Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Attract Social Butterflies

If you happen to notice a group of girlfriends wandering around your garden center on a sunny spring afternoon carrying snacks, cameras and magazine photos and snatching up plants left and right, you can thank Better Homes & Gardens. A story called “Girl Thyme” in the magazine’s March issue promotes garden centers as hangouts for women who love to garden and socialize.

The photo-heavy piece encourages readers to “Seize this fine spring day and celebrate the new growing season. Round up your friends for an afternoon of buying and bonding at the garden center.” It refers to new “lifestyle garden centers” popping up all over the country, which have grown into “fun places to shop for cool fashion and home accessories – and to just hang out.”

It also recommends bringing magazine photos of gardens and containers for inspiration, along with a camera to capture a group photo to share at the next outing.

Why not take this idea and run with it? If your garden center doesn’t have a cafĂ©, consider setting up a few picnic tables and inviting your customers to pack picnic lunches to enjoy at your store. Who wouldn’t want to spend a sunny day with friends and family surrounded by beautiful, blooming flowers?