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Karl Stensson to kick off Expo on Oct. 19


August 29, 2011
By Amanda Ryder

Aug. 29, 2011 – Karl Stensson, a third-generation nurseryman, has a lifetime of experience
building a successful garden centre business. He will share his
secrets in the keynote address kicking off Landscape Ontario’s Expo in Toronto on Oct. 19.

Aug. 29, 2011 – “A tough economy and stiff competition makes for a challenging time in retail garden centres, but the pathway to success lies in getting back to basics and offering what today’s guests are looking for,” says Karl Stensson, president of Sheridan Nurseries.
 
Stensson, a third-generation nurseryman, has a lifetime of experience building a successful garden centre business. He has toured the world looking for what works — and what doesn’t — in building Canada’s largest, multi-branch garden centre business. He will share those secrets in the keynote address kicking off Landscape Ontario’s Expo, Canada’s fall trade show for the garden and floral industry, on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.
 
“The only constant in gardening retail is change,” says Stensson. “Being successful means more than stocking the latest trends in plants and accessories. Success comes from every aspect of the business, ensuring your guests have an enlightening and educational shopping experience.”
 
The lessons Stensson has learned have helped him grow Sheridan Nurseries into a grower-retailer operation that produces more than 700 varieties of plants on 400 hectares of land in Halton Hills and sells hardy ornamental plants, annuals, house plants, garden supplies, furniture, home décor and giftware at nine outlets in the Greater Toronto Area and Waterloo Region.
 
At Expo 2011, Stensson will share what he has learned, using pictures to showcase great entrances and the importance of making a good first impression on your guests. He’ll explore how to display plants and products and how to improve traffic flow through the centre, ensuring guests get the most out of a visit. The secrets of exceptional guest services and the benefits of employing environmental practices will be discussed. Through it all, garden centres owners will learn how to sell more products and increase their average sales.

Michael Van Dongen, foreman/supervisor, Van Dongens Landscaping & Nurseries Limited, Hornby, Ont., comments, "Karl Stensson is an industry trailblazer and a leader among his peers in the garden centre industry. Besides being a pre-eminent grower of hundreds of varieties of hardy nursery stock; his company, Sheridan Nurseries is a destination of choice for consumers looking for the best quality and variety of plant materials and lifestyle related products.”

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Landscape Ontario’s Garden Centre Sector group, host of the event and the Awards of Excellence Ceremony, is honoured to present a speaker holding the industry stature of Mr Stensson. Van Dongen continues, “Karl has taken lessons he's learned from his ancestors, dating back to 1913, and insights gleaned from his international travels to create outstanding garden centres that bring customers back – daily. Garden centre owners and indeed all retailers will learn his secrets of success at the opening keynote for Expo 2011."
 
· Who: Karl Stensson, president of Sheridan Nurseries and keynote speaker kicking off Landscape Ontario’s Expo 2011.

· Topic: Taking a Good Garden Centre and Making it GREAT!

· When: Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 7:30 a.m.

· Where: Main Stage, Expo 2011, Toronto Congress Centre North Building

The registration fee for Karl Stensson’s presentation includes breakfast and an EXPO 2011 trade show badge. The Awards of Excellence Ceremony for the Garden Centre and Grower Programs, held during breakfast, is included. Tickets for Taking a Good Garden Centre and Making it GREAT are $55 for Landscape Ontario members; $75 for non-members with early-bird pricing is in effect until October 7, after which time prices will increase. It is recommended that tickets be purchased early at the new affordable pricing. Retail owner/operators, retail store sales and customer service personnel will gain insights from the presentation.
 
For industry professionals interested in the Expo 2011 trade show only, the registration fees for Landscape Ontario members are $10 and $15 for non-members until October 7th. Prices increase after October 7th. Registration is now open. Visit www.loexpo.ca for details.


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