THE GARDEN CENTRE GROUP IS A MEMBER-OWNED CO-OPERATIVE CORPORATION THAT OFFERS ITS MEMBERS UNIQUE BENEFITS.
THE PRIMARY FUNDAMENTALS OF THE GCGC ARE:
RESPECT FOR INDEPENDENCE
We are a group of progressive, independent garden centre owners who appreciate our independence and have great respect for yours as well. Members of GCGC continue to operate independently without any need to advertise their affiliation with GCGC or change your branding or marketing in store. Your customers will never see the many benefits you enjoy as a member of the GCGC.
GCGC develops excellent working relationships and programs with top vendors in all purchasing areas of a garden centre business. We secure the best discounts, offers and terms possible. However, you are never required to change your supplier or order product you do not want. GCGC members are permitted to order from whoever they’d like, including from non-GCGC vendors. Our goal is to create the best purchasing conditions possible with our vendors and allow members to pick the products and companies that are the best fit for their store.
IMPROVED PURCHASING POWER
By combining our purchases and negotiating with key vendors our members gain deeper discounts and access to key vendors who only deal with distributors. Using our centralized billing process and group negotiations we leverage our purchasing power into lower prices and bigger savings for members. This means better margins for our members!
A NATION-WIDE NETWORK
Benefits for members extend far beyond the advantages of purchasing power, importing and comprehensive group buys. Members regularly share ideas, experiences, trends and best practices with other members. If you have a question, chances are there is someone in the group who will have an answer.
If you have a question, chances are there is someone in the group who will have an answer.
Members receive ongoing support from the experienced staff at the group’s head office. New members can benefit from an experienced member who may provide answers to questions and guidance allowing your garden centre to take full advantage of everything the membership has to offer.
Secure trade areas promote the free exchange of ideas and information for the mutual benefit of all members. Potential new members go through an application and screening process and the nearest members to a new applicant are consulted prior to approval to respect each members trading territory.
MORE ABOUT MEMBERSHIP
Our members have the opportunity to network with other members four times per year. The meetings are held in January, late June, September and October. Attending a meeting is a great way to learn, share successes, order direct import products and review and weigh in on the current vendor programs. The January meeting is held in conjunction with a major buying show in Ontario. The October meeting is held during the AGM and trade shows in Ontario. Locations for the June and September meetings are rotated to keep a balance for all owners travel costs as well as create unique tour experiences in each part of the country.
Attending a meeting is a great way to learn, share successes, order direct import products and review and weigh in on the current vendor programs.
The meetings are engaging, productive and professional meetings designed to encourage interaction and participation. There are presentations of new vendor programs, review of existing ones by the product category committees. Outside speakers on relevant business topics and breakout sessions with fellow members are regularly schedule for increased learning opportunities. Regular owner participation at meetings to learn, vote on important decisions and networking is what makes the meetings truly valuable to our member-owners.
One of the tents of GCGC’s success are its committee participation. Each owner utilizes his or her unique purchasing and program experience to contribute to the group by selecting a category as their focus. As a member of the committee you will leverage your individual strengths and established buying history to negotiate discounts and terms with the vendor(s). Another member looking to add to their product line would benefit from this knowledge by securing the best terms due to your (or another member’s) history.
DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF
The GCGC office staff are available to owners and serve many of the same functions of your own office. Some of the office operations include accounting, remittances, liaison to all professional services, ordering, freight, customs and warehousing logistics, wire payments, import or NAFTA permits, and updating and entering information to the group website and for the tradeshow.
Office staff assist members with coordinating group meeting preparation and logistics, as well as our annual trade show.
The office is based in the GTA and open 8 am to 4 pm EST, Monday to Friday, except on key statutory holidays.
The GCGC is governed by a Board of Directors made up of owners, partners or senior executives from our member stores. The Board positions are voted on through an election where each member store has one vote. Board terms are three years in length. The Executive of the GCGC is selected by the Board members.
Purchasing Opportunities in these Key Categories
- Bulbs (spring and fall)
- Christmas supplies
- Christmas trees, greens and stands
- Fashion, accessories and footwear
- Fertilizers, control and outdoor bagged goods
- Florist supplies, cut flower and flowering plants
- Garden and grass seed
- Concrete statuary and fountains
- Giftware and books
- Gourmet products
- Grower supplies (live and non-live)
- Landscape supplies
- Marketing and social media
- Nursery stock
- Offshore direct import
- Patio and leisure
- Perennials and herbs
- Tropical Plants (tropicals & houseplants)
- Pottery and planting containers
- Trade show
- Water gardening