What next for the AMES Companies? Managing Director, Paul North reveals all.
Hot on the heels of a hugely successful presence at Glee 2023, we’re using the momentum created to kickstart our next chapter.
With new product categories joining the line-up to sit alongside established heritage brands, and significant investment shaping things to come, the future looks bright and very busy.
Here, Paul North, Managing Director at the AMES Companies, explains more.
“Anyone who visited the AMES stand at Glee would have seen a very different company than we were just 12 months ago.
“The past year has been best characterised as a steep learning curve; one bolstered by significant investment and new product development, and this renewed sense of self was evident at the exhibition.
“For us, every season represents another chapter in our story, and 2023 has been an important period for our entire business.
“With 150 new products launching, including an entirely new innovative range of lawn and garden tools and the exclusive unveiling of Apta Lightweight, we had a lot on our plate, but the industry response demonstrated that we’d got it right.
“Not only was our team excited and energised about what we had to offer but so were our customers, new and old.
“Glee truly showcased what we’ve become and outlined our short- and long-term intentions, which we know will add value across the board for our customers.”
Investing in the future of garden retail
Glee may have been the launchpad for new brands and 150+ new products, but it was also the first look at how our latest investment is starting to play out.
“In order to become the brand we desire to be, we have had to invest significantly in our business.
“Our new product offering, coupled with existing ranges, requires extended warehousing, and this has been realised at our Pollington site through a multi-million-pound redevelopment programme.
“This increased warehouse footprint – topping out at 60,000sq ft – means that we can achieve near 100% stock availability ahead of season 24 and begin to offer consolidated deliveries from one central location.
“With improved manufacturing facilities also on the horizon, there are many reasons for our customers to feel confident in what we offer.”
The partner of choice
Here at the AMES Companies, we talk often about being the garden retail sector’s ‘partner of choice’. Whether through product, service or support, this mission remains unwavering for the team.
“To be the partner of choice, we recognise that we have to work closely with our customers to ensure that we exceed their expectations.
“We consistently review and analyse our offering to identify areas of change or development. In 2023, we witnessed some fast-paced changes, and 2024 will see this accelerate even more.
“It’s imperative that we stay ahead of the curve and let our customers know that we are listening and responding accordingly.
“The most obvious reflection of this is our product portfolio. Where gaps have been identified, we fill them. Where revised product hierarchies are needed, we respond.
“New product introductions are never ‘me too’ designs but are created in response to sales data and clear, defined, heavily-researched data. This was especially true of Apta Lightweight, first launched at Glee ahead of season 24.
“We know that Apta is a much-loved and respected brand, so any changes had to complement what existed, whilst also opening up new sales opportunities.
“For us and our customers, Apta Lightweight represents an invigorating new chapter for both the brand and the category as a whole.”
Playing to our strengths
“Through consistent self-reflection, the AMES Companies can better play to its strengths. AMES Tools is demonstrative of this.
“Having manufactured and supplied quality garden tools for over two centuries, AMES has become very good at providing consumers with the tools they need to transform and maintain their gardens, so it made sense to translate this ‘right to play’ into reality by bringing to market a dedicated tool brand, and one that sits perfectly within our overall portfolio.”
Setting the industry standard for stock availability
It would be easy to presume that stock availability could suffer with hundreds of SKUs across six brands but we’re delighted to have near 100% stock availability earmarked for season 24.
“In simple terms, we’ve worked with customers to build a rolling 12-month forecast, and we’ve shared this insight with all our core suppliers to ensure we all work together to avoid surprises.
“Additionally, we are ensuring we have adequate safety stock cover in place for all products at our locations across the UK and Ireland.
“In support of this, we also have a team reviewing progress monthly to ensure we can respond to any unplanned or unforeseen circumstances.
“We’re leaving nothing to chance. Season 24 is firmly in our sights, and we’re ready for it!”
Paul believes that AMES’ commitment to its people sets the company apart from many others. Customers are seen and heard, supply partners are celebrated, and team members are valued beyond reproach.
“AMES is nothing without the people around it.
“We pride ourselves on fostering relationships with everyone, from our onsite team members to our supply partners, right through to the key decision-makers at garden centres across the country. Without these people, their feedback and encouragement, we would not exist.
“The passion they all bring to the party is why we continue to innovate and why we believe that ‘partner of choice’ is wholly achievable.
“We pride ourselves on our passion. We are driven to innovate. We value and nurture our partnerships and we always promise to deliver quality products backed by unrivalled customer support.”
Do you have any questions or comments about what season 2024 holds for the AMES Companies and our customers? We’d love to hear from you – please get in touch.
Don’t forget to connect with AMES Companies on Linkedin and sign up to our newsletter below to be first to hear news and updates.