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Level Up Your Merchandising: Garden Center Display Ideas for 2024

Over 80 percent of Americans have done some gardening in the past year. If your shop is struggling to bring in revenue and capture a slice of that population, maybe your merchandising is to blame. 

Lackluster layouts with haphazard piles of pots won't reel in revenue. The most profitable lawn and garden shops use deliberate designs following core concepts: flow, organization, abundance, and visual flair. When done right, your store can guide people naturally from the arrangements at the front all the way through to the checkout counter. But how do you get started?

This post will walk you through our tips for merchandising, garden center display ideas, and more. We’ll discuss five display ideas you can use to delight your customers this year. 

Merchandising, Garden Center Display Ideas, and More 

Before we dive into merchandising, garden center display ideas, and more details, let’s start with some basics: What is merchandising and why does it matter for garden centers?

Merchandising is the art and science of attractively presenting products to customers in retail. It involves carefully planning and executing product displays, layouts, and promotional strategies to create an engaging and compelling shopping experience. 

Effective merchandising is critical to the success of garden centers because it helps captivate customers, showcase products, and drive sales.

Related Read: 5 Features of a Lawn and Garden Center POS System

Merchandising is about creating a visually appealing and inviting environment that encourages customers to explore, discover, and make purchases. In a competitive retail landscape, garden centers need to stand out. One way to accomplish this is by crafting displays highlighting your unique offerings, inspiring gardening enthusiasts, and providing a memorable shopping experience.

Garden centers can explore a variety of display types to elevate their merchandising efforts:

  • Freestanding displays: A freestanding display is a standalone structure placed anywhere on the sales floor to showcase seasonal products, new arrivals, or special promotions.
  • Point of purchase displays: Strategically positioned near the checkout area, these displays can feature impulse buys, upsell opportunities, or complementary products related to a customer's purchase.
  • Entryway displays: As the name suggests, these displays sit near the entry points of your store. First impressions matter, so creating visually striking displays at the entrance can set the tone for a customer's shopping journey.
  • Window displays: These external displays can entice passersby and draw foot traffic into the garden center by showcasing your best products, seasonal offerings, or creative arrangements.
  • Endcap displays: Positioned at the end of aisles, these displays can highlight featured products, themed collections, or high-margin items to maximize visibility and sales.
  • Digital displays: These displays go beyond simple physical shelving to include digital signage, video screens, or interactive displays. These elements can add a modern touch and provide customers with product information or inspirational content.

Related Read: How To Increase Sales in Retail: The Top Promotional Tactics

When selecting your merchandising displays, you must consider the unique challenges facing garden centers like yours. Seasonality plays a significant role, requiring frequent changes to reflect the current season and available products. Additionally, living items like plants and flowers require special care and presentation to ensure their health and appeal. And garden centers often have limited floor space, meaning you need to be creative and efficient in your use of display space. 

Despite these challenges, successful garden centers embrace merchandising as a powerful tool to enhance the customer experience and drive sales. With this in mind, we’re ready to explore our list of five creative garden center display ideas and tactics you can employ to level up your merchandising this year. 

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1. Obey the 20-Feet Rule 

One golden rule to live by in your merchandising efforts is the 20-feet rule. This principle states that every display or section should be visually appealing from at least 20 feet away, ensuring that it effectively attracts customers from a distance and guides them through your store.

Adhering to the 20-feet rule helps you create a captivating first impression that entices shoppers to explore your store. Incorporate eye-catching focal points or larger displays at key intervals throughout the garden center to maintain visual interest and encourage customers to wander and discover new products.

Keep in mind that a display's effectiveness can diminish over time, so it's essential to reassess and adjust your merchandise displays regularly. Refresh them frequently to keep them looking fresh and align them with seasonal themes, promotional campaigns, or new product arrivals. This ongoing effort helps ensure your displays are interesting and relevant over time, maximizing their impact on customers and sales. 

Related Read: Top 4 POS Systems for Retail This Year

2. Upcycle and Reuse Items 

Garden centers have a unique opportunity to embrace sustainability and creativity by upcycling and reusing items in your merchandising efforts. This approach reduces waste, shows your support for the environment, and adds a touch of rustic charm and personality to your displays.

Start by repurposing old garden tools, containers, or off-season items as creative display fixtures or planters. An old watering can, a stack of vintage crates, or a retired wheelbarrow can all display your products.

Take it a step further by partnering with local artists to create unique, handcrafted items from reclaimed materials. Commission these artists to design one-of-a-kind pieces, such as planters made from repurposed wood or metal sculptures crafted from recycled materials.

Related Read: 6 Customer Appreciation Day Ideas for Retail You Can Use All Year

Additionally, consider hosting workshops or demonstrations on upcycling and DIY projects. Teach customers how to transform everyday items into beautiful garden decor or functional pieces for their homes. These interactive events can inspire creativity, foster a sense of community, and encourage customers to embrace sustainability. 

You should also consider the difference between temporary displays and permanent displays. Temporary and permanent displays serve different purposes in a garden center. Temporary displays are flexible and ideal for short-term promotions, seasonal showcases, and highlighting specific products based on changing trends or customer preferences. On the other hand, permanent displays offer long-term stability and branding opportunities. Permanent displays contribute to establishing a recognizable brand identity and help customers easily navigate your store's offerings. Use a mix of both in your store. 

Finally, incorporate sustainability messaging into your marketing and signage. Highlight your commitment to environmental stewardship and encourage customers to support eco-conscious businesses. This approach aligns with your values and resonates with customers who prioritize sustainability and are more likely to become loyal customers of your garden center.

3. Make the Most of Your Signage 

Signage is a crucial element of effective merchandising. Garden centers can leverage this to a great effect by using clear, concise signage throughout their facility. Your signage can help guide customers, communicate pricing and promotions, and provide informational content such as plant care tips or gardening inspiration.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different signage formats and materials to add visual interest and increase foot traffic. Chalkboards, wooden signs, or digital displays can all contribute to creating a unique and engaging environment for your customers. The key is to balance information and visual appeal, providing value without overwhelming the eye. 

Directional signage is another essential component that can help customers navigate your garden center efficiently. Strategically placed signs guide visitors to specific products, departments, or areas of interest, making it easier for them to find what they need and encouraging them to explore your offerings further.

When it comes to signage, quality matters; invest in high-quality, weather-resistant materials that can withstand outdoor conditions and maintain readability over time. Your signage should reflect your brand's professionalism and attention to detail, not a source of frustration or confusion for customers.

4. Think Vertically 

When you’re operating an independent garden center, space is at a premium. As a result, you need to maximize your space by thinking vertically. By incorporating vertical displays, shelving, or hanging fixtures, you can showcase your products and plants at varying heights, creating a visually appealing environment, even in a smaller space. 

Install trellises, arbors, or living walls to display climbing plants or vertical gardens. These architectural elements add a touch of greenery and visual interest and optimize your floor space, allowing you to showcase more products without feeling cluttered

Experiment with vertical merchandising techniques such as tiered displays or cascading arrangements. These creative methods can highlight product assortments and encourage customers to explore your offerings from top to bottom. 

Embrace the vertical gardening trend by offering innovative solutions and accessories that enable customers to incorporate plants into their indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Wall-mounted planters, hanging baskets, and vertical gardening systems are just a few examples of products that cater to this growing market. These items provide additional merchandising opportunities and position your garden center as a modern and forward-thinking store in tune with current trends in the gardening industry. 

5. Use Creative Props 

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to get creative with your merchandising. Incorporating creative props and decor elements into your displays can help create a more memorable customer experience and take your merchandising and marketing to the next level. 

One idea is to integrate seasonal or holiday-themed props to refresh your displays and capitalize on relevant trends or festivities. A touch of autumn decor during the fall season or a festive holiday arrangement can capture customers' attention and drive sales. Arranging snow shovels into a tower and using them as makeshift shelves to hold potted plants, or hanging small garden tools from a Christmas tree, like ornaments, are just a few ideas you can use. 

When it comes to sourcing props, think outside the box. Scour flea markets, antique shops, or local artisans for unique and unexpected items that can add character and flair to your garden center displays. Repurposed furniture, vintage gardening tools, or handcrafted artwork can transform a standard display into something memorable (or even Instagrammable!) for customers. 

Consider incorporating unexpected items like mirrors and lighting units to add depth and dimension to your displays. These unconventional elements can create focal points, reflect light, and draw customers' eyes in unexpected ways.

Related Read: 5 Ways To Build Your Small Business' Online Presence

Finally, encourage customer engagement by inviting them to interact with props or photo-worthy installations. Create social media opportunities by designing displays that are visually appealing and shareable. Encourage customers to snap photos and share their experiences on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, effectively promoting your garden center through user-generated content.

Beyond Merchandising, Garden Center Display Ideas, and More: Running a Profitable Garden Center 

Creative displays and merchandising can help boost impulse sales and highlight new inventory, but if you want to make the best decisions for your store, merchandising and otherwise, you need more than creative ideas: You need actionable data.

The best garden center operators use robust point of sale (POS) systems that provide actionable insights into purchasing trends, customer behavior, real-time inventory, and margin tracking. This data allows you to make informed choices on pricing, promotions, purchasing, and where to focus your team’s attention.

If you're looking to run a thriving garden center business focused on profitability, proper point of sale infrastructure provides the foundation. POS Nation empowers small retailers like garden centers with data visibility through over 55 built-in reports on revenue, profits, taxes, and labor. Our POS solution delivers metrics with simplicity to inform merchandising decisions and day-to-day operations. 

Schedule a demo to learn why leading garden centers depend on POS Nation as an intuitive data platform to actively guide merchandising, purchasing choices, inventory planning, and more! 

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