On Your Mark, Get Set... (you know the rest)

On Your Mark, Get Set... (you know the rest)

by Danny Summers

We all know spring is right around the corner. Actually, as I review our Week 7 Weekly Department Review (WDR) report as I write this blog message, it sure looks like spring is already arriving, especially across the South and Southeast Regions. In recent weeks we have been watching negative year-to-date sales totals for all regions, with very early numbers of course. As each week progresses, those negatives have been reducing and Week 7 pushed Total Group numbers into positives to be ahead of last year. And now the race begins!

The idea of this message started out being more of "Get Ready" but it appears the race may have already begun. Here in the Southeast it feels like an early arrival having cut Daffodils several weeks ago for inside enjoyment and now seeing cherries in full bloom and our native red maples beginning to show spring foliage. Keep in mind here in North Metro Atlanta (we are zone 7), spring can arrive as early as late February and as late as mid to late March. This year, it appears to be on the early side.

Even with lower early spring sales levels, Week 7 reported an average of +86.6% increase over the same week in 2021. The largest was the SOUTH region but I am thinking their 2021 big freeze was probably a big factor in Week 7 of last year's comparisons. I admit I can get very excited when I see weeks like this but we must keep in mind weeks can vary greatly this time of year and it's the year-to-date numbers that mean the most (I can hear Steve Bailey talking in my ear).

We all are wondering... what will the 2022 spring and year bring? We have two record years back-to-back in 2020 and 2021. How much will we see sales increase? I am confident we will see increases, keeping in mind inflationary factors that will impact retail pricing. In addition, as I mentioned in a GroupEs message last week, world events unfolding before our eyes could also encourage more home gardening this spring. And as sales increase, can profits increase as well? Can Centers control costs and leverage efficiencies in order to make the most of the opportunity?

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at the Master Nursery Garden Centers' Annual Meeting. I shared some of what we have collectively experienced over the past two years and we had some great discussion of what could be ahead. The message, of course, included the need for nature in our lives and I shared Florence Williams' theme from The Nature Fix book. While I was there Jon Reelhorn of Belmont Nursery (Group Center) shared with me their new video on the good news about TREES. It fit right in with the discussion we were having. You can see their "Trees are the Answer" video by clicking on the photo here. (Thanks Jon, for sharing.)

So back to "On Your Mark, Get Set..." Will you be ready for a big spring ahead, serving your community?

Remember, you are serving a very important need to your guests. Finding a little peace, joy, and happiness in the garden can be a welcome escape from the world around us, so make sure you're ready to help them create their paradise.

Best wishes on a very successful spring season. And remember, all of The Group is as close as your email or phone to help you navigate the challenges of those busy weeks!

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others such as Tropicals? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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