City: Palatine, IL
Owner: John Heaton
Size: 5 acres
Years In Business: 78
Number Of Locations: 1
What changes have you made in the last 12 months to increase your garden center’s profitability? We have increased some prices including annual flats which went from $17.99 to $19.99. 4-inch vegetables went from $3.99 to $4.99 each. We also kept a very close eye on payroll hours and dollars this year on a weekly basis, making many cutbacks as the season slowed down. We also pre-booked much less from vendors with the expectation that there would be many price reductions from the vendors in a slow economy. This did work to our advantage.
What services and products do you offer your customers when it comes to sustainability? We are buying more and more plants from local vendors (within 50 miles). It’s a break even venture, what we save on shipping we end up paying a little more the plants, but the quality is better and our customers like that we support our local economy as well as benefit of a plant that has been subjected to our harsh winters.
In the last 12 months, have you used your POS system for any of the following? Our POS system is so much more than a cash register. We use it constantly to track sales. Our department managers check every monday to compare their sales to last year against their goals for this year and then it is turned in to the general manager for weekly review. This gives us a weekly review of what when on in that department and it will usually spark discussion on ways to improve.