You hear the same message just about every time that you turn around: increase your sales by creating stores within your store. What does that mean? Sometimes, your facility has just the right spot to dedicate to a specific product line. For example, birding can go in that corner and grilling can go over there. But what about the outdoor products? Your outdoor retail space might be the shrub yard behind the building, the end of the parking lot, or the sidewalk out front.
Simply gathering up the hydrangea varieties and putting them in a circle does not make a store. Customers always respond to clearly defined spaces. When you add branding and merchandizing programs, you create opportunities to inform and excite your guests. Jeff Gatewood of Allisonville Nursery, Garden & Home, based in Indiana, says their shrub sales area “was just a big, open space, and no one wanted to spend much time there until we added some shade structures.” By using five movable shade units from Haiku Shade, they created identifiable destinations.
Think of them as outdoor rooms. The idea of the outdoor room is often used by designers to describe residential patio spaces. The principle applies just as well to the garden center. Within that outdoor room, plants are protected and customers are more comfortable and more able to focus on the business at hand — learning about and purchasing your products.