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February 14, 2008
New Handhelds May Speed Checkout, Improve Customer Experience Motorola is unveiling two new handheld scanners designed to speed customers through the checkout aisles and make shop-floor assistants more productive. One is a cell phone–size bar-code...
February 14, 2008
Last year my Big Grower poinsettia article was titled “Where Are We Going with Poinsettias?” That is still a very open question. The poinsettia market is overproduced, and they are definitely a commodity item. It is such a major crop, and there are...
February 13, 2008
Founded in 1949 by Carl Loop, Florida-based Loop’s Nursery has grown to 650,000 square feet between two Jacksonville locations. Being in the potted plant industry is not easy, and David Loop, Carl’s son and current CEO, can attest to that. With...
February 13, 2008
The recently concluded holiday season was a challenging for many retailers — and big growers. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), total holiday sales in the United States rose a meager three percent to $469.9 billion. And of the...
November 13, 2007
Not sure about you, but at this time of the year I start to reflect on the past 12 months in our industry. So, with that in mind, I would like to share some observations, a few suggestions and a couple of thoughts. I travel throughout the United...
November 13, 2007
Overall, how was business in 2007? What will be your main focus for 2008? “We do finished production, both wholesale and retail. We are also a regional plug supplier, and we do rooted liners for Dümmen. And overall, up until about a month or so ago...
November 13, 2007
With consumers and retailers pushing a “green” initiative, there is an interest in using environmentally friendly products in plant production. Instead of plastic, some growers are now using pots manufactured with alternative materials that can be...
November 13, 2007
Welcome to our newest feature on the issue of sustainability. In this column, we will attempt to define it and report on developments within horticulture and related industries. Sustainability is a complex issue and completely voluntary at this...
November 13, 2007
Wal-Mart Losing Ground in Evolving Retail World Wal-Mart’s era of overwhelming business and social influence in America may be drawing to a close, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. For the past 35 years, Wal-Mart has used a...
November 13, 2007
Shipping distances and times are continuing to become longer, and how well plants hold up after shipping has never been more important. The objective of this research was to simulate shipping for zero, one or two days to determine qualitative and...
November 13, 2007
Whether Richard Wilson is zooming down a racetrack at 140-plus miles per hour or sitting behind his desk at the Colorama Nursery headquarters in Azusa, Calif., this big grower — who indulges his passion for car racing when he’s not running a...
November 13, 2007
Sustainability is a term that everyone in the industry seems to be talking about but no one seems to agree on: It means different things to different people. The good thing is people are talking; now the industry needs to come to a consensus on a...
September 20, 2007
As I look back at the summer, there is one topic that stood out at every meeting, every trade show and even some buyers’ meetings — sustainability. How do we make money satisfying the ultimate consumer with sustainable products? I would suggest that...
September 20, 2007
The USDA’s annual survey of the floriculture industry caused considerable concern when it was released in July. The numbers indicated a 4-percent decrease in the wholesale value of all floriculture crops from 2005 to 2006 (Figure 1). Also, the...
September 20, 2007
When meeting with other growers and retailers, I often get the opportunity to discuss ideas about labor management and compare notes and philosophies on how to get the most out of our number-one expense and number-one asset — our employees. I am...
September 20, 2007
“Spring” often makes the public think of blooming flowers and the beautiful hint of warmer weather after winter. However, this time frame can be very challenging for growers, with variable weather conditions, heating and cooling issues, and...
September 20, 2007
Giant U.K. Retailer Comes to America Tesco PLC, which operates a retail chain in the United Kingdom is planning to enter Wal-Mart’s home turf — even though the United States is considered over-crowded with stores. This fall, Tesco will debut on the...
September 20, 2007
Growing high-quality, salable plants at a profit is a challenge for every grower. That means every phase of the plant production process must be consistent and predictable. The plant breeder’s role in this process can really set the stage for a...
September 20, 2007
When you walk into the reception area at Tagawa Greenhouses in Brighton, Colo., one of the first things you see is the company’s “Shared Vision” statement hanging on the wall. On that poster it says, “Tagawa Greenhouses will grow the highest quality...
September 20, 2007
There are a lot of numbers floating around in the marketplace today. Numbers representing sales, numbers representing jobs and numbers representing spending are pervasive in newspapers and on the Web. And you know how tricky numbers can be. Even Big...
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