All-Season Container Gardening Department

Container gardening continues to be the most promising product for both profits and branding for the independent garden center. A classic marketing opportunity, container gardening can increase: the number of customers shopping in a garden... more »

Green Goods: Bulbs…More than Just Spring

In the American Midwest, Northeast and areas with similar climates, the great majority of tulip, daffodil, crocus and hyacinth bulbs fill the months of April and May with glorious color and sweetness after our long,... more »

Lawn & Garden Retailer Headlines

2005 Retail Forecast The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently revised its 2005 sales forecast based on the inclusion of new merchandise categories (food and beverage stores, building materials and garden equipment stores, health and personal... more »

Dead armadillos…

Consumers can usually be relied on to "shop 'til they drop." This was one of the primary drivers of the economic recovery we saw in 2003-2004. In fact, the 7-percent surge in sales in 2004... more »

Closed for Profit

Spring — the sound of registers ringing, customers questioning and shopping carts rolling. And then there's fall and winter — for some of you the same sounds can be heard, but for others of you,... more »

ABC’s of Sign Making… the Digital Way

Most everyone would agree that an excellent way to increase your retail sales is by creating customer awareness through promotions and marketing. While many store owners have already developed extensive advertising programs, they often overlook... more »

Exploit Your Differences

Home stores and mass merchants provide stiff competition for independent retailers in virtually all categories. The "boxes" have become experts at transaction selling, providing low-cost and convenient product solution, and processing hordes of customers. Now,... more »

Adding a New Station

Back in high school, I worked at a neighborhood pharmacy afternoons and weekends. One of my responsibilities was keeping the vast display of greeting cards clean, neat and stocked. Thinking back on that experience, even... more »

Building Birding Success

Niche, niche, niche — are you sick of hearing that word yet? It seems like all we have been hearing lately is that you need a niche to stay in "competition" with the big boxes.... more »

Who Are Your Einsteins?

I was recently working with a garden center owner on a strategic repositioning. Since it was his fiscal year end, he was in the process of giving annual performance reviews to employees, and he asked... more »

Adding the Feminine Touch

Within the past several years, green industry experts have been drilling it into your heads that your main customers are women, and you need to cater to them specifically because they are the main purchasers... more »

Looking for Linens

The linen market is like no other we have covered thus far in "Developing Markets." For this one, there should be a sign that reads "Caution: Use baby steps." The reason I say baby steps... more »


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