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BARBARA CROWHURST
RICK SEGEL
KYLE LACY
JAMES DION
JUDY SHARPTON

JIM BRADLEY
TOM SHAY

LARRY PFARR

As the world’s biggest educational resource for garden centers, featuring more than 50 hours of the highest-quality education focused on proven profit strategies, IGC 2013 rolls out a roster of new speakers, new tracks and new sessions at the IGC Know2Grow Retail Conference, delivering the very latest actionable ideas for independent garden retail success. Attendees will take a wealth of successful strategies back to their store.

 

“I’ve attended the IGC Show since year one, and every year, I return with exciting ideas from the IGC Know2Grow Retail Conference that we apply to our business," says Bill Bown, Senior Manager of Marketing for Terra Greenhouses in Waterdown, ON, Canada. "I strongly encourage everyone to make the trip.” The IGC Know2Grow Retail Conference is the cornerstone of thought-leading strategies, proven to power garden center profits - and it’s all in one place, all in three days.

For one low price the IGC Know2Grow Conference Passport offers unlimited access to all 40+ conference sessions and workshops and all keynotes; daily admission to the trade show floor; free coffee service each morning; one free lunch ticket redeemable at any food window or Bayer Cafe; a gala evening reception and admission to the IGC Classic Rock Series Concert with 38 Special; and special discounted hotel rates. See registration page for details!


BARBARACROWHURST
IT’S TIME FOR A GARDEN CENTER REVAMP!

YOUR MAKEOVER STARTS HERE:
FINANCIAL & INVENTORY PLANNING

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
This must-attend workshop is critical to the ongoing success of your garden center business. Learn how to review past sales performance, set new sales targets and review sales by category. Find out what the numbers mean, as well as the importance of adding new products, how to set buying budgets and why increasing turns is so important. During this session, you will have the opportunity to work on your own store floor plan. Discover how to place the products you carry for maximum exposure.



PUTTING TODAY’S HOTTEST TRENDS TO WORK IN YOUR STORE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
Change the way you buy and position trend products in your garden center. Determine what percentage of your buying budget should be dedicated to new and trend products. Are you in an urban or suburban location? It makes a difference in your trend mix and the amount of product you should bring into your garden center. Find out what colors are all the rage right now, and how you can use them in your store environment. Learn how being on trend in your garden center provides the perfect setting for trend products, and the impact it has on your bottom line.



GARDEN CENTER STORE DESIGN: OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
Update your store visually to compete in the marketplace. In this session, you will participate in a step-by-step analysis of your garden center store design. Learn how the following elements come together to create a compelling showcase for the products you sell: floor coverings, ceiling choices, lighting, the cash counter, display tools, props and fixtures. Each one of these elements plays an important role.



SMALL UPDATES THAT PAY OFF BIG
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
Now is the time to invest a small portion of your marketing budget to get your garden center in top retail shape. Learn what your marketing budget should be, and how to break it down. Find out how one of your biggest marketing tools, your storefront, attracts new customers when done right. Front window displays are the eyes into your store. Master the techniques that will attract new customers and have them crossing your lease line more often to shop your store more frequently.



SIGN & DRIVE YOUR SALES!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
Get in on the latest signage techniques, including the best designs, production and placement in your store. Great signage will increase your sales, guaranteed. In fact, signs are among the most important selling tools you have, increasing sales as much as 19 percent, research shows. Signage is information that draws attention and allows your customers to learn about your products and pricing without having to ask for help. It slows shoppers down - and the longer they stay in your store, the more likely they are to purchase.



CELEBRATE THE SEASONS & RING MORE SALES
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Get inspired with merchandising pizazz for spring, summer, fall and winter! Year-round seasonal merchandising makes more money for your garden center. The key is to maximize the impact and effectiveness of all your available space by putting the stock that produces the most profit in the right place at the right time. Turn the spotlight on special seasonal promotions via the use of your POS system. Learn how a “pick of the week” program will increase sales. Discover the importance of moving product around your store regularly, and where to place feature displays.



Barbara Crowhurst is a renowned retail business coach in North America and Founder and CEO of Retail Makeover and Retail Makeover Web Design Services. She is a writer, international speaker and trainer on the hottest topics in retail.

Her comprehensive and detailed approach comes from years in the retail industry, which has taken her from working with some of the largest corporate retailers to consulting with thousands of independent retail specialty stores. Crowhurst transforms retail businesses across North America, increasing their sales and profitability with her Retail Makeover services and effective retail business coaching.

She recently started directing the independent retail movement in Canada, which focuses on the exploding trend to shop and support local independent retailers that launched nationwide last July. Crowhurst is a host contributor on the new Retail Network on the Gift & Home Channel, which is the first web/TV internet channel focused on helping independent retailers succeed by providing the tools, on-demand problem solving resources and small business solutions that independent store operators and their staff need to succeed and thrive. She writes regularly for
Retail News, Home Fashion Magazine, the Retail Council of Canada and OneCoast.


 

RICKSEGEL
MONEY-MAKING STRATEGIES MADE SIMPLE

MARKETING BREAKTHROUGHS THAT WILL
BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
It’s time to put today’s cutting-edge marketing strategies to work for your garden center. Get current. What worked for your store last year may not work this year. The key is recognizing what’s right for you, here and now. This workshop keys in on the phenomenal success of texting; the new ways to use YouTube and video; the changing face of couponing; implementing the “returnability quotient;” and using a call-to-action graphic to increase your website effectiveness exponentially.



MILLION-DOLLAR ADVERTISING IDEAS ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
If you want to make money, you have to spend money - but no one said you have to spend all of your money! Get the most value from your garden center’s advertising, including newspaper, magazine, radio, TV and direct mail. Uncover the unique strengths and weaknesses of each format, and come up with a plan to get the most bang for your ad buck. Learn the how-tos of copywriting and design, and the ins and outs of working with an advertising agency. You can create a larger-than-life image for your garden center, even when your budget is not nearly as big.



SIGNAGE IS YOUR SECRET SALES WEAPON – USE IT!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
Signs are the headlines of the selling floor, yet signage is the most misunderstood and underutilized tool in retailing today. Effective signage can have the single biggest impact on your independent garden center’s success. It is a secret weapon that can produce more sales than even your strongest salesperson. This session focuses on understanding the four key categories of signage; improving your shopping experience with creative signs; and creating a buying frenzy with signage.


PRICING FOR PROFIT
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
How do you price for profit? Did you know price ranks third after service and selection in consumers’ purchasing decisions? Do you put too much emphasis on price at your garden center? Learn the pricing techniques that will increase your sales and profit margins. Explore what effect volume has on price; learn when you should mark an item down and by how much; and use price as a way to move merchandise.


THIS IS THE YEAR TO MAKE MORE MONEY
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
In order to survive and thrive in business today, you must be able to utilize every tool in your arsenal, reducing your garden center’s expenses while increasing sales. Get in on the secrets of making money in business today, and understand how these techniques have changed over the last few years. Learn how to control your buying with a simple-to-use and understandable approach. Discover a selling system so effective, it will generate sales results immediately. Find out how to run a sale so that throngs of customers line up at your door.


STREET-SMART NEGOTIATIONS FOR SAVVY IGC RETAILERS
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Negotiation skills are critical in business today. This session highlights the top 10 principles of street-smart negotiations, where the theory of negotiation meets the real world. Learn to improve your listening skills; why negotiations are all about power; practical guidelines that assure getting and giving concessions effectively; how to gain the “slight edge” advantage in negotiation; effective telephone negotiating techniques; and what questions to ask and how to ask them more effectively.


Rick Segel is the author of 13 books, including The Essential Online Solution: The 5-Step Formula for Small Business Success; Laugh & Get Rich: How to Profit from Humor in Any Business; and Retail Business Kit for Dummies, which is now in its second edition and has sold more than 100,000 copies. His newest book, The Retail Sales Bible: The Great Book of G.R.E.A.T. Selling, is a primer for retail selling. .

As a business speaker, Segel has lectured more than 2,100 audiences on five continents and in 49 states. Segel is a founding member of Johnson & Wales University’s Retail Advisory Council and Founder of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts Awards of Excellence. He is also the Director of Retail Training and a board member for the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, and is past president of the National Speakers Association New England. With an infectious passion for retail, he is the ultimate business development specialist.

His background and expertise in a number of industries has enabled him to identify universally applicable secrets of success that are essential for making a business succeed. Determined, entertaining and enthusiastic, Segel has been wowing audiences and changing business owner’s lives for more than 20 years.



KYLELACY
DIGITAL MARKETING FOR IGC RETAILERS

TOP 10 DIGITAL TRENDS THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY
YOU DO BUSINESS

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
The digital landscape is changing dramatically as a result of the increase in consumer mobility, localization and social media. Staying on top of the latest trends is essential in defining your marketing strategy today and in the years to come. You must understand technology and consumer behavior to assure the success of your garden center business. Extensive research has uncovered the top 10 trends emerging in the digital landscape today - you’ll find them here!


CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING DELIVERS SALES & CUSTOMER LOYALTY
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
From direct mail to e-mail, multiple tools can be used in your marketing campaign. The hardest part is deciding which ones are best to drive more revenue to your garden center - and getting them to work together. Do you use your POS system in your marketing program? Do you have a clean database for the segmentation of your e-mail? When customers interact with your garden center on multiple channels, they spend more and become strong advocates for your business.


E-MAIL MARKETING THAT GETS RESULTS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
E-mail isn’t the newest form of communication, but it is still the most powerful channel for driving revenue. Recent research reveals that 77 percent of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications via e-mail than any other channel, including mobile, social and direct mail. This session features examples of garden centers that are using e-mail marketing with results. Learn the five essential best practices, along with quick tips to help grow your revenue. Walk away with a detailed to-do list to maximize your garden center’s e-mail marketing strategy.


BUILDING YOUR E-COMMERCE & WEB PRESENCE - PANEL DISCUSSION
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
With the increase in website traffic and mobile purchasing among consumers, more garden centers are developing an e-commerce strategy to tap the demand. Learn to harness the power of social sharing to drive sales, create conversations and ultimately bring more people to your store. During this panel discussion, IGC retailers will share the strategies that work to build an effective e-commerce and web presence. Panelists: Bob LaHoff, Co-owner, Hall’s Garden Center & Florist; Kris Shepard, President and Co-owner, Alsip Home & Nursery


THERE’S A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY IN NEW MEDIA - PANEL DISCUSSION
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
This panel of professional garden communicators will look at the evolution of the way people, personalities and companies are getting their message out to consumers via new media. Find out how to go from TV to Twitter; why you need to podcast your radio show at your Facebook page; what gets more use - photos on Facebook or Instagram; and where communicators with thousands of weekly consumer interactions are going in the future with their social media strategy. Panelists: Melinda Myers, Garden Author and TV and Radio Host; Mike Nowak, Garden Radio Host and Writer; Helen Yoest, Garden Writer and Blogger


ONLINE VIDEO: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - PANEL DISCUSSION
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Content is king in the world of digital marketing, and online video is the prince. There are more than 200 million video views via YouTube and mobile phones every day. Your garden center has a key opportunity to develop a niche audience using video marketing. Online video has a higher return on investment and high engagement rates. Learn first-hand from garden centers using video what works to drive interaction, customer engagement and revenue. Panelists: Kimberly Bird, Vice President of Marketing, Calloway’s Nursery; Gary Jones, Vice President of Marketing, Armstrong Garden Centers; Peter Mahoney, Co-owner, Mahoney’s Garden Centers


Kyle Lacy, every-issue columnist in IGC Retailer magazine, is the author of two acclaimed books, Twitter Marketing for Dummies and Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. He is Principal of Marketing Research and Education for ExactTarget, a leading global provider of interactive marketing solutions. Before ExactTarget, Kyle co-founded a marketing technology company, helping more than 350 clients build and deliver digital marketing experiences.

Lacy has an in-depth understanding of the application of social and interactive media for businesses of all sizes and regularly speaks on topics ranging from social media adoption to interactive marketing trends across e-mail, mobile and social media. He has trained more than 175 companies and businesses across the world on these subjects.

Lacy is a featured blogger at the Ad Age Power 150 and The Wall Street Journal online. He has been recognized as one of Indiana’s Forty Under 40 by the Indianapolis Business Journal, has received the Anderson University Distinguished Young Alumni Award and has been named the TechPoint Young Professional of the Year. Lacy serves on the board of directors for several local organizations.




JAMESDION
TAKING STOCK OF INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

BUYING THE RIGHT PRODUCT FOR YOUR
CUSTOMERS, TODAY & TOMORROW

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
Changing consumer behaviors can make it more challenging for garden centers to stay ahead of their expectations. We must understand today’s consumers, and how they are making decisions about what they spend their money on to make better choices in our merchandise mix now and in the future. This session includes specific demographic and psychographic data, as well as examples of retailers that are succeeding by using product to win their customers.


HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? BUDGETING & OPEN TO BUY
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
Having the right product at the right time and in the right quantity is essential to your success. Imagine what being two weeks late with bedding plants could mean to your peak season, or having half your perennials still on hand heading into winter. Learn how to plan for just the right amount of inventory by creating a merchandise strategy that will help you map out how much to buy, when to receive it and when to stop buying.


IT’S ALL IN THE ASSORTMENT PLANNING
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
Assortment planning is about making sure we have the right mix of not only different plants and accessories, but different sizes, quality levels, colors and price points so we can please the most customers. Learn how to avoid the “square” - sometimes called “bankruptcy” - assortment at your garden center. Find out how to apply a “basic” assortment strategy to items such as potting soil, and a “fashion” assortment to garden decor and accessories. Then learn to build the “tailored” assortment, which will become your biggest moneymaker. You may also want to consider a “good,” “better” and “best” trade-up option for your customers; it could lead to much more profitable sales.


MARKDOWNS HAPPEN: MAKE THE MOST OF THEM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
There are so many things that can lead to having to sell an item below the original ticketed price. The important thing to remember is, “Markdowns are the tuition we pay for an education on our customers and our business.” This session focuses on what causes markdowns, when to take them and how to keep them from robbing you of profit or creating a discount image for your garden center. A good markdown plan not only improves cash flow, it ultimately improves customer service as you get better at learning from your mistakes.


IMPROVE YOUR INVENTORY PERFORMANCE & SALES KEY PRODUCTIVITY INDICATORS
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
What gets measured gets changed. In this session, you will learn about the most important Key Productivity Indicators (KPI). We’ll start with Gross Margin Return On Inventory Investment (GMROII), looking at how to use it to improve your customer service, space allocation and negotiation ability with suppliers. Find out how to calculate Inventory Turnover using the retail method, as well as Stock-to-Sales Ratios, Maintained Margin, Average Transaction, Units Per Transaction, Conversion Rate, Sales Per Square Foot, Selling Cost Percentage, Sales and GP Per Employee and Staff-To-Customer Ratios. Take home formulas for each KPI, as well as benchmarks on what makes for good and superior performance.


‘JUST IN TIME’ INVENTORY STRATEGIES FOR GARDEN CENTERS
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Far too many garden centers carry inventory “just in case” when they should be carrying it “just in time.” We need to operate with leaner inventories and, at the same time, avoid losing sales due to inventory that is too lean. It is a delicate balancing act at the best of times, and when you’re dealing with live inventory that can take weeks to restock, it adds another layer of danger. Learn how to properly apply “just in time” tactics to your inventory purchasing. Find out why cheaper by the dozen, or buying larger quantities to get a lower cost, is one of the myths of retail today, and how smaller quantities can be far less expensive than you think. Even factoring in transportation costs, sometimes it’s better to look at non-traditional sources of supply if they can reduce your inventory carrying costs.


James Dion is one of North America's leading experts on consumer trends, selling and service and retail technology, merchandising and operations. He is the Founder and President of Dionco Inc., an internationally renowned retail consulting and training firm. Dion is the best-selling author of Retail Selling Ain’t Brain Surgery, It’s Twice As Hard; Start and Run a Retail Business; and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store. Dion is a regular speaker for the National Retail Federation on retail trends, technology, inventory control, best practices in sustainable retail and store management.

His retail experience includes buying and marketing for 68 retail and 958 catalogue stores for Sears Canada and introducing a just-in-time inventory system to the Levi Strauss factories. As a retail consultant, he has helped hundreds of retailers across 15 different countries, including Ritz-Carlton, Harley-Davidson, Hummer, Microsoft, Williams-Sonoma, Ace Hardware, New Balance, IBM, Kodak and The HoneyBaked Ham Co., successfully reposition their businesses. Dion writes for numerous trade and national magazines and has appeared on NBC, CNN, FOX News and First Business. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology and attended the Illinois Institute of Technology Ph.D. program in industrial psychology and marketing.




JUDY SHARPTON
BUILD YOUR BRAND, INSIDE & OUT

STORE BRANDING: WHAT IT TAKES
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
Improving your shopping experience is not just a matter of sprucing up your garden center’s aesthetic appeal, it is critical to the immediate and long-term success of your business. Learn the 10 basic elements of your store that establish and communicate your brand with customers, including the exterior storefront welcome, the entrance welcome, product access, product acquisition, product adjacencies, signature categories, consumer-friendly departments and signage, product packaging and efficient checkouts and exits. Discover how iconic retailers Apple, IKEA and Whole Foods use these elements in their stores to reinforce their brand expressions with consumers.


CREATING A STOREFRONT THAT KEEPS YOU TOP OF MIND WITH CUSTOMERS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
When you hear “Apple,” “IKEA” and “Whole Foods,” chances are, a picture of their storefront immediately comes to mind. Now, find out how you can create a signature look for your garden center storefront that will keep your brand top of mind with your customers. This session looks at exterior storefront welcomes and entrance welcomes from drive-by and destination objectives. Scott Endres, Principal and Co-founder of Tangletown Gardens, will discuss the exterior brand expressions for both his garden center and his adjacent restaurant.



AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERIOR BRANDING
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
Are you reinforcing your brand inside your store? This session examines product access elements, including aisles and shelving; product acquisition, including shelving and carts; product adjacencies that recognize the consumer’s use of the product over traditional arrangements; signature categories; consumer-friendly departments and signage; product packaging and its role in consumer buying decisions; and efficient checkouts and exits. A surprise guest will explain how his store achieves interior brand expression throughout the garden center’s plant sales department, specialty gifts area and on-site cafe.


USING IN-STORE PROMOTIONS TO BRAND YOUR GARDEN CENTER ‘LOCALLY’
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
Nothing brands your store as “local” like promotions that appeal to your customer base. This session looks at successful in-store promotions, both local and national. Stacey Hirvela, Social Media and Cause Marketing Specialist for Proven Winners ColorChoice and Evelyn Alemanni from America in Bloom’s board of directors will discuss how their programs help garden centers brand to their local market. You will take home a handout you can use in your own promotional planning.




‘SHOW US YOUR BRAND’ - PART 1
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
In this contest, three garden retailers - Dayle and Jeff Doherty, Owners, Angel’s Garden Center; Kristan McDonald, Marketing and Graphic Designer, Ray Wiegand’s Nursery and Garden Center; and Tiger Palafox, Manager, Mission Hills Nursery - will show off their brand both inside and outside the store. Each will have 10 minutes to describe how the store communicates its unique brand to create a local presence using signage, events, electronic communications and community outreach. Attendees will evaluate each brand presentation based on the 10 elements of brand expression, and select an IGC Brand Champion for 2013.

‘SHOW US YOUR BRAND’ - PART 2
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
In this session, three garden retailers - Dayle and Jeff Doherty, Owners, Angel’s Garden Center; Kristan McDonald, Marketing and Graphic Designer, Ray Wiegand’s Nursery and Garden Center; and Tiger Palafox, Manager, Mission Hills Nursery - answer nuts-and-bolts questions from attendees about their brand presentation, including planning, outside assistance, budgets and staffing.


Judy Sharpton, Owner of Growing Places Marketing, has specialized in on-site consultations on store design, development, renovation and branding as well as product selection and placement exclusively for IGC retailers in the United States and Canada. Much of that work has been concentrated in small markets for stores with limited resources but unlimited energy and commitment. Her program focuses on real solutions that do not require a bulldozer or a bank loan.

Sharpton has served more than 300 independent garden centers with a wide range of services. In addition, she provides program content to trade groups and suppliers through Growing Places’ Store School. Store School provides content for more than 25 trade and vendor groups attended by thousands of members of the green industry annually. She publishes two electronic newsletters for independent garden centers: The Growing Places Retail Checklist reminds retailers and the suppliers who sell to them of timely planning issues throughout the year, and Success Stories (S2) chronicles store development and merchandising campaigns that measure success in the dollars added to the store’s bottom line. Sharpton has also earned LEED Green Associate accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council and is a member of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association.




JIMBRADLEY
VISUAL MERCHANDISING ‘VAVOOM!’

GO GLOBAL FOR DISPLAY INSPIRATION
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
Join Ireland’s Retail Maverick, Jim Bradley of Mid Ulster Garden Centre, in this pictorial tour of cutting-edge displays from around the world. Consumers rank displays the No. 1 contributor to a positive shopping experience, favoring well-merchandised items over discounted ones. But IGC retailers beware: the essence of what appeals to them is constantly changing. In the U.K., last season’s animal figures are out, and bicycles - lots of them, everywhere - are in. Even mannequin styles play on trends. Get hip to what’s happening in visual merchandising from the best garden centers - and non-gardening retailers - worldwide.


RETAIL PROPS TURN ORDINARY DISPLAYS INTO STORIES THAT SELL
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
Give your garden center displays a twist, and set the stage for more sales. IGC retailing today demands that we capture customers with direct visual experiences all the way to the point of sale. Props play a vital role in your presentations, evoking symbolism, setting the mood and adding character. Imagine the Jedi in Star Wars without their lightsabers or Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz without her ruby red shoes. Take home a portfolio of clever prop concepts you can put to work in your store.


COLOR GETS CUSTOMERS SHOPPING - GO BOLD!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
Our ads proudly proclaim to the public that we are in the color business - spring color, summer color, year-round color. Garden centers are color experts! Or are we? Do you have a color expert on your team? Do your team members know what colors are leading the market? Do your customers know what season it is as soon as they enter your store? Are you credible in the eyes of your color-conscious women customers? Learn how to use color to register more sales year round.


WHAT WOMEN WANT: WOOING OUR PRIMARY CUSTOMER
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
Women define their indoor and outdoor decorating style from fashion and lifestyle magazines. They speak a language of connection and interaction as they become familar with our merchandise. They expect extra embellishments and finishing touches, styling techniques, textures, decoration, display signage and price tags. To them, the elements of line, shape, form, size, space, color, texture and, ultimately, value rule. Win her loyalty by providing these to her in abundance at your garden center.


DELICIOUS WAYS TO DISPLAY EDIBLES
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
Get your fruit, vegetable and speciality food displays married to the themed color, theater and signage you use so effectively everywhere else in your garden center. Ladies’ food offerings are all buttons and bows, with pretty packaging that has emotional undertones. Men respond more favorably to no-nonsense foods like bold barbeque sauces and microbrew beer packaged and displayed in a powerful way. Selling edibles requires a keen sense of visual appeal, as well as playing to the senses of taste and smell. Learn what will work up your customers’ appetites here!


THERE’S A HOLIDAY FOR THAT!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Let’s celebrate ... and celebrate again! Celebrations provide the welcome relief many consumers crave to break up the weekly work ritual. Holidays reconnect us with family, community and heritage, and are milestones on life’s journey. They are also an opportunity for garden centers to cash in on the festivities. Holidays mean decorating, cooking and relaxing. There is so much you can do to help your customers enjoy these celebrations - and boost your bottom line. And it’s not limited to traditional holidays - there is always something to be celebrated and highlighted at your store.


Jim Bradley is a high-profile gardening expert who has been involved with BBC Northern Ireland gardening radio and television gardening programs for more than 25 years. He reinvented his Mid Ulster Garden Centre, which was established in 1972, more than 10 years ago; as a result, the IGC has tripled sales and is renowned for its innovative displays, merchandising techniques and outside-the-box solutions.

Mid Ulster has become the main driving force for quality, style and innovation in the industry - it breaks away from the traditional garden center template to bring customers an experience that is more enjoyable and interesting to shop in. The product offering, which includes upscale giftware and luxury foods, avoids items commonly found at the boxes and focuses on superior products with an excellent value. The garden center has won many prestigious awards, and has been called the most innovative garden center in the world. Situated in the heart of the garden center, Mid Ulster’s coffee shop offers freshly baked scones, apple pies, cheesecakes and other culinary delights - all prepared in-house. Bradley’s ideas have been published in more than 48 garden retail magazines worldwide. He writes exclusively for
Garden Chic magazine in the United States, where he contributes his “Retail Maverick” perspectives in every issue.



TOMSHAY
GROWING YOUR GARDEN CENTER BUSINESS

DON’T JUST SIT THERE, GROW YOUR GARDEN CENTER BUSINESS!
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
Listening to the media and deciding to “hunker down” until the storm of today’s economy passes is a sure recipe for disaster. You need to determine what you should and shouldn’t be doing, and what to stop doing in your business now. Success is only going to happen when you decide to develop a plan, execute that plan and monitor the results for necessary adjustments. Find out the 10 key factors that will help your business not only survive but grow as a result of what the competition is doing wrong or not doing at all.


YOU’VE GOT NUMBERS QUESTIONS, THE INTERNET’S GOT ANSWERS - FOR FREE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
The decisions you make can have a big effect on the profitability of your garden center business. Decisions should be made with as much information as possible to reduce risks. This session introduces you to a series of free online tools you can use to better understand your business and increase your profits. The information gained from just one of these calculators is saving one person’s business more than $200,000 over the course of the loan they have taken for business expansion. Put them to work for your garden center.


WHAT’S YOUR ADVERTISING PLAN FOR THE YEAR?
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
Have you looked at your advertising expenses as a percentage of sales over the past five years? If that percentage has bounced up and down, it probably points to a lack of planning or that advertising has become something you do when you have the money available to spend. Have you compared your annual advertising expense to the net profit of your business? Just as you plan your buying, your advertising should be a part of an annual plan. This session will help you get substantial savings from the media as well as extend the effectiveness of your advertising plan.


PEOPLE LIKE WORKING AT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES - HERE’S WHY
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
In this interactive session, attendees get to vote on how they would resolve a challenge with their garden center business. We will look at seven management decision scenarios, and then hear conflicting solutions from attendees. Participants will get to share their reasoning for their decision, as well as hear from those who have successfully utilized the conflicting solution. You will get to decide which solutions seem workable and compare them to the answers given by your fellow attendees. The Southwest Airlines method will be explained.


STOP THE SPEECHES & GET YOUR STAFF SELLING!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
You have repeatedly given your staff speeches about making the effort to sell merchandise. What if you could get them to take their sales skills to a higher level? What if your garden center could offer that excellent customer service independent retailers want to be famous for? What if your staff were to then raise your average ticket size and line count and close more sales? It can happen. It’s not too late to see results for this season, and the 2014 season will look even better.


LAST YEAR’S CUSTOMER IS NOT THIS YEAR’S CUSTOMER
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Are you targeting the customer who exists today, or are you thinking the customer who did business with you in the early 2000s is coming back as soon as the economy turns around? This session will show you how to look at the types of customers your business has right now, what your customers are looking for, and how to find the area of your marketplace that provides the best opportunity for your garden center to profit.


Tom Shay gained considerable experience as a fourth-generation merchant, providing him with the knowledge and background to present successful ideas to assist owners, managers and staff with the day-to-day operation of their business.

He writes books for retail, small businesses and their vendors as well as business management and sales technique columns for trade magazines. As an every-issue columnist for
IGC Retailer magazine, he offers proven, time-tried ideas on the topics of promotion, customer loyalty, business management design, employee skill development and financial control. Shay's knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits and build their business for the future. He also works with manufacturers and wholesalers to help their staff understand the complexity and challenges small businesses face, allowing the supplier to be a more valuable partner.

Shay is a retail speaker at conferences, trade shows and association meetings and, with more than 25 years of frontline experience in management and ownership of small businesses, he shares and teaches from experience, not from theory. His company, Profits Plus, is a founding sponsor of Independent Retailer Month, a celebration of businesses that give each community their uniqueness.




LARRYPFARR
IGC THINK TANK – PANEL TRACK

 

 

 

 

YOUR BRICK AND MORTAR ADVANTAGE: SELLING MORE BY SHOWING MORE
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 9 - 10:30 AM
Brick and mortar stores have a selling advantage over online retailers by creating exciting in-store experiences that inspire customers to purchase. This session features examples of retailers in a wide variety of segments - home goods, sporting goods and food - successfully using in-store displays to give customers real-time suggestions of how to use the products they are selling. In this discussion, a panel of leading garden centers will reveal the ways they’re generating ideas and inspiration based on customer experience and response. Panelists: Tony Fulmer, Retail Manager, Chalet; Ted Manley, Chief Operating Officer, Linder’s; Jerry Schmitt, Annual and Perennial Buyer, Stein Gardens & Gifts


HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY - AND PROFITABLE - CHRISTMAS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 11 AM - 12 PM
The Christmas season is the second busiest time of year for many garden centers. Selling holiday can ring in merry profits - or turn into the Grinch who stole your winter season. Holiday decisions can be difficult. There may be confusion about buying from Asia versus Europe, and questions about style versus story, local versus international and margin and markdown. A panel of leading garden centers will discuss these holiday issues, plus offer tips on how to spot the hottest trends and get the best buys from vendors, then merchandise to distinguish your store from the competition. Panelists: Dean Darin, Merchandise Manager and Store Director, English Gardens; Heather McLean, Senior Manager and Buyer of Seasonal Division, Alsip Home & Nursery


WORKING YOUR LOCAL MEDIA: TV, RADIO & NEWSPAPER
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2 - 3 PM
How can you connect with your consumers via radio, TV and newspaper? How can your store become the local gardening expert that media outlets use for advice? How can you work with your local media to be the go-to person for gardening content ideas and tips? Larry will use his experience as the Home and Garden Expert on KSTP TV (ABC) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market for 16 years to lead this panel discussion. Panelists: Jennifer Brennan, Horticulture Information Specialist and Manager of the Education Center, Chalet; Mason Day, Marketing, Ball Horticultural Company; Phyliss Williams, Co-owner, K&W Greenery


SEE WHAT SELLING ‘LOCAL’ SUCCESSFULLY LOOKS LIKE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
What does “local” mean for your garden center? How does it influence the product lines you sell, the vendors you use for sourcing, your price points and the procedures you have in place to find the next big thing? During this discussion, you will hear how a garden center in the Chicago suburbs has become the place for products and answers for everything you need to know about birding. Hear from a garden center in Kentucky that is successfully sourcing 80 percent of its product in-state. Learn how these businesses and more evaluate the local market to determine the products they offer. Panelists: Jon Carloftis, Owner, Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens and Rockcastle River Trading Company; Bill Koch, Owner, Hawthorn Gardens; Suzanne Koch, Owner, Hawthorn Gardens

WHAT MAKES GIFT, HOME & SEASONAL DISPLAYS WORK?
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 10 - 11 AM
Thoughtful displays are a predetermined and prescheduled method to sales. Learn 18 things the pros use to create great gift, home and seasonal (Easter, Halloween and Christmas) displays. Buyers must have a merchandising plan that is easily translatable to staff, quick to install and consumer-friendly. Each of these nationally and internationally recognized retailers will share six steps they use to create and maintain great displays that appear professional and will set your garden center apart from the competition. Panelists: Heather McLean, Senior Manager and Buyer of Seasonal Division, Alsip Home & Nursery; Linda Peterson, Home Accents Buyer, Pasquesi Home & Gardens; Josh Samples, Product Manager and Merchandiser, Rockcastle River Trading Company


DISCOVER: THE INDEPENDENT GARDEN CENTER OF THE FUTURE
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
This panel highlights some of the different formats that are at the front of today’s horticultural business-to-consumer model development in North America. See how one garden center made the decision to purchase an old car dealership and turn it into a destination garden center. Hear how one family’s dream to have a place that sells plants combined forces with other retailers to become reality. Find out the challenges of being a grower and a retail landlord at the same time. Hear from a young family that used an existing location to “showroom” a line of gardening-based products, extending it into one of the highest selling e-commerce sites in the country. Panelists: Rod Grasman, Owner and Manager, Garden Crossings; Matt Horn, Owner, Matterhorn Associates.


Larry Pfarr, Owner of Leap Retail Consulting, focuses on the in-store retail shopping experience, including store design, visual merchandising, merchandise selection and employee training, as well as marketing, advertising, public relations and social media. He has more than 23 years of experience with Bachman’s Floral, Gift & Garden, in Minnesota, ranked No. 17 in IGC Retailer’s IGC 100 report with $24.1 million in sales. As the Director of Visual Merchandising and Store Design for 18 years, his responsibilities included heading up all non-perishable buying, marketing, advertising and public relations efforts, as well as overseeing operations for five of its six largest stores. He also worked on and launched major initiatives including the rebranding of the company, several new gift and home programs, store remodels/redesign and implemented the restaurant concept at the flagship store.

Pfarr has served as the Home and Garden Expert on KSTP TV (ABC) in Minneapolis for the last 16 years, producing and providing on-air segments on gardening, entertaining, decorating and cooking as well as news-related content. With a lifelong passion for gardening and all things outdoors, Pfarr attended the University of Minnesota and majored in horticulture science.



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