10 Tips for Getting Your Garden Center Spring Ready

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The pumpkins are out, leaves are falling, and trick-or-treaters will shortly be traveling from house to house in search for candy. That means garden retailers are in full swing planning out their space and sprucing up their displays for next spring. Use these ten tips to make the leap into spring more profitable.

#1: First 20 Rule

The first 20 feet of your entrance can make or break your spring profits, so focus on making a great first impression. It is the displays that the customer sees first, on the outside of your entrance and immediately inside, that tell the consumer what you offer. Superior curb appeal here and a dazzling display of your best products should be used as your living billboard. Keep it fresh by changing it often, at least every 2-3 weeks.

#2: Signage Time

A thriving garden center will tailor display designs to give customers the feel of personal service even when employees can’t get to everyone immediately. Signage placed to showcase seasonal specials or to help relate cultural information and backstory about live plants will engage shoppers and increase sales. Also, strategically placed, attractive signs can also direct customers on their walkthrough of the garden center by pointing out companion plants and products.

#3: The Hardy-Zone

Remember that some customers, especially new ones, may still be in the novice stage of gardening. Arranging nursery plants according to hardiness zone can be helpful to those still learning. Be sure to have information about hardiness zones prominently posted throughout the store in each product category.

#4: “Baby, Come Back” Incentive

Encourage repeat visits by offering coupons for use “on your next visit” at checkout. Offer price discounts or samples of popular flowers and plants during certain seasons. Institute a reward system to promote customer loyalty bond to your garden center and keep them coming back.

#5: Offer Gardening Classes

Offer tantalizing tips around your retail space, such as “Want to kill compost odor? Join us each week for Gardening Class.” Offering classes can go a long way toward fostering a sense of gardening community.

#6: Grow Good Employees

Your employees should be accessible to customers and knowledgeable about all things garden related, from plant hardiness to potting soil to squirrel-proofing bird feeders. Customer service is the name of the game. It is often the little things, like offering plastic sheeting so water and dirt don’t make a mess in the car, that makes all the difference.

#7: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

There are going to be seasonal ups and downs. Reuse and repurpose whenever possible, such as after Christmas or Halloween. Let your employees impress you with their creativity and craft abilities by coming up with novel displays that reuse products like ribbons, candles, plastic modular pieces, and even cardboard boxes and plastic pots.

#8: Height Issues

Benching systems should be flexible, portable and of standard height so that customers are not reaching at high shelving for heavy pots or spilling dirt in their faces when getting a plant down. Utilize hanging basket displays to fill the “above head” spaces.

#9: Think Outside Lawn & Garden

Is the local garden yoga guru looking for a spot to hold classes? Offer up space for local clubs to host and fill it with your best, most popular plants prominently displayed, of course. Allowing artists to hold painting or pottery classes with your plants as models and inspiration is a great way to get customers engaged and into your store, even during slow times.

#10: Spring and Summer Pop-ups

Take advantage of spring and summer weather with open-air produce-style stands and pop-ups outside your building. These will not only attract customers but also make a great center for promotional, seasonal, holiday events, and for educating customers on gardening in general or answering specific questions.

If you’re in the planning stage for spring, contact us for a complimentary layout and design consultation. We will help you visualize your space and provide strategies for how to maximize your display layout.

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