Jennifer Polanz

It’s hard to believe we’re on the back end of 2018, heading into the fall months and then *gulp* the dreaded “W” word. In some ways, it’s been a year like any other, and yet … there’s something different about this year.  
The retail apocalypse became a reality for some of the larger chains that had overleveraged themselves (think Toys ’R Us), but for others this ended up being a pretty great year, particularly in our industry. But something has come loose and that something is labor. It’s changed how the retail game is played and pushed technology more to the forefront than ever before.  
It was telling, then, that when I asked our Green Profit/Dümmen Orange Young Retailer Award Winner (and this month’s cover subject) Amanda Bruce about her biggest challenge this spring, it was trying to hire somebody—anybody. And this is where the headline comes in. It took a great deal of commitment, from Amanda and the rest of her team, to persevere through being short-handed, to have a strong spring. It’s a commitment Amanda has shown her whole life growing up in the retail business and one you can learn more about.
It also takes a great deal of commitment to do more than just sell products. For example, to hold successful events and then follow up on those events to create meaningful, long-term connections with customers. It’s not easy and it takes more work than just hosting a seminar or two. It’s what customers want nowadays.
You know what else takes commitment? Pricing. Not just in the sheer effort it takes to get a price on everything that comes into the retail setting, but to adhere to a pricing strategy. It’s something industry consultant Sid Raisch has spent years studying and he let us print his thoughts. You can read whether you're underpricing or overpricing yourself out of your market.
Meanwhile, we continue our commitment to helping you invigorate your houseplant sales. Editor Ellen Wells has done a great job of finding niches to focus on in the houseplant department.
I want to point out Amanda Thomsen’s column this month, too, because it’s about playing up the sustainable and recycling part of being a green business. That’s a commitment I think we can easily make and corner the market on as more and more younger customers are looking for ways to make a difference in their world.
As we finish out the year, hopefully strong, I want you to know how much we at the magazine appreciate your continued commitment to this industry. It’s not easy, and it’s not always fun, but it’s always worthwhile. GP