With a major investment and company restructuring over the past couple of years, AMES UK and its family of brands look somewhat different to how they did in 2019. This redevelopment meant that the updated Kelkay, Apta and La Hacienda brands made their official debut together under one banner at Glee 2022, in an industry first for any exhibition. With product innovation, updated POS and AMES UK exclusives, the company’s commitment to becoming the garden retail sector’s partner of choice is stronger than ever.
Here, AMES UK’s Managing Director, Paul North, looks ahead to what is in store for 2023.
“Glee 2022 was a big moment for us. The last few years have been best summarised as a significant period of change and development for us as a company, so showcasing this to the industry was a turning point. I believe it has helped us illustrate an AMES UK that is a little different to what people might have expected.”
Industry observers have cause for a pleasant surprise, as Kelkay, Apta and La Hacienda undergo something of a renaissance, with new teams, new ideas and improved access to trend information helping to shape the development of each brand. The spectacular stand at Glee revealed the start of a new chapter for AMES UK, where the refreshed ethos and customer support tools were revealed, including exclusive new concepts and added value that gave the brands an edge in a crowded marketplace. The showcase at Glee was just a taster of what is to come, as Paul explains.
“Over the last two years, we have reassessed every aspect of our business and now these changes are beginning to roll out into the marketplace. One of the greatest joys of Glee was being able to share this with our customers and gain their feedback; feedback which has already helped us to make further changes to ensure that everything we are doing – from product introductions to our retail-led solutions – is hitting the mark. This is an evolutionary process and we’re not done yet – far from it!”
THE PARTNER OF CHOICE
As we head towards 2023 and beyond, AMES UK is fixed on its goal of becoming the industry’s ‘partner of choice’, something that Paul believes is entirely achievable, saying: “We are in an incredibly unique position in that we offer a genuinely unrivalled portfolio of products. From decorative aggregates to pots and planters, garden décor, heating and lawn and garden tools, the AMES family of brands has a considerable proportion of garden centre sales potential together in one portfolio. No other supplier can boast this, but we equally appreciate our responsibility to ensure that the heritage of each brand is honoured in the best possible way.
“To this end we have recruited some incredible individuals to our in-house teams, dedicated to researching current and future trends and identifying new opportunities. This research will inform every stage of our product development, from the product design itself to the specific colours and materials used. Everything we are bringing to market has been through a strict ‘route to market’ procedure which we hope offers peace of mind to our retail partners. This is not newness for the sake of newness, this is newness to drive growth, increase profitability and create new sales opportunities for our customers.”
NEW RETAIL-LED SOLUTIONS ON THE AGENDA
One area that will be music to the ears of retailers will be AMES UK’s commitment to more retail-led solutions across point of sale and merchandising displays. Paul adds: “One key takeaway from Glee was the need to better support our retailers with content to drive sales in-store. The feedback we received was hugely insightful and now we’re working to develop our offering further.”
INNOVATIVE LAUCHES FOR 2023
With pre-season orders well and truly underway, retailers across the country are poised to take receipt of the latest introductions from Kelkay, La Hacienda and Apta’s highly curated 2023 collections. These include several AMES UK exclusive designs and, as Paul says: “If Glee 2022 was the test environment, 2023 will in many ways see the true relaunch of all our brands. We’ve taken the time to evaluate all product collections, tempering, replacing, and updating where our data tells us changes need to be made. Core ranges are now better supported by an improved product hierarchy and are also supported by a reinvigorated sales team that is waxing lyrical about the changes made. We are prouder than ever of what each of our brands offers and will be using this as a jumping-off point for more product development throughout the season.”
JOIN THE JOURNEY
Paul concludes: “2023 is going to be a pivotal year for AMES UK and our family of brands. We firmly believe in what we have brought to market and know that what we have in the pipeline is going to change the game once again. It’s an exciting time to be part of AMES UK and we can’t wait to take our retail partner on this journey with us.”