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HC's Blog - Industry Information and Inspiration

Plants, Trees and Shrubs are the Perfect Gift

In last month’s edition of The HC Companies e-newsletter, we discussed visual merchandising and how garden centers should leverage this tried-and-true retail technique to deliberately present their inventory to increase sales.

One of the core principles of visual merchandising is recognizing that many consumers are undecided about what they’ll purchase when entering your store. That provides you with an opportunity to influence their buying decisions through inspiration and merchandising.

A 2018 National Gardening Survey (NGS) revealed that 77% of all US households report doing something in the garden, which is the highest it’s ever been in the 35 years NGS has been reporting. That means, you’ve got a massive customer base just waiting for your recommendations.

Nowhere is the influence on consumer purchasing more impactful than on holidays or national commemorative days throughout the year. Consumers have little time for gift buying today, which often forces them to purchase something superficial, which is easier on them but not unique and meaningful for the receiver.

It can be difficult for consumers to look beyond the black, purposeful plastic containers your plants, trees and shrubs are housed in (with good reason) as possible “gift” solutions for family, friends and co-workers.

But all it takes in a little thoughtfulness, and some visual merchandising techniques, to turn something purposeful into something beautiful. Here are some clever ideas to influence your customers to view your plant inventory as a great gift solution:

As gifts of appreciation
Identify a beautiful, flowering shrub or perennial plant and include a large, beautiful gift tag with an area for a personal message and an appropriate saying about gratitude.

This personalized gift is perfect for Nurse Appreciation Week in May, at the end of a school year for a child’s favorite teacher, Friendship Day in August and even Grandparents Day in September.

As gifts to commemorate and celebrate
Help to plant hope by grouping together some hearty, long-lasting trees and shrubs. Include an inspiring, hopeful message, wrap the bottom of the pot in a beautiful plastic wrapping, or include a discounted, decorative pot from your inventory in the price.

The gift of “hope” is priceless and appropriate on National Cancer Survivors Day in June, World Alzheimer’s Month in September, or throughout the year for the birth of a child or a newly married couple purchasing their first home.

Whatever the holiday or commemorative event, it’s important to transform what is “purposeful” and make it beautiful. From wrappings, to ribbons to hang-tags with messages. You’re limited only by your imagination when influencing your customer that a tree, shrub or plant makes the perfect gift.

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