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June 14, 2007
Maintaining success through ownership changes is a feat for any grower, but Floral Plant Growers’ story stands out: It has persevered through multiple owners and the switch from family ownership to corporate investment. Dean Chaloupka, president of...
June 14, 2007
As the first quarter of 2007 concluded, the big boxes were busy announcing and spinning their sales performances. It was a pretty rocky quarter for most of them as the overall economy continued to stagnate. Many of the retailers blamed their...
May 23, 2007
I wish I had a quarter for every time someone has asked me about pay by scan (PBS). When growers get together, the conversation seems to turn to the topic, with very predictable comments: 1. Hate it. These people feel forced into PBS, worry about...
May 23, 2007
The Soda War Begins Earlier this year, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE), Coke’s largest bottler, began delivering shipments of its Powerade sports drink to a Wal-Mart warehouse in Texas. This might sound fairly typical, but it actually breaches a...
May 22, 2007
There is activity in each of the branches of government that can affect the green industry, even if the issues do not specifically involve floriculture. This month, immigration reform, interests rates and a pending Supreme Court ruling are making...
May 22, 2007
With Mother ’s Day and Memorial Day now history, your thoughts are probably on a summer vacation at your favorite campground or fishing hole. As you grab your lucky hat and trusty fishing pole, you may notice another hat way in the back of the...
May 21, 2007
Tune in to Training In an effort to turn out productive workers as quickly and efficiently as possible, some companies have started using video iPods to train new workers and provide continuing education for existing workers. In February, one...
May 21, 2007
It’s September and time for school, football and final program planning. If you have waited until now to think about new products, you may have waited too long — but there may still be hope.   Defining What’s New As I made the rounds to see all...
May 21, 2007
Senate Blocks Trifecta Bill In early August, the Senate blocked legislation — known as the trifecta bill — that included an estate tax cut, a set of tax breaks and a minimum wage increase. The proposed legislation spreads the wage increase over...
May 21, 2007
  To Upscale Or Not Upscale? The high price of fuel coupled with the slowdown in housing is affecting consumers’ desire for upscale and luxury products. The prosperity of the last 10 years to upscale purchases has increased the appeal of Whole...
May 21, 2007
Greenhouse owners/managers always ask if there is anybody in the industry who is making money. The answer is “Yes!” Growers have maneuvered through pay by scan, vendor managed inventories, rebates, merchandising fees, sell-through numbers, ad...
May 21, 2007
Border-Fence Laws Signed In a move against illegal immigration, President Bush signed two laws in October authorizing the payment and construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. The first law will pay for the fence, and the second...
May 21, 2007
One Size Doesn’t Fit All In place of its cookie-cutter stores stocked largely with the same products, Wal-Mart is customizing its merchandise mix to reflect one of six demographic groups: African-Americans, affluent citizens, empty-nesters, Latino-...
May 18, 2007
Every year, the New York-based Color Association of America predicts or, maybe more correctly, establishes what colors will be important in fashion, home décor and even manufacturing two years from now. For all practical applications, color...
May 18, 2007
I don’t know about you, but I am hearing a lot about sustainability lately. While I think everyone defines it differently, I recently found a definition, see sidebar, below, in an airline magazine that made me stop and think about growers and the...
February 26, 2007
“You may not make any money on poin-settias, but you sure can lose a lot,” was my comment to a grower recently as we were discussing measures he was taking to cut costs. In the current big box market, a grower cannot afford to put a lot of extra...
February 26, 2007
When 2006 ended, Frank Blake was the vice chairman of The Home Depot’s board of directors and an executive vice president at the company. When 2007 started, he was the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. This all happened when The Home...
February 26, 2007
From shortages to costs to employee verification processes, many aspects of labor hinge upon the outcome of the national immigration debate, especially for the green industry. In his State of the Union address, President Bush expressed his...
February 26, 2007
The large home improvement retailers Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards are critical outlets for a major portion of the green industry’s products. Growers are becoming more involved in these garden centers’ retail activities and have a greater need to...
February 26, 2007
“It takes money to make money,” is an adage that over the years Rob DeLeon, president of DeLeon’s Bromeliads, and his brother, Don, vice president, have taken to heart. The pair recently built a turnkey greenhouse filled with new automation, they...