Fill Your Own Stocking

Hi Fellow Garden Center Owner,

Aren’t you glad that your garden center is not dependent on the month of December for 19.2 percent of your annual sales? According to the National Retail Federation that is what most retailers experience. It varies according to the industry of course.

 But we certainly know the urgency of our season, as we go through that rush every spring.  In our industry, it feels hard to compete with the other larger retailers during the holidays and besides, it’s not really our season. But wait, we are the ones with the trees and wreaths and natural decorations. They are coming here anyway. It can be our season.

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  How can we help our customers to pick up a few gifts while they are here, make their life easier and add to our bottom line, stuff our stocking so to speak. 

Focus on larger front counter, impulse sales. Yes, place those impulse items up front that have some value, not just trinkets, but some financial benefit for us. It’s hard to put a wheelbarrow on the counter or a shiny new spade, but maybe  a bonsai tree or a more expensively decorated arrangement with a sign ” 

 Create displays with your customer in mind. Solve a problem, give them an idea, pack it together and be sure to put a sign with it. A terrarium  kit, a kit for helping to care for their plants while they are on vacation, a seed starting kit, a kid’s kit…. You get the idea.

 Create some fun signage that makes it personal.  Something like, “Angela is getting this for her mother, as her mother always looses her garden gloves.” Include a picture of Angela or her mother – or both wearing gloves, or course.  Try a personal staff favorite sign  “Mary’s favorite plant –  I love it because I haven’t killed it yet. ”  Trust me – one sign can sell.

 Ladies night out – wine( if allowed), chocolates and a little advertising are a small price to pay, knowing that women are the main shoppers in the household.  And have those guy tools ready with a bow and a sign ” Nice tool for your guy”

 Men’s night out – Let’s face it, they need help with gifts, most men do.  Have your staff greet them as a personal shopper, ( may be a name tag – Mary personal shopper ) Work with a list and walk them through the store.  Fun advertising for this could include.  “Let us do it for you. Give us your list and we will be your personal shopper for the evening while you have a drink on us.”Give your staff a chance to brainstorm what else you can do. Have some fun with this.

 Keep the email newsletters coming with succinct ideas.

Don’t give them not too much to read, mostly pictures and throw in a special or something enticing. ” Your kid sister will love our really cute cactus plants and she wont have to water them.”

Create a card file for your regular customers. Next year you will know their order and their name easily. This works best for wreath and decorative orders.

Feel free to email me with any other holiday ideas that have worked for you. 

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