Year in review: C.L. Fornari, ‘Retail Revival’ columnist

Check out these 12 columns from “The Garden Lady” and take a deep dive into marketing tactics, branding and advice to give your business a boost.


Through C.L. Fornari’s familiarity and expertise in the garden center retail space, her column offers a ‘retail revival’ for businesses of all sizes. Fornari is a speaker, writer and radio/podcast host who has worked at Hyannis Country Garden, an IGC on Cape Cod, for more than 20 years.

Here are her 2022 columns for Garden Center, all in one place for your convenience.

  1. Get crafty – Partner with artisans and craftspeople to draw new crowds.
  2. Make your IGC sense-sational – Show your customers that plants are more than a sight for sore eyes by appealing to all five senses.
  3. Know where you stand – A SWOT analysis can give employees the chance to make your business its best.
  4. Summer seductions – Bring in customers after the spring rush by offering solutions to their mid-season problems.
  5. Be the regional experts – Set your garden center apart from the box stores with local knowledge on weeds, weather and what’s in bloom.
  6. Scan-savvy signage – QR codes can direct customers to accessible, specific information, all through the snap of a smartphone camera.
  7. Water pressure – Is your staff up to the challenge of keeping plants hydrated?
  8. Reboot your blog – Social media posts come and go, but blog posts are forever. Here’s how you can create evergreen content and become a regional go-to gardening source.
  9. Don’t fear the fall – Events and activities can turn a slow autumn season into a sales driver.
  10. Verbal applause – Offering individual praise to employees boosts morale and strengthens positive workplace behaviors.
  11. The perfect plant match – From seasonal displays to cocktail hours, bring customers into the IGC and show them how to pair different plants and herbs in the home or landscape.
  12. Is it time for a new tagline? – Start the year fresh and collaborate with your team to create a modern slogan that conveys your IGC’s missions and values.
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