In a perfect world, every garden centre would sell-out their entire inventory in a timely fashion and with a good profit margin. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and given the slowing economy we need to be more diligent than ever with the ebb and flow of the products we deal with.
Chances are you already have that list in the back of your head – actions or tasks you know will improve your business, but things you just don’t have time to do right now. Now that the summer season is over it’s time to stop making excuses.
Everybody, it seems, has gotten into the Christmas décor market in recent years. Department stores, the traditional sellers of festive ornaments and decorations, have been joined by competitors in the form of hardware stores, home wares and décor retailers, and others.
I recently travelled to the Independent Garden Centre Show in Chicago, Ill. and the CanWest Hort Show in Vancouver, B.C. where I was able to sit in on several informative seminars that highlighted what’s going on in the gardening industry.

B.C. retail sales trend continues to decline
Retail sales in B.C. continued a downward trend in August, with forecasts suggesting 2008 will end with the weakest growth performance in several years. 

NRF: Gift cards to be the most requested gift this holiday
According to NRF’s 2008 holiday survey, 54.9 per cent of consumers would like to receive a gift card this holiday season, up slightly from 53.8 per cent last year. The organization says gift cards will be the most requested present this year.
NEWS HIGHLIGHT Grocery push at Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., best known as a seller of power drills and fishing rods, is eyeing an expansion into the grocery business. The retailer will start testing a range of foods, from bread and cereal to milk and frozen pizza, at two Ontario stores next month, in a bid to tackle a consumer segment thought to be resilient to economic downturns.
Oct. 27, 2008 - The International Garden Centre Association Congress took place in September in Vancouver. Garden centre retailers from across the world took part in the conference and toured a number of garden centres on the west coast in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, the Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island. Brian Minter covered the event and took photos.

Pictures from the 2008 IGCA Congress
The International Garden Centre Association Congress took place in September in Vancouver. Garden centre retailers from across the world took part in the conference and toured a number of garden centres on the west coast. Brian Minter covered the event and took photos.
Oct. 27, 2008 - With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to switch up your displays. Proper merchandising is key to promoting your seasonal offerings, and also your year-round stock. Read on for tips on how to create stunning displays in your shop this holiday season and the coming year.

Frugal shoppers expected this season
Canadian retailers should see plenty of traffic this holiday season, though they'll be facing a more frugal customer base than in recent times, according to a forecast released Monday.

Come see us at Garden & Florist Expo
This year's Garden & Florist Expo will be at the Toronto Congress Centre from Oct. 21-22. Stop by our booth, number 909, and say hello!

Tips to get your customers planting fall bulbs

Bulbs are nature's answer to all those impatient gardeners trying to get a running start on spring. Plant them now, as temperatures cool but before the ground freezes hard, and the bulbs will provide a cheerful, colourful show before the last snows of winter melt away.

Canada's growth to slump, but no recession: conference board
Canada's economy will sag but not stall, according to a new forecast released Wednesday by the Conference Board of Canada. The Ottawa-based business think-tank said gross domestic product will expand by only 0.8 per cent in 2008. CBCNews reports.

Sliding consumer confidence could put a damper on holiday sales cheer
The writhing of financial markets could provoke Canadians to tighten their purse strings and force retailers to slash prices this holiday season.

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