Your Turn

Each month, we’ll ask readers a different question about your retail operations, inviting you to answer via email or social media. You can send your answers to assistant editor Conner Howard at

This month’s question:

“Do you plan to use customer loyalty or rewards programs this spring?”

Answers to this question will be published in the April 2017 issue of Garden Center.

Multimedia | Video

Customer comments from the show floor

Although the Garden Center magazine team doesn’t normally visit consumer-oriented trade shows, we made an exception for the 2017 Great Big Home + Garden Show, which was hosted at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in early February. While touring the displays and booths throughout the convention center, we made sure to chat with a few attendees about their hopes and plans for their own home gardens this spring, as well as what they hope to see and experience at their local independent garden centers this year. Take a look at the resulting video — you just may get some insights into what’s on the minds of shoppers in your market!

What’s trending on Facebook

Followers of our Facebook page were evidently excited to be introduced to the 2017 Garden Center Advisory Board, a group of expert garden retailers who offer insight and guidance to the editorial vision of our magazine. This year, the board includes Frank Benzing of SummerWinds Nursery, Richard Christakes of Alsip Home & Nursery, Sandi Hillermann McDonald of Hillermann Nursery & Florist, Julie Kouhia of Molbak’s Garden + Home, Jere Stauffer of Stauffers of Kissel Hill and Susan Bachman West of Bachman’s. When we posted the announcement to our page, readers reacted with more than a dozen “likes” and several shares.

5 stories in brief

Top industry news from our website

1. Branding for Millennials

Katie Dubow of the Garden Media Group shared her thoughts on how to tailor IGC branding to the younger generation of consumers.

2. TPIE Takeaways

There was no shortage of inspiration, trend predictions and new products at the 2017 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition.

3. January Top News

In January, the most-read news included updates on the EuroAmerican Propagators bankruptcy, retail tips for Valentine’s Day and more.

4. Supplier Merger

Frey Bros., a farm and garden supplier based in Pennsylvania, announced a merger with Maine-based Coast of Main Organic Products.

5. Meet The Experts

Garden Center magazine introduced the 2017 Advisory Board, comprising six knowledgeable and experienced retailers.