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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...
March 10, 2011
Economics is called the dismal science because it acknowledges that we live in a world of limited resources. This implies that we have to make trade-offs — if we want to consume more of A, we must give up some of B; we simply can’t have it all....
March 10, 2011
Like many greenhouse growers today, Mark Elzinga was first introduced to the business as a child. He learned early on, working at his father’s facility Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses in Portage, Mich., what was necessary for sustaining a...
January 12, 2011
By taking risks and focusing on value, Rocket Farms’ production has grown substantially. When opportunity knocks, this big grower is prepared and ready to move forward. Rocket Farms, headquartered in Salinas, Calif., was founded about 20 years ago...
January 12, 2011
The recovery remained lackluster in the third and fourth quarters of 2010, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth coming in at around 2 percent. We should, however, start to see the economy begin to re-accelerate in 2011. Consumer spending is...
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