June 2020 - 31

SALES TIPS FOR
RETAIL STORES
* Provide customers with out-of-the-ordinary
options that they cannot price shop at the big
box stores or at your local competitor's.
* Phase out plastic and mass-produced planters;
these options can devalue your fine plants and
planter selection.
* Choose unusual, high-quality options in small
planters. Become more creative in your outdoor
décor buying!
* The millennial customer is often a homeowner,
or soon will be. Cultivate the relationship!
* Provide customers with solid advice: Choose the
best quality planter your budget allows today.
stays true to our values as the regional source for highquality
and unusual, hand-made and sustainable fair-trade
home and garden décor. We therefore consciously decided
to forego selling plastic or mass-produced planters or
other synthetic products.
With our frequent travels to Thailand and Bali, where
many garden design trends originate, we stay ahead of
the design curve, offering soon-to-trend products ahead
of the mass market. We also offer handmade, yet lower
cost, ceramic planters to encourage those retail customers
who might otherwise choose plastic planters as the most
economical choice.
Millennials and Gen Xers are helping to drive that growth.
Sustainable production has been a priority for many of
these customers, who are often willing to pay a premium
for handcrafted, eco-friendly products. For example, we tell
our customers that our high-quality ceramic planters from
Thailand and Vietnam can last a lifetime, and that their
natural, organic beauty is a healthy complement to the plant.
Our experience tells us that for selective customers,
dependable sources for out-of-the-ordinary, high-quality
planters that contrast with offerings at big-box stores, are
essential. When customers see the same or similar massmarket
planters at IGC competitors, their purchase decision
can become all about price. This race to the bottom hurts the
IGC industry. So, consider positioning your IGC as the local
source of inspiration for customers' plant parent needs. Set
yourself apart from your competitors!
Promote Your Expertise
Shoppers interested in buying a garden product online
are likely to find and consult detailed descriptions that
will influence their purchasing decision. The equivalent in
an in-store environment is a well-informed, well-trained
garden center staff.
At Big Grass, we provide detailed product descriptions
online, but we pride ourselves as gentle in-person
educators and influencers.
As we have developed and nurtured direct relationships
over the years with small artisan producers in Thailand,
Bali and Vietnam, market and popular design trends have
come to us. We enjoy sharing with all who are interested
in information about production techniques, cultural
traditions, design inspiration and materials.
Our best and most loyal wholesale and retail customers
appreciate the level of knowledge and love we bring to what
we do. That is why, for our wholesale clients, we provide
product details and talking points for staff training to enhance
their sales conversations and foster customer loyalty.
For the inexperienced shopper, selecting the right plant
and the perfect planter can be a Goldilocks dilemma. Plant
variety and size, growing conditions, personal preferences
and care requirements all influence the choice of indoor
and outdoor plants. With their expert advice and passion,
garden center staff can guide customers to the best plant
and planter combinations. Sales staff should know and
share with customers how planters are made - even a
ceramic planter can have a story!
And keep in mind that a great experience will move
customers to post photos and online reviews that market your
community-based garden stores - and at no cost to you.
Seize the Market
Now is as good a time as ever to rethink your planter
and garden décor selection, especially if it overlaps
with your competitors'. Think about showcasing more
variety outside of the product lines offered by most large
distributors. Choose unusual, high-quality options in small
planters. Become more creative in your outdoor décor
buying. And tell your company's story and that of each
product you sell.
These tactics, along with a good selection of smaller
planters for the growing demographic of customers new
to gardening and plant care, will create excitement in your
business. While times are challenging, we can all create
or fortify our niche in the market - and emerge stronger
than before.
John Hanesworth co-founded and co-owns Big Grass Living
in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife, Duang Hanesworth.
LGRMAG.COM | 31
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June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2020

June 2020 - 1
June 2020 - 2
June 2020 - 3
June 2020 - 4
June 2020 - 5
June 2020 - 6
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June 2020 - 10
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