June 20, 2007

Merchandising Issues

In response to Vinny Naab’s views last week on merchandising services, Dave Hutsell of Gro-ECO, Fraleigh Nursery in Madison, Fla., wrote: First, I remember a few years back when Wal-Mart was slammed in the news media for allowing undocumented workers through third-party janitorial services. While these services were totally contracted business, Wal-Mart still had the responsiblity to make sure all workers were legal. As third-party merchandising services grow, this is an issue all will have to address. Since Congress seems to want to put the burden of proof on the employer, it will be difficult for growers to keep up with the demand. Second, growers are growers, merchants are merchandisers. It would be nice to keep it that way. I think the real question here is who directly pays for markdowns and shrink? The grower or the merchant? Ultimately, the customer will. I think that historically in a retail accounting […]

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June 6, 2007

GCA Partners With Better Homes & Gardens

Garden Centers of America (GCA) has formed a strategic partnership with Better Homes & Gardens to promote hot new plants. GCA will be working directly with the senior editorial staff of the magazine to integrate the plants shown at GCA’s Fashion in Bloomâ„¢ event Sept. 20-22 into Better Homes and Gardens plant trials, print editorials, featured articles, photo shoots and on their website, www.BHG.com. As a part of the sponsorship, GCA’s HotNewPlants.com Web site will become a plant locator on BHG.com for its 22 million unique visitors. Check it out at: http://www.hotnewplants.com

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May 30, 2007

Novalis To Receive Our Marketing Award

The Novalis consortium of perennial and woody ornamental growers will receive Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence for Marketing during our awards reception at OFA’s Short Course July 16 in Columbus, Ohio. The award recognizes Novalis’ achievements marketing collections of perennials under the Plants That Work brand and additional sub brands, like the new Nooks & Crannies program that is being rolled out. For more on this program, visit http://www.todaysgardencenter.com/blog/page.php?page=products#nooks Congratulations, Novalis! Voting is still going strong for the Reader’s Choice in our Medal of Excellence awards for Breeding. There’s still time to cast your vote at www.greenhousegrower.com. Voters are eligible to win a complimentary Short Course registration compliments of OFA and other VIP perks.

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May 23, 2007

Promotion Order On Hold

Floral importers have asked the Floral Marketing Funding Initiative Coalition to put the push for a promotion order on hold for a year. “The uncertainty of the Free Trade Agreement, ATPADEA, instability of oil prices and the devaluation of the dollar against the peso are consuming all the attention of the importers,” says John Amaya, president of Dole Fresh Flowers and chairman of the Association of Floral Importers of Florida, the coalition reports. Coalition Chairman Red Kennicott says, “Although I am very disappointed that we cannot continue at this time, it is important to be sensitive to the issues facing the importers and wait until the environment is more conducive to having a positive vote.”

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May 9, 2007

Home Depot’s Do-It-Herself Workshops

Just in time for Mother’s Day, The Home Depot has partnered with National Gardening Association to promote Do-It-Herself Workshops for women. One concept that debuted Monday was “Building Relaxation: Creating Backyard Retreats.” How-to projects include building a natural stepping-stone walkway, creating entryways with arbors, trellises and gates; adding water features; and choosing seating options, such as benches, bistro sets and hammocks. For more information on these workshops marketed to women, visit: http://www.homedepotclinics.com/dih/?utm_source=DIH_MAY07_NGA

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May 2, 2007

Plants At Work Will Change Name

Plants At Work, an organization that promotes the value of plants in the workplace and at home, will change its name in the coming months because of trademark issues. Supporters of the program say the change may actually help increase funding opportunities and gain the organization non-profit status. The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) has agreed to match the funds needed to apply for non-profit status. For more information, visit: http://www.plantsatwork.org

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April 4, 2007

Petitti’s Grand Opening

Petitti Garden Centers celebrated the opening of its newest location in Avon, Ohio, last week, which transformed a family fun park into a first-class destination garden center with unique features. This leading grower retailer also received our sister magazine Today’s Garden Center’s Revolutionary Retailer award. For details, visit http://www.todaysgardencenter.com/blog/page.php?page=news#avonstore

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March 21, 2007

Pike Changes At The Top

Randy Pike announced yesterday he is assuming new responsibilities as vice chairman of Pike Family Nurseries, a 28-store chain based in Norcross, Ga. He was chief operating officer and president but his new responsibilities will be focusing on customer relationships and marketing initiatives. Our own Jennifer Polanz, managing editor of Today’s Garden Center, has the scoop at http://www.todaysgardencenter.com/blog/page.php?page=news

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February 28, 2007

Whole Foods Reaps Wild Oats

Whole Foods Market just purchased competitor Wild Oats Markets for $565 million, adding 110 stores to Whole Foods. Both are natural-foods grocers that appeal to a trendier, upscale, enlightened and environmentally conscious clientele. Do you sell plants to Whole Foods, Wild Oats or kindred spirit Trader Joe’s? If so, we’d like to know which products and programs have been successful for you and how they compare with more traditional supermarket retailers. Drop us a line at: [email protected]

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February 28, 2007

America In Bloom Registration Closes Today

Today is the deadline for communities of all sizes to participate in the 2007 America In Bloom (AIB) competition. So far, there are about 30 cities, 14 of which are new to the program and will expand AIB’s reach to Arizona and Nevada for the first time. Sixteen states will be represented in this year’s competition. What a great opportunity to cultivate and assist the towns in your local markets. Check out this year’s participants at: http://www.americainbloom.org/Articles/?categoryId=17&ArticleId=837

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January 24, 2007

Tesco Targets 300 Sites For Grocery Stores In Southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix

Tesco aims to open some 300 small grocery stores in Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix and is prepared to spend as much as $2 billion over five years on the effort. Tesco USA Chief Executive Tim Mason said his management team was negotiating for 300 sites, although “not all will get opened,” The Los Angeles Times reported late last year. The first stores will open in the second half of next year, and the pace of development will pick up as Tesco gets its distribution network operational, Mason said. He said many more stores could follow. “If this is successful, this is a very big country,” Mason said at the public opening of the company’s U.S. headquarters in El Segundo. Tesco has kept secret most of the details of its launch — which focuses on Southern California and the Southwest — out of fear that rival grocers will develop […]

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January 17, 2007

The Home Depot Introduces Eco Options

The Home Depot has introduced a new product line, called Eco Options, designed to highlight environmentally-friendly products to its consumer base. Three of the categories included in the launch are “Healthy Home,” “Clean Air” and “Clean Water,” all of which sound like a natural fit for our industry. For example, Phase One of the program includes a line of organic herbs and veggies from Bonnie Plant Farm. According to longtime Depot buyer and hort industry consultant Vinny Naab, Bonnie Plant Farm is to participate in the eco-options program from March to June in select Home Depot markets with one SKU of these Organic products. . According to Depot VP in charge of environmental projects Ron Jarvis, “Although it is a natural fit, there is not a standard that highlights environmental benefits between live plants.” While Jarvis is clear in stating that “In the short term the Eco Options program will […]

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