NRF forecasts Christmas increase of 2.3%

After a ho-hum 2009 and a disastrous 2008, holiday retail sales in the U.S. are expected to increase a more moderate 2.3 per cent this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Credit cards delay chip rollout

Visa and MasterCard have backed down on plans to fully introduce chip technology for all credit card transactions in October. 
For most retailers, Christmas can easily represent from one third to half of their annual sales.
If you’re a garden centre owner or nursery manager, you probably have your hands full with customer service, staffing and plant orders during the busy season.
Do an Internet search on Wilson’s Greenhouse & Garden Centre in Saskatoon, Sask., and you will get a wide variety of hits . . . not all of them industry related.
The garden centre industry is full of competitors. You’re up against the big box stores, grocery stores, warehouse outlets and the reason for this is that the garden centre sector is full of opportunity.
Sept. 20, 2010 - A majority of Canadians report that quality customer service is more important to them in today's economic environment (58%) and will spend an average of seven per cent more when they believe a company provides excellent service.

Customers will pay 7% more for extra service

A majority of Canadians report that they will spend an average of seven per cent more when they believe a company provides excellent service.

Canadian and U.S. shoppers differ
A groundbreaking national study reveals considerable differences in shopping behaviours north and south of the border.

Debit and credit card code of conduct now in effect
The federal code of conduct for Canada's debit and credit card markets announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in April came into effect this week.
In an industry where competition is a significant challenge for the average garden centre, 10 Peterborough, Ont., and area garden businesses have found a way to overcome this obstacle – by joining forces.

Making customers No. 1

Companies large and small are realizing that if they want to steal market share, they must cater to their customer base like never before.
“We deliver great customer service and quality products.” This is a frequent response I hear from garden centre retailers when asked what sets them apart from competitors and others in the industry. Of course, these factors are important to a business, but this is a common line that consumers hear all too often.
With four locations located throughout Surrey, B.C., Potters Nurseries have become the place to go for plants, to welcome the holidays, for a good scare (more on that later), and of course, pots.
There are just four reasons to host a special event at your nursery or garden centre. Simply stated, they are as follows:To bring potential customers to your place of business.
To promote the products and services you provide.
To keep your business name in the public’s eye.
To give back to the community that supports your business.

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