From OFA to You America in Bloom (AIB) — the name brings to mind flowers, parks, the great outdoors, our country. It's simple — "Planting pride in our communities" is the main goal.AIB is organized... more »

What’s Your Reputation Quotient?

Over the last year or two, the media has been teeming with stories about the demise of major companies that, because of poor decisions, poor management, poor ethics or poor leadership have had their reputations... more »


"Defending your price point," sounds more like a duel, than a strategy. It has the same guerrilla warfare ring to it as "fighting for profitability." However, by taking the long view and working to establish... more »

What Do Consumers Want From You?

What began as a necessity is now America's second most popular hobby — gardening. According to the National Gardening Association's (NGA) 2002 study, 85 million households have a green thumb, and as baby boomers age,... more »

Trials and Tribulations of Spring 2003

Extreme weather conditions, the war with Iraq and the weakened economy are just some of the factors that were noticed this spring for garden centers across the country. For the most part, garden centers came... more »

Wrap up the Package: Cash Wraps that Work

"Next in line" (sometimes but not often followed by "please") is the most common sentence heard by consumers shopping in today's retail environment. It's no wonder that the number-one consumer complaint for American shoppers is... more »

The Overlooked Training Partner

You have made the move and introduced the power of consistent in-house training into your organization and are already reaping the benefits. It may be that you have chosen the Lawn & Garden Retailer Training... more »

Something for Nothing

It must seem like we're constantly telling you to give stuff to your customers for free and to keep spending more and more money on customer satisfaction. But this idea won't cost you too much,... more »


With the continued success of mass merchants, independent lawn and garden retailers are looking for ways to improve businesses to stand out in the industry. Whether it is through the use of technology, improvement of... more »


You know your store well, after all, you spend a lot of time in it, always trying to expand and improve your business. Every year, you focus on the problems holding you back. From store... more »

Home is Where the Party is

After the tragedy of September 11, the talk was that people were going to start staying home more, spending more money on things related to the home, and research shows that they did. Now, almost... more »

Not Again!

As I write this column, clouds are rolling in from the West for the tenth straight day of rain in metro-Chicago. We're soaked, and it's hard to get anyone motivated. Construction on the high-rise across... more »