August 2023 - 28

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Wallace's
Garden Center
Bettendorf, Iowa
wallacesgardencenter.com
Year founded:
Wallace's Garden Center was founded in February 1981.
What is your garden center known for?
We are definitely a destination store in our area. We are
known for being inclusive and welcoming of everyone. We
are known for being plant-growers with knowledge and all
the advantages of growing your own plants. Every year, we
become better known for our other departments like outdoor
living, home furnishings and accessories, kitchen and gourmet
foods, as well as ladies' clothing and accessories. We are
always looking for a balance between being a true garden
center and plant-centric retailer and all the other parts that
make us such a unique place to visit.
How do you set your store apart from the
big boxes?
The basics: knowledge and service, of course, but also
inspiring displays and unique products. We spend a lot of time
at gift markets, looking for new vendors and items that you
don't see at every boutique in town or catalog in the mail. We
look for quality in everything, but also value. We don't buy
anything just because it's cheap. We make sure it is a product
we can stand behind and the customer can trust it is worth
the price we have on it.
How do you ensure teamwork among employees?
This is a constant process. Communication is the best fix
and whenever issues arise, it is usually due to a breakdown
in communication. We do a lot of group lunches, morning
tailgate meetings, positive reinforcement and frequent checkins
from myself and the managers. I make a point to talk to
every employee every day, even if it's just a quick hello. We try
to praise each other's teams and cheer as one team when we
get a five-star review or congratulate any employee that had a
" We are always looking for a balance
between being a true garden center
and plant-centric retailer and all
the other parts that make us such a
unique place to visit. "
customer compliment. Like any business, we have days where
it seems like we are all working on our own islands, but overall
we are all on the same team, win or lose.
Why is your store so successful with
merchandising?
Our merchandisers both have degrees in interior design.
They know how to put together an entire room (or outdoor
room) - they not only have the designer's eye but the
training to know why and how product works together. We
go to market and buy as a team. They keep their " looks " or
themes in mind for the upcoming season and know exactly
where each product is going to go and with what other
product. They enjoy presenting customers with a vision of an
entire space. We count on our displays to inspire customers to
purchase a whole new look rather than one piece.
What are your best practices for
merchandising giftware?
Change and refresh each look often - including six major
seasonal resets and smaller weekly resets for the entire year.
Begin every display with a clean slate (figuratively
and literally). Our merchandisers are hard workers. They
thoroughly clean every part of an area before setting products.
They use a mix of careful planning and designing on the
fly. They start with the " bones " of the display (large pieces,
a rug, fountain, furniture, pottery, etc.) and build out from
there. They include items from all over the store to tell the
story they want to tell.
They ask for others' opinions or for a quick suggestion if
they get stuck or when they know it needs that one last piece
to finish it off.
They keep customers in mind in making things shoppable.
To quote Tracy, one of our merchandisers, " This isn't a
museum. " Though I would argue that many of their displays
are masterpieces in their own right.
28 | LAWN & GARDEN RETAILER | AUGUST 2023
28 |
Photo courtesy of Wallace's Garden Center.
http://www.wallacesgardencenter.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
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/march-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/august-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/july-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/may-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/thrive-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/lgr-november-december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/lgr-july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/april-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/thriveguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/thriveguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/august-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/july-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/june-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/may-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/march-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/august-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/june-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/may-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/march-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/february-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com