Bachman’s sues insurance co., plus markets, loyalty and “plant saves woman”

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Friday, November 13, 2020

Ellen Wells Subscribe
Bachman’s Sues Insurance 
And the “It” Is …
Breast Cancer Awareness?
Not Too Late
To Market, to Market
Loyalty Program Practices
Bonide's Pest Control Award
Finally …

Bachman’s Suing Insurance Co.

According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, local floral and garden retail chain Bachman’s this week sued its insurance company over losses due to interruptions in their business at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bachman’s asserts the insurer, Florists’ Mutual Insurance Co., has not paid a claim the garden center filed in relation to losses it suffered during the government-mandated shutdown in Spring 2020.

Full disclaimer here: The above article is behind a subscriber-only paywall and I am not able to read beyond the first paragraph. However, similar suits have been filed in other industries, namely the restaurant and hospitality industry, and one could argue the situations are similar. In those suits, businesses are filing claims for interruption-of-business losses and state that their policies do not contain a clause excluding loss of business due to a pandemic. The insurance companies counter with the argument that paying claims to everyone filing for pandemic-related interruption-of-business losses would wipe out the insurance industry. Better to have the government (i.e. the taxpayers) pay impacted businesses directly than have a government bailout of the insurance industry.

I’ll dig in to this story a bit more over the coming weeks and bring you some updates. Meanwhile, keep up your efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

And the “It” Is …

For weeks now, I’ve been asking you what 2021’s “it” houseplant will be for an article in Green Profit’s December Style issue. After compiling all of the submissions, the overwhelming winner is …

Nope. Too early. We can chat about the results later on. But I do want to discuss two points that several folks raised. First, from David Bache, sales director at Garden Industries in Florida, is the concern about not enough material. “The reality of being a grower during the current foliage boom,” David wrote, “is that there aren’t nearly enough liners of ‘desirable’ product to go around. The supply simply does not meet the demand. For nurseries like ours that grow a more diverse product line, it’s even more difficult. We’ve always relied more on our own cutting stock, and do so even more now that the availability of liners has decreased significantly.” He’s fortunate, he says, because they’ve been focusing heavily on heirloom varieties lately and they have access to varieties that they can propagate themselves. Others also weighed in with availability concerns, too; one reader saying they’d have to “take matters into their own hands if the industry doesn’t step up” by increasing supply.

Philodendron Anderson's Red is one of the heirloom foliage plants Garden Industries has in production.

Secondly, maybe there will be no “it” plant after all. That’s what Will Heeman of Heeman’s Garden Centre in Canada suggests we consider. “No one wants the 'it' plant if it's on everyone else's shelf or Instagram account,” Will points out. “They want the unicorn, the unfindable, the rarer the better. With so many nurseries now getting woke to this demand—I've seen more unicorns on 2021 production lists—I feel like we'll truly start seeing industry offerings starting to match the Instagram feeds that generate people's lust lists.”

Mind blown by Will’s suggestion! But a great consideration, don’t you think? Send thoughts on the topic HERE.

Breast Cancer Awareness Programs

Speaking of houseplants (and orchids are houseplants), I received a press release about Westerlay Orchids’ breast cancer awareness program and results. During October, the month many of the fundraising activities take place for breast cancer research programs, Westerlay sold more than 4,150 Pink Diamond orchids. The Carpinteria, California-based orchid grower donates a portion of each Pink Diamond sold to the Santa Barbara Breast Cancer Resource Center. For 2020, Westerlay’s donation amount is $8,300.

And this announcement got me thinking, I’m not sure I’ve heard the status of other industry breast cancer awareness programs this year. Or maybe I missed that notice? If you’ve held a successful breast cancer awareness program, I’d love to share it with the industry. Drop me a line about it at

Not Too Late

I really meant to get buZZ! out earlier in the week. Best laid plans, right? Anyway, I had been planning to tell you about AmericanHort’s latest edition to their Women in Horticulture interview series, this one with one of your own, Liz Lark-Riley, managing director of Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Florida.

It took place yesterday, Thursday, November 12, and I missed my opportunity to encourage you to sign up to learn about how Liz’s background in events, marketing and performing arts has prepared her to lead a garden center that focuses on creating a hub for connection, education, peace, health and ways to build a more beautiful world through plants.

If you are an AmericanHort member, you haven’t missed the chance to view the archived version of the interview, and can watch it by logging in to your account HERE, choosing Events & Programs and selecting Women in Horticulture.

And by the way, Rockledge Gardens is one of the four virtual stops on the AmericanHort Retail Tour, which is coming up next Thursday, November 19 at 2 p.m. Find out more about the other three virtual stops (it’s international!) and register HERE.

To Market, to Market

Colleague Jen Polanz and I have been curious about the January markets. It’s pretty much tradition to travel to Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas and other market centers around the country to stock up on the coming season’s worth of new products and gifts. Some of those markets are preparing for in-person buying and have announced market dates for 2021:

  • Dallas Market Center, January 6-12
  • Atlanta Market, January 12-19 (temporaries open January 13-17)
  • Las Vegas Market, January 24-28 (temporaries January 24-27

Find more details and the updated COVID-19 plans at and

Our question to you is, are you planning on going? Or are you holding off on making a decision until a later date? What would be your “Okay, I’m going” criteria? Let Jen and I know HERE.

Epicor’s Best Practices for Loyalty Programs

I love an infographic. Maybe it’s all the pretty colors and cartoon-like illustrations. But it’s actually how the graphics are combined with succinct text that I admire the most.

The latest jazzy infographic to spill into my inbox is from Epicor Retail Solutions. Fun colors? Yes. But more important, the graphic contains tips—seven of them—that’ll help you succeed in your loyalty program. As Epicor reminds you in a blurb above the infographic, a well-run loyalty program can retain customers who buy 300% more, are 90% more likely to spend at your store and spend 60% more per transaction.

Here’s the graphic:

Too small to read? I’ll give you the highlight of each tip:

  • Reward successful customer referrals.
  • Promote your loyalty program.
  • Know your pitch.
  • Leverage technology.
  • Personalize offers.
  • Offer exclusive experiences (yes, even now!).
  • Keep it fresh.

You can see read each point more thoroughly and easily when you click HERE to see a larger version of the Epicor Loyalty Program infographic.

Bonide Tops in Home Pest Control

Bonide, a manufacturer of home and garden control products, received a top award from Home Improvement Executive Magazine last month. The trade magazine gave Bonide its 2020 Innovation Award for its newly launched product, Revenge Invisible Roach Bait. What could be innovative in roach control? Well, it offers homeowners control of pesky roaches for up to two years and with just a single application. Talk about convenience for the consumer.

"The launch of this new product marks the first step of a new line of innovative products for the home pest category and the Revenge brand," said Tom Feldmann, Vice President of Marketing, in a press release. "Our Advanced Products team is excited about all the projects in our pipeline that will change the lawn and garden consumer experience. We are genuinely excited about putting these innovative products in the hands of consumers."

Looks like we’re in for a bunch of new Bonide controls for our home and garden shelves. For more information, check out

Finally …

Ninety-one year old Rosemary Clark of Kempsey, Worcestershire, England, was saved by her potted plant. Rosemary, who was found in a delirious state on her bedroom floor by a meals-on-wheels type delivery person, had sustained herself on the floor by eating potting soil from a Madagascar dragon tree that was within reach. The delivery person found Rosemary on the floor with soil around her mouth and under her fingernails. She’d been there for 48 hours. Doctors estimate she was just six hours from death.

Son Richard said this in The Mirror about his mum’s experience and the role of the plant: "I had only been up the weekend before as I was moving house and I didn't have room for some plants, so I brought my mum the dragon tree. It was recently re-potted otherwise it would have been dry as anything; we think she might have eaten it just to try and get any nutrients and moisture into her as she was so dehydrated.”

Let that be a lesson to anyone postponing watering their houseplants. Your life could depend on it!

Comments, questions, suggestions? Drop me a line about it at


Ellen Wells
Green Profit

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