Knollwood Shows Customers the Possibilities & Grows the Category

From: Garden Chic, Best of Show Issue, 2012

Knollwood Shows Customers the Possibilities & Grows the Category

SEEING FOR THEMSELVES Owner John Scott and his staff approach customers and lead them to the garden center’s vertical gardening displays. “The interest level has been high,” he says.

Knollwood Garden Center & Landscaping in Beavercreek, OH, first teased vertical gardening last year with a butterfly-shaped vertical garden displayed on the front of its building before offering the category to customers this spring. “Last year was a show-and-tell year. This is the first year that we have a strong offering of vertical gardening products for customers to use,” says Owner John Scott.

Vertical gardening fits well with one of Knollwood’s main retail themes for the year: decorating outdoor walls. The garden center sells three different vertical gardening systems at varying price points: one developed in-house, BrightGreen’s GrowVert Living Wall Planter and Algreen Products’ greenwall vertical garden. Knollwood’s homemade system starts at the lowest price, $19.99 for a 10"x10" planting canvas and $49.99 for an 18"x14" size. The GrowVert system, an 8"x18" display, carries a regular price of $99.99; for early season sales, Scott drops the price to $79.99. The biggest of the systems, a 26"x48" display from Algreen Products, sells for $199.

Exposing customers to the possibilties gets them excited about vertical gardening. “As customers walk in the store and are milling about, we go to them and say, ‘If you’ve got a few minutes, let us show you something that’s really cool for this year.’ We’ve been doing an aggressive job of showing vertical gardening to them, and the interest level has been high,” Scott says.

A 10-foot-tall succulent totem pole in the parking lot and numerous examples of vertical gardens throughout the garden center spark interest among customers. Seminars and workshops, which have included DIY vertical gardens made from unused picture frames, help bring people in as well.

“I think vertical gardening has the chance of being big - not just a flash-trend. This is the beginning of something that will become more common as the years go by,” Scott says. “Vertical gardening adds an extra feature to the garden that’s not going to cannibalize other sales. We see it as an opportunity to increase sales from our good gardening customers by giving them a new opportunity to do something different.”

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