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 »

Welcoming Potential Customers

Attracting new customers. It's an on-going problem for any retailer, lawn and garden retailers included. Especially if you've been in an area a long time, it's easy to get into the mindset that everyone knows... more »

Atrium Garden Center:

After getting through 3 feet of frost and a seven-month-long construction project, retail and nursery owner, Tim James and his wife Diane opened the newly renovated and renamed Atrium Garden Center on April 4, 2003.... more »

Is Your Team Costing You?

How often have you read articles in the press about the big box store retailers becoming the garden retail category killers and closing independent garden centers as they increase their market share? Yes, it is... more »


From OFA to You - By Joe Boarini Joe Boarini is president of OFA and Grande Greenhouse Inc., Indianapolis, Ind. He can be reached by phone at (317) 271-4446 or E-mail at [email protected] and the... more »

Can selling water gardens be profitable?

Nine years ago, I debated whether I should handle more water gardening products — at least more than five pumps, two pillbox-size filters, two liners and a few other miscellaneous products. Some of my garden... more »

The Invaluable Training Coordinator

One person can make a difference! Before you embark on a long-term training program, consider enlisting a training coordinator, other than yourself, from your team. The person should be motivated to help others and want... more »

To Be or Not To Be

How often do customers come into your garden center strictly for a gift? Not as often as you'd like I'm sure. Your customers probably come in for their garden needs and happen to pass by... more »