Stephen Lloyd MP, the Liberal Democrat member for Eastbourne with the merchants of the future.

Parker show ushers in next-generation merchants

Published:  03 July, 2012

EASTBOURNE: Parker Garden Furniture co-hosted Eastbourne's first Garden Furniture Show, an event which proved to be successful, not least for a number of apprentice and trainee staff who showed remarkable potential and learned a great deal from the experience.

The Kent and Sussex-based division of the South East independent builders merchant, Parker Building Supplies, presented the event in association with Crossland and Dudson Training and the Eastbourne Enterprise Centre.

"The latter provided an excellent venue in which to display this high end range of hand-crafted teak products, exclusively designed by world famous designers Quinze &; Milan," said financial director Stewart Pierce.

"Stephen Lloyd MP, the Liberal Democrat member for Eastbourne, was present to launch the event on Monday 25 June, and at the close on Saturday 30 June, when all the participants reflected on what had been a very successful week in more ways than just sales figures."

The show was devised as an opportunity for two promising trainees from Parkers, one post-graduate and one currently taking a university media degree, and four of the most capable apprentices from the Crossland and Dudson Apprentice Academy to gain invaluable experience in a competitive commercial field.

Following two days of intensive product training, the young team were then given the task of selecting the appropriate items to place on display, to get involved with marketing the event and designing the layout of the exhibition. "They were exposed to face-to-face interaction with the general public and rose to the challenge," Mr Pierce observed.

In addition to Parker Garden Furniture's range of seating, tables and chairs, loungers and recliners, parasols, bases and accessories, the show also saw the exclusive local launch of the new Strandkorb range of luxury garden recliners into the UK garden furniture market.

"One unexpected, but very welcome, visitor was Councillor David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, whose constituency is nearby Langney. This well-respected local character, who is now in his eighth term as a councillor and leads the Liberal Democrat group, was particularly enamoured with the Strandkorb range," said Mr Pierce.

"The Enterprise Shopping Centre is one of the most exciting places to shop in Sussex and features 58 businesses from fish to flowers all under one big glass roof. It was abuzz with enthusiastic customers and their verdict on the efforts of these impressive potential entrepreneurs seems to have been a big thumbs up."

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