Manager, Moscarillo’s Garden Shoppe,
Torrington and West Hartford, Conn.
For 2011 we want to make sure everything looks fresh, which includes fixing greenhouse benches and adding some new paint. I think our repainted building—especially with its new, bright color—invigorates not only employees, but customers as well. Any noticeable upkeep shows people we are here to stay, even with the economy being the way it is.
President, Weston Nurseries,
Hopkinton and Chelmsford, Mass.
We’re opening a second location this spring in Chelmsford. The new store is actually in a residential area—so that’s the biggest challenge for us—visibility. We’re working with the local authorities on some off-premise signage. And, of course, we’re working on a very large marketing budget for this year.
General manager, White Oak Garden Center,
Currently I’m deep into marketing and advertising plans for 2011. I’m working on how to divide up the marketing dollars.
We are going to increase our social media and e-mail efforts this spring. We may decrease the amount of dollars allocated to direct mail. I’ve been looking into many ways to increase the number of people on our e-mail newsletter. I feel that it’s vital that we get as many people on our e-mail list and Facebook page as we can.
Also at the top of list is creating a better shopping experience at the garden center this spring. We’re planning on getting into fairy gardens, and would like to create a display area for that line.
We’re also working toward building an area that is dedicated to edibles. Maybe a covered area or just a structure that is more visible.
And finally, after a few down years in sales we must see increases this year. We’ve made good improvements in our profit margins, and now it is time to increase sales. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.
Buyer, Petitti Garden Centers,
There is so much to do in the spring that we spend months in preparation. Our plan is to get everything in place beforehand so that we can concentrate on customers during our busy season. Product receiving starts in December for imports; marketing will be all planned by the end of January. February will focus on product-knowledge training. Interior merchandising should be finished by March 1, and exterior merchandising by April 1. Interviews/hiring take place through winter, with crews starting in March. The months of April, May and June are just about executing the plans we made, and keeping the store stocked with fresh plants.