I am convinced more than ever that to succeed nowadays in the garden center business you have to stand out and offer a one of a kind experience. No longer do people line up at the cash registers on Saturdays just because you have garden supplies and are open convenient hours. Just getting noticed by the consumer is harder and harder.
One of the ways to be noticed is to be the best at what you do. To be the best small garden center means that we need to focus on what has gotten us here. Thatâ€™s why we donâ€™t do any landscaping, or have a landscape maintenance service. You also cannot get a landscape plan drawn up here. I know a lot of garden centers would love to have the extra income from these side businesses. While we have tried doing these things ourselves in the past I have found it starts to detract from our core focus, to offer the best small garden center experience.
To this end we find ourselves always looking to discard products and ventures that take us from our core focus. I feel that by dropping under performing ideas we do a better job with the ideas that are taking hold and growing. Trying to please every consumer is a losing battle. We long ago stopped trying to make money selling the same things you get in box and chain stores. We donâ€™t carry Miracle-Gro, Super Soil, Hineâ€™s plants or Scottâ€™s Products. The chain stores do a better job with these items any way.
The more independent and local we can get our merchandise the better. It makes us stand out. Not to the garden masses, but to a smaller group of people looking for a better nursery experience. These people tend to be less focused on the cost of the item and more on the long term value the item and shopping experience provides. They know our plants perform better in the long run. Our fertilizers offer a better, gentler feeding that increases soil fertility rather than destroying it. Even more important they enjoy a nursery experience that will relax your senses while helping to reinvigorate your gardening passion. To continue down this path we need to focus even more on creating a one of a kind experience for that special consumer.