February 2018
You Don’t Get a Second Chance

Here in Minnesota, winters are long and arduous. Sure, we still go out and play in the snow and on the ice, enjoying all sorts of winter sports. And, despite the snow and cold, people... more »

January 2018
A New Beginning

January, the dawn of a new year, is an opportunity to look back on 2017, processing what went right and what went wrong, identifying lessons learned and then looking forward with anticipation to the clean... more »

November/December 2017
Create Some Magic

When I ask independent retailers what their trade area radius is I often receive blank stares. Why is this important? Frankly, the more I try to understand, the more perplexed I become, sometimes to the... more »

September/October 2017
Right in Front of Your Eyes

In the wide world of retail, garden centers are truly unique. Though other product categories and industries have seasonal peaks where a disproportionate percentage of their sales occur (think toys at Christmas or formal wear... more »

August 2017
Words Matter …

I’ve been studying the retail marketplace and consumer thinking and behavior for many years in an effort to understand the way our industry thinks and responds to an ever-dynamic and changing competitive environment. Frankly, the... more »

July 2017
To Better Serve the Customer …

People in our industry are extremely fortunate to be able to work every day with products ... plants, trees, flowers and supporting hardlines categories ... that they truly love being involved with. Maybe it’s the... more »

June 2017
Learn From the Mistakes of Others

Allow me to set the stage for this month’s discussion ... It is often recommended that, to gain insight into what makes some companies exceptionally successful or what unique traits the leaders of these companies... more »

May 2017
Controlling the Customer Experience

It’s a very rare occasion when I can walk into a retail establishment of any kind and feel and experience a strong enough emotional connection that entices me to want to commit two of my... more »

April 2017
Listen, Learn and Improve

We all know that the key to keeping customers loyal over the long haul isn’t just about having good or even great products; there are other retailers, both brick and mortar and online, that can... more »

March 2017
It’s OK to Fail ( … a Little)!

Small businesses are always looking for competitive advantages over their major competitors. And it’s getting tougher to find these. In many cases, the products in both their assortments come from the same suppliers, the service... 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 »

January 2017
What’s Your Firewall?

Traditional brick and mortar retail as a standalone strategy is under severe challenge. Think about some of the recent/ current events that demonstrate this: • Macy’s announced it is closing over 100 stores within the... more »


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