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 […]
November 24, 2017
How RFID Technology Can Help With Plant Cart Tracking
One of the biggest hassles in the greenhouse is keeping track of all those shipping carts. Improved RFID technology for cart tracking may be one solution to help keep profit losses due to lost or damaged carts at a minimum.
November 23, 2017
Climate Screens Offer Both Form and Functional Benefits
Svensson’s new line of Deco Harmony screens is designed to create better growing conditions for plants on display at retail, while enhancing the customer experience.
November 22, 2017
Growers Showing Renewed Interest in Specialty Cut Flowe…
At the brink of its 30th anniversary, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers is connecting a diverse and growing group of members dedicated to producing and marketing cut flowers.
November 22, 2017
Griffin Sets Dates for 2018 Grower & Retailer Expos
The company will host two Expos next year — one each in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — and each will be a two-day event.
November 22, 2017
2017 Louisiana State University Field Trials Results
Check out the 2017 field trials results Louisiana State University in Hammond, LA.
November 20, 2017
Botany Lane Greenhouses Announces Expansion Into Young …
Botany Lane, a producer of finished tropical plants, succulents, and specialty annuals in the Western U.S., recently announced it is expanding to provide young plants for growers and grower-retailers.
November 20, 2017
2017 Colorado State University Field Trial Results
Check out the 2017 field trial results for Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
November 18, 2017
Mayer Celebrating 50th Anniversary of its Potting Machi…
Today, the company’s line of automatic potting machines and other technology is being used by growers around the world.
November 17, 2017
How You Can Help Berger in Donating to Hurricane Harvey…
Between Nov. 23-27, Berger will donate $1 for every download of its free technical plant production guides to hurricane relief efforts.
November 17, 2017
Presenting All-America Selections’ Latest Round of Awar…
All-America Selections has announced the latest round of its award-winning varieties, each of which was trialed throughout North America by professional, independent, volunteer judges.
November 16, 2017
Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into C…
In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.
November 15, 2017
Greenhouse Short Course in March 2018 Features Focus on…
The Greenhouse Crop Production & Engineering Design Short Course, which takes place at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC), includes three full days of educational sessions, one day of hands-on training workshops at CEAC, and a commercial Arizona greenhouse tour.
November 15, 2017
Tips on Adding Heat to Your Greenhouse for the Winter
Heating your greenhouse for the winter is important, and choosing efficient equipment and designs can help you quickly get returns on your heating investments.