Gardening without shopping?

Amy at Garden Rant has put up a poll called, "Gardening without Shopping". She say's, "I miss it, buying stuff.  New stuff inspires me to do cool things in the garden.  But even a truckload of mulch is a luxury I'm doing without right now. What about you?" Head over and take the poll. One thing Amy and the others at Garden Rant have done over the years is promote shopping at the garden center. To hear that she will not be spending as much this season is not a good sign for her local garden centers. Multiply her feeling across the country and you can get an idea what we are up against this year and next.

So you find yourself in a business where the product you sell is looked at by many as a luxury. Something that can be curtailed for more important things, like that morning cappuccino. That's the crux of the problem for our industry. It's no longer looked upon by the vast majority of people as a necessity.

The way I see it, identifying the people like Amy, who really want to shop at the garden center is now our priority. Once you know who these people are you can focus your energy on them, rather than trying to reach a larger market. Specials, free workshops, direct e-mail news, and acknowledgment of how important they are to our business is what's called for.

You have to reach your taget market, which in our case is very small, but loyal. If we don't remind them of us, and the importance of the garden in these times, they just might not think of us. There is just so much to think about. We had a tin art workshop over the weekend that was well attended. People looking for something fun to do, in a refreshing environment. Didn't make a lot of money that day, but we had the parking lot full and anytime you can get people into the store it's a good thing.

If you in a garden business what's it going to take to get them into your store this season?  If you a gardener what's it going to take to get you into the garden center this season?