by Sid Raisch

This spring has a lot of people scratching their heads as some pretty interesting things you could also call unreasonable have been going on.

  • Introduction of Artificial Intelligence via Chat GPT, for FREE. 
  • Consumers paying prices that were unimaginable in 2019-2020, (and plants are included).
  • An elusive recession has economists stumped.


These three items seem unreasonable enough, even defying logic. Will wonders cease? Probably not. Let’s look at each of them below the surface.


  • Artificial Intelligence – AI has been around for quite a while. A client mentioned that after he thought about it he recognized that we have been using it with spell check, which is now built into most email and document systems, and in Grammerly.
  • Unimaginable Prices - IGCs are now getting prices for plants that represent unclaimed perceived value that has been there for years. Most IGCs only gained the increase because of passing along cost increases of the past 3 years. That’s doing it wrong by the way. Meanwhile, some wise clients were already getting higher perceived value prices, and greater profit and continue to do so today because they’ve baked the process into their practices.
  • The Elusive Recession – economists primarily predict recession based on indicators in the economy such as GDP, consumer debt, etc. and they’re not wrong to do that, but why is the predicted recession having trouble starting? People are born to spend, and then someday die, and with that comes spending rates that increase along the way as they mature. Between the birth rate increases of GenX and Millennials, their spending years are accelerating and are driving consumer purchasing - regardless of inflation. H.S. Dent birth rate and spending rate charts show these spending rates and how they are rooted in birth rate adjusted for immigration. There could be an economic recession around the corner, but it will have to exceed these naturally occurring causes. Making recession even more difficult to achieve (if you want it to) is the end of life of older baby boomers resulting in the accelerating rate of the greatest transition of wealth in history. This inheritance is being spent, not saved for future generations, and/or further masking current economic reality, or creating it, whichever you look at.


These are times of rapidly accelerating change, reminding me of the mid-’80s when Apple McIntosh created true personal desktop computing, then the 90s when the web browsers like Netscape opened the wonders of the Internet to early adopters, while people just like us learned to Google. Then came the 1990s when virtually every adult got a CompuServe/AOL/EarthLink email account, followed by the 2,000s when the cell phone evolved into the flip phone and then the SmartPhone, while Amazon changed the way we bought books and became The Everything Store. Also unreasonably, our own content, called Social Media has become the vast majority of media and enabled Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to sell billions of dollars of advertising right there beside us. Instead of us listening to radio and watching television and reading newspapers, we’re absorbing our own content and those social media platforms are getting paid for it. Strange world isn’t it?

Now that we look back it’s easier to see that unreasonable change has become a way of modern life. Wonders will not cease.
Unreasonable Retail – A level of retailing, beyond our imagination – is on our horizon, or nearer. What are we able to do now that will be unreasonable, but not so much that it won’t eventually happen?

Here are three more types of previously thought unreasonable retailing to hit our industry:

  • Pre-Ordering – paying for plants (sight unseen) and related products, and picking them up or having them delivered when they are ready in the future. Several clients have been doing this going back a dozen years. It’s not unreasonable anymore. 
  • Subscriptions – Signing up and paying in advance for plants and related products – (sight unseen), before they are even propagated. Several clients have been doing this for several years already. It’s not unreasonable anymore. 
  • Storeless Garden Retailing – Buying plants and related products (sight unseen) from a website, aka virtual store, and picking them up or having them delivered. I know of three companies that are doing this and no longer have store hours except by appointment, or don’t have a retail location at all. (I’m not calling them garden centers because they’re not, but they do replace the need for having a garden center for their customers.) They are operating at lower levels of revenue, COGS, wages, and operating expenses, with greater profit and more freedom in their lifestyles. It’s not unimaginable when you know it is being done. It’s not unreasonable either.
Retailing these three ways isn’t common in our industry, but is fairly common in retail in general and most of us are willing participants in pre-ordering and subscribing to all sorts of things from buying books pre-release, to all the Internet-related subscriptions we pay for every month.
It has been unreasonable to think these ways, but now it isn’t.
It’s the time of life when not being unreasonable in these ways, is unreasonable.
I’m here to help. Send a text to connect while you’re thinking about it, before you and your money get distracted away from you again, and I’ll get in touch to set up a call. 937-302-0423.

Before procrastination or other busyness steals another year from you Text or Call 937-302-0423 or send an email to [email protected] .

Sid Raisch is an advocate for family business leading growth, change, and results throughout US horticulture. Redefining the business future for consumer horticulture by understanding how the end-to-end supply chain needs to be redirected is a skill Sid has honed into an art. He has understanding and insight through inquisitive observations and extensive experience and has served as a trusted advisor helping transform both national and local businesses into more profitable and sustainable businesses. Developing national and international educational programs that create change in culture, community and company provides Sid venues with a front row seat creating effective and innovative business models.

Sid is a Certified Value Builder System Advisor, and currently serves as Chief Strategist and the Swiss Army Knife of Consultants to The Garden Center Group clients. Contact Sid at [email protected] or call or text  937-302-0423.

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

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