May 2016
Start Me Up By John Johnston

These tips aim to increase transaction averages by maximizing different spaces throughout the garden center with add-on products.

This song by the legendary Rolling Stones is a reminder to think spring! Spring is here. Easter is behind us now and Mother’s Day is hot on its heels.

Customers are beginning to work outside in their yards and gardens. With a range of plant material available to consumers at this point, just about anything can be positioned at the register checkouts.

Color sells and excites everyone right now. Fashionable products, garden gifts, baskets … whatever looks seasonal and eye-catching can be there.

On average, eight out of every 10 sales transactions during the second quarter of sales (April, May and June) involve a plant sale.

Are you making the most of your display opportunities near your checkouts?

Many retailers don’t, but it’s not too late to make a change — and make a difference in sales — with targeted displays that correlate with what’s already in customers’ carts.

Truth in Numbers

Besides your entrances and exits, more traffic flows through the registers than anywhere else in your store.

There’s big potential here!

How it converts to sales, well … that takes some planning.

This area is part of what’s considered “seasonal flex” display space. Focus these displays on items that are seasonal, targeted (independent-only brands), media-driven or new.

StartMeUpGranted, there are lots of products to consider and we can’t put them all at the registers (although some retailers will attempt to!), so we must be selective.

“Create awareness and simplify choices” is your mantra.

National experts make a one- or two-product display in the highest trafficked aisles exiting their stores. Why?

Consumers are in a hurry and they are adjusting to today’s lifestyles and speed of shopping (exiting).

Streamline your selections for what your customers need for planting.

Plants Need Food

This is one area wherein YOUR recommendation helps guide customer selections.

Unless you are selling the known leaders in our industry, e.g., Miracle Gro, your product selections should be tailored to your brand and your choice for extra profits.

If your operation uses products like Jack’s Classic fertilizers, Espoma BioTone or Osmocote, recommend using these available retail products for customer success.

Nothing beats selling these next to the plants in the greenhouse — the first point of decision.

Many retailers don’t want to clutter up tables with retail products. Understood!

Try a sign that states, “We recommend,” include a photo, and indicate that this (targeted) product is available at your registers for their convenience.

Plants Need Water

It can be as simple as putting plastic 2-gallon watering cans on an endcap for $7.99. Does anyone really know the product value of this item?

Pair them with your favorite water- soluble fertilizer; you might just add another $15 to your transaction.

When the temperature heats up outside, promote three or four styles of water nozzles.

The popular Dramm water wands or their water nozzles paired with a quality garden hose (typically 50-foot length) can trigger the impulse to buy.

Such simple, effective targeting to customers could add as much as $30 to $50 to the transaction!

Plants Need Accessories

Numerous possibilities exist for register displays, but one very easy option to capitalize on is trowels, transplanters and gloves.

Don’t feature just cheap plastic types; offer a choice for comfort, quality and composition type (e.g., metal versus plastic handle).

Older customers often prioritize ergonomics and strength over price objections.

Another key accessory is soil. No need to place this at the registers, but it is the number-one selling SKU besides the plant itself in garden centers.

Try displaying a pallet or two near return paths, outside doorway returns from the nursery to the registers inside. Position another pallet next to your pottery displays or seed racks for extra sales opportunities.

Plants Need Protection

Repellents is one category that can be successfully promoted all year long!

Hungry deer and rabbits are eyeing plants with tender growth just planted in the yard.

Reinforce the need for consumers to protect their investment by placing repellents on the plant benches.

Feature repellents at registers and return paths from the greenhouse, and watch transaction averages increase by $15 to $20 when promoted by good signage and encouraged staff awareness.

With temperatures warming and puddles shrinking, sales and customer counts are starting to increase weekly. Cabin fever is everywhere.

Take full advantage of it by maximizing your sales opportunities at the checkouts and watch your profits soar!

John Johnston

John Johnston is retail education manager for Griffin Greenhouse Supplies. He can be reached at [email protected]


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