Holland Hydroponics in Flint, North Wales opened its doors nearly 3 years ago during May 2013, located on the A458, its easily accessible from the North Wales artery road, the A55. Store manager Russ took on this new role during April 2015, now he’s had time to settle in, we thought it was about time we had a chat about life in Flint, popular products and what the future holds for the hydroponic industry.
Hi Russ, firstly tell us how long have you been the manager of the Flint store?
I’ve been the manager at Holland Hydroponics for around 9 months, but I’ve been working in the hydroponics industry for approximately 10 years and have extensive knowledge of hydroponic systems, nutrient ranges and full system set ups! Any problem I’m your guy!
Who else works at Flint to help you with the day-to-day running?
Working with me here are my supervisor Debra, and sales assistant Linda, who are both very pleasant, polite and helpful, either on the phone or in store and also have knowledge of our in store products and services.
Compared to Manchester, Flint is a relatively small store, meaning you can’t physically carry as much stock, so how does this affect the customer and can special orders me made for anything you don’t generally hold?
At Flint, we stock the essentials and basic needs of today’s grower plus we’re able to accommodate for larger set ups as we supply a wide product range, plus anything we don’t have, we can get for you, usually within a couple of days, so if we haven’t got it, we will get it!!!!! We also have regular discount days, only recently we had a 10% off on the Valentines weekend, so there are always bargains on offer!
Although based in North Wales, do customers travel from out of the area, for example Chester, the Wirral or further a field?
Even though we are based in North Wales, we do get a lot of our customers travelling from Cheshire, Wirral, even South Wales, and sometimes further afield. We are seeing many returning faces and building a fantastic customer base that goes to show our expertise and commitment to the trade. We also price match these area’s too so we can compete with your usual grow shop.
What are your opening times, also what parking and customer loading facilities do you have?
At Flint we are open:
Monday to Saturday - 10am to 5.30pm
Sunday - 11am to 4pm
We are only closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday!!!!! Yes, we work hard!
There is also ample parking spaces at the front of the shop, plus we have a rear car park with a loading bay area for collecting those larger orders.
Soil or Coco, what’s the more popular method of growing to the Flint customers?
Soil or coco???? This is one of the big questions we get. We find it’s a personal preference, with both mediums having their pros and cons, but coco seems to be the winner around here, soil however is catching up fast.
What about hydroponics, do you have customers who prefer to grow in water and what are the more popular systems?
There does seem to be rise in the use of hydroponic systems with the customers in Flint and I’d say IWS and Wilma systems are currently the most popular choice.
The choice of which nutrients to use can, at times, be a regional thing, what’s popular in Manchester, may not be in Sheffield, so what would you say are the more popular base nutrients and supplements to the customers of Flint?
Here in North Wales, we find that Canna and the new Shogun range of nutrients are the more popular choices. Holland’s are one of the few authorised dealers of Shogun Fertilisers in Wales, we find its selling really well and we’re getting some amazing feedback on its results. Dutch Pro is another popular choice with the customers in Flint and we also receive wonderful support from the sales reps too.
Hydroponics can be confusing for first timers with different grow systems, lights, tents, the list goes on, so for someone starting out for the very first time, what set up, grow medium and nutrients would you recommend if they had a £500 budget?
Starting up a grow system for the first time can be confusing, but here we can give you all the advice you need, with helpful tips on how to work within a budget, yet still get great results. Recommended would be our BAY6 complete starter kit, which includes all the essentials for a decent set up such as a Grow Tent, HPS lighting system, Intake and Extraction fan, Carbon Filter, plus other bits and bobs. This starts at £199 for a 1.2 x 1.2 x 2m tent bundle and is an ideal size for a first timer. The only decision to then make is what grow medium and nutrient range will be used, which we can discuss with the customer and tailor the choice to their experience and requirements.
And finally, what product or products do you see having the biggest impact on the hydroponics industry over the next 12 months?
In the next twelve months, we at Flint think that LED Grow Lights are going to be having a big impact on the hydroponics industry. Prices are coming down, there is more choice of brands, more information available and high quality products on the market. The feedback we have been hearing is all positive. We currently have on display a KIND LED which is proving very popular t not only Flint, but at all the stores, along with the well-known Budmaster range. As I mentioned we’re open every day so pop in for a nosey, we can give demonstrations and can talk you through both old and new products.
Holland Hydroponics Flint is located at Unit 1 Flint Trade Park, Holywell Road, CH6 5RR and can be contacted by phone on 0161 276 9633. If you've yet to visit the store, you can check out a 360 degree virtual tour below: