April 2007
Rewarding Creativity Among Us By Catherine Evans

What are you the best at? How do you make your merchandise especially appealing to every person that walks into your store? How creative is your staff? Well, coming from the great experiences of visiting so many of your stores, I would say that garden centers do a great job at visual displays. Because you do this so well, we have developed an award just for you.

Lawn & Garden Retailer’s Merchandiser Of The Year Award

This month we are launching Lawn & Garden Retailer’s Merchandiser of the Year Award. We asked for independent garden centers to submit their best-merchandised displays, and boy, did we get some nice ones. The next step is the fun part. We have narrowed the selection down to three finalists, and we will be announcing those finalists in the next several months in no particular order, with this issue being the first announcement (see page 20 for finalist number one).

The best part is you get to pick the winner. We are going to be asking you, the reader, to decide which one of the three finalists should win Lawn & Garden Retailer’s Merchandiser of the Year Award, which will be announced in early 2008. Since you are the creative ones and are always looking for the best ways to make your stores look great, we want your vote. The garden center with the most votes wins the award. Look for the other upcoming finalists (in the June and August issues) so you can prepare your vote.

Remember, this will be an annual event, so make sure that this spring, summer, fall and winter you get some good photos of your best-merchandised displays to submit for next year’s award.

The National Hardware Show

Speaking of annual events, it is time for the National Hardware Show (NHS), May 8-10, 2007, in Orlando, Fla. This year Lawn & Garden Retailer is the official sponsor of Lawn & Garden World at the show.

“We are thrilled to have Lawn & Garden Retailer as our partner for the 2007 Lawn & Garden World,” said Rob Cappiello, industry vice president, NHS. “Lawn & Garden World, together with Lawn & Garden Retailer, will help the independent retailer enhance their businesses through insight, trends, new unique products and the latest business information to stay on top.”

The National Hardware Show, along with the co-located Gourmet Housewares Show, currently attracts more than 750 housewares retailers, according to the NHS. Lawn & Garden World should have more than 1,000 exhibitors.

This year’s show features a number of new things, including the debut of the Homewares Show, which was developed in response to top retailers’ growing sales in the housewares category, and a category that features bringing the indoors out, which is important because today’s consumers want to furnish and decorate the outdoors with as much care as they do their indoor spaces. There will be a number of items featured this year that include front yard landscaping, container gardening, new-and-improved decks and patios, exterior lighting, outdoor fireplaces, garden pavilions and gazebos, and sight- and sound-enhanced fountains.

Those are just a few of the new and exciting things that you will be seeing at the National Hardware Show this year. For more details about the show, visit www.nationalhardwareshow.com and make sure to stop by the Lawn & Garden Retailer booth to say hi!








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