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Greenhouse design mistakes to avoid for garden centers

When you are designing a garden center there are many considerations you take into account: location, product mix, store layout, advertising, the amount of parking needed, employee training, etc. And while no aspect of building a garden center is more important than another, the physical greenhouse structure is a critical component.

Mistake #1: Not including a greenhouse as part of your garden center design
Today, consumers looking for plants expect to be able to get them from a greenhouse. Even the big box stores recognise this, look at Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart, and you will see a greenhouse structure either attached to the big warehouse, or located in the middle of the parking lot. They do this because they know that shoppers associate being in the greenhouse with fresh plants, and the greenhouse environment helps keep the plants healthier. Independent Garden Centers have an advantage over the big box stores if you design your store around the greenhouse customers will recognise you as the grower, and associate your plants and employees as knowledgeable horticultural experts. Of course you need to follow through and have a staff that really do know how to care for the plants.

Mistake #2: Leaving production greenhouse post spacing in the garden center
Garden center greenhouses are retail stores, not production greenhouses. GGS has many successful garden center customers who are also superior greenhouse growers, but a successful garden center will keep production greenhouse space separate from the retail areas. In a retail garden center post spacing needs to be as far apart as is practical. This gives the garden center manager maximum flexibility in designing store layout for traffic and for spectacular presentations. Posts can be removed by using widespan greenhouses, or by placing trusses under the gutter to carry the load a greater distance than in a typical production greenhouse, or by using both. As a garden center owner you are also less concerned about keeping uniform post spacing across the greenhouse than a commercial grower who will want to have a consistent post layout to enable more efficient production automation. By bringing your greenhouse manufacturer into the floor design process you have the best opportunity to design a footprint with your retail business in mind.

Mistake #3: Underestimating the value of a high roof
A-Frame, peak style greenhouses are very popular with garden centers because the design gives a wonderful high roof peak. But we also often hear garden center owners requesting lower under gutter heights in order to balance the height of the trusses for hanging baskets with a customer’s comfortable reach. But trusses can be lowered without effecting gutter heights, and taller greenhouses are not only better environments for your plants, they are better environments for your shoppers.

Read more at the GGS blog

Publication date: 4/20/2017



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