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July 05, 2012
Over the years, contract growing has become a strategic tool for many large growers – especially in today’s challenging economy. It can provide growers with the agility they need to meet the demands of their retail customers. When most people think...
March 15, 2012
For me, March signifies the start of the Spring season. I realize that for those of you who live in the deep South, Southwest, and Southern California Spring has already started. I also realize that there are parts of the Northeast, Northwest, and...
March 15, 2012
One of my favorite blues artists is Keb Mo and recently on the drive home, I heard one of his songs on my radio. The song was “The Whole Enchilada” and the chorus goes like this: “So tell me now that you’ve got the whole enchilada [aka The Girl] …...
March 15, 2012
2011 has been a chaotic year for Jerry Halamuda and the team at Color Spot Nurseries in Fallbrook,Calif. With the passing of co-founder and best friend Mike Vukelich and the acquisition of two Hines locations, many people are wondering, “What’s next...
January 11, 2012
Despite all of the negative news, market volatility, and the grim prognoses of the TV pundits, the U.S. economy is not likely to fall back into another recession. Yes, the U.S. economy slowed sharply last year, but slowing growth is not the same...
January 11, 2012
As we look around the industry and what has gone on the past six months, most reports from growers and their sales results at retail has been mostly positive. While no one will ever mistake the volume and sales of mums, poinsettias, Christmas trees...
January 11, 2012
Everybody likes to hear complimentary remarks about their products. But having complementary products in two different markets is something Bill Dewar also likes. People are always saying nice things about the roses and the blooming potted plants...
December 01, 2011
The 2012 Big Grower Executive Summit will take place Feb. 26 to 28 at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa. The theme for this year’s Executive Summit is “Creating Value for You, Your Company and the Consumer.” Are You Available February 26-28? If...
November 11, 2011
The recent passing of Steven Jobs was felt around the world and saddened so many people for the simple reason that Apple products became part of our everyday lives and more so made it more convenient to live them. Steve and Apple didn’t...
November 11, 2011
To say that the economic recovery has been uneven is to restate the obvious. Initially, growth came back strongly, boosted by inventory rebuilding and strengthening private sector activity. Last summer, however, the recovery started to weaken and...
November 11, 2011
Walters Gardens has been providing the horticulture market with a plethora of perennials for more than a half century. The company’s success and longevity can be attributed to the fact that they are constantly looking for new products, processes and...
September 26, 2011
As the saying goes, “Change is inevitable.” That doesn’t mean it is good or bad, it just is — inevitable. Ken Altman faced an inevitable (and major) change this year when Target announced in 2010 that it was getting out of the live goods business....
September 26, 2011
As gas prices at the pump eased a bit during the summer, consumers gained more confidence and, coupled with recent reports of unemployment easing a bit, have spent more than most economists expected through the 2nd quarter this year. The interesting...
September 26, 2011
One of the things that always intrigues me is that as an industry, we are looking to transform ourselves from growers and suppliers into consumer goods companies with an emphasis on “consumer.” As someone who has been in horticulture for more than...
June 21, 2011
This is always an interesting time to offer perspective on the big box retailer and supplier world. The southern half of the country is certainly past the peak of their spring season with definite knowledge of what the overall results will look like...
June 21, 2011
One of my favorite meetings each year to attend and speak at is the Big Grower Executive Summit, and this year’s meeting in Miami was no exception. Besides the information provided by the noted speakers, the informal interaction among the...
June 21, 2011
At the 2011 Big Grower Executive Summit, we discussed how, in 2010, we saw a “wave” election, brought about by a restive American people worried about Congressional overreach, federal spending and the role of government in our lives. Wave elections...
June 21, 2011
I’m often asked to explain what I do for a living. In short, I specialize in asking questions among consumers and then converting those insights into marketing strategies. Oftentimes, we’re guilty of asking the same questions among the same type of...
June 21, 2011
If you are in the horticulture business in North America, then you already know that Costa Farms is a big grower — in fact, the Miami-based company is the largest grower of indoor plants in North America. The company specializes in foliage and...
March 10, 2011
About five years ago, with the advent of pay-by-scan and supplier-managed inventories, I was with a buyer from one of the big box retailers when he made very clear to an assembled group of greenhouse employees that their perception of reality needed...