There’s something magical about Halloween, and it’s not just felt by the legions of trick-or-treaters racing pell-mell up and down the streets. Halloween conjures up the trickster in all of us. It’s the one time of year when even adults have permission to be silly, to explore the boundaries of our imagination.
With all of the attention being paid to shiny new marketing tools like Twitter, Facebook and websites, it’s easy to forget some of the more traditional marketing tools. Catalogues are a classic direct marketing tactic and if deployed strategically, they can work well with your other marketing activities as part of an integrated strategy. You’ll see that it’s not really about choosing between e-marketing and catalogues but rather how both can co-exist and benefit each other as complementary channels for your customers to access.
Whether you’re looking for hardy plants that pack a vibrant punch, an outdoor furniture set to spend the summer lounging on or fresh produce and chickens for a great local meal, Lacoste Garden Centre in Winnipeg, Man., is a one-stop operation to suit your needs.
Local is in. We hear over and over that going local results in products that are fresher and supports community merchants. In the last few years, the “Go Local” movement has boomed, thanks in part to the 100-mile diet, food contamination issues and a tough economy. You’ve likely seen the local movement thrive at your garden centre through the increased sales of seeds and growing interest in vegetable gardens.

Apology trumps cash for unhappy customers
Unhappy customers are much more likely to forgive a company if it apologizes than if it offers cash compensation, a British study has found.

Turn 'tire kickers' into customers

What can you do to elevate your relationship with the "just browsing" or to increase your chance of landing a sale tomorrow that you didn't make today?
Sept. 16, 2009 - Marketers preach that 99 cents beats a dollar every time. But do customers really see the difference? The Globe and Mail’s Report of Business magazine recently featured a story that explored whether pricing to the 99’s was still effective.

Pricing to the nines
Marketers preach that 99 cents beats a dollar every time. But do customers really see the difference?

It's looking a bit like Christmas – already
It seems Christmas is coming earlier every year, and some consumers are far from happy.
Sept. 3, 2009 - The general consensus in society is that, the bigger the better. I had the impression that size affects the consumer experience and the larger the size the better the experience. Over the last few years I have started to question this theory. I’m convinced small is beautiful and more profitable.

Does size matter?
The general consensus in society is that, the bigger the better. Over the last few years I have started to question this theory.
After being on a panel at the recent OFA Short Course in Ohio, discussing the state of the floriculture industry, it’s clear that in North America our industry has been experiencing insignificant growth in recent years, going from approximately 16 per cent yearly growth in the 1960s to one per cent or less growth in the past few years.
Facebook and Twitter were foreign terms just a few years ago. Today, they describe digital venues for communication but for many of us, we’re still in the dark as to where this technology may or may not fit into our business objectives. You may be wondering “who has the time in the midst of running a demanding business to be playing with this stuff”? But the payoff from this technology may just be worth making the time.
For many small and medium-sized garden centres, buying a point-of-sale (POS) system may seem like an unnecessary expense. The business has been running fine without one for years, so why change now?
Imagine five floors filled with stylish baubles, fresh florals, lots of sparkle, blinking lights, distinctive new containers, lavishly decorated trees and aisle after aisle of displays and booths. This is the scene that played out at the 2009 Christmasworld – The World of Event Decoration trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. The annual event takes place at Messe Frankfurt, the city’s renowned trade show venue and attracts more than 950 exhibitors from 38 countries. I was invited the attend the show at the beginning of January and spent three days with my camera in one hand snapping away and a notebook in the other, detailing the hot, and soon to be hot, European Christmas trends.

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