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All you believe… may be ALL WRONG – Belief #1

Misconception #1 – Garden Centers Should be Open Year-Round – Oh Really?

(Read time: approximately 3 minutes.)

Hot NOW!

Are Krispy Kreme's Hot NOW?

(Garden centers may be violating the Scarcity Principle)

A correct statement would be closer to this:

Belief #1 “In certain conditions garden centers should be open year-round, and in other conditions they should not be.”

The conditions for being open fall primarily into three categories. Continue reading

All you believe about making money in the garden center business may be ALL WRONG

(Read time:  approximately 2 minutes.)

"What gets us in trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

"What gets us in trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

Part One – This is the first in a series of posts that will address Six Mistaken Beliefs many of us have about making money in the garden center business.

I have arrived to the point of developing Six New Beliefs that may be unpopular among some of the “old-guard” establishment in the garden center business. Switching from the mistaken beliefs to the new beliefs may make the ground shake (like during an earth quake) beneath some of your own current beliefs. Some of our supplier friends may find this truth troubling to the future of their businesses. Others may embrace it and thrive. Continue reading

A New Link or 2

NEW Stickers

Read Time: approximately 3 minutes

Summer tour and trade show travels bring with them perhaps the most frequent question everyone wants to know the answer to when we talk or meet:

What’s New?

One of the new things I learned this summer was that things are changing faster than we imagine. If you think you’re on top of what’s going on I challenge you to Click HERE to watch a fascinating short video titled “Shift Happens” that was shared during a panel discussion at OFA, and also the title of a presentation by Clint Albin at the IGC Show.

I am not into new for “New’s sake”, however, given the pace of change it is no wonder why we have all become “new junkies”. The trouble is that a lot of what we discover is not relevant, not useful, and not productive. What we are really looking for is what is relevant, helpful, and productive. And we could find and implement the new things we need faster and better if we share. Continue reading

Handling Haggling

Handing MoneyHaggling on the Rise

The introduction of the new Taggle concept for in-store bidding on merchandise at participating retailers brought about a plethora of media reports on the haggling fad. Now some retailers are adopting haggling procedures and training their associates. Don’t fall for it.

Continue reading

What’s Wrong with this Message?

Enough about the economy stupid.

Yes, we need to be empathetic to the consumer’s need to save, but the problem is amplified and exacerbated when everyone who is marketing has the same basic message across all communication channels. A basic tenet of marketing – differentiation, is lost.

Shouldn’t your brand be all about helping consumers escape the everyday issues of life? Keep in mind that when your advertising messages remind your own brand constituents of the harsh realities of living today, and that they should save money every time they buy you are NOT making them feel like they need to have what you’ve got. Continue reading

Inventory Adjustment

We’ll see a lot if we’ll just look. – We can watch, we can see, but WHAT will we see?

The buzz phrase in the garden center business this winter has become “inventory control”.  It has become trendy for garden centers to watch their inventory. They always should have. We will watch inventory come, we will watch it go but what will we see?

Continue reading

Why This Business Gets In Our Blood


My colleague, Judy Stapler is an accomplished market researcher, a consumer advocate, and a great addition to our team. Judy recently commented to me that she has observed how exceptionally passionate she has found the people in the horticulture industry to be about what we do (as compared to people working in other industries) . We do not need to get into a deep theological discussion, or raise an argument on the reason why people in horticulture become obsessed with horticulture. Can we just agree that we are?

Continue reading

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