Retail Business Improvement Scheme

Started in the 1980’s, HTAs Business Improvement schemes have helped many members to grow and improve their business over the years. It’s aimed at retailers with a turnover of less than £2m - and many members turn over less than this – but there are no restrictions on size or scale of business.

Group members work closely with each other and with a specialist Garden Industry consultant to share experiences to solve problems; identify potential product winners and losers and often ask for advice on how to make significant changes to their business.  A regular and popular feature of every meeting is a round table review of recent trade including a discussion on what is selling well and what is not. As part of this discussion they will, confidentially, share data about their business

There are currently 5 HTA Retail Business Improvement Schemes around the country, working with garden retailers of various turnovers and stages of development. They meet up to 6 times a year. If you want to try before you join, the first meeting is always free of charge.  Download the BIS code of conduct


Download the case study to find out more about RBIS, and how Lyonshall Nurseries have benefitted from their membership.


Retail Development Forum

The HTA Retail Development Forum (RDF) is aimed at garden retailers with higher turnover. Typically, these are businesses with a turnover of £2m, or approaching that figure. More important than turnover is the mind-set of the business principals - that they want their business to grow and to really succeed. There’s some overlap with RBIS – and some members join both!

RDF was launched with the primary objective of embedding leading edge approaches to retail into participating garden centres. To achieve this, participating members come together to share information, discuss innovative ideas and learn from leading business consultants from inside and outside the garden industry. The Meeting content is more strategic in nature, looking at management issues as well as inviting external speakers to add value to the meetings.

There is 1 group in the UK, running as a National Group, facilitated by Andy Campbell.  To make the most of the membership, members will travel between Dorset and Yorkshire; Wales and Norfolk. The group meets 4 times a year, with off-site meetings and visits to member businesses. The group works to a schedule of topics discussed with group members well in advance and members can influence what topics are to be discussed. Download the RDF code of conduct