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US: Limited enrollment starts for Bower & Branch

Bower & Branch, Trees for Life, announced kickoff of its annual retailer enrollment period of July 1 to October 31, 2017. Bower & Branch is a group of independent growers and garden centers offering consumers landscape-size trees and plants online and in Member stores. This phase of expansion comes as the group looks to add to its network of qualified retailers within the existing Northeast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions and expands into the Plains and Southeast States.

“We are serious about recruiting the finest garden retailers within and beyond the current 23 states, plus regional Grower Members to serve them,” said Sid Raisch, President and CEO of Bower & Branch. “This is something special and we’ve invested heavily to ensure it empowers the people of this industry to be their best. We have proven that consumers enjoy the experience of buying plants online any hour of the day and night, finding what they’re looking for from a vast selection, and having it shipped to their local Bower & Branch Garden Retailer for them to pick up or have delivered and planted.”

“Most everyone agrees, this industry sorely needs rejuvenation,” added Raisch. “We’ve moved beyond our initial proof of concept phase, and we’re looking for visionary retailers and growers who embrace technology and want to join our culture of boldly reshaping the green industry. It’s a more viable path forward, overcoming many constraints and roadblocks to profit that have long stood in the way. We’re providing progressive leadership on a solid path forward.”

David Bosco, Owner & President of Wildwood Nurseries said, “I feel like this is the only way to survive as an independent garden center going forward. Offering e-commerce on products you already carry in store is one thing. But offering product you don’t have to inventory on e-commerce is a game changer. The first year was a transition year for us. But I am moving from carrying rows of trees to creating more of a showroom. We are capable of selling more in this system.”

The 2017 offering includes a Sure-Launch Enrollment Program, with a choice from two Marketplace Subscription levels, plus a third one that can be customized for specific situations. All three subscription options include plug-and-play assets and activities to ensure a retailer’s success, including an in-store e-commerce Tree-osk (a kiosk structure with big screen monitor, tablets, signage and more), premium marketing materials, social and email management and more.

“We’ve studied the elements for success of members like Wildwood Nursery, and revamped our offering for 2017 incorporating best practices of highest performing members,” said Steve Maddox, Director of Partnership Development. He continued, “the smallest garden retailers along with larger stores with greater resources have been extremely successful with our program. The Bower & Branch Showroom combats excessive inventory expense, a result of over-buying in an attempt to have everything a customer may ask for. The showroom assortment of the best of the best, with popular and conversation-starting varieties represents the quality and breadth of our online offering, along with the best sellers and exclusive products that make our 3-year and Satisfaction Guarantees possible. This also maximizes in-store cash & carry opportunities.”

“We are now actively talking with interested new Bower & Branch Growers,” said Raisch.” By welcoming exceptional family-owned growers to our network, we have added perennials, grasses and more evergreens to achieve a robust 600 plus variety online offering. Grower Members enjoy a pathway to consumers with e-commerce, preferential position with our members, a planned product path without market speculation, and make more profit, all without the burdens of branded pots and duplicated inventory of plant tags. Our goal is to achieve complete category dominance in key areas of consumer importance.”

Bower & Branch enrollment runs from July 1 through October 31, 2017. Interested garden retailers and growers are encouraged to visit to download the free Retailer Guide to find out more. Interested parties may also visit Bower & Branch at Cultivate (Booth #3516) in Columbus, Ohio, the IGC Show (Booth #310) in Chicago and/or The Garden Center Group Fall Event in Burlington, VT in September.

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