August 2023 - 26

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Village Green
Home and Garden
Rockford, Illinois
villagegreenrockford.com
Year founded:
Village Green opened in 1965. Jessica Salisbury is the CEO
and creative director.
What is your garden center known for?
Village Green is a destination shopping experience. We
are one of the largest garden centers in the Midwest and
proudly grow our annuals, perennials and roses at our stores.
At our flagship location, we have one of the largest selections
of outdoor furniture in the Midwest, our VG Home indoor
furniture showroom and outdoor cooking center! We are a
total outdoor lifestyle shop.
How do you go about sourcing the right
product mix?
We have companies that we buy from year after year
that have proven track records with our customers, and
then we also work very hard to find new plant material and
merchandise to sell. In order to do this, we have to get out of
the store and travel, and we make a commitment to do that.
We attend shows year-round, visit other garden centers, cities,
gardens and retailers to gain knowledge and ideas, and we
pay attention to trends - especially with what is trending in
fashion or in Europe.
" We love to display anything from
furniture in a full setting in order
for a customer to visualize it in
their space to beautiful end caps
full of color. "
What are some of your most successful events,
and why are they important to the business and
the community?
Our Holiday Reveal Party and Customer Appreciation Week
are the biggest events we do. We make the event fun by hiring
a DJ, have food trucks, host workshops, etc. It has to be made
into a big deal and advertised accordingly so customers feel
like they cannot miss out. Giving them free food, a cocktail
and great sales also really helps!
How is your store successful with merchandising?
Everything needs to look pretty! It is as simple as that. We
love to display anything from furniture in a full setting in order
for a customer to visualize it in their space to beautiful end
caps full of color, or elaborate Christmas displays. The bigger
the better. Creating photo ops also really helps!
How do you set your store apart from the
big boxes?
Customer service and quality. You can always beat them
with those two things. We also always advertise that we
are locally owned and operated for over 50 years. I think
that makes a difference, too.
26 | LAWN & GARDEN RETAILER | AUGUST 2023
26 |
Photo courtesy of Village Green.
http://www.villagegreenrockford.com

August 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2023

Editors' Letter
Table of Contents
Headlines
Calendar
Editors' Picks
Innovator of the Year: Meet the Lawn & Garden Retailer Innovators of the Year!
Special Advertising Section
Technology: Open-to-Buy Inventory Management Key for Retailers
Green Goods: Trial-Proven Produce
Product Focus: Garden Pharmacy
Marketplace
Ad Index
5 Minutes With ...: Ken Lain
August 2023 - 1
August 2023 - 2
August 2023 - 3
August 2023 - Editors' Letter
August 2023 - 5
August 2023 - Table of Contents
August 2023 - 7
August 2023 - Headlines
August 2023 - 9
August 2023 - 10
August 2023 - Calendar
August 2023 - Editors' Picks
August 2023 - 13
August 2023 - Innovator of the Year: Meet the Lawn & Garden Retailer Innovators of the Year!
August 2023 - 15
August 2023 - 16
August 2023 - 17
August 2023 - 18
August 2023 - 19
August 2023 - 20
August 2023 - 21
August 2023 - 22
August 2023 - 23
August 2023 - 24
August 2023 - 25
August 2023 - 26
August 2023 - 27
August 2023 - 28
August 2023 - 29
August 2023 - Special Advertising Section
August 2023 - 31
August 2023 - Technology: Open-to-Buy Inventory Management Key for Retailers
August 2023 - 33
August 2023 - Green Goods: Trial-Proven Produce
August 2023 - 35
August 2023 - 36
August 2023 - 37
August 2023 - 38
August 2023 - 39
August 2023 - 40
August 2023 - 41
August 2023 - Product Focus: Garden Pharmacy
August 2023 - 43
August 2023 - Marketplace
August 2023 - 45
August 2023 - 46
August 2023 - 47
August 2023 - Ad Index
August 2023 - 49
August 2023 - 5 Minutes With ...: Ken Lain
August 2023 - 51
August 2023 - 52
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