Retail
My wife is a very picky flower consumer. Her checklist includes price, colour, uniqueness, and – mostly importantly – fragrance. In fact, if the plant isn’t fragrant, you’d pretty much have to have flowers pulsing neon to pique her interest.
May 25, 2009 – In my conference presentations, I often talk about the fact that what the customer perceives is in their mind truth and that is what retailers and suppliers need to work on.
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Perception is truth
Retail expert John Stanley discusses how garden centres perceive their own industry and what they think are their weaknesses.
NEWS HIGHLIGHT

The 3/50 project looks out for independents
Pick three. Spend 50. Save your local economy – that's the new premise of a website recently launched in the U.S.
NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Heidi Dent digs in
Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery is pleased to announce the appointment of Heidi Dent as National Sales Manager.
NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Recycled materials make gardening even greener
Manufacturers are hitting pay dirt with recycled products designed for the garden.
NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Flowers, jewelry top
Mother's Day purchases

Canadians certainly love their moms, lavishing them with flowers, spa treatments and jewelry for Mother’s Day 2009.
Rosa Flora Ltd. in Dunnville, Ontario, is one of Canada’s largest cut flower growers and wholesalers. The company recently hosted an open house to celebrate 30 years of growing success, and I welcomed the opportunity to again tour its facilities.
In spite of the economic downturn, worldwide recession and the drop in home real estate values, one of the greatest opportunities lies before us this spring. This is the year to be very good at running our businesses: staying on budget; keeping inventories in control; cutting back on high-end products; and increasing in areas of the best potential, such as colour containers and edibles. Because there is a huge potential for our businesses this year, our marketing needs to be more effective and targeted, our team needs to be well trained and professional and our stores need to look fabulous in order to provide a great experience.
The spring retailing season is right around the corner and if you’ve worked in this sector for a while, you know it’s a hectic and tiring time. Unfortunately, these are two factors conducive to workplace injuries. Workplace safety may not be as glamorous a topic as marketing or strategic planning but its role in keeping your business healthy can’t be underestimated. If a member of your team becomes hurt, it’s sad on a personal level because you care about them. It’s also a negative for your business since it leaves the team short staffed for potentially long periods of time. You’ll be especially vulnerable during the spring rush because the pace of the season’s demands means injuries are more likely. Being short staffed at this hectic time can make meeting your sales objectives more difficult because customers won’t get the benefit of your full service capabilities. Keeping your team safe is tantamount to keeping your business safe.
Water features provide a peaceful focal point for home owners, and the sounds of trickling, bubbling, or cascading seem to sooth the soul. For garden centres, water features represent a trend that can generate increased traffic and considerable profits.
As far as the retail nursery market is concerned, the environmental revolution can be summed up in just two words, customer perception – and public opinion is looking very green these days. Who would have thought 20 years ago that we’d be planting perennials on our roofs, using microscopic nematodes as a pesticide substitute or getting concerned about contaminated run-off from our roads? Granted, green roofs and permeable parking are found primarily on large commercial projects, but their high profile has brought them to public awareness, an awareness that is changing spending habits down to the local garden centre level.
The last weeks of winter can be a gloomy time as Mother Nature teases us with the possibility of a spring thaw and slams us back into reality with a late-March snowstorm. Tack on the never-ending talk of the dreary economy and it’s safe to say everyone is in need of a little optimism.
April 21, 2009 - On Earth Day, more than six million Canadians join one billion people in over 170 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity. We want to know - what are you doing at your shop to go green?
NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Take part in the 2009 Garden Centre Inspection Program
The Canadian Landscape and Nursery Association is inviting garden centres to set themselves apart from the competition and take part in the CNLA's 2009 Garden Centre Inspection Program.

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