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 24, 2017
AmericanHort Names New Board Members and Officers for 2…
The new board members are Steve Castorani of North Creek Nurseries, Tom Hughes of Hughes Nursery and Landscaping, and Cole Mangum of Bell Nursery.
February 22, 2017
Emerging Industry Leaders Earn Business Management Cert…
Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair for International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, recently announced the graduation of the fourth cohort of the elite Executive Academy for Growth & Leadership (EAGL) program for nursery and greenhouse growers.
February 21, 2017
Learn How Drones Could Eventually Replace Bees in Polli…
Researchers in Japan are using the principle of cross-pollination in bees to make a drone that could potentially transport pollen between flowers.
February 21, 2017
Ian Baldwin: 2017 is Off to a Strong Start For Plant Re…
Many garden retailers are telling garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin that sales and the consumer’s attitude toward spending have been very strong the last two months.
February 20, 2017
5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition
With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.
February 17, 2017
How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…
A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.
February 17, 2017
Proven Winners Makes Improvements to Its Retailer Certi…
Understanding the challenges of training new and seasonal staff at independent garden centers, Proven Winners says it is working to equip managers with tools to prepare their employees to better handle customers’ questions and boost their confidence in selling plants this season.
February 17, 2017
Industry Veteran Tom Foley Discusses His New Role as Vi…
Foley, a greenhouse industry veteran who was most recently with EuroAmerican Propagators, will be responsible for North American sales of WaterPulse’s patent-pending capillary mats and associated irrigation systems to nurseries and growers.
February 17, 2017
Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…
The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.
February 16, 2017
Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…
The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.
February 15, 2017
Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017
‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.
February 15, 2017
New Greenhouse Cooling System in Development for Hot-Cl…
Researchers at McGill University in Quebec have developed an alternative evaporative cooling solution for greenhouses in warm climates, and are now seeking commercial partners.