Connecticut-based Natureworks is highly focused on its customers’ experience with the store and on at-home success with gardening. One simple program goes a long way to helping Natureworks achieve those goals.
In 2015, the small garden retailer launched a tool-sharpening program for customers who brought in their shovels, hoes and other essential gardening tools. We reached out to general manager Diane St. John to tell us more about the program.
Q: Why did you decide to add this service?
A: We held this tool sharpening in spring as a way to encourage people to come out early. It had been a cold spring and plants were taking their time coming up.
Q: How did you publicize it?
A: We advertised in our weekly email that we would have free sharpening while you wait on a Saturday in late March/early April. Nancy [DuBrule-Clemente, Natureworks’ owner] held a “Waking up the Spring Garden” walk as well.
Q: How much labor is involved?
A: Two of our landscape crew members were doing the sharpening.
Q: What do you plan to do differently with it this year?
A: We had a ton of people show up, so many that there was quite the wait. Customers were very happy to have their tools sharpened, especially for free! This spring we would add one critical detail. Up to TWO tools sharpened free, and charge for the additional tools. We had a few people bring every tool they owned, so others had to wait too long. We would also have available a retail staff member to handle the details, so the landscape guys could concentrate on the sharpening. We were overwhelmed at the response. It was a great way to get people into the garden center on a cold spring day.