What's next?

So now that spring is coming to an end how was your season? We we're busy, but not selling the things we use to sell a few years ago. Consumables are the driving force these days. Grow your own is the new mantra. Soil conditioners, fertilizers, vegetable starts, and seeds all increased. Shrubs, tress, and landscaping are still poor sellers. Small four inch container and jumbo pack flowers sell well. People still want to pretty up the yard, just not with expensive Japanese maples, ornamental conifers and the rest. We are going to position the garden center as the place to go for the stuff necessary to feed your family. The place where soils, fertilizers, and ideas that you can use to create a sense of self sufficiency for your family is what we are becoming.  I am finding it harder and harder to get excited about the next ever blooming hydrangea or Proven Winners introduction.  What I find interesting is how we as communities can create a vibrant culture of self-sufficiency. I see the garden center as a critical component of this movement.  So many people have lost touch with what it takes to grow your own. Having a place where one can re-learn that lost ability will be critical in our communities future. The garden center can be that place.

True garden centers will become indispensable components in our communities, rather than just a place to buy flowers. The industry is gravitating in this direction now. The large box store garden centers are becoming the places for cheap flowers and landscaping. They have the power of size and vendors committed to them that they now own that space. Why compete with them? Independent garden centers can niche out the "grow your own", and "self-reliance" field for themselves. When the information you need means the difference between feeding your family or going hungry who are you going to trust? The box store, or your neighbors at the locally owned garden center? Huge opportunity for independent garden centers.