January 16, 2009
Strategies For A Successful Spring
Spring 2009 promises to be one of the most interesting and perhaps difficult selling seasons that we have seen in some time. What can we expect from the American consumer this spring? Garden center retailers across the Unites States are cautiously optimistic that folks will be out in numbers and spending a fair share on lawn and garden products. What impact will there be on the lawn and garden sector from the precipitous fall in economic conditions from the back half of 2008? Will customers spend enough of their remaining discretionary income, or will they forego such products at increasing rates to spend on more “fundamental necessities?” Do you expect top-line sales to increase, stay the same or decrease? How about the impact on profit margins to go along with sales? Should margins be pushed even higher to make up for potential lower overall sales? Coping With The Economy How […]
November 24, 2008
A Changing Landscape by Vinny Naab
Think back 25 years ago and imagine what the retail landscape in the garden business looked like. Back then, Kmart truly was one of the few big box retailers that dominated the market. Wal-Mart and Home Depot were into huge growth cycles soon to be followed by Lowe’s. The garden business was driven by successful regional chains such as Bachman’s, Pike’s, Steins, Frank’s Nursery, Flower Time, Calloway’s, Gaudio’s and others. It was companies like these, along with thousands of independent garden centers, that ruled the roost in the garden retailing kingdom. Fast forward to today and notice the dramatic shift in the landscape. Consider that in the 25 years between then and now, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowe’s combined to open about 5,000 retail locations between them. This has brought convenience to a new level, one never seen before for the gardening public. Customers have a lot more choices than […]
June 24, 2008
Is Fall For Planting?
Ah yes, that is the question. Naturally, if you’ve been anywhere remotely connected to the garden center industry, you would know that indeed fall is for planting (with apologies to the Sunbelt markets, where almost anytime is for planting except in the searing heat of the summertime). Why is fall for planting? It is absolutely proven to be the most effective time of year to plant shrubs and trees, among other things. It certainly is the best time to re-seed a lawn, start a new lawn by seeding or laying down sod. The basic question is what makes it such a good time to plant and the answer is simple. Plants that are put into the ground anytime from late August through late October in most Northern areas (apologies to the Zone 3, 4, and even 5 folks) are treated to a less stressful environment. Generally, rains are sufficient this time […]
June 20, 2008
I recently participated in a group discussion at the Super Floral Show in Salt Lake City covering the topic of pay-by-scan or as some call it, VMI, or Vendor Managed Inventory. This is a program that has received a lot of attention in the last two years, ever since The Home Depot launched this program across the bedding plant industry in spring 2005. This article is intended to provoke discussion and should be considered neither pro or con. I simply want to state my opinion of current events through my perspective. The purpose of this article is to clarify some questions that may be out there in the industry in relation to the program. Is it working? What impact does it have on suppliers? Are suppliers happy with it? Is the retailer happy with it? What are the pros and cons from supply side and sell side? If this is such […]
June 19, 2008
Take The Money
This story could be about "Any Retailer USA." The names have been changed to protect the innocent. It does not reflect the majority but it certainly is happening in many locations across the country. Imagine yourself out on a shopping excursion anxious to dig in to a weekend project of planting, maintenance and yard work when you find yourself just entering your favorite local retailer (fill in your favorite target here). It’s a picture perfect Saturday morning in early May. Temperature at 10 a.m. is 67˚F. Humidity is down around 30 percent and there are light winds blowing at about 6 mph. There’s brilliant sunshine with the occasional white puffy cloud floating by. As you leave your car to walk into the garden center, you notice the local bedding plant supplier’s truck just pulling out from the back nursery gates with a bountiful harvest of fresh plants blazing with color as […]
June 18, 2008
Nursery Service Program Review
Over the last six to eight years, third-party nursery service has developed extensively in the mass market arena, particularly at The Home Depot and Lowe’s. More recently, as in this year, Wal-Mart also has begun to test the concept in select markets and will be studying the results to see if the program bears expanding, maintaining or is deemed unnecessary. The great debate begins as to why programs such as these would be necessary. After all, doesn’t it seem logical that mega-retailers are much more capable logistically of efficiently hiring and training staff to order, maintain and merchandise live goods? Apparently, the answer is they are more than capable of doing this, but it’s obviously more easily said than done. Massive store growth amongst Wal-Mart, The Home Depot and Lowe’s has contributed to a talent shortage of live goods experts in their stores at this time. This is not to imply […]
June 12, 2008
Growers Taking Charge
The relationship between grower and retailer continues to evolve in significant ways. This month, Greenhouse Grower explores aspects of this evolution. In my experience, I have seen the relationships change rather dramatically, in many cases, from the way buyers and sellers typically interacted in the categories. One thing is for sure – in today’s retail buying environment, there are many more demands being placed on growers and suppliers to help manage the supply chain process, especially in the big boxes. The traditional way of doing business saw growers offering their products to retailers and agreements forged between the two were pretty simple. The buyer would select products and growers primarily for the quality of goods they produced, their ability to be low-cost provider, and ability to bring products to market. Buyers would make items and mix selections, quantities per order or store, shipping dates or periods, advertise if appropriate and […]
January 13, 2017
We Must Help Heal Our Nation, with Plants and Flowers […
No matter how you may feel — personally or professionally — about the outcome of the election, it’s likely that you realize our nation has some healing to do.
January 12, 2017
Prevention and Early Intervention: The Keys to Biocont…
Advance preparation and starting out right helps you implement an effective biocontrol program that reduces pest pressure.
January 11, 2017
New Tropical and Foliage Plants That Offer Hidden Benef…
Tropical and foliage plants can offer extra paybacks to your customers in terms of health-promoting benefits such as filtering the air, reducing stress, and absorbing noise. Consider these new varieties, hitting the retail market in 2017, for your product mix.
January 10, 2017
Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting …
The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.
January 10, 2017
Pest Management Workshop to Take Place in Virginia on J…
Battlefield Farms will host the workshop, which is being coordinated by Virginia Cooperative Extension and will focus on new techniques in disease and insect control.
January 10, 2017
Greenhouse Grower Quadcopter Sweepstakes Winner Announc…
Anne Bolser of Van Wingerden International was the Grand Prize Winner in Greenhouse Grower magazine’s recent Quadcopter Sweepstakes.
January 8, 2017
Sakata’s Participation in Tour de Fresh Race Results in…
On the heels of riding in the Tour de Fresh Race in July, Allen Satterlee of Sakata Seed America celebrated by presenting a new salad bar to Galt Elementary School in California.
January 6, 2017
Griffin Opening New Hard-Goods-Focused Distribution Cen…
The planned February opening of the 18,500 square-foot facility is part of the company’s continued expansion into the Western U.S.
January 5, 2017
Successful Propagation of Purple Fountain Grass From Si…
In the first article of a two-part series, researchers discuss how propagation daily light integral and root-zone temperature influence root growth and development of single-internode purple fountain grass culm cuttings.
January 5, 2017
Why ArizonaEast Is Expanding Its Succulent Production T…
In Greenhouse Grower's January cover story, learn how Brian and Joe Vitale of ArizonaEast saw a chance to expand and diversify their New Jersey-based succulent operation, and why they jumped at the opportunity.
January 4, 2017
Green Industry Poised for Continued Economic Growth in …
Positive economic indicators point to 2017 being a year of modest growth for the green industry, according to economist Charlie Hall.
January 3, 2017
Growing Optimism for the Horticulture Industry in 2017
With a new administration and a new Congress, AmericanHort's Craig Regelbrugge says the horticulture industry has reason to be cautiously optimistic that regulatory relief could be on the horizon.
January 3, 2017
Southern Nursery Association Research Conference Procee…
On the heels of presenting awards to students in the horticulture industry, the Southern Nursery Association has compiled and published its conference research proceedings.
January 3, 2017
Expect Big Changes for California Spring Trials 2017
California Spring Trials 2017 will be here before you know it. Find out what you can look forward to and get a head start on planning and registering for your trip.
January 2, 2017
Why You Need To Know What’s In Your Growing Media…
Before you buy growing media mixes or raw materials to mix your own custom blends, here are some important factors to consider.