Covering New Terrain

"If you asked me two years ago if you’re going to be in the garden center business, I’d have said you’re out of your mind," said Glen Senk, Urban Outfitters chief executive officer in a March interview with Women’s Wear Daily.

This month, the clothing retailer is taking the plunge with Terrain, a garden décor concept that is set to debut this month. Read all the details in this month’s "Seven Questions With John Kinsella." The managing director of Terrain, Kinsella says that half of the retailer’s sales should come from plant material.

While half might not sound like much, I think it’s a great business model to investigate for garden retailers. Non-traditional retail outlets like Terrain are new venues into the pocketbooks of consumers, especially those who aren’t gardeners yet. While firm details of product mix and concept are still to be seen, home décor and lifestyle products will no doubt be a draw for non-gardeners.

New types of retail outlets are popping up for consumers who consider themselves urban gardeners, as well. Small plants, small pots and smaller retail outlets were featured in the June 2007 issue of House & Garden magazine.

Sprout Home ( caters to the urban gardener with a modern home décor flair. Susanne Kongoy opened Sprout Home when she couldn’t find the plants she wanted for her own home. GRDN ( also caters to the small-space crowd, including those whose gardens can be found on New York City fire escapes. Flora Grubb Gardens (, a new store opening this spring in San Francisco, will focus on plants as well as the work of local artisans.

Finding Disposable Income Where It Hides

I think the best way to make new gardeners is to find disposable income where it lives: Starbucks, the bookstore and the dry cleaners, as one of our readers suggested. It’s not that crazy an idea – Starbucks already sells CDs. And what does music have to do with coffee? Not much. But Starbucks still sold more than 23,000 copies of Paul McCartney’s CD "Memory Almost Full" on its first day of release. All this success, even while competing with iTunes.

I’m not a Starbucksaholic, but I’m constantly amazed at what this business has been able to sell around coffee. I don’t drink coffee, yet I seem to find myself there to buy gifts or meet with friends. It’s a nice place to go, and somehow my wallet opens up when I’m there.

Here at the magazine, we find it’s always best for a few people other than the author to proofread articles before they go to press. We call it a fresh set of eyes – other people bring new perspective to our work and can often spot new ways to improve. When was the last time you looked at the retailers you supply with a fresh set of eyes?

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories

February 19, 2018

All-America Selections Names Latest Variety Winner, Ann…

All-America Selections (AAS), the 85-year-young non-profit plant trialing organization, had a very busy month of January.

Read More

February 18, 2018

Why Biochar Might Eventually Replace Peat Moss

In a recent study, researchers from the University of California, Davis investigated biochar as an alternative to peat moss.

Read More
Gotham Greens Atrium Style Greenhouse Chicago

February 17, 2018

Gotham Greens Building Second Greenhouse in Suburban Ch…

The new $12.5 million, 105,000-square-foot greenhouse will be near the company’s first Chicago greenhouse, and will be a free-standing structure.

Read More

February 16, 2018

New England GROWS Discontinues After 25 Years

After 25 years, New England GROWS — both the annual event and the organization behind the event — are discontinuing operations.

Read More

February 15, 2018

Boxwood Blight, Seed Your Future Among Topics Receiving…

The Horticultural Research Institute recently announced the 10 research projects that will receive funding in 2018 to investigate challenges and solutions in production, pest management, environmental stewardship, and business and marketing.

Read More
Weigela Czechmark (Spring Meadow Nursery)

February 14, 2018

Spring Meadow Nursery Furthers Its Mission of Giving Ba…

The Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Endowment Fund through the Horticultural Research Institute has now topped $800,000, with more scholarships coming in 2018.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

February 13, 2018

Don’t Let Your New Year’s Resolutions Fade …

Stuff got real in 2017, and it caused many of us to stop and reflect on the current state of the world, and how we can impact change — or at least improve our own situations. Life is too short, and we work too hard, to not use the annual renewal as an opportunity to take stock of our own personal lives, businesses, and careers, and make the necessary adjustments that will allow us to work smarter and live better. Even if you have already given up on your resolutions, perhaps you can think of January as a trial month and make February the month when you really get to work on your goals. And while I know it’s a difficult month to start on some of these changes, since you’re already immersed in the busy spring season, I promise that if you take some time to evaluate your reality […]

Read More

February 12, 2018

Calling All Designers: Enter the International Plantsca…

Applications are being accepted through April 13 for AmericanHort’s International Plantscape Awards, which recognize achievements in interior plantscape design, installation, creativity, renovation, and innovation.

Read More

February 11, 2018

Bayer Has New Turf and Ornamentals Global Market Manage…

Jose Milan will be focused on helping growers deal with regulatory issues, while promoting the environmental benefits the ornamentals industry offers.

Read More
Dr. P. Allen Hammer, Dummen Orange

February 10, 2018

Applications for Dümmen Orange’s Dr. P. Allen Hammer Sc…

Named for Dr. P. Allen Hammer in acknowledgment of the contributions he has made to the floriculture industry, the scholarship is intended to extend Dr. Hammer’s legacy by supporting the next generation of floriculture students.

Read More
Hand-Crafted Stone Mushrooms (Stone-Age Creations)

February 9, 2018

Garden Retailers at TPIE Highlight Their Favorite Produ…

A team of garden retailers once again participated in the 2018 Tropical Plants Industry Expo Cool Product Awards.

Read More
Aron Hoff feature image

February 8, 2018

Who Will Be Our 2018 Head Grower of the Year and Operat…

The deadline for submitting nominations is fast approaching, so be sure to let us know who you feel is most deserving of these awards!

Read More
Oat Grass Banker System feature

February 8, 2018

Learn the Basics of Biocontrols for Controlled Environm…

Growers producing crops in protected structures, including ornamentals, vegetable crops, and cannabis, can learn about effective sanitation, banker plants, and buying and using beneficials and predatory insects at the Biocontrols USA West Conference in San Diego, March 3-7.

Read More

February 7, 2018

The Latest on Amazon’s Online Plant Store

There is debate throughout the industry over how Amazon’s presence will affect growers who are looking to sell plants online.

Read More
Adult Thrips feature

February 6, 2018

Biocontrol Track for Greenhouse Growers Reveals New Pro…

The Biocontrols West USA Conference in San Diego March 7-9 offers greenhouse growers practical knowledge on new research findings and an energetic presentation from a grower who’s taking her customers along on her biocontrols journey.

Read More

February 6, 2018

Congressional Action Days to Feature Pep Talk From Lead…

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, (D, CA), one of the floral industry’s biggest advocates in Congress, will deliver a pep talk to the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Congressional Action Days participants before they meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Read More

February 6, 2018

20 Trends That Dominated at TPIE

If you're looking to stay on top of the current trends to stay ahead of the competition and increase value to your clients by helping them stay at the forefront of their industry, check out some of the new products and ideas we saw trending at TPIE this year.

Read More

February 6, 2018

Registration for 2018 IGC Show Now Open

The event takes place Aug. 14-16 in Chicago and features keynote presentations from horticultural economist Charlie Hall and Daymond John from the TV series “Shark Tank.”

Read More