Garden Centers Respond to Coronavirus
As state and local communities expand closing schools, government offices and “non-essential” businesses, independent garden centers are grappling with how to proceed — close? Reduce hours? Offer pickup of phoned-in orders?
Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf’s office defines these as public-facing industries such as recreation facilities, salons/spas, theaters, etc. [Update 3/18/20 Gov. Wolf’s office has reportedly clarified their definition of what Pennsylvania will consider as “essential”:
Essential businesses for a safe and accessible food supply include farms, greenhouses and vegetable plants, orchards, pest management services, feed mills and ag supply businesses, agriculture equipment sales and services, animal feed and supply distribution network, transportation system from farm to retail, food and meat processors and manufacturers, veterinary services and supplies, distribution and transportation system from processors and manufacturers to retailers, retailers to include grocery stores and farmers markets, grocery delivery services, laboratories, and inspectors that ensure food safety.
Here’s a link to the announcement:
The message “Gardening is not cancelled” has popped up several times on Facebook, as well as several stores announcing reduced hours and offering delivery or curbside pickup.
Garden Centers of America posted a statement on Coronavirus on their Facebook page on March 16:
GCA Statement on Coronavirus & Garden Centers:
The Coronavirus emergency is certainly a very fluid situation, seemingly changing daily. It sounds like many of you already have a plan for stepped-up cleaning of your stores and things like hand sanitizers available for customer use in your store. This should ease their concerns. A local grocery store, for example, announced they are closing two hours early each evening to allow a “deep cleaning” of their store every day — an interesting response.
In terms of data you pass along to customers, GCA would advise caution. Let’s face it, none of us are medical experts, and you wouldn’t want to say anything that could be misunderstood. We suggest you provide links to the widely available state and federal websites such as CDC, Department of Homeland Security, and others.
GCA officially endorses this proclamation by the National Retail Federation:
Links national and international sites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
And Here list of links
World Health Organization
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
Department of Homeland Security
Danny Summers, managing director of The Garden Center Group, wants IGCs to remember that “Food is essential. Home gardening is essential. Your local garden center is essential.”
How IGCs are Addressing the Coronavirus
Many IGCs have sent email messages with countdowns to spring and encouraging the myriad benefits of gardening, especially during uncertain times, as well as information about reduced or changed hours and enhanced cleaning practices that stores have implemented.
Garden centers can also remind their customers by emails and in social media posts that if shopping in person is not available or desired, gift cards or certificates can be purchased over the phone. In addition, asking followers to like and share their social media posts can be beneficial. Even a one- or two-sentence post reminding followers that your store is open can help bring in customers.
Here’s a sampling of what some IGCs have posted recently:
Gardening hasn’t been canceled (yet)…
For those asking — we are still open for all your gardening and decor needs!
Don’t let #socialdistancing get you down… it’s time to #GetGrowin! 🌞 As the weather improves, let’s go outside and start working in our gardens and landscape beds. The sunshine will help boost your mood, raking and shoveling will count as your workout, and it is a great excuse to get out of the house and out to fresh air for a few hours. 🏡
We know that this is a stressful time for everyone. We are taking all precautions for our staff and customer’s safety.
Being around plants and being outdoors does help reduce stress levels.
Come walk around our outdoor lot to take in the beauty and fresh air to reduce those stresses.
As a reminder, we do offer a delivery service and curbside pickup. Just give us a call 615-662-8849.
Dickman Farms is honored to provide you with a positive environment that fosters a life of health and wellness through the benefits of living with plants. All of us at Dickman Farms look forward to sharing our passion for plants with you, your family, and friends.
The Garden Center is Open. For a complete listing of store hours, please visit https://www.dickmanfarms.com/garden-center/store-hours
Love Where You Live
To all of our Down to Earth family:
In time like these it is essential to take a step back and remind yourself that things are going to be OK. We are in this together and we can all support each other while we go through challenging times. Spring is still going to Spring, tulips are going to bloom and it will still be planting time soon!
We as a team, have taken every precaution possible to keep all common contact areas sanitized on a regular basis and have hand sanitizer available in all departments. Who wouldn’t want to stop by a greenhouse right now to take in all the fresh air and enjoy that great smell?!? Did you know that sun and humidity can help prevent the symptoms of the flu? We also encourage you to grab an extra indoor plant or ten while you are here, they can help clean the air in your home and also improve the overall mood of the home.
With the closure of schools for the coming weeks, we are working on a new series called “A little dirt never hurt” for school age children. We want to provide a safe place for you to get out of the house and enjoy the greenhouses with your kids. More details will be coming early this week on this program.
Also, don’t forget to visit other local small businesses right now, all of them depend on your support, especially during these times. In effort to promote shopping local, we are offering 10% off your entire purchase through the rest of March when you bring in a receipt from another local small business. We all depend on each other. If you are not able to stop by in person, consider purchasing gift cards online from your favorite local retailers to use later this Spring.
At the end of the day, it is up to you on how you chose to react to things. Chose to be positive, encourage others, and be a light in our community. Down to Earth is committed to staying open during this whole process to be that place you can come to escape and be HAPPY! We will see you soon.
Hello! We just wanted to inform you that as the COVID-19 virus continues to be a concern, we will remain open to the public as long as it is safe to do so. While you’re home and getting your spring cleaning started 😉, stop in to see our new home decor items that are coming in every day! The new decorating ideas seem to involve, but aren’t limited to, buzzy bumble bees 🐝, beautiful sunflowers 🌻, lavender, and lemons 🍋! We hope you all stay healthy as this crisis unfolds.
All of the big chain stores, restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, and hotels will most likely survive the current chaos of the corona virus. The same cannot be said for our locally owned and operated small businesses who don’t have the deep pockets of the national chains. Please consider this when you are choosing where your dollars are spent, especially during the craziness that exists right now. Please also consider purchasing products from friends that sell items that you could purchase from them instead of going to Lowe’s, home depot, bath and body works, GNC, department stores, big box warehouses or the giant online retailers.
I’d like all of my friends and customers to list or tag their favorite locally owned and operated restaurants, clothing boutiques, nutrition shops, coffee roasters, Air BNB rentals, etc. LETS SUPPORT EACH OTHER!!! #yarrowacres #franklinslittleplantstore #plantsmakepeoplehappy#shoplocal #coronavirus #tagyourfranklinfaves #buyaplant
This is a continuously developing story, please stay tuned to www.lgrmag.com for updates.