The IGCA show held August 16-18 was once again a big hit. It was one of the best attended shows I’ve been to in a long time both in terms of exhibitors and attendees. A full compliment of speakers and educational seminars was also present. While the event is geared toward retailers, it’s important for greenhouse growers and wholesalers to also attend, both for inspiration but more importantly for the incredible networking opportunties to be had with retail customers – both present and potential. One of the most interesting and potentially important things I saw was the HGTV HOME Plant Collection. HGTV is working with the Agricola Management Group to develop an HGTV brand to sell plants through independent garden centers. Backed by the marketing power of HGTV viewers will be able to purchase plants seen on their favorite gardening shows at their local independent garden center. While some independent garden centers have felt betrayed by past promises of brand exclusivity, it can’t hurt to participate in a market venue attracting 5 million viewers a month and 100 million overall. Complete merchandising support will be available including displays, tags and packaging. Social media including Facebook and Twitter will be used along with online support and HGTV promotion by garden experts.
Opportunities exist not only for independent garden center retailers to carry the HGTV HOME Plant Collection brand but also for regional growers. Agricola is looking for plant breeders and growers to participate in supplying new and selected plants to garden centers in various regions. A full line of quality plant material will be offered including annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, bulbs, seeds and more. For mor einformation visit the Agricola website at http://www.agricolamanagement.com/site/ An online form is available for more information about particpating.