June 15, 2014
When sluggish sales, belt tightening and nasty weather threaten business growth and sales potential, what actions can independent retailers take?

Industry suppliers, some having exhibited at Garden & Floral Expo for 15 years, have already started planning for the show.

“Expo is an absolutely fantastic green show and that’s why we’ve been there since it was launched in 2000. All of our major customers attend, as it’s important to both us and them to see the plants, flowers and trees displayed in their natural form in full leaf,” says Paul Droppert, of J.C. Bakker & Sons in St. Catharines. “The show’s networking opportunities, new product launches, informational presentations and timing, all combine to create a sense of excitement and urgency during the fall booking season.”

Cameron Gerber, of Pinebush Home and Garden in Elmira, adds, “Expo is an important buying show and a great place to introduce new product lines to our customers for their immediate feedback and orders. At a time when it’s critical for companies to maintain current relationships and reach out to potential new customers, Expo remains a key component of our yearly marketing initiatives.”

“Our virtual trade show, found at www.loexpo.ca/suppliers, gives you access now if you need to replenish inventory, order new product you missed last October, take advantage of spring specials and just-in-time shipments,” says Director of Events and Trade Shows for Landscape Ontario, Heather MacRae. Expo 2014 provides an online interactive floor plan and list of exhibitors. Already, more than 65 companies have registered.

To keep your business thriving, it is beneficial to be aware, keep an open mind and capitalize on random opportunities that can lead to your growth. Allow time in your schedule, as a business owner, to scan the horizon for more than weather conditions. Ask yourself which trends, plants, and products are coming into the market place that would stimulate new sales? What product categories are growing? Which ones have reached maturity and need to be cleared out of inventory? If competitors are saturating your market with a particular product, decide if it can be eliminated from your inventory, repositioned or repurposed. Shop your competition for its strengths and weaknesses. Use that competitive intelligence to improve your own business and build your confidence.

“All businesses need to develop a proactive plan in response to volatile change and uncontrollable elements in the market place.” says MacRae. “You are not alone when you are a member of the LO family. Sector group committee members, staff, suppliers and other members are available for support and, and if asked, can offer valuable advice on how to thrive.”

Expo is proud of the loyalty of suppliers, like Connon Nurseries, NVK Holdings; Eco Wood Products; Horticultural Marketing; MCP Manufacturing; Pacific Rim Brackets; Paridon Horticulture (1979); Pefferlaw Peat Products; Sheridan Nurseries; Vanhof and Blokker and Willowbrook Nurseries, for their 15 year commitment to developing new product and innovations that help independent garden centre owners and florists increase their sales.

MacRae adds, “You are invited to start shopping Garden & Floral Expo today. You might outperform your competition with this pro-active approach or discover an innovative product, service or supplier that will define your future. Be sure to call us at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 323, if there is a vendor you don’t see on our list, but would like to meet at the show.”

Nothing surpasses face-to-face engagement. Plan to visit Garden & Floral Expo, on Oct. 22 and 23.

For timely information on the show, visit www.loexpo.ca.