Management
For a while this past winter it looked as though we would be putting in our gardens by February! Weather logs confirm that the 15 warmest years on record since 1867 have all happened since 1980 and statistically, that is no coincidence.

With the hectic Christmas season behind us, and spring rush still months away, January and February are the best time to ponder the past year with an eye towards change.
Meeting Your Needs.  It’s a new year, and here at Canadian Garden Centre and Nursery Magazine we find ourselves in the midst of change.
The famous mid-16th century proverb “April showers bring forth May flowers” has always been associated with the arrival of spring, but May is also the unofficial start to the Canadian wedding season.
P.J. Vermeer of Westbrook Floral Ltd. in Grimsby, Ontario, has been appointed to the Marketing Committee of the Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association (WF&FSA). 
Sales at large retailers remained virtually unchanged in November 2005.  Previously sales declined in October, but otherwise had been generally rising throughout 2005.
The first thing you have to consider in a retail garden centre or nursery scenario is that your safety concerns are basically two-fold. Your customers are the greater variable, as you have little control over what they will wear or how they will act at your place of business. Employees, on the other hand, should be arriving on site properly trained and attired, and ready to safely complete a day of work.
Buying groups are a powerful force in today’s retail landscape, offering members the competetive advantage of bulk buying and marketing.
The cost at the pumps is more than just the cost of crude oil – remember that taxes are one of the largest components of Canadian retail pump prices.  In 2004, Canadians paid on average 31.9 cents tax on every litre of gasoline.  That represents almost $16 on a 50-litre fill.  Tax levels vary by province, often leading to regional differences in pump prices, but as we watch the cost of a tank of gas consistently rise across the country, it doesn’t matter where in Canada you live. 
The owners of Pine View Farm near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, say they were one of the first greenhouse operations in Atlantic Canada to take the concept of ‘just in time production’ and apply it to a living product.
In today’s highly competitive business environment it is critical to find ways to separate yourself from the other companies who sell the same – or similar – product and/or service. Here are several strategies that can help you accomplish this:
Most homeowners are beginning to realize that their living space doesn’t need to end at their patio door. Decks and patios are being used for entertaining and relaxing, as homeowners continue to adapt their yards into attractive and functional living areas.
It’s often said that location, location, location is the key to a successful business, and this is true for Greenland Garden Centre, located in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Although the business was begun over forty years ago by John and Lennie Chichak, it wasn’t until the next generation decided to build the new Greenland in a new location in the spring of 1991, that the business grew in leaps and bound as a destination garden centre.
The cultural identity of Canada is not a static entity.  It constantly changes through every decade and with every immigration influx. Those two solitudes of the English and the French are now liberally adulterated with the languages, religions and cuisine of countless cultures from across the globe.
In his book, ‘Good to Great,’ Jim Collins talks about how many companies are ‘good,’ but, for numerous reasons, fail to make the jump to ‘great.’ Two of the key reasons are: leadership and the ‘right’ people.

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