Author Archives: Bob Larue

About Bob Larue

Bob LaRue is owner of LaRue Marketing Consultants in Pompano Beach, Fla. He specializes in the marketing and merchandising of lawn and garden and DIY products.

Rethinking Retail

The retailing of garden goods continues to be an ever-changing scene. Many of this past season’s challenges were new to lawn and garden retailers. Here are some of the marketplace developments that provoked retail operators to take a hard look at how they might more effectively present plants to shoppers: – The ongoing upswing in the

Attacking Growers’ Diverse Challenges

No two greenhouses are alike. Each has its own set of differences, such as the crops, the climate, the production volume, the existing facilities and more. It is also true that no two greenhouse builders are exactly alike in their approaches to the challenges provided by the diversity of growers. "Most of the commercial growers we

Grown By Al’s

As many growers were cutting back on selection and raising quantities on a select few varieties in the early ’80s, it’s no surprise that’s when the innovative Jack Bigej and Al’s Garden Center began growing its own plant material. “We picked up on the trend toward the mass merchandisers and knew we had to diversify

Repelling Radiant Energy

For bedding plant growers who grow every month of the year, shading, cooling and ventilating prevent greenhouses from overheating and creating a stressful environment for the plants. The greenhouse was developed for plant protection against local climatic extreme pressures such as wind, rain, snow and insects. The greenhouse structure is the starting point for controlling the

Texas Growers Tap Into Marketing

  Texas growers look ahead to another year of volume-building promotional activities. The statewide Go Texan project has become a truly win-win experience for the state and for the program participants. Leave it to Texas to do something in a big way. As the Texas Department of Agriculture puts it: “Go Texan takes Texas bragging

Insights on Retractable Roof Greenhouses

Retractable roofs first came on the production greenhouse scene in 1991. In these past 16 years what have we learned about their role in cooling, ventilating and shading? The concept of opening the greenhouse’s roof to get cooler air to plants is a logical one that most growers are catching on to, according to Richard

Finding Success With Pay-by-Scan

Big box stores have embraced the pay-by-scan concept for years now. In the minds of many growers and independent garden centers, this was strictly a "big box thing." It was not something for anyone but volume retailers to contemplate. The English Gardens chain of six upscale garden centers, all in suburban Detroit, was curious about

Five Profitable Weekends Add Up

Ten years ago, the Swanson’s Nursery team pondered if there was a profitable way to sell plants in the fall, to turn September into another May. Like many of their contemporaries across the country, retailers took the post season as an opportunity to reduce their existing inventory of plants that remained after several months of