Take these 38 Stolen Retail Ideas for what they are – ideas meant to inspire creativity and fresh approaches. We’re entering a new era of retail – driven by an emerging massive customer base! I trust at least one of these ideas (and hopefully more) will resonate with you or your customers. The best way to vet out what will work and what won’t, is to share as many of these ideas as you can with your team and generate discussion. Let me know your thoughts. I’m always happy to talk retail!
- Double the size of your mix and the space dedicated to houseplants and indoor gardening products. Tell the story with creative signage – plants clean the air, plants express creativity, plants transform living spaces into LIVING spaces.
- Call out new products with New Product signs. New can mean new to market or new to the store – define it however you want.
- Invest in lighting. LEDs aren’t very expensive anymore and they really brighten up a store setting. When you’re shopping at other stores, look up.
- And then look down. You might not notice that cracked floor with the algae growing in the corners but customers will.
- Another big trend that deserves more space and messaging in your store is Habitat gardens – safe havens and nourishment for wildlife.
- Also, dedicate more space to hummingbirds.
- Add a deer-proof zone. Stock repellants, deer resistant perennials and fencing.
- Making smoothies is a trend these days. Group edible plants like berries, herbs, mints and others into a smoothie zone.
- Look at your parking lot. Are there carts bouncing off cars and rolling into the street? If so, it’s time for a cart corral like you see at the grocery store.
- Is your store pet friendly? Consider hosting “pet days” or pet events like dog washes or even an amateur dog show. People love their pets.
- Offer your parking lot as the starting and ending location for a charity 5K race. Maximize the exposure by selling from displays outside the store.
- Host community events, use your website and social media to share community news, trade product for sponsor recognition. An independent business like yours is a valuable part of the community.
- Create a hanging basket wonderland and group all of your baskets to fill a big space.
- Make sure your store is partnered with a local charity. Beware of spreading too thin – maybe choose one and only one cause and be a big supporter.
- Promote All America Selections winners and plants of the year. Leverage the marketing this organization is already doing. Visit all-americaselections.org.
- Host social media contests. Encourage your fans to post photos of their gardens, biggest tomatoes, tallest sunflowers, water gardens and allow followers to vote on the best.
- Call out Staff Picks with in-store signage like record stores and video stores back in the day.
- Create a virtual tour of the store and surrounding growing space.
- Show your greenhouses and nursery space from above using a drone camera!
- Host a community garden. Most of our businesses have space and access to water. That’s all you really need to dedicate some space to the public.
- Host a Blogger Day. Bloggers are always looking for content. Help with content related to health and wellness, family activities in the garden and cooking. Invite the blogger community and see who shows up.
- Set up an information station in your store. Consider offering access to a computer to look up questions.
- Hook up a live feed in the greenhouse
- Show your heritage. Shoppers love learning the history of a business that has supported a local community for generations.
- Connect with local daycare providers. They are always looking for activities and field trips on weekdays. Be sure to send the kids home with a sticker or coupon and watch the parents come to shop the following weekend.
- Consider a video blog.
- Install a Putt Putt Course. I saw one at a garden center recently and asked the owner about it. They charge $5 per 18 holes so it is a money maker. It also showcases landscape designs.
- Share your passion and hobbies with your customers. Maybe you are a collector or have animals – show them off.
- Consider installing the correct electrical outlets for food trucks and partnering with a few local businesses to bring in the trendy trucks once or twice a week if that’s popular in your community.
- If you have the space and setting, consider creating an even space for small gatherings or even weddings.
- Plant display gardens to show off product.
- Offer a gardener on the spot service to help customers plan garden spaces, answer basic questions and advise on plant selection.
- Partner with local business to beautify their space and market yourself. Offer to plant them up and include signage and messaging that promotes your business.
- Sponsor your city in the America in Bloom program. Learn more at americainbloom.org
- Create a profile or sign up to be a GrowIt garden shop. Visit growitmobile.com for more info.
- Explore online sales strategies.
- Be a CSA pick up location. Community Supported Agriculture is popular with folks of all ages.
- Make it fun! Keep retail fresh and exciting!
Links Referenced in Episode:
- Ball Seed Technical Services Podcast with Dr. Todd Cavins: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/sponsor/ball-seed-company/getting-off-to-a-great-start/
- GrowIt! Mobile Podcast: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/sponsor/ball-seed-company/what-todays-shopper-wants/
Email Host Bill Calkins: [email protected]
Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins
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