Investing in our industry

Departments - Publisher's Note

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February 8, 2021

This past year has been quite the ride for our industry. From the start of the pandemic when we didn’t know if IGCs would even be allowed to remain open to navigating state regulations to making sure our customers and communities can remain safe, garden centers have been spreading the joy of gardening in a dark time.

The resiliency of our industry has been inspiring in its ability to not only overcome obstacles as a business, but to provide people within our communities safe and healthy ways to improve their lives through the beauty, therapy and exercise of gardening. Your ability to adapt, adjust and come out better on the other end has led many IGCs to record-breaking years.

But we all know we can’t rest on our laurels. We owe it to each other to keep the industry moving forward and capitalize on the energy and the new customers coming to your stores. There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the way the rest of the year will unfold but when things do return to normal, we will be ready and here for you with the launch of the Garden Center Conference and Expo.

This new event builds on the Garden Center Executive Summit, which for the past two years has been an educational roundtable event for IGC owners. One thing that we have heard from attendees and readers alike is the need for an event that brings together the industry’s top retail professionals for both high-level education and the chance to collaborate with their peers who are facing the same issues within their own operations.

That is the exact reason for launching the Garden Center Conference and Expo. Expanding upon the Executive Summit, we will have two educational roundtable tracks — one for executives and one for team leaders and management-level employees. We are investing in the industry and want to provide an opportunity to come together to learn, collaborate and grow together. IGCs can now bring their entire team for a 2 ½ day event that will allow each member to grow professionally and push their business forward.

Over the past 12 months we have all experienced things we couldn’t have imagined but came out stronger on the other end. It’s more important now than ever to collaborate and learn from these experiences, and there is no better place than in Orlando this coming fall at the Garden Center Conference and Expo!

Nick Collins
ncollins@gie.net