AMERICA'S ONLY ASSOCIATION DEDICATED SOLELY TO THE NEEDS OF INDEPENDENT GARDEN CENTERS
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Additional Value-Added Extras for You @ GCA Summer Tour Nashville
Many new and exciting features are being added to the GCA Summer Tour Nashville, June 23-26, 2019, with more education and networking opportunities that will enrich attendees’ experience.
New for next summer, at the conclusion of each visit, the store’s owners and key leadership will join the 2019 group for a question-and-answer session that will allow GCA Tour-goers to dive deeper into the best practices.
Shop Talk Retail Discussions - Now On Tour!
Now @ GCA Summer Tour Nashville, share your thoughts on the industry’s hot-button issues with your peers during these daily facilitated conversations, modeled after the IGC Show’s popular Shop Talk Retail Discussions in the IGC Networking Lounge. It’s your opportunity to swap strategies with your fellow indies in a uniquely focused, collaborative setting and make your garden center business even stronger. Because together, we’re better.
Grab & Go Container-Building Demos – New Recipes for Success from Sharon Hadden
She wowed audiences at the IGC Show last summer with her energetic, inspired container-building sessions, now Sharon Hadden jumps on board GCA Summer Tour Nashville to reveal her latest recipes for Grab & Go container sales that will turn a fast profit at your store. Join her each day in these hands-on demos as she cranks up the creativity and fun, with all-new designs that will grab your customers’ attention and get them to go straight to your register.
Some IGC Stops Announced
Moore & Moore Garden Center, Nashville, TN: Operated by the third generation of the Moore family, Moore & Moore Garden Center has been a staple in the Nashville community since its inception in 1980. Starting with mainly color and bedding plants, the garden retailer has transformed into a destination for pottery, garden gifts and home decor – in addition to flowers, shrubs and trees – after almost 40 years in business. Although the garden center operates on a smaller property, Moore & Moore is recognized for its park-like setting with sweeping pathways, creative use of space and inspiring merchandise displays that portray gardening lifestyles, which are considered just a few of their many strengths by Owner Duncan Borders.
The dry creek bed running through the property adds to the tranquil, inspiring ambiance of the store. Unrivaled for its selection of decorative containers, the garden retailer carries a variety of pots that touches on all shapes, sizes, textures, colors and functions. The store’s product selection and innovative displays, coupled with staff’s customer service and plant expertise, creates a culture of welcoming for customers. Encouraging a healthy, active agenda for all its customers, Moore & Moore Garden Center lives by its tagline, “Cultivating Lifestyles,” which can be found decorating several walls and fences throughout the store. Moore & Moore takes the level of customer service a step further and offers same-day delivery on large products, such as trees and potted containers, as well as at-home consultations for landscape design.
For those “do-it-for-me” customers, lawn maintenance and landscape installation round out the retailer’s selection of gardening services. The store’s most loyal customers are rewarded with “Kit Kash,” named after the shop’s beloved resident cats, receiving $1 of Kit Kash for every $10 spent during the high-traffic months of April, May and October. Then, during February, July and December, customers can redeem their Kit Kash for up to half of their purchase.www.mooreandmoore.com
Gardens of Babylon, Nashville, TN: Boasting organic-only philosophies and methods since day one, Gardens of Babylon is an urban garden boutique with a fun, funky, eclectic atmosphere that specializes in products for small space gardeners, sustainable-minded customers, high-end clientele and everyone in between. Located in the largest retail space in the heart of downtown Nashville, Gardens of Babylon’s large, open floor plan holds a vast selection of rare, exotic plants, as well as pottery and garden decor, for residents in the Music City.
The garden retailer is situated in a lively hub, sandwiched in the middle of the Nashville Farmers Market and the brand-new Tennessee State Museum. Merchandise displays border on fantastic and eccentric, bringing out the artist and creativity in each customer that wanders inside. In addition to the staple plant varieties and gardening supplies, the store’s inventory includes mood lighting, terrariums and botanical antiques. Be sure to ask about their custom containers, rooftop gardens, living walls and other interior gardens that are a specialty here. Using the retailer’s in-store potting bench, custom potting can be done on-the-spot while customers watch the process unfold.
Education is a huge focus for Gardens of Babylon, and the staff is ready to answer any gardening question their customers may have. For every major plant purchased in-store, the garden center offers a handwritten information card detailing how to take care of the plant and any other tips to ensure gardening success. They never use – or sell – harsh chemicals in the store. Commenting on the store’s level of expertise and inspirational displays, Retail General Manager Trevor Bradshaw likens the store to “Apple’s Genius Bar for plants.” Tour-goers will marvel at the fact that the company’s sales consist of 30 percent retail operations, while their broad portfolio of landscape projects make up the remaining 70 percent. The landscaping side of the business covers a wide range of projects for residents, commercial clients and schools. Still employing organic practices, landscape services include maintenance, design, hardscapes, irrigation and lighting, outdoor kitchens, retaining walls, edible landscapes, native landscapes and community gardens. Dabbling on the more creative side of botanical design, the retailer has completed several artsy plant installations for both commercial and residential clients. Spreading the love of gardening, Gardens of Babylon has installed more than 20 community and school gardens in the greater middle Tennessee area. They’ve used their earth friendly practices to educate several universities on the art of compost tea. A large fleet of company-branded trucks, around 35 in total, work around the state and travel as far as southern Kentucky for landscape projects and to make deliveries. www.gardensofbabylon.com
JVI Secret Gardens, Nashville, TN: The soothing sounds of trickling water greet customers as soon as they enter JVI Secret Gardens, as ponds, waterfalls and other water features are huge focuses for the garden retailer. They’re a certified installer of Aquascape products. Take notice of the several on-site ponds populated with koi fish, setting the tone that JVI Secret Gardens is a peaceful place to relax and not just a retail store to buy plants or seek gardening advice. Frequently, people will stop in to eat lunch by the ponds or to brighten their day with all the natural beauty.
Despite the garden center’s smaller footprint, the retailer packs in a variety of seasonal plants, trees, shrubs, edibles, aquatic plants, garden decor, wind chimes, pottery, soils, fertilizers, tools and other supplies, due to creative use of space and artistic merchandising. Around the store and nursery yard, green goods are displayed next to complementary plants and decor pieces that look good together. Merchandisers play with colors and textures to keep the displays visually interesting, and vignettes are usually refreshed every other week to offer a fresh, clean look for every shopping trip.
Playing off the family-owned aspect of the business, JVI Secret Gardens stresses the importance of supporting local first and foremost, so they’ve worked hard to establish great relationships with the community. They’ve collaborated with the local community on several projects, including donating seeds and plants to people in need. Toward the end of the year, JVI Secret Gardens becomes a hangout spot for the community with its free seasonal events, such as the Fall Fest and Christmas Experience. During Fall Fest, the property is opened up for a “garden party” complete with live music and locally sourced treats. Customers from all over flock to the retailer’s Christmas Experience event, where they pick out their Christmas tree, which all have names, and enjoy free hot chocolate and s’mores. Dedicated, knowledgeable sales associates deliver personalized shopping experiences for each and every customer.
The staff consider themselves a tight-knit family, so they treat their customers as such. Whether it be in-store or on a landscaping job, attention is paid to every little detail. This full-service garden center offers landscape installation, maintenance, design, mulching and shrub removal services for the “do-it-for-me” customers. Dabbling in online commerce, JVI Secret Gardens is a Monrovia-registered garden center, so customers can order from the nursery’s large inventory of green goods and have it conveniently delivered to JVI.
Martin’s Home & Garden, Murfreesboro, TN: More than three decades ago, John and Helen Martin opened a roadside stand that sold seasonal produce and bedding plants. Since then, Martin’s Home & Garden has transferred ownership to the family’s second generation, Lester Martin, and grown to become an award-winning gardening supplier, nursery and hardscaping company for the Murfreesboro community. Showcasing the dedication and loyalty to this family-owned business, some of the same customers who shopped with the retailer during its humble beginnings still patronize there to this day. Martin’s is the area’s full-service resource for bedding plants, herbs, perennials, shrubs, outdoor living and much more – bringing the tagline, “Where Beauty & Quality Meet,” printed on sales associates’ t-shirts to life.
Lawn furniture built by the Watson family in Smithville, TN, fountains, bird baths and pottery round out the retailer’s product selection. Putting customers and their needs at the top of the priority list, Martin’s maintains a unique, close-knit relationship with its growers in order to customize the plants they carry and tailor it to specific customers’ requests. Ask staff members how this relationship has also increased foot traffic and sales for the greenhouse, because they can bring in more of what customers want, like combination pots. They also carry a lot of specialty plants that can’t be found anywhere else. The greenhouse department is the heart and soul of the operation – it generates one-third of the garden center’s revenue. Martin’s is a Monrovia distributor, so their customers have access to hundreds of additional varieties of plants, trees and shrubs.
The retailer is constantly looking for ways to expand and improve upon the business – take a stroll through the newly renovated gift shop, which they completed last year, brightening up the space with a coat of paint and transforming it into The Market. The freshened space features fresh produce locally grown by Amish farmers, houseplants, personal care items made with farm-fresh ingredients, wind chimes and gifts. Customers can also find fresh baked goods from Dutch Kuntry, honey products from Martin’s Honey, jams, cheeses, syrups and other delectables from local family businesses in The Market. Be sure to check out the new permanent pergola and the raised beds stationed at the front of the store. In addition to Martin’s dedicated staff, the retailer’s website is loaded with educational resources for customers, including a full FAQ section that offers regional gardening expertise and downloadable info sheets on a variety of topics.www.martinshomeandgarden.com
Add The Tuesday Night Pub Crawl To Your Tour Registration
But wait, there’s more! “Lots of fun will be had by all,” says GCA Executive Vice President Cheryl Morey. “And our host hotel, the Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown, is within steps of the all fun and excitement of famous Music Row, home to many restaurants and bars, including Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar and Florida Georgia Line’s restaurant, FGL House, it only makes sense to give attendees the opportunity to add a Nashville-themed pub crawl among Music City’s hottest nightlife spots.” This Tuesday evening networking event is an entertaining, professionally-guided tour with stories about Nashville’s past, funny toasts, drink specials, snacks, great picture opportunities and special VIP seating at each bar. The Music City Pub Crawl, awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence the last five years and listed as one of the Top Ten Things To Do In Music City, takes place on historic 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville. Your Pub Crawl registration includes the professionally-guided tour, VIP seating at each stop and snacks. Your first drink is on us!
IGC retailers are encouraged to firmly mark their calendars for the GCA Summer Tour, June 23-26, 2019, and make their reservations at the Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown now. Nashville is a popular summer destination and books up quickly, and hotel rates will quickly climb to $350 or higher, so be sure to make your decision to go early on.
GCA Summer Tour Nashville is open to GCA members and non-members alike. Register today and enjoy early bird savings at www.GardenCentersofAmerica.com - stay tuned for more details on the featured garden center destinations and local points of interest planned for next summer. Check out photos from this past summer’s tour at www.Facebook.com/GardenCentersofAmerica.
A sincere 'thank you' to our 2019 GCA Summer Tour sponsors:
Garden Centers of America 2873 Saber Dr Clearwater, FL 33759 (800) 721-0024 MemberServices@GardenCentersofAmerica.com