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IGC 2011 Starts In...
2011 IGC Show Monday Tours
Sign up early – sold out last year!
Wisconsin “Cheesehead” Garden Center Tour
Monday, August 15
7 am – 6:30 pm
Conducted by Garden Centers of America and The Garden Center Group
Energize your garden center business with an inside look at the best practices of five highly successful retailers during IGC’s “Cheesehead” bus tour, a daylong excursion into Southern Wisconsin that mixes business with pleasure during visits to Milaeger’s, Racine, WI; Stein Gardens & Gifts, Oconomowoc, WI; Brennan’s Market, Oconomowoc, WI; Hawks Nursery, Wauwatosa, WI; and Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee, IL.
Inspiration awaits at every stop. Learn how Milaeger’s, ranked No. 61 in Nursery Retailer’s IGC 100 report with $8 million in sales, has made a name in garden lifestyle, distinguishing its mix with high-quality accessory furniture, lamps, framed prints, rugs, tabletop items, culinary products and fashion accessories and gifts. Then, check out how Stein, the nation’s second largest IGC with $76.4 million in sales from 16 locations, draws crowds to its stores with its private label program and other consistently dependable offerings. Specialty packaged foods are hot with IGC shoppers, and Brennan’s Market knows how to sell the category, alongside fresh produce, cheeses and wines – get a taste of their recipe for success.
At Hawks, customer service is a hallmark – the retailer’s community garden information center answers more than 1,500 calls during a busy spring day. To kick start category merchandising ideas for next season, turn a keen eye to Bass Pro Shops’ store layout and product displays, built strategically around specific departments.
Lunch at Stein Gardens & Gifts included.
Chicagoland Botanical and Arboretum Tour
Monday, August 15
7:30 am – 6:30 pm
Presented by Lunch by Aquascape
by All-American Selections and National Garden BureauChicago is home to spectacular plant exhibitions that are among the most renowned in North America and across the world. And this year, IGC’s Chicagoland Botanical and Arboretum Tour takes you there.
First stop on the daylong tour is the Chicago Botanic Garden, called a “living plant museum,” with more than 385 acres laying the canvas for 28 wondrous gardens. The botanical garden is the recipient of the prestigious Award for Garden Excellence from the American Public Gardens Association – take in its breathtaking arrangements as inspiration for your display gardens next season.
From the garden, the tour heads to Aquascape, the nation’s largest water gardening company, where you’ll learn how to dynamically display and retail aquatic plants, from colorful water lilies and lotus to marginal plants and floaters. Displays of aquatic plants span the property, fondly known as Aqualand. Next up is Cantigny Park, where 800 acres of gardens designed by famed landscape architect Franz Lipp in the 1960s inspire awe, and two American history museums honor the nation’s rich past, educating visitors. Rounding out the tour is Garfield Park Conservatory, occupying approximately 4-1/2 acres, including propagating houses where thousands of plants are grown for display in Chicago’s parks. The conservatory is an All-America Selections display garden – get an up close look at the winning varieties, promoted to consumers in the media as must-haves for their gardens.