When Pigs Fly!
You've probably seen those funky pink pig watering cans by Novelty Manufacturing. They're certainly cute in their own right, but Flamingo Road Nursery, Davie, FL, has taken displaying them to a new level - literally! Hung from the ceiling, a 12'x16' tunnel of pink pigs leads from the gift shop out to the plant area. Merchandise Manager Eric Freidl says the IGC had already sold a bunch of these cuties, so another 200 wasn't much of a risk. And, he adds, "The customers' smiles passing under it are priceless."
Tell the Mayor!
Sometimes, local politicians get focused on the local "Mega Mart" expansion or trying to attract that new mass retailer to town. Here's some hard-core evidence that locally owned independent businesses really are good for the local economy. Recent research by American Express shows residential neighborhoods served by a successful independent business district gained, on average, 50 percent more in home values than citywide markets during the most recent 14-year period.
Bring It To Them
Here's a clever inspiration of using high-tech to the retailer's advantage! When U.K.-based grocery chain Tesco wanted to expand its market share in South Korea, it put up billboards in subway stations with its range of products, accompanied by QR codes. All people had to do was scan the QR codes with their cell phone, and the groceries were delivered to their doorsteps. This is a cool idea that could be adapted to in-store use - have bagged and heavy goods waiting at checkout for shoppers.
Front Yard Edibles
If you've traveled to Central America, you probably saw that front yards are really front gardens. From tropical fruits to veggies, locals make full use of what we in the United States traditionally considered strictly ornamental territory. Yet trend studies show that's changing - almost 30 percent of U.S. food gardeners are using the front yard. Capitalize on this with innovative vignette store displays that cross-merchandise hip and funky decor (scarecrows, anyone?) and the latest improved veg and fruit varieties.
FarmVille Meets Its Match
Soon gardeners, or gardener wannabes, will have a cyber yard to do their thing. GardenQuest from 10-20 Media is not just another farming game, it promises to offer a revolutionary 3-D gaming experience with real-life plants, products and services. Online gardeners will design, plant, grow and harvest in an interactive garden. This might just be the Gen Y and younger market developer that IGCs really need. Start planning GardenQuest fan gatherings at your store!
'Boyz-N-Berry' It Is!
One arm of the infamous "color mafia" has made its pick for 2012's NEXT color forecast. Color Marketing Group (CMG) has proclaimed Boyz-N-Berry, a muted purple, as the next big hue trend for decor and design. Described as a deep rich purple with slight red undertones, CMG says it represents the mainstreaming of purple. The RGB match is 96, 62, 98. Expect to see it in upcoming consumer decor and fashion media. The other competing color organization, Pantone, will soon follow with its 2012 color of the year.