January 2017
Let Me Introduce You By Abby Kleckler

“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 a stranger, gets you talking to your server at a restaurant or encourages you to strike up a conversation with the person next to you on a plane.

I’d even say the idea that everyone knows something you don’t is what gets you to pick up this magazine each month. You want to discover something or learn something that’s new to you or could be new to your business.

To begin 2017 I want to introduce you to a handful of new members to the Lawn & Garden Retailer Editorial Advisory Board. These are just nine of the individuals whose new ideas and opinions I’ve come to value over the past few years.

They represent garden centers from all over the U.S. as well as some seasoned industry consultants.

What better New Year’s question to ask them than: “What are you most looking forward to in your garden center or in the industry in 2017?”

I’d like to share a few of their responses.

New Year, New Plan

“Time, money and creativity are the resources at hand. The first two are finite. The third is a rich wellspring that fuels differentiation,” said Lisa LeFevre of Distinctive Gardens. “We look forward to harnessing creativity in 2017. And ratchet up our business hometown footprint. The time is now to leverage creativity and technology. And contribute more effectively to the local economy in a sustainable and community- centric fashion.”

Many of your customers live and breathe the community that they’re a part of, and as an independent business, you can leverage this.

I couldn’t help but make the connection of Lisa’s comment to some of the garden centers that are involving many parts of their communities in edibles events and programs, which you can read about on page 14.

Bob Wasson of Wasson Nursery echoed a similar goal for 2017 to “make shopping more of an experience rather than a transaction through activities and community-oriented events,” and also to “better engage with our customers via social media and live videos.”

There are so many facets to technology, many of which have become much more accessible to independents. Kate Terrell mentioned technology upgrades as just one of the most-anticipated changes at Wallace’s Garden Center.

“I am most looking forward to changing things up and improving over last year,” she said. “Specifically, we have a new assistant grower, an adjusted marketing plan, a change in gift card and credit card processors/ equipment, and some updated goals for production and sales.”

Flip to page 64 to read about how technology can ultimately help with the top priority of reaching customers in a way they respond to.

The last person I want to introduce you to is Christina Salwitz, known as The Personal Garden Coach (among other titles).

In 2017, she’s most looking forward to “taking a closer look at what Europe is doing with merchandising as well as how our industry is talking to gardeners of all interest levels from the fans of ‘easy maintenance’ to those deeply interested in sustainability, drought tolerance and container gardening.”

Flip to page 94 to learn about our newest columnist, who you’ll be able to connect with each issue.

I can’t wait to hear what you’re looking forward to most in 2017.

Abby Kleckler

Abby is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected]


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