A Collaborative Approach
This industry is nothing if not collaborative. At various events, I’ve seen IGC owners and operators talking to peers to share ideas and successes, and even pass along supplier names for products that are in short supply in different regions. You all know each other, like each other and want each other to succeed.
The current COVID situation has only strengthened that bond. Whether it’s in Facebook groups or privately, IGCs are reaching out to each other to share tips and ideas.
To that end, I reached out to a few IGCs as well to find out how they are dealing with the current situation (I’m reluctant to call it “the new normal” since there’s just so much not normal about how things are going — and I expect great changes before this is all over) and what others store can learn from them.
Several of you responded with some innovative ideas — staff shirts printed to read “If you can read this, you’re too close” on the front as a reminder to all to be aware of distancing rules; rebuilt websites for online sales; and even the young plant producer that decided to join the retail game with their own retail outlet. Don’t worry, local IGCs — they’re not planning to compete with full-scale independent garden centers; they dubbed it a “retail garden outlet” because it’s simply meant as an outlet for their products. Find these ideas and more here.
The current situation is also forcing IGCs to develop new digital strategies to communicate with their customers. Here, Proven Winners’ Jessica DeGraaf
and Meghan Owens share tips on how IGCs can enhance their digital presence.
Speaking of marketing, columnist Stan Pohmer has some ideas in this issue about how retailers should tailor their value proposition message. “Ideally, if you’re truly honest with your assessment, you should have identified at least one, and possibly two or three, that you exceed expectations on, and on most of the others you meet expectations,” he writes. Click here to read more.
Also in This Issue
While a trip down the coast just wasn’t in the cards
this year for the 2020 California Spring Trials, green
goods editor Jasmina Dolce provided the next-best
thing — a pretty photo tour of some of her favorite new