July 19, 2016

Home Depot Sues Credit Card Companies For Weakening EMV Security

Home Depot has decided enough is enough. The mass merchant is suing MasterCard and Visa for colluding on interchange rates, which it claims it enforces through a monopoly, and for watering down the effectiveness of EMV chips by not requiring PINs in the U.S. In the lawsuit (read a PDF of the 140 page document), Home Depot’s lawyers state: “For years, Visa and MasterCard have been more concerned with protecting their own inflated profits and their dominant market positions than with the security of the payment cards used by American consumers and the health of the United States economy. Visa and MasterCard have pushed consumers to use payment card technology that Visa and MasterCard know is defective and subject to fraud and have colluded with each other and with the banks that issue debit and credit cards to do so. They have also unlawfully fixed at high levels the so-called […]

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Sid Raisch

July 14, 2016

Sid Raisch Is Bower & Branch’s New President And CEO

Garden retail consultant Sid Raisch is taking on a new role: President and CEO of Bower & Branch, an e-commerce tree brand for independently owned garden stores founded by Eaton Farm’s Don Eaton. The fairly new company (a little more than a year old) has 52 Northeast and Midwest-based garden retailers currently participating in the brand, and Raisch is tasked with increasing that number by another 50 to 100 garden retailers. Eaton hopes Bower & Branch will give local garden centers a broader market share. “Sid has been consulting with me on this journey from the beginning. Garden centers and growers like Eaton Farms needed to do something drastic to get the industry headed to where consumers are, and we knew that e-commerce was the way,” he says. “At first this helped us serve our customers, then it grew into something much bigger and more powerful. That’s tough to execute on your own, […]

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July 11, 2016

Customer-Pleasing Tricks You Can Learn From Popular Mainstream Retailers

AmericanHort hosted a day at Columbus’ high-end outdoor mall, Easton Town Center, giving garden retailers insight to what its consumer and store design research, SHIFT, looks like in action. Here are some of the standout ideas we saw: A store with a cause attracts passionate employees and elevates its products. Lush, a store that specializes in soaps of all kinds, had a steady stream of consumers going in and buying expensive soap. It may sell a seemingly simple product, soap (although in many forms, from a bath bubbler — think Alka Seltzer for your tub — to shampoo in the form of a solid bar, or just old-fashioned hand soap), but customers saw it much, much more. The walls had hand-written messages about no animal testing, about everything sold having a “handmade touch,” and several other messages, despite the stores small footprint (maybe 600 square feet. Maybe.). The sales staff […]

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Birch grove at Good News Garden FEATURE

July 10, 2016

Clever Ideas You Can Steal From The GCA Tour

Garden retail tours always offer a banquet of ideas that attendees can use back at their own garden stores. That was especially true of this year’s Garden Center of America’s Summer Tour in Portland, OR. Take a look at the clever ideas I spied at the garden centers we visited, ideas that range from the simple and easy-to-implement, to others that take a little more effort, but will have a worthwhile payoff.  

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July 5, 2016

New Products You’ll Be Able To See At Cultivate’16

We went looking for what will be introduced at the summer shows in 2016. Here are the new products we're told will be at Cultivate'16.

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July 5, 2016

How To Create Diverse Endcaps With 3 Elements

Al's Garden Center is a big store with dozens of endcaps in its plant department. The retailer's merchandising team took three simple items — pallet wood, crates, and wood frames — and combined them in numerous ways. Each endcap had its own look, but was visually tied to its neighbors.

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July 5, 2016

Bench And Display Structure Ideas From The GCA Tour

Portland has a number of impressive garden retailers who use creative approaches to solving display challenges. Here are a number of plant and product display fixtures we spied on last week's tour.

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iPad In Garden Center

June 27, 2016

Inspiring Summer Customers Without A Word Being Said

Now is the time of year to sell your customers what they like, rather than what they need. According to industry consultant Ian Baldwin, one way to do this is to use silent selling techniques and devices that help validate a purchase.

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Oconomowoc

June 27, 2016

Fire Destroys Greenhouses At Oconomowoc Landscape Supply & Garden Center

The fire not only consumed the Wisconsin garden retailer's structures, but also major equipment like dump trucks. In all, the owners estimate $1.2 million in damage occurred.

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Stocking spring plants at Petitti Garden Center FEATURE

June 23, 2016

How Growers Can Help Retailers Sell More In Spring

Fresh from a busy spring season, retailers share their wish list of things growers can do to make spring generate even more sales.

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June 20, 2016

7 Garden Retailers Announced Closings This Month

Several established garden stores announced they were closing at the end of the 2016 season. Most of these retailers are decades old, including one that is closing after 133 years in business.

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June 20, 2016

Industry’s First Plant Pricing Survey Is Open

The green industry has almost no research on plant pricing. With an industry that struggles to survive on slim margins, that's a problem. This survey is designed to help address the need, and we invite everyone to participate.

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