January 2012
Get In Their Faces By Pete Mihalek

Plants aren’t going anywhere. Make plans to exploit them. They won’t mind and neither will your customers.

Take away your plants, bags of mulch and shelves of fertilizer — what you’re left with might resemble a stripped down Pier 1 Imports or Hallmark store. And who needs another one of those?

Plants and the products that help keep them alive are the foundation of this beautiful industry we’re in.

To put it plainly: Plants are the ultimate eco-friendly product. Plants keep us alive. Plants clean the air. Plants bring beautiful color and fragrance into our lives. Plants help raise property values. There’s plenty of research out there to prove any and all of these claims.

None of this is new information. And that’s a point of contention with me. We’re sitting on a gold mine of necessary, life-improving products. How come we’re not hitting our customers over the heads with all of this awesome proof we have?

Sure, no one likes a braggart in the sports world, but I think there’s plenty of room for it in the garden center.

There’s nothing wrong with being proud, especially when it’s tied directly to getting them outside and improving their quality of life in some shape or form.

I beg of you, don’t sit back in 2012, hoping your customers take the time to read the small, informative signs you have peppered throughout the store. Don’t wait until seminar Saturday to spread the word.

Instead, make bold banners. Add it to a sales pitch. Get on your speaker system once an hour and share a beneficial fact about plants that might blow their mind. Get in their face. Shout it from the rooftop. Educate.

Plants aren’t going anywhere. Make plans to exploit them. They won’t mind and neither will your customers.

Going Eco-Steady

Recycle? It’s 2012 — of course you do.

Think about it…the public’s awareness about being earth-friendly continues to grow with each passing day.

Customers now come in with an agenda and a preference. They say: “Well, I’d prefer that it be organic.” Going greener is no longer the annoying little brother that you’ll sometimes pay attention to. Eco-friendly products, practices and lifestyles are now a fundamental part of our daily routine.

In this issue of Lawn & Garden Retailer, you’ll find it’s bound by an eco-friendly thread from front to back. This “green” issue is loaded with pointers, products and points of inspiration prior to Earth Day and prior to the spring rush. It just makes sense to address this category early and while you have the time to make it a part of your plans.


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