Canadians forgo service for low prices
Customer service has been knocked off its perch by low prices as the leading factor driving shopper loyalty, according to a new study released. But take caution, deep discounts aren't the only way to consumers' hearts.

A matter of just 50 cents

Do you empower your employees to make decisions on the fly? One shopper recounts a shopping outing where 50 cents could have turned her disappointing experience into a fantastic one.
June 30, 2010 – Starting July 1, British Columbia and Ontario will join Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in eliminating current provincial sales taxes and substituting a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
June 1, 2010 - In April, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has released a report revealing that CIBC is far and away the worst bank when it comes to servicing Canada’s smallest businesses.
June 11, 2010 - The canny shopper knows that cash is king when it comes to negotiating a deal, especially when working with independent businesses. Do you offer a deal in exchange for cold, hard money?

Not your grandmother’s gardening anymore
There have been massive shifts in the way people think about gardening, says Toronto garden writer Gayla Trail. They are stepping away from grandma’s rows of flowers and preferring to grow fruits and vegetables.
While putting together our state-of-the-industry report for this issue, it was great to sit down and write about what bright opportunities lie ahead for garden centre retailers. At a time when many other sectors are suffering, you work in one that’s full of promise.
It’s not always possible to reward employees for work well done with financial incentive. The money, often times, just isn’t there. How then does one motivate workers to excel without the promise of a raise or bonus?
I think it’s safe to say that the popularity of the container gardening trend is quickly gaining momentum and it is only a matter of time before it morphs into one of the stalwarts of retail garden sales.
Frustrations around big-box competition and a changing customer base are often part of the conversation at industry gatherings these days, but the reality is that the independent garden centre industry has been a good place to do business in recent years, and may be about to get even better.
As we fuse our outdoors with our indoors, home décor solutions become a bigger opportunity for garden centres. You may have resisted adding a home décor section to your store to avoid losing focus on your core business – plants.
Quick – name two words that, when frequently used by waiters and waitresses, increase tips by 12 per cent. (Hint: it’s not please or thank you).
April 23, 2010 - As a garden centre, credit and debit cards are essential to running your business. Many of you likely receive calls on a weekly basis from credit card processing companies promising low rates and tempting you to sign up with their contract. But beware – there are unethical companies out there and it’s easy to fall into their trap, but very difficult to get out.

Bad credit
Many of you likely receive calls on a weekly basis from credit card processing companies promising low rates and tempting you to sign up with their contract. But beware – there are unethical companies out there.
April 23, 2010 - The garden industry around the worlds is going through some major changes. More retailers are discovering that this is an attractive retail category to be in and are looking for a part of the action. What does the independent garden retailer do to grow sales in an increasingly competitive market?

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