Robert Hendrickson
Next New Planet

Group Service Provider – Marketing (Storytelling)

Recent articles by Robert

Life often comes full-circle. Robert's horticulture journey began at a backyard garden center in Illinois for two reasons... knowledge and the employee discount... while creating a self-sufficient farm in the process. "I needed to learn how to grow herbs and veggies and buy plants at a discount." His back to the land adventure was soon replaced by a true love of retail. "Getting people to buy stuff is a lot easier than canning food for the winter." 

What followed was fifteen years in the retail trenches, a decade helping garden centers find their success groove, then fifteen years developing The Garden Center Group. Now between on-site consulting and online marketing services comes 3GFarm in Hannibal, Missouri. "This time the focus is on gardens, goats and grandkids."  

Robert has more than 30 years of hands-on experience working with garden centers on their marketing, merchandising, management and strategic planning decisions. Companies range in size from under $500,000 to over $10 million in sales per year.

Clients of The Garden Center Group take part in his "Business Development Program" which focuses on increasing sales and profits through aggressive marketing, site improvements and budget controls. This service also includes on-site visits and an on-going analysis of marketing and budget concerns.

The Business Development Program centers around:
  • Marketing - Garden centers involved with the Business Development Program participate in creating proven advertising and marketing messages designed to build sales, expand market positioning, secure customer commitment and extend the selling season. The "Six Selling Seasons" concept was developed as part of this program. A wide array of media choices are used to provide the best advertising and marketing mix for the most impact at the best price, with the goal of gaining new customers while maintaining the ones who continually build the business.
  • Merchandising - A garden center's position in the marketplace is created through the proper use of site-development, product mix, merchandise presentation and shopping experience. The combination of these factors creates the building blocks for real success. The Business Development Program provides guidance in each of these important components, helping a business grow to it's fullest potential.
  • Strategic Planning - As important as marketing and merchandising are to the success of any retail business, the deciding factor that sets a company apart from all the rest is the passion that exists between the company...the employees...and the customer. Learning how to create and then use this passion as a positioning statement in the market is what garden centers develop being part of the Business Development Program.