Alexander Kremer, Executive Director, Garten-Center Kremer GmbH
The new Naturgartencenter Kremer has been open in all areas for customers at its main location in Lennestadt since 2 June. An excursion destination for the whole family has been created with the garden museum, the garden cafe and the nature walk including nature playground.
Dear Mr Kremer, how challenging was it for you and your staff to arrange such an opening in times of corona?
Kremer: We were just starting the home stretch in March. Our primary goal was the completion of a new building project, because when such a large construction site comes to a halt, the risk is very high that it will never be finished. We were then uncertain for a number of weeks whether we would be allowed or able to open. In the end we are very grateful that we both finished on schedule and had the privilege to be allowed to open, which we then did with a strong sense of responsibility.
One's own little green space has become a hub of life for many people during the crisis. What were the needs of your customers in the last weeks and months?
Kremer: Garden and green living were already the trend before corona. Dieter Kienast got to the heart of the matter years ago when he said "The garden is the last luxury of our times, because it requires that which has become most precious in our society: time, attention and space." In this respect, we are a kind of counterweight to the digitalisation of all areas of life with our offering. This trend has grown enormously in recent weeks.
spoga+gafa is this year presenting the guiding theme of "Sustainable Gardens". We now know that you are a pioneer in the implementation of sustainability concepts in the sales areas. Please give us a few examples of how you are presenting the theme in your stores?
Kremer: We attach great importance to the themes of sustainability and nature. We don't want to teach with the reopening of the Naturgartencenter, but instead entertain. We want to create experiences and be a small, green excursion destination in everyday life. Workshops, action and participation stations convey everything worth knowing about the "green" themes in the garden. It is thereby important to us that gardening in proximity with nature doesn't mean sacrifice, but is instead an asset and is fun. Our offering is not oriented to a few experts, but instead to all people. We therefore promote a cheerful and playful approach to the theme of the "nature garden".
We look forward to your visit in September. What do you and your colleagues pay special attention to on our fair grounds?
Kremer: We look forward to the personal exchange with our partners and the presentation of new products and innovations at spoga+gafa. As a nature garden centre, we are very curious about the POS Green Solution Islands, which deal with the theme of 'Nearly natural gardens - Outdoor living', among others. We are also interested in the current trends for the design of outdoor areas in the context of the Outdoor Furniture and Decoration trend show, as well as in the startup companies with their innovative ideas and sustainable solutions for the future of the "digital garden".
Dear Mr Kremer, thank you for your time. We look forward to being able to welcome you to spoga+gafa in Cologne from 6 to 8 September 2020.