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Garden Center vs. a JOY Center?

Garden Center vs. a JOY Center?

by Danny Summers

As Garden Retailers, you have so much to share to everyone, even to those who are not aware of it. Have you ever considered your Center being a JOY Center? Here's a few thoughts of alternate names for describing your Center:

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Only REAL Christmas Trees...

Only REAL Christmas Trees...

by Danny Summers

Seeing so many REAL Christmas Trees atop cars this week is a wonderful sight. By REAL of course I mean LIVE Christmas Trees. It is a tradition which began in the 1500's long before the automobile and is credited to German-American immigrants bringing the tradition to North America. You can read more of this story HERE. Allow me to finish the title for this message... "Only REAL Christmas Trees... deserve to be named."

This is an idea shared several years ago and has spread in more of our centers. Growing a live tree takes time – 6 to 12 years which makes it much more special than a mass-produced "live-like" (a.k.a. fake) one. The use of evergreens for decorating "the halls" also brings the wonderful scents we all remember during the holidays.

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Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

by Danny Summers

Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

Most sources you read and people you talk to are pretty much in agreement... the general public is going to be staying close to home this fall and winter throughout the Holiday Season.

We have recently seen some Group discussion on this subject in our GroupEs eList and the consensus is this could be a bigger than normal Fall and Christmas decorating season. Hosting more close family gatherings is likely and bringing Fall and Holiday color home may be just what everyone needs to create a comforting environment.


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Who's Your Competition?

Who's Your Competition?

by Danny Summers

When asked this question, I know the usual answer you might give is the garden center across town or even the big box down the street. It is a natural reaction. But the best answer may be quite different. It is normal to think about others who are in the same business as you and consider competing with them in a battle for the same business or customers.

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A Growing Trend

A Growing Trend

by Danny Summers

Foodies, Home-Grown, Garden-to-Table, Modern Homesteading, and More

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Humor Therapy

Humor Therapy

by Danny Summers

It's time for some Humor Therapy. If you do any kind of search for Humor Therapy you will quickly find lots of resources. For instance, the University of Michigan Health System says, "Humor therapy (sometimes called therapeutic humor) uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing. Humor Therapy helps you find ways to make yourself (or others) smile and laugh more. When you think of Humor Therapy, you may picture clowns in the children's ward of a hospital cheering up sick children. Some hospitals now have humor carts that provide funny materials for people of any age. Many nurses have learned the value of providing a good laugh to those for whom they are nursing.

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Remembering Something Special

Remembering Something Special

by Danny Summers

For any Boomer reading this, it will certainly take you back to your childhood days. For anyone younger, I hope I can share what is was like for us and what I see that may be creating that same feeling all over again for many.

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Raising the Bar - in 2020

Raising the Bar - in 2020

by Danny Summers

"A funny thing happens when you RAISE THE BAR. People find a way to get over it, once they realize it's expected. Human beings can do amazing things - if they're asked to." 

   ~ John Powers, Boston Globe Writer and Author of 'Friday's with Bill' (Belichick).

 

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The Cost of Creativity

The Cost of Creativity

With Comments from Robert and Danny

[Robert] "Danny called me last Monday and asked about my Super Bowl commercial review. Old news now, so a quick response. For once, the game was way better than any commercial. Other than the extended spot the NFL ran at the beginning, then maybe the Bill Murray Groundhog Day one since it was groundhog day, there was nothing super about any commercial this year."

[Danny] In case you missed the one ad Robert mentions above, simply click on the image here to see it. Robert's top-pick of JEEP's replay of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day is actually the winner of USA Today's Ad Meter - See details here.

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When a Writer Calls...

When a Writer Calls...

by Danny Summers

This past fall I received an introduction email and then a call from a writer who was assigned the task of creating a story for Better Homes & Garden magazine. The subject started out as:

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The Value of Creativity

The Value of Creativity

by Danny Summers

 

It is amazing to see what creativity can do. Whether it is displays in-store, signage, or your marketing message, real creativity is priceless. We have seen and heard how big corporations spend millions producing major ads for product launches or even special events like The Super Bowl which we will see in a few weeks. Most fail to make a big splash or impact. Only a few rise to the top and even onward to the award-winning archives such as ones we remember from long ago. This include Budweiser's Puppy Love from 2014, Apple's original Mac launch in 1984, or Coke's Mean Joe Green and Kid ad in 1980 (Revisit these in our February 11, 2019 GROUPtalk HERE). Or you may even remember Coke's "We'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" in 1971. These are etched into the hearts and minds of millions and are at top of marketing history.

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The New Garden Center Customer - Part 2

The New Garden Center Customer - Part 2

By Danny Summers

 

In Part 1 we reviewed how we are now in a transition of sorts where in 2019, "Baby Boomers" are projected to start a slow decline in numbers over the coming ears and where "Millennials" are projected to have overtaken Boomers in the top spot as percentage of population. Let's explore this further together...

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The New Garden Center Customer - Part 1

The New Garden Center Customer - Part 1

by Danny Summers

This is a time of transition, a time of change.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy said, "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."

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The Benefit of Community to Grow Your Business-Part 1

The Benefit of Community to Grow Your Business - Part 1

by Danny Summers

COMMUNITY: The idea for this message has been developing in my mind over recent months. As I have talked with Retailers, both inside and outside The Group some observations have come together to support these ideas. I will share these observations in several segments in the coming weeks. Here's Part 1.

Earlier this year I received a call from a veteran garden retailer whom I have known and respected for a number of years. During the conversation, he talked about all the opportunities he had through the many years to meet and interact with fellow retailers at industry events and develop life-long relationships that have helped him be successful. He added that many of those events were no longer in existence today. He went on to tell me one of his sons was coming back into the business and he expressed his concern about how his son would develop business relationships, like he did. He went on to say he sees The Group as one of the very best opportunities today to network with fellow garden retailers, share great level of details, and build connections and relationships that could help his son to be successful.

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Connect+ by Proven Winners

Connect+ by Proven Winners®

New Promotional Support Program for 2020

[Danny] This past week, while we were at the Farwest Show, Proven Winners' Jessica DeGraaf shared with me a new promotional support program they are introducing for 2020. You may remember they offered a special program this past spring where our centers could participate in a customized video series by Garden Answer's Laura and Aaron LeBoutillier. The program produced a series of videos each participating center could use on their website and in social media. The program was very reasonable and gave a wonderful message and a number of you participated. This new expanded program for 2020 brings together a number of offerings and is called Connect+. I asked Jessica to give us some commentary on the program and she sent us the following details.

While we discussed each tier of options to Connect+, we discussed the real value of just a couple of the elements such as the Facebook or Pandora pieces, it was obvious it would cost a center much more than the total cost of this offer and therefore what a great value this could be for our centers. Obviously you need to consider what Proven Winners® programs you will be carrying, what they can offer that matches up with those products and how you can implement in your center. If the product mix matches what you can sell, the value of this offer is pretty amazing. At a time of increasing effort is needed to handle all the promotional tools a center is utilizing today, this type of support can bring some needed relief. Be sure to also follow the link at the bottom to see the simple chart showing the four levels of promotional support.

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Peaks & Valleys

Peaks and Valleys

by Danny Summers

Twelve Weeks
The majority of a garden center's income happens in a 12-week period in spring. Exactly when the 12 weeks begin fluctuates of course, dependent upon location (climate zone) and seasonal weather breaks. The balance of the year the center is trying to hang onto the profit dollars by working on building income and keeping costs as low as possible.

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What's Your Image?

What's Your Image?

by Danny Summers

I am writing this at or near the end of the spring season and certainly there is a place for specials and clearance sales at this time, but that is not what I am thinking about here. Instead, it is a general question.

Throughout the year, what is your center's image to your audience?

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How Important is Consistency?

How Important is Consistency?

by Danny Summers

consistency

 noun
con·​sis·​ten·​cy |  \ kən-ˈsi-stən(t)-sē

definition: an agreement or harmony of parts, features or service to one another or a whole

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Finding Your Balance

Finding Your Balance

by Danny Summers

Let's face it. Spring is a marathon and you and your entire staff are exhausted near the end. It's Week 23 and the energy level is waning. I thought this would be a good time to make suggestion. How can you and your team find your balance in the next few weeks?

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Developing Your Most Valuable Asset

Developing Your Most Value Asset

by Danny Summers

As a Garden Center Owner or Manager, I challenge you with this question: What is your business' most valuable asset?

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