Articles

February 2017
Complementary Business

Chicago is a prime location for hundreds of unique retailers, and I find myself lucky to get to explore them on a regular basis. One of my favorite places to set up shop for getting... more »

February 2017
Brewing Garden Center Success

Husband-and-wife team Amanda and Pat Weakland started their first horticulture adventure together with the opening of a mobile greenhouse in 1991. Their history in the industry, however, dates back before then. Pat is a third-generation... more »

February 2017
The Tech Advantage

Technology is changing the world around us at an alarming rate. Companies who embrace technology like Airbnb and Netflix are thriving. Other companies like Panera Bread and McDonald’s are improving their relevance with technology. And... more »

February 2017
12 Months of Eco-Friendly Sales Goals

How many eco-conscious shoppers do you encounter in your garden center daily? This is still a hugely untapped market when talking about everyday sales encounters and should really be considered a viable business strategy, not... more »

February 2017
Using Scientific Research to Sell More Wild Bird Products

Over the past decade, numerous studies on the science of wild bird feeding have yielded results that can be used by independent retailers to sell consumers products that will attract more birds that consume more... more »

February 2017
The Benefits of the Garden

In the spring of 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 49. I spent the rest of the year in surgery and treatment, and then began a multi-year process of recovery and healing.... more »

February 2017
Green Beyond Christmas

A few quick Google searches will produce a plethora of articles on the trendiness of “green living” in home and garden design. In fact, maybe you are totally on this bandwagon when it comes to... more »

February 2017
Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

We’ve all been there. The middle of spring. The lot is packed with shoppers. More customers than staff to help them. And it seems like the only person that can answer customers’ questions is you.... more »

February 2017
Mind Your P’s and E’s!

I’ve always been an ardent admirer of the Midshipmen, the football team of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Every single student is on a full academic scholarship (there are no athletic scholarships at... more »

February 2017
Outside the Vines: Customer Service is Key

Independent retailers constantly search for what will set them apart from big box stores as well as other retailers. The answer is sometimes as simple as providing great customer service, says Peter Berman, owner of... more »

January 2017
Let Me Introduce You

"Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” This quote from Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of my absolute favorites. Walking around with this mentality is what makes you introduce yourself to... more »

January 2017
Think Bigger About Your Edibles

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, it’s clear that the state of the edibles market is exploding. And the demand for fresh, local food has further ignited this trend... more »


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