Iberflora interviews Javier Gil Vernet, manager of the Jardinarium purchasing center, who tells about, among other things, the organizational system with which the plant works together with its attached gardens.
The resilience, commitment, and organization of Jardinarium have made it today a reference business group in the sector. Various economic crises, a pandemic with the consequent temporary confinement of garden centers, and a purchasing center that has been strengthened in recent years. How does your director assess the evolution of Jardinarium since its foundation in the year 2003?
Since it was founded Jardinarium, in 2003, we have worked on 3 scopes simultaneously: the sales process, the management of the garden center, and, as a consequence of the above two areas, everything that involves purchasing. We have always tried to ensure that the development and growth in each of these areas is carried out in a balanced and coordinated manner, even in the years of crisis.
Finally, in 2018 we opened the first center where the commercial formula developed could be completely implemented from scratch (Eiviss Garden, in Ibiza). It is a 100% Jardinarium center, in which the formula we worked on for so long could finally see the light. There have been many years of partial implantations, continuous improvement, and innovation processes in many partner centers. Being able to apply it from scratch has allowed us to make a very important qualitative leap.
Thanks to this jump, new centers and projects of great magnitude have been possible (Roots in Tenerife, the reform of the interior part in Artiflora, now Arborescence's new projects, and others that we are working on right now).
Today, we define our operations and way of doing it as "360º management", where everything is coordinated, from sales to purchases. The management is increasingly coordinated, and the balance between local and global has allowed us to be much more effective in terms of results and more efficient in terms of management.
The pandemic, undoubtedly, has generated an upward trend in the plant and gardening market. How has this trend been reflected in the garden centers adhered to Jardinarium? What is the turnover forecast of the gardens for this and the coming years?
The pandemic and the confinement have led to a great interest in gardening and decoration, which has resulted in a growth of the sector, even from other unnatural operators, as they are specialized stores, hardware stores, home deco stores, and so on.
Jardinarium experienced a grouped turnover growth of more than 35% with respect to 2019 last year. This was accompanied by something that we found much more meaningful, an increase in the average ticket (already very high compared to other operators in the sector).
The outlook for the coming years is a big unknown. We see that some of that growth is consolidating when comparing the pre and post pandemic figures. We observe, in turn, how the average ticket is still high, which gives us a certain peace of mind in the current price situation.
In my opinion, this is a crucial moment, and we must be able to seize this great opportunity. If we work well with the client, we provide added value, and we know how to correctly communicate our differential value, we will achieve that an important part of this growth of the market translates into greater sales for The Jardinarium centers.
The organization of the spaces in the garden centers has been specialized, and sections that were previously less common have become an important value bet in many establishments, such as the Urban Garden section or the BIO feeding spaces. What do you think have been the most significant changes in recent years in the organizational structure of garden center spaces?
It is difficult to comment on the organization of the salesroom of others without knowing the reasons and the strategy that has led them to it. I could talk about the organization of rational or aspirational spaces., but it seems simpler to me, and I think the reader will find it more interesting to explain how we are doing it in Jardinarium.
Our concept has been evolving, and today we have a very consolidated commercial formula, and we believe that quite successful. All Jardinarium centers are organized in different universes (both indoors and outdoors) so that each universe is an independent commercial format and that by itself has meaning and coherence outside the garden. Moreover, we have managed to, from the entrance door to the exit door, there is a plot thread that is not lost, a coherence of assortment through the different universes that allows the client to interpret and generate ideas more easily.
To our modest understanding, we consider that our client does not come to our centers looking for an exhibition of products in a rational and orderly way (under the mindset of a professional buyer), but it comes because we are able to present you in a continuous and coordinated way (through the different universes) aspirational ideas, in which we hope that it will be inspired and that it will be able to reinterpret them, adapting it to your needs. Our goal is to convey to our client what they can do with the products we offer, both vegetable products and decoration, add-ons, or any other element that we present, where to put them, how to combine them, how to enjoy them, how to share them.
The client comes to us wanting to learn, to know more, to experience, to customize your spaces. We, as specialists, we have an obligation to provide you with this information easily and simply, in a comfortable and intuitive purchase process and, above all, satisfactory.
The commitment to innovation is one of the strengths of the central purchasing, a fundamental value for garden centers to remain competitive in an increasingly broad market. What are the latest contributions of Jardinarium in this regard?
Sincerely, I think that our great contribution is this very particular way of doing that we have described before., this 360º model. This model allows us to unite from sale to purchase, from communication to the organization of the sales room based on the selected product portfolio.
As we said before, the sales room in a Jardinarium center is organized in different universes, clearly recognizable by the customer. Our entire portfolio is organized and located in store attending to these universes. It's crazy because you're continually mixing up very different families., radically opposite periodicities and forms of purchase (from what you buy with 6 months in advance of what you bought yesterday afternoon and they serve it to you tomorrow).
This would be impossible to do if we had not built our "OWN CHECK LIST" or "SHOPPING LIST". A list that is updated every season and that serves as a check of products.
Lastly, to finish complicating it, to all this we add the different styles that we are going to work. We pursue that from the entrance of the store to the exit door there is a coherence of assortment, regardless of the universe in which we find ourselves.
Jardinarium is a regular exhibitor at Iberflora, What are the novelties that the purchasing center wants to show in the next edition of the event?
The presence of Jardinarium in Iberflora must be based and based on making known to all visitors this system of organization and work so differential. How we are building stores around this concept, the evolution of the Commercial Formula Jardinarium and the results it is giving.
In the last edition, through the mixing of real images (in large format) and the presentation of the reality about them, we try to get visitors the organization and presentation of products in a Jardinarium center. We tried that in a simple way they could imagine what their garden could be like with the Jardinarium formula.
In this year's edition, we will continue with the path started perfecting those aspects that allow us to achieve our objectives in a simpler way.
Iberflora is preparing a new, more experiential and innovative concept in 2022, Iberflora New Generation, event to work, but also to learn and have fun. What do you expect from the next edition of Iberflora?
I have read that the organization of Iberflora is working to make a more innovative and experiential fair. I understand that the committee must have its main lines and that it is developing them., and when he is clear about what they are, he will present them to the entire sector and surely they will surprise us.
For our part, we wish to return to the social Iberflora, to the meeting point of the sector, that allows us all to meet again, turn the page on the pandemic, recover the work areas that were interrupted by covid19, exchange ideas, Presentations, greetings and continue advancing in the lines of innovation that we have all been presenting in recent years
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