Haskins strive to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Haskins operate 5 of the largest destination centres in the UK. With 60,000 customers visiting their stores each week.


Ferndown in Dorset, UK


Lifestyle & Garden

Annual Revenue:

£31 million

Number of Employees:



Lengthy promotional cycles and lack of compliance & audit control


NetTickIT enables Haskins to implement in-store promotions within hours. Store processes are simplified and full compliance and version control is provided. The automation reduces the amount of labour hours required, enabling staff to deliver exceptional customer service.

Haskins promote value to customers

Haskins operate 5 of the largest destination garden centres in the UK and have up to 60,000 customers through their doors each week so adding value to customers is very important to them. As a result they are always looking for ways to make things even better for customers and easier for staff.

As part of this ongoing mission Haskins identified that the process of creating, managing and using signage across the centres needed to be reviewed. As Lisa Looker, Director of Marketing, pointed out, “we soon realised that there was an opportunity to make our signage much better for customers, easier for staff to manage and to reduce costs – so the signage project became a high priority”.

The front to back review of signage discovered that the costs of the existing processes were increasing and the large amount of manual involvement also meant that it took too long to produce new signage. Haskins wanted to move from the conventional 8 week promotion cycle used in retail to something much more flexible with ability to make changes and introduce new offers easily and quickly.

By reviewing the whole signage process Haskins also identified that it often took a long time to find the right piece of existing signage because there was no system of indexing or version control. It agreed to invest in a new signage system that included a full compliance and audit process to ensure that in future only correct signage was deployed.

The Solution

Ever since Haskins were founded in 1882 they have been well known for their innovative and inventive approach to garden retailing so not surprisingly they looked for an advanced IT solution. Julian Winfield, Haskins CEO said, “we have always invested in technology to improve processes and like Waitrose and Robert Dyas we selected Pierhouse and their NetTickIT signage software to improve our whole signage process.”

NetTickIT enables Haskins to create, deploy and manage new signage rapidly. All signage from everyday lines and special buys to offers and discounts can be created and fully deployed in hours. It will also allow Haskins to highlight in their signage the added value that they offer such as plant guarantees and high levels of expertise to ensure that customer get the quality products that best meets their needs.

The new system is highly automated with every step tracked in a database with the ability to produce management reports. In addition to ensuring full compliance and auditing NetTickIT ensures that only the most current version of any signage is used and any damaged or missing signage takes just a few minutes to reprint.

What Next?

By only working in retail Pierhouse has the expertise in signage and are helping Haskins remove one of the most frustrating jobs in any garden centre – laminating 50% of the signage so that it can be used outside. In future Haskins plan to print these signs themselves on special plastic recommended by Pierhouse and the laminating machines will be made redundant. The £7,000 saving just on the laminating pouches will be useful too!

The next stage in the project will be to produce shelf edge labels using the NetTickIT software. As well as speeding up the whole process this will enable Haskins to provide even more value added information to their customers as well as making life easier for their staff so they can spend more time doing what they do best – advising customers.

“We have always invested in technology to improve processes and like Waitrose and Robert Dyas we selected Pierhouse and their NetTickIT signage software to improve our whole signage process.”

Julian Winfield, CEO, Haskins

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