Successful Merchandising Strategies from Nancy Bell, Perennials and American
Building a store within a store, showcasing the American Beauties Native Plants as a whole, leads to increased sales.
Nancy Bell is one of the hardest working people in horticulture that I know. When she isn’t busy taking classes at Longwood Gardens, teaching classes or appearing on a local television show, you’ll find her at Gateway Garden Center in Hockessin, Delaware. Nancy is passionate about native plants and that is easy to see when you look at the American Beauties display at Gateway where she has created a store within a store.
Nancy takes full advantage of the American Beauties P.O.P. to make her customers’ shopping experience easy and fun. As you walk into the outdoor room she created you first notice the Certified Wildlife Habitat sign from the National Wildlife Federation. It’s a great way to inspire customers to certify their yards and it’s a good reminder that when customers purchase American Beauties Native Plants they are helping to support the NWF’s educational programs. It also reinforces Gateway’s position as an informed business that cares about the environment and community.
Next, you’ll see that she groups the plants together by the way they are used instead of putting them in alphabetical order. The P.O.P. plays a strong roll here and helps guide customers to the solution they need. For instance, if someone comes in looking for plants that attract birds, they just have to be directed to the Bird Garden Poster. Since all the plants are together there is no need to send customers off in ten different directions. It’s also a great time to let people know that the American Beauties website has free landscape plans available for every type of garden.
At the back of the “room” you’ll find the shade plants grouped to together and that area always draws customers on hot summer days. The dividers on the benches make hanging the P.O.P. easy and helps block the wind so the plants don’t get blown over. The display is set up right next to the outdoor check out so, there is no way for customers to miss the message. Nancy also uses clear lucite boxes to keep American Beauties brochures dry and clean for customers to take home.
Nancy suggests that you chose one person in your garden center to manage the American Beauties Native Plants display. It should be easy to identify one person in your organization that already has an affinity for native plants. Nancy also uses a PowerPoint presentation, at quieter times of the year, to help teach her co-workers about native plants. When they find out that American Beauties brand offers solutions for tough gardening situations like dry shade or wet areas they love it because it makes their jobs easier. Another great teaching tool for your staff and your customers is a beautiful article Nancy wrote for the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Magazine called The Life-Sustaining Garden.
“Nancy’s American Beauties display makes it easy to offer our customers’ solutions. Even when we’re busy the display sells the plants. That equals happy, return customers and a big increase in sales.” says Peg Castorani, co-owner of Gateway Garden Center.
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