The Revolutionary 100

Industry lists and rankings aren’t uncommon in trade publications. Everyone wants to know how the next guy is doing, and see how their own business measures up against the best.

Many of these rankings tend to focus on easily measured statistics – hard numbers like total revenues or acres in production. Those are valuable
metrics and great information for measuring the overall strength of an industry, particularly if the activities of its leaders tend to reflect what’s happening throughout its ranks.

The benchmark Today’s Garden Center chose for its rankings three years ago – “How revolutionary is your business?” – goes against that grain somewhat. In many ways, though, we believe it is a superior measurement tool compared to simply looking at the physical size or income of the “top” players in any industry.

The real leaders among independent garden centers may be some of the largest, of course. But the mom and pop operation down the road may be one of the most profitable businesses you’ll come across, and its owners probably have a pretty good story to tell about how they got to be that way.

Read through the lists on the next several pages and pay close attention to the stories of the Today’s Garden Center Revolutionary 100. You’ll find innovative ideas that help these retailers create a customer experience that sets them apart from their big box brethren. And more important, you’ll find that they do it in a way that helps make them profitable businesses.

Many of the garden centers on this year’s list have been there before, but a surprising number of retailers are appearing here for the first time. In fact, only one of this year’s Regional Winners, Watters Garden Center, received that honor in 2007. And one – Southeast Winner Flamingo Road Nursery – wasn’t even on the 2007 list of revolutionary retailers. That’s exciting, because we believe that one of the hallmarks of a revolutionary operation is that it consistently changes and improves. A long list of new names indicates to us that this Revolutionary spirit is alive and well in the industry.

Getting Better Every Year

Our team works hard to consistently improve the Revolutionary 100 program, as well. Last year, Regional Winners were named for the first time. This year, we are excited to announce that each of our Regional Winners, along with a few other progressive garden centers from the 2008 Revolutionary 100 list, have been invited to participate in a special roundtable event and awards ceremony in February. You’ll be reading more about the discussions that come out of this event later this year in Today’s Garden Center. And of course, one of our Regional Winners will be featured next month as the winner of the 2008 Revolutionary Retailer Award.

For now, however, turn the page and see what makes these 100 garden centers so special. You’ll find more than a few ideas you can adopt in your own operation. Maybe people will be reading about your garden center on this list in 2009. 

Revolutionary 100–Northeast Region

Revolutionary 100–Southeast Region

Revolutionary 100–Midwest Region

Revolutionary 100–Southwest Region

Revolutionary 100–West Region

Leave a Reply

More From ...
2016 SHSG covers.indd

July 31, 2015

SHS Griffin Releases 2016 Catalog In Print And Expanded Digital Formats

SHS Griffin has announced the release of its annual seed and plant catalog for the 2015-16 season. Available in both print and digital formats, the 2016 catalog features more than 400 new and improved varieties from the industry’s leading breeders. The 262-page print catalog covers the company’s full seed portfolio — more than 3,400 cultivars of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables. From the SHS Griffin vegetative offering, the complete spring-annual assortment from Syngenta Flowers is featured, alongside new introductions and top sellers from nine top suppliers such as Proven Winners, Dümmen Orange and Suntory. More than 120 vegetative perennials from Syngenta Flowers are also included, including several SHS Griffin exclusives. The SHS Griffin 2016 digital catalog includes all of the product information and photography from the print edition, and more. For the first time, SHS Griffin has added a range of digital-only bonus content: detailed crop culture, quick […]

Read More
Marvel Mahonia (Plant Development Services)

July 31, 2015

Retailers’ Choice Awards For Best New Products Presented At SNA 2015

A team of independent garden center retailers, along with the Garden Center Group’s Sid Raisch, walked the SNA show floor in search of their favorite new products.

Read More
Steve Bailey

July 30, 2015

How To Determine A Gross Margin Percentage Goal At Your Store [Talkin’ Finance With Steve Bailey]

One retailer asked this question: Is there a gross margin percentage that is considered a good goal for garden centers and their various product lines? Check out financial consultant Steve Bailey's advice.

Read More
Latest Stories
2016 SHSG covers.indd

July 31, 2015

SHS Griffin Releases 2016 Catalog In Print And Expanded…

SHS Griffin has announced the release of its annual seed and plant catalog for the 2015-16 season. Available in both print and digital formats, the 2016 catalog features more than 400 new and improved varieties from the industry’s leading breeders. The 262-page print catalog covers the company’s full seed portfolio — more than 3,400 cultivars of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables. From the SHS Griffin vegetative offering, the complete spring-annual assortment from Syngenta Flowers is featured, alongside new introductions and top sellers from nine top suppliers such as Proven Winners, Dümmen Orange and Suntory. More than 120 vegetative perennials from Syngenta Flowers are also included, including several SHS Griffin exclusives. The SHS Griffin 2016 digital catalog includes all of the product information and photography from the print edition, and more. For the first time, SHS Griffin has added a range of digital-only bonus content: detailed crop culture, quick […]

Read More
Marvel Mahonia (Plant Development Services)

July 31, 2015

Retailers’ Choice Awards For Best New Products Presente…

A team of independent garden center retailers, along with the Garden Center Group’s Sid Raisch, walked the SNA show floor in search of their favorite new products.

Read More
Steve Bailey

July 30, 2015

How To Determine A Gross Margin Percentage Goal At Your…

One retailer asked this question: Is there a gross margin percentage that is considered a good goal for garden centers and their various product lines? Check out financial consultant Steve Bailey's advice.

Read More
Chuck Hoover, Tagawa Gardens

July 29, 2015

Give Your Young Employees A Personal Stake In Your Comp…

One retailer asked the following question: What are the best techniques for recruiting new staff members to replace those who are due to retire in the next couple years?

Read More
Petunia ‘Trilogy Red’ (American Takii)

July 29, 2015

Catch Your Customers’ Eyes With These Sun-Loving …

Now is the time to start planning for which annuals will be on display at your garden center in 2016. Check out this slideshow of breeders’ picks for their favorite new sun-loving annuals for the garden retail market in the coming year.

Read More

July 29, 2015

Digital Technology Helps Crack The Millennial Code [Sta…

With a well-trained and knowledgeable staff, Kurt Fromherz says you can forge a deeper connection with your customers and with your community.

Read More
Bauman Farms

July 28, 2015

Local Garden Centers To Visit During Farwest 2015

While you’re in Portland for the Farwest show, set aside some time to pay a visit to these local independent garden centers and check out some of the innovative things they’re doing.

Read More
Farwest Seminars

July 28, 2015

What’s New And What To Do At Farwest 2015

Are you planning to attend the 2015 Farwest show? Here's a list of things to do, including new activities, at the event, which take place Aug. 27-29 in Portland, Ore.

Read More
Bob Peters featured image

July 28, 2015

J.R. Peters’ Founder Dies At 97

Robert "Bob" Peters founded the garden fertilizer company that became JR Peters and has been an active supporter of the greenhouse and garden center industries since World War II.

Read More
IGC Show App

July 27, 2015

Want A Guide To This Year’s IGC Shows? There̵…

IGC Show organizers have launched new free apps for IGC East and IGC Chicago, available for download in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, that offer information on conference sessions and special events.

Read More
Impatiens Lollipop Series (Ernst Benary Of America)

July 27, 2015

18 New Annuals That Are Great For Either Sun Or Shade […

Now is the time to start planning for which annuals will be on display at your garden center in 2016. Check out this slideshow of breeders’ picks for their favorite new sun and shade varieties for the garden retail market in the coming year.  

Read More
Ingenico EMV

July 27, 2015

Why PCI And EMV Compliance May Not Be Enough For Retail…

A report from the National Retail Federation indicates that while companies are becoming more compliant with PCI standards, it may not be enough to protect them from fraud. Note: Thanks for Epicor for sponsoring this EMV story.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

July 27, 2015

Ian Baldwin: Validating Customer Complaints Can Pay Div…

In his latest blog posting, Ian Baldwin says when you deal with customer concerns in an empathetic fashion, you’re more likely to earn repeat business and future sales.

Read More
Farwest Nursery Tour

July 24, 2015

Farwest 2015 Show Promises To Be Far From Ordinary

Farwest, which takes place Aug. 27-29 in Portland, Ore., is the show to discover new nursery and retail-focused products, equipment and services, find new, popular plant varieties, and network with thousands of top industry professionals.

Read More

July 23, 2015

Lakeview Nurseries’ Michelle Harvey Appointed To Massac…

Following a passion for government policy, Harvey says she’s excited to be able to educate elected officials about issues important to the horticulture industry.

Read More

July 22, 2015

Economic Growth Will Fuel Garden Demand [2015 State Of …

As the housing industry continues to rebound and the economy improves, economist Charlie Hall says consumers will unleash pent-up demand, which means good news for garden retailers.

Read More

July 22, 2015

Local Garden Centers To Visit During The Nursery/Landsc…

While you’re in Dallas for the Nursery/Landscape EXPO, set aside some time to pay a visit to these local independent garden centers and check out some of the innovative things they’re doing.

Read More
Texas NLA Trade Show Floor

July 21, 2015

What To Do And What’s New At the Nursery/Landscap…

Are you planning to attend the 2015 Nursery/Landscape EXPO? If so, here’s a list of things to do, including new activities, at the event, which take place Aug. 13-15 in Dallas.

Read More