The team at Russell’s Garden Center in Wayland, Mass., pride themselves on unique offerings customers can’t find elsewhere.
Young visitors to Autumn Hill Nursery can take a hay ride with Snoopy during the store’s “Cartoon Christmas” event.
Autumn Hill Nursery [left] and English Gardens [above] use visual merchandising to educate and inspire.

Staying on top

Stories from 14 successful independent garden centers and how they keep their products — and brand — fresh.

The work never really stops when your job is to stay competitive and relevant in your market. “Full-time job” is an understatement for most independent garden centers.

Across the country, retailers are faced with an endless list of challenges on a daily basis; from inventory to staffing, weather and other concerns, IGCs have a lot on their plates. Despite these overwhelming tasks, they manage to surpass the competition and lead their communities in outdoor life and growing efforts.

In this special section, we’re bringing you behind-the-scenes stories of some of the top retailers in North America, in which owners and managers discuss the strategies they’ve used to come out ahead and be successful. Whether it’s a push to expand digital marketing, giving customers better incentive and reward systems, tightening up expenses, boosting online delivery services or opening an art gallery, these IGCs have found what works for them.

Perhaps you find your company in similar situations with similar challenges — read on to gain some perspective on what has worked for some of the most successful retailers in the field.

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