Fall 2020
Alfresco Living By Teresa McPherson

An outdoor living space is now the place to spend time with friends and family, safely

Backyard entertaining has always been a popular activity, but since the pandemic hit, it is growing exponentially. Not only can it provide a getaway experience without the risks and hassle of travel, but also an enjoyable way to take in the natural world, relax, and decompress. An outdoor living space can also provide a way to spend time with friends, family and neighbors while adhering to social distancing rules.

Archie Moss Green Outdoor Pillow from Divine Home
Archie Moss Green Outdoor Pillow from Divine Home

Garden centers are capitalizing on this trend by providing not only the annuals, perennials and houseplants one would expect to find, but also a host of outdoor living products for customers to spruce up their patio, balcony, deck, and yard.

Make a Scene

Many retailers use their outdoor space to set up vignettes of outdoor entertaining, showing customers what the items look like unboxed and assembled. Stores can create different areas with furniture arranged around a fire pit, with decorative cushions or pillows, outdoor rugs, heaters for cooler climates, and potted plants.

Veranda Outdoor Rug Blue from Pom Pom at Home
Pom Pom at Home Veranda Outdoor Rug Blue

Décor items such as statuary, gazing globes, wind spinners and more can be displayed in the outdoor settings with price tags secured in waterproof sleeves. These clearly visible tags should include SKU numbers and a scannable barcode to allow staff to easily obtain packaged products from inside the store and bring it out to the customer or have it waiting at the checkout counter.

Aurora Globe Stakes from Echo Valley
Aurora Globe Stakes from Echo Valley

Be sure to offer products to meet the specific needs of your region, this might include products like hand-woven or knitted blankets, outdoor fans and other related items.

Sweet Nectar All Weather Outdoor Canvas Art from West of the Wind
Sweet Nectar All Weather Outdoor Canvas Art from West of the Wind

No outdoor space? No worries! Outdoor living scenes can be easily set up inside a store as well — and without the worry of weather damaging products. Take a corner or your store (or larger space if it’s available) and create an outdoor entertaining setting like a chair and table set and lay out décor items such as sculptures, vases or small pots, tableware and other items. Don’t forget wind chimes and outdoor lighting. Mark each with an easy-to-read tag with barcode and SKU number, and stock smaller packaged products nearby.

Balinese Tenor Windcatcher from Music of the Spheres
Balinese Tenor Windcatcher from Music of the Spheres


Sustainability Matters

Sustainable products have and continue to be a priority for many customers — and they’re frequently willing to pay more for these items. Products that are handmade and eco-friendly, rather than mass-produced, will be viewed by these customers as having more value. These customers are often willing to spend more for fair trade, eco-friendly products.

Original Succulent Garden from Lulas Garden
Original Succulent Garden from Lulas Garden

Be One-of-a-Kind

Offering one-of-a-kind statuary, ceramic pottery and the like sets your store apart. Instead of offering the same garden décor items and only differing on price, your store can be seen as a destination for unusual pieces that aren’t seen in every other landscape.

Terra Collection from Georg Jensen
Terra Collection from Georg Jensen

>>SEE ALSO: Garden & Outdoor Living Lookbook

Embracing the outdoors, the products featured in the Garden & Outdoor Living Lookbook will help your customers create an outdoor experience as comfortable and inviting as any indoor space.

Majestic Lion Statue from Garden Decor Accents


Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at tmcpherson@greatamericanpublish.com.

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