As we ease into 2009, it’s safe to say the tough economy is one issue that’s going to stick around for much of the coming year. It is hard to go more than a day without hearing or reading about the implications of the worsening financial system.
Jan. 03, 2008 — Ball Horticultural Company has been reviewing extensive consumer colour preference information, as well as published data from leading colour forecasters, and has uncovered three of the hottest trends that will have the most impact on shoppers this spring.
Murphy’s Law states that “if anything can go wrong it will.” While most of us are a bit more optimistic than this, anyone past the age of 20 generally understands that, sometimes, the unexpected happens. For a small business, this can be anything from an armed assailant walking into your operation to a power failure or even a personal health crisis.
The success of any garden centre depends to a large degree on the quality and effectiveness of its staff. While advertising, cost controls, inventory management, and appealing merchandising are all important elements in retailing, few would argue that the defining factor in any store’s success is the impact – for better or worse – made by its employees.
Have you ever asked yourself what it is that your customers really want when they come to shop at your nursery or garden centre? If you thought that it might be quality plant stock, good customer service or a comprehensive product selection you would be wrong.
You’ve all got those customers – the ones who have been coming into your centre year after year, filled with a passion for gardening and a love of horticulture. They come in every few weeks to see what’s new and view gardening as a relaxing hobby.
During the recent International Garden Centre Association Conference in Vancouver, where 177 of the world’s leading garden stores visited several West Coast garden centres, one question kept coming up: why weren’t we continually reinvesting in our garden stores?
In the garden centre industry, sometimes it’s easy to focus on the plants and worry about the administrative side of the business in the off-season. However, at the east coast’s Green Village Home & Garden, owner Andy Buyting has made it a priority to develop a solid business structure that could rival many corporate offices.
One of our readers, Kevin Good of Green Line Success, recently sent in the following topic for our blog here at Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery:

"You see more and more flat screen TVs in retail stores advertising that particular store's products and services. Do any garden centres use them? Do you find that these TVs attract a "captive" audience?"

Have your say on this topic by posting comments below.


Gardening for gamers
Video game fans will soon be able to garden in the virtual world. Gardening Mama, a new Nintendo DS™ gardening simulation game, was announced last week by Majesco Entertainment Company, a provider of video games for the mass market.

Turnover increases retail productivity: StatsCan
The arrival of big-box retail giants such as Wal-Mart into the Canadian retail market helped spur stores into higher productivity than before, according to a new report released by Statistics Canada on Monday. 

Landscape Ontario enters consumer marketing arena with ‘Green for Life’

What happens when the green industry ‘takes back’ green? Despite the news releases from large oil companies, metal mines and other Canadian industries, one of the few truly green industries is the horticulture industry.

Christmas selling tips
for 2008

The advent calendar is already starting to wind down. Less than two weeks left (and counting) until the big day arrives. Now's the time when it's crucial to get that Christmas merchandise selling and to help you do so, we've compiled some selling tips from around the World Wide Web.

Common mistakes retailers make on Black Friday
While Canadian retailers don't have a shopping event like today's Black Friday in the U.S., we can still learn lessons on how to prepare for discount shoppers and bargain hunters, especially in today's economy. Nielsen has prepared a Top 10 list of common mistakes made by retailers who are trying to play and win in the competitive world of Black Friday. 

Shoppers cash-strapped, cranky this season

Canadians are in a bearish mood this holiday season, and will shop primarily in stores where they feel they can get the greatest value for their money, according to a survey released Monday by Toronto-based Maritz Research Canada. 

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