Checked the Facebook wall the other day, as is my daily custom—what with me being such a social butterfly and all. I was borderline astonished to find more than a dozen portaits of Ma Nature posted—along with the requisite awe-inspired declarations that this world is, indeed, lovely.
For clarification purposes, this was my personal wall, not my Garden Center wall, which certainly would and should qualify as a logical perch for pictures of peonies and ponds and pea hens. The fact that we’re talking generic distribution underscores just how ripe the garden market is right now. People clearly want a respite, complete with all the “fixin’s,” from annuals and perennials that veritably sparkle to birdhouses that don’t just complement the landscape, but that—get this—lure birds!
Borderline Astonishing News, Part II ... In addition to interest “out there” I’m sensing a groundswell of optimism in the ranks, as well. In recent weeks I’ve visited with dozens of industry professionals in many sectors of the country. The consensus: The aforementioned Mother Nature has chosen to point sunbeams earlier and more brightly than usual. The gist: Almost everywhere you live and look outdoor-activity-enticing weather has staked a claim on the land. And garden centers are reaping the benefits.
I’d add “FINALLY” here, but you probably beat me to the punch line. If anyone’s due to roll a “7” this year, it’s horticulture’s trench warriors, who haven’t gotten a break from the weather, from the economy, from the politicians or from the buying public—for, what, nearly four years now?
Well, Now, you’re getting that break—maybe in spades. I’ve often written, when referencing a new garden center year, that I hoped it would be your best selling season ever. This time, more than in recent times, it certainly has the potential to be just that. Good weather plus piqued interest is to garden centers what a 95-mph fastball plus a knee-bending slider is to a baseball pitcher—only, in the garden center operator’s case, he/she seldom has to worry about getting a whip cream pie in the face from a teammate at the conclusion of a stellar performance.
To help ensure that your performances are, indeed, stellar, we’ve tailored a set of stories in this issue called “All About Margins & Profits,” beginning on page 16. In the mix, you’ll find strategies and product-and-service ideas that have been proven to be reliable. And profitable—definitely profitable. So much so, in fact, that you might even want to take a picture of the bottom line at the end of the year and post it on Facebook.