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January 21, 2009
Has the economy put an end to brand loyalty? Prompted by the ever-rising costs of most consumer products, many Americans are changing their purchasing habits and abandoning name-brand products for the more frugal (lower priced) house and generic...
January 21, 2009
Download the PDF in the LearnMore! box for all charts and figures. During the 1980s, geranium growers began reporting problems with sudden pH decline (SPD) associated with micronutrient toxicities. SPD describes a situation where plants growing at...
January 21, 2009
It has never been more important to select the right employees for your key positions. For a large greenhouse, the head grower is like air, as is the top salesperson. The right general manager can be the difference between success and stress. Surely...
January 21, 2009
Many of you may be familiar with Bob’s Market & Greenhouses, one of the industry’s premier grower-retailers, based in Mason, W.Va. You may know that this business is owned and operated by the Barnitz family and is currently in its second...
January 21, 2009
As we enter the New Year, it’s always kind of fun to make predictions and see how they play out. Last January, I don’t think anyone could have predicted many of the things that happened in 2008. So I won’t make any predictions; instead, I have a few...
November 13, 2008
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This has never been truer than today. By the time you see this edition of Big Grower, we will have elected a new president. No matter how you voted, win or lose, a new leader will be guiding this...
November 13, 2008
Overall, how was business in 2008? What will your main focus be for 2009? “Our service area covers primarily the western 11 states, and in 2008, sales have been less than expected and down from the previous year. The big question, of course, is was...
November 13, 2008
As the crisis in the financial markets spreads early this fall, some retailers panicked and offered greater discounts than they did at the same time a year ago. The promotions, however, did little to convince wary consumers to open their wallets....
November 13, 2008
Many organizations are now recognizing that “going green” can save money, open up new avenues of revenue, and help keep employees, shareholders and customers happy. Often overlooked are increased tax benefits and governmental grants for...
November 13, 2008
The game has evolved. Growers today grapple with new challenges, demands and choices — and playing by yesterday’s rules no longer seems to cut it. In our first ever “Big 10 Innovators” feature, the GPN/Big Grower team decided to highlight those...
November 13, 2008
Last month, I read an article on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website, www.ajc.com, about Marvin Ellison. If Home Depot is one of your customers, you may have heard his name. If Home Depot isn’t one of your customers, you may want to find out...
October 28, 2008
Even though it is only October, and fall mums, pansies and asters are still making their way off of the retail shelves, the holiday season is just around the corner. But by now, you have planted your poinsettias and other holiday varieties and are...
October 17, 2008
Not long ago, I was in a spirited conversation with my wife about the attributes, qualities and our individual concerns regarding both presidential candidates. While neither of us has made up our mind completely, one thing is for sure: We will both...
October 17, 2008
How are skyrocketing energy costs impacting your overall business? “The most significant impact over the past year has been felt in the cost of transportation. We have yet to realize the full impact of the recent energy cost increases. Over the past...
October 17, 2008
Tesco Plans “Pensioner-Friendly” Stores Tesco, a British retailer and owner of new U.S. Fresh & Easy food markets, is planning to open a new concept store dubbed “pensioner-friendly” that will cater to the over-50 crowd. They plan to accomplish...
October 17, 2008
Businesses making claims about their goods, products or services need to understand what they can and cannot say. The recent surge in “green marketing” has left many firms searching for the right words to demonstrate and sell the environmental...
October 17, 2008
Sorting through the new introductions from Pack Trials and deciding which cultivars to add to next spring’s production schedule is never an easy task. You want to use cultivars that have appeal at retail and provide good garden performance for the...
October 17, 2008
Knowledge is power. And cultural knowledge is especially powerful when it comes to managing your Latino/a workforce. Several greenhouse managers have shared with me their frustration when it comes to communicating with their Latino workers. Although...
October 17, 2008
The parking lot of the Home Depot store in Columbia, Md., looks like just about any other suburban Home Depot. But when you enter this store’s lawn and garden department, it is like you have walked out of a big box retailer and into an impressive,...
August 12, 2008
What a great question: “Remember when?” I like to put that in the same group as the “good old days.” When you have the chance to read this edition of Big Grower, the end of summer 2008 will be fast approaching. As I left the trade show floor at the...