better control of our business and improve efficiency. 

Although we were not unhappy with the system that we’d been using for more than 20 years, we decided to ‘review the situation’, and look at what systems were available specifically for garden centres.

Several vendors drew our attention, all of whom offered software with features that we felt would be useful to us; this included Corby & Fellas’ WinRetail system, which we knew was used by several prominent garden centres.

Our decision making process was influenced by several factors. Of course, system functionality was key amongst these, but we also wanted to ensure that:

  • The vendor was a well-established and stable company, with a track record of providing retail systems to garden centres. Ideally, multi-site businesses of a similar size to us. 
  • The system would be well supported and that help would always be available as and when we needed it.
  • The software was comprehensive and included the features that we felt that we required (and possibly features that we were yet to realise that we needed).
  • The system would grow and develop over time, reflecting the ever changing needs of our business 
  • The software was demonstrably robust, reliable and stable.
  • The system was fully integrated and did not consist of a mishmash of disparate modules whose interoperability could not always be relied upon.
  • Last, and by no means least, was run by people that we could get on with; who were able to understand our business culture and interpret our ideas.

I’m pleased to say that Corby & Fellas was able to meet our requirements and was able provide us with a system that included:

  • Fully integrated ecommerce web site.
  • A powerful Business Intelligence (BI)module.
  • Customer facing Apps running on smart devices.
  • A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module.
  • A café/restaurant module.  

We began the process of switching systems in February 2021, and I’m pleased to say that the transition to WinRetail was very straightforward.

I’m pleased that we made the decision to install WinRetail, and feel that it was a good decision. I am particularly impressed with Corby & Fellas ability to tailor their software to meet some of the needs that are peculiar to our business.

I am very happy to recommend Corby & Fellas and WinRetail to you.

The new Corby + Fellas Customer APP is available across a multitude of platforms and features:

  • A personalised, digital loyalty card for use online and instore
  • The ability to manage personal details
  • Review shopping history online and instore (digital receipts)
  • Receive specific, targeted coupons, and general offers
  • Support notifications and alerts
  • Shop Online within the APP
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest news feeds, bogs and video content

The APP can be downloaded via the App Store and Google Play

Plymouth Garden Centre have been Inspiring people to love their gardens since 1963. They are a traditional, family run Garden Centre based in Devon.

Most of their plants are sourced from local nurseries who provide regular and often weekly deliveries of fresh stock. They are pleased to support West Country Growers with some of the finest specimens grown locally.

Plymouth Garden Centre offer a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and on hand to answer your queries. Many have been with the garden centre for over 10 years and some 40 years!

They have been established for 57 years and are 4 times winners of the ‘Investors in People Award’.

Corby + Fellas are delighted to be working with Plymouth Garden Centre and look forward to our future with them.

Fiona Newton, Plymouth Garden Centre General Manager, pictured with Grant Davis, Corby + Fellas

Corby + Fellas are delighted to announce Studley Grange Garden Centre and Butterfly World & Farm Park have just installed WinRetail.

Studley Grange is located just off the M4 @ junction 16 and has been under independent ownership since October 2019 and throughout 2020 and 2021 they have been investing heavily to renovate and enlarge all areas of the garden centre.

They have a fantastic butterfly world and farm park, along with a craft village, soft play and places to eat.

We are very excited to be working with this wonderful garden and leisure park and look forward to our future with them.

We are excited to announce a new member of Corby + Fellas, Claire Robertson as our Business Ecommerce Manager.

Claire comes from a successful background of project managing sizable key accounts for retained clients and new website builds. She has a wealth of knowledge in different platforms including WordPress and Magento 1 & 2, as well as bespoke asp websites.

We welcome Claire and are very excited to the future with her on our team.

Grovewell Garden Centres established by Edward Boult in 1999,  with the transformation of a plant nursery to garden centre  in Tenterden, is a family owned and operated business. Building upon the success of his first site, the business has expanded with four garden centres, all in Kent now part of the Grovewell family.

Having run without an EPoS system since their inception, a decision was made in 2019 to introduce an integrated Retail Management Control and EPoS system.

Matt Davies, who is in charge of EPoS operations said:

“We decided to review the market to see what systems were likely to suit our particular needs and style of operation. We looked at several ‘possibles’, all of whom had garden centre experience. We arranged for software demonstrations and spoke to several garden centres that had recently introduced EPoS systems, to see what experiences they had.

I was very impressed with WinRetail from Corby & Fellas(C&F), and having seen a demonstration of their software we decided that C&F comprehensively ‘ticked’ all our boxes:

  • WinRetail has an excellent track record and is well rated amongst its users as being comprehensive, robust and reliable
  • They are experienced in dealing with garden centres, with a long list of garden centre customers, both large and small
  • Their online and telephone support service is well regarded, with positive feedback on response times and service levels
  • They have experience in implementing EPoS systems into sites with no previous EPoS experience which, of  course, applies to us
  • They have been established for a long time (since the 1980s I believe) and are clearly a well-run and stable business   

We made our decision to run with Corby & Fellas at the beginning of the year, and started the implementation process in June (2020). We provided C&F with the data needed to create the various files and tables needed. I must say that the whole process went very smoothly, and we were able to go live with a pilot site, in Canterbury, during September. After one month, the pilot was deemed to be successful and we rolled out the system to our other three centres.

We really appreciate the reliability of their system, the team have found it very user-friendly and we’re all excited for the future

I’m happy that we chose Corby & Fellas and pleased to say that they and their software are living up to our expectations.”

Matt Davies

EPoS Manager

Grovewell Garden Centres

Dear All

In light of the current Covid-19 epidemic, I thought that I would write to let you know our plans to reduce the impact of the outbreak on our business and, more particularly, reduce the effect that it might have on the services that we provide to you.

In line with advice given by Public Health England, the NHS, etc, we are focusing on preventing the spread of infection and have issued hygiene guidelines to all staff working in our offices and customer sites.

Our focus is to maintain our usual high level of support to all our customers. Therefore, we have asked some key personnel to work from home to mitigate the spread of infection.

Support will continue to operate as normal; although if you need to talk to someone who is working from home, we will contact them to get them to return your call promptly. We have several communication tools in place, including Microsoft Teams, to help us to ensure that we maintain a good service.

Any software development work will continue as normal. If there is any cause for delay, we will let you know straight away.

Scheduled visits, including training, installations and implementation may need to be postponed/rescheduled. This will, of course, be subject to discussion with you (with reference to your companies own containment policies).

Where practicable we will conduct meetings, training and software demonstrations via a WebEx or telephone conference calls.

Please stay safe and if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Alan McCammon

Managing Director

In light of the current Covid-19 epidemic, Corby + Fellas have issued this statement on our plans to reduce the impact of the outbreak on our business and, more particularly, reduce the effect that it might have on the services that we provide to our customers.

In line with advice given by Public Health England, the NHS, etc, we are focusing on preventing the spread of infection and have issued hygiene guidelines to all staff working in our offices and customer sites.

Our focus is to maintain our usual high level of support to all our customers. Therefore, we have asked some key personnel to work from home to mitigate the spread of infection.

Support will continue to operate as normal; although if you need to talk to someone who is working from home, we will contact them to get them to return your call promptly. We have several communication tools in place, including Microsoft Teams, to help us to ensure that we maintain a good service.

Any software development work will continue as normal. If there is any cause for delay, we will let you know straight away.

Scheduled visits, including training, installations and implementation may need to be postponed/rescheduled. This will, of course, be subject to discussion with our customers (with reference to their companies own containment policies).

Where practicable we will conduct meetings, training and software demonstrations via a WebEx or telephone conference calls.

Please stay safe and if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

kim@corbyfellas.com

Congratulations to all of the winners at the #GCAConf2020 including our wonderful Corby+Fellas #gardencentreretail customers below:

Christmas Competition (Garden Centre category) sponsored by Gisela Graham – Whitehall Garden Centre – Whitchurch

Customer Service Award – Best Customer Service – The Old Railway Line Garden Centre

The Indoor Lifestyle Award – Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer (Garden Centre category) – Squires Garden Centre – Hersham

Weber Outdoor Living Award – Best Outdoor Living Retailer (Garden Centre Category) – Joint winners Squires Garden Centre – Hersham and Fron Goch Garden Centre

GCA Grow Training Award – Klondyke Garden Centre – Byrkley Park.

http://tgcmc.newsweaver.co.uk/gtnxtra/x8xcyzf40c3

Photos and information From GTN Xtra – Issue 4 2020

© 2020 Corby+Fellas