Interiorscaping: Using Living Décor in the Off-Season

As the outdoor gardening season slowly winds down, your customers may think they have to hang up their trowels and pruning shears until next spring. Not so. Show your loyal green thumbs a way to... more »

Catering to your Christmas Consumer

With the growth of mass retailers and chain stores, the competition for Christmas merchandise dollars can seem daunting for an independent garden center (IGC). Although there has been a bit of a downward trend in... more »

Visualizing Christmas

Visual merchandising gets a great deal of attention during the Christmas season, a period in which stores claim to make 50 percent of their sales and 75 percent of their profit. Merchandise and decorating plans... more »

Are Your Restrooms Working For You?

Space is precious for garden centers. The more products and displays customers see, the more likely they will be to make purchases, which means every available store space needs to be used. While it may... more »

It’s the Time of the Season

Summertime in this industry is one of my favorite times of year because it is garden center tour time. This year, the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and Garden Centers of America (GCA) once... more »

The Impact Of Display Structures On Consumer Purchasing Behavior

You want consumers in your store. A new study on how consumers make their gardening purchases from display structures might help you find new ways to increase sales. Over the past five years, Florida retail... more »

Merchandiser Of The Year Finalist – Village Green Home & Garden

When I walked into Village Green Home & Garden, Rockford, Ill., for the first time last November, I was amazed. The store was beautifully decorated with many inventive displays, wonderful design ideas and great color... more »

How Do Our Customers Behave?

Do we really know our customers? Retailing today is becoming more and more of a science. Consultants monitor shoppers from the point they enter a stores until they leave, noting and analyzing every action. There... more »

Making An Old Garden Center New

Rocks weighed down the first floral arrangement that left H.J. Benken Florist in 1939 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The flowers came from my grandparents' greenhouse and beds. The rocks did, too. Harry and Johanna Benken, second-generation... more »

Boost Sales With Live Creatures

There's something mesmerizing about sitting next to a pond full of fish and watching them glide effortlessly through the water or seeing a turtle sitting lazily on a piece of wood just soaking up the... more »

Seductive Sensory Surroundings

It's hard to believe most sellers of plants and flowers can't find the time to make their products and the surroundings that house them as romantically desirable as the product (and sales space) demands. It's... more »

Surprising Uses For Terra Cotta Pots

Terra cotta pots are a great low-cost container option that most garden centers carry, but customers aren't breaking down retailers' doors trying to buy these basic gardening staples. Get consumers excited about terra cotta again... more »


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