Sarah at Open register had a post about a fall festival near her that is put on by a local garden center. Oh, to have the problem that garden center has. Sarah received a e-mail from Grossman's Country Nursery that said, "In the past, many of you had expressed your apprehension to shop with us during October weekends because of how large our fall festival had become." They are going to change the fall festival so it won't be so busy that you can't shop! So many people with kids in tow gathering pumpkins, bouncing in the bounce house, eating popcorn, and carrying free balloons that mom is just too tired to buy plants or other garden related products. How interesting! The fall festival is so successful that it is affecting business, the wrong way! They are going "'back to our rootsâ€™ and will be offering you the very best of what we do ... flowers, plants, garden and home decor that you deserve to enjoy â€¦" I wonder if they are finding out that the age of their target consumer has risen above the child rearing years? Sure, the festival attracts lots of people, with kids. Maybe quite a few grandparents bring their grandkids, too. Its just that you can't expect much shopping to be happening while the kids are running from one event to the other.
Maybe the consumer is more like my wife and I, with the kids grown and almost out of the house. We would be looking for fun stuff to do, but not so much kid stuff. Angela went to Annies Annuals for their fall planting party. Yes, they do have Butterball the Clown doing balloons and face painting, as well a kids coloring table (keeps them in one spot),but the rest is adult oriented. Workshops, a chance to win a shopping spree, and an adult version of "musical chairs", with a $100 gift certificate the prize.
Its important to have kids and their parents involved with the nursery. This can be done with kids garden workshops, and a place for the kids to hang out (at our place this is "The Guacamole Hut"). Never the less this is a great lesson to be learned. Our bread and butter consumer is between the ages of 35 and 65, and active. They don't have to plan for what to do with the kids anymore, and they want to hang out where they're needs are met. People younger than 35, and those over 65 will still find the the garden center a inspiring and fun place to visit in fall, even as we focus on a different age demographic.