Five questions with Russ Cunnington

Ask the Experts - Advertorial | Ask the Experts: Lighting

Russ Cunnington, director of sales and marketing at SunBlaster Lighting, shares everything you might need to know about lighting — from how to display lights in your garden center to how to help new indoor growers be successful.

March 21, 2019

1. What is the best way to merchandise an indoor lighting section, not only for visual appeal but to also educate customers?

The absolute best way to educate customers about indoor growing is to have gardens set up and running. This could be as simple as having lights installed over plants that are for sale. These plants will be so healthy and happy that the worst-case scenario is that you will sell more plants. Seeing is believing.

2. What training would you suggest for staff members to better educate customers and sell indoor gardening supplies?

Store owners should get training from their supplying distributor or the manufacturer — and better yet, from both of them simultaneously. This will help everyone learn the product lines and application. Webinars and PowerPoint presentations are available from most manufacturers. These are known as “PK sessions,” or Product Knowledge sessions.

3. How can we help customers be successful with indoor gardening?

Carrying high quality products from distributors and manufacturers is a great place to start. Having indoor gardens in the store trains staff and assists customers in choosing the right equipment for their application. Many kits and ready-to-grow gardens are available and are a great starting place for easy success.

4. Many customers are new to gardening but interested in growing indoors. How can garden centers help them get started?

Start simple and grow from there. Ready to Grow Garden kits, such as our SunBlaster Mini Greenhouse Kits or Growlight Gardens, are ideal for many home growers wanting to grow fresh herbs or micro-greens, or just get their seedlings off for next year’s outdoor season. Having multiple indoor growing applications set up in the store for the customer and staff to observe and work with is the very best way to introduce today’s consumer to the benefits and simplicity of indoor growing.

5. Why is now a good time to start growing indoors?

Now is the perfect time to start growing indoors for a number of reasons. Each person will have their own motivation and desires for their indoor growing. For some, it will be as simple as growing fresh herbs to complement their culinary experiences; others will want to showcase and maintain beautiful flowers as an accent to their surroundings, while some will embark on large-scale production, producing the finest produce, herbs, and medicinal products we have ever experienced. No matter the motivation, rest assured that SunBlaster is here to help and get customers through to the successful completion of their project, from basil on the kitchen countertop to 100,000 square feet of ready-for-market baby greens.

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