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 […]
February 22, 2018
Plant Breeders Emphasize Importance of Patent Protectio…
According to members of MarkWatch, plant patents are an important protection for plant breeders and also provide an incentive for them to invest the time and money to innovate and develop new plant varieties.
February 20, 2018
Thrips Causing Headaches? New Research Shows Bio-based …
Dr. Rose Buitenhuis will present practical knowledge for growers to implement immediately during Biocontrols West Conference in San Diego, March 7-9.
February 20, 2018
12 New Poinsettias and Succulents for Holiday Sales, Cr…
Poinsettias and succulents are both in-demand products with today’s consumers. Here’s a look at some of the newer introductions available for retail sales in 2018 and 2019.
February 20, 2018
Top 100 Growers Survey for 2018 Is Now Open!
Operations with more than 400,000 square feet of environmentally controlled production are eligible to take the survey, which provides valuable market knowledge on how the nation's largest growers are innovating, sourcing labor, keeping up with demand, and setting trends.
February 19, 2018
All-America Selections Names Latest Variety Winner, Ann…
All-America Selections (AAS), the 85-year-young non-profit plant trialing organization, had a very busy month of January.
February 17, 2018
Gotham Greens Building Second Greenhouse in Suburban Ch…
The new $12.5 million, 105,000-square-foot greenhouse will be near the company’s first Chicago greenhouse, and will be a free-standing structure.
February 15, 2018
Boxwood Blight, Seed Your Future Among Topics Receiving…
The Horticultural Research Institute recently announced the 10 research projects that will receive funding in 2018 to investigate challenges and solutions in production, pest management, environmental stewardship, and business and marketing.
February 14, 2018
Spring Meadow Nursery Furthers Its Mission of Giving Ba…
The Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Endowment Fund through the Horticultural Research Institute has now topped $800,000, with more scholarships coming in 2018.
February 13, 2018
Don’t Let Your New Year’s Resolutions Fade …
Stuff got real in 2017, and it caused many of us to stop and reflect on the current state of the world, and how we can impact change — or at least improve our own situations. Life is too short, and we work too hard, to not use the annual renewal as an opportunity to take stock of our own personal lives, businesses, and careers, and make the necessary adjustments that will allow us to work smarter and live better. Even if you have already given up on your resolutions, perhaps you can think of January as a trial month and make February the month when you really get to work on your goals. And while I know it’s a difficult month to start on some of these changes, since you’re already immersed in the busy spring season, I promise that if you take some time to evaluate your reality […]
February 12, 2018
Calling All Designers: Enter the International Plantsca…
Applications are being accepted through April 13 for AmericanHort’s International Plantscape Awards, which recognize achievements in interior plantscape design, installation, creativity, renovation, and innovation.
February 11, 2018
Bayer Has New Turf and Ornamentals Global Market Manage…
Jose Milan will be focused on helping growers deal with regulatory issues, while promoting the environmental benefits the ornamentals industry offers.
February 10, 2018
Applications for Dümmen Orange’s Dr. P. Allen Hammer Sc…
Named for Dr. P. Allen Hammer in acknowledgment of the contributions he has made to the floriculture industry, the scholarship is intended to extend Dr. Hammer’s legacy by supporting the next generation of floriculture students.
February 9, 2018
Garden Retailers at TPIE Highlight Their Favorite Produ…
A team of garden retailers once again participated in the 2018 Tropical Plants Industry Expo Cool Product Awards.
February 8, 2018
Who Will Be Our 2018 Head Grower of the Year and Operat…
The deadline for submitting nominations is fast approaching, so be sure to let us know who you feel is most deserving of these awards!
February 8, 2018
Learn the Basics of Biocontrols for Controlled Environm…
Growers producing crops in protected structures, including ornamentals, vegetable crops, and cannabis, can learn about effective sanitation, banker plants, and buying and using beneficials and predatory insects at the Biocontrols USA West Conference in San Diego, March 3-7.