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When Fall is Really Spring, Observation Lab, Crash Course in Creativity
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When Fall is Really Spring, Observation Lab, Crash Course in Creativity

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Observation Lab Assignment from Crash Course in Creativity, Stanford University, November 2012. A review of 4 Garden Shops, Whitfill Nursery, Home Depot, Walmart and Target.

Observation Lab Assignment from Crash Course in Creativity, Stanford University, November 2012. A review of 4 Garden Shops, Whitfill Nursery, Home Depot, Walmart and Target.

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  • 1. When Fall is Really Spring - Garden Shop Traveling in Phoenix, Arizona US Submission by Rhonda Forsyth A Crash Course on Creativity Observation Lab
  • 2. Summer hits the garden hard Phoenix Records Hottest Day in Nearly 5 Years Residents of the Desert Southwest are enduring some of the highest temperatures in years. ... Impressively, Phoenix, Ariz., topped out at 118 degrees….The garden stops growing …..even some of my cactus gave up
  • 3. In the Fall, temperatures drop* and I want to garden!!! What would a traveler observe at Phoenix’s garden stores?* High today is 90º F
  • 4. Enticing entrance – celebrating the season with pumpkins!!Lots of green here. Do we really live in a desert???????????
  • 5. Observations Natural setting COLOR!! Glorious smells Staff uniforms Cool & refreshing Do I hear peacocks? Master gardeners ready to help Carts that hold a hundred pounds and are easy to push on gravel Cute high school kids available to do heavy lifting 5 acres with distinct plant climates Crafts from the region Prices for commodity items not much higher than other shops but there are unique ways to spend A LOT more money if inclined Xeriscape options are abundant, but not highlighted Plants from around the world Approachable signs and good wayfinding Staff act like they know you Big business that feels like it is part of the neighborhoodike it
  • 6. Whitfill Opportunities• Develop ways to extend gardening into the summer o Hold classes on how to prepare the garden o Teach "how tos" and supply materials for summer greenhouse (should be a "coolhouse" in phoenix - and Id buy this in a heartbeat!) o Hold summer classes for kids o Teach about organic gardening o Teach classes on xeriscape gardening (we use too much water)• Expand capacity, attract new clients and diversify by using the 5 acres in other collaborative ways. o Community garden o Coffeehouse and bakery o Small scale restaurant - pizza ovens or BBQ?• Other retail o BBQ design and build services o Outdoor kitchen equipment o Garden design by landscape architect
  • 7. Nice for a big box – The Home Depot Welcoming entrance Helpful, knowledgeable and friendly staff Customers seemed happy Well organized Not much desert landscaping Competitive pricing Great job of having related merchandise – pools, BBQ
  • 8. Home Depot OpportunitiesGarden department is relativelyundifferentiated. o Focus more on service and expertise o Get garden supplies for a desert environment o Evaluate options for more hardscape design and installation opportunities o Teach and educate like you do in other parts of the store
  • 9. Where is the entrance?Only signat theentrance Greeter at front door startedI feel so crying when Ivery asked her howspecial she was doing (not actual employee) N O I have T the store to Y myself E T
  • 10. Lowest prices of all the shops not Smells like seeming to make a difference.chemicals and Dark and Enclosed Flowers need to be dead-headed fertilizer and are likely root bound.
  • 11. Walmart OpportunitiesGet serious • Garden department seems like it is going out of business • Amplify or specialize on a few meaningful areas that fit with overall Walmart themes such as family experiences and low cost. o gardening to augment family food needs o gardening as family activity • Think about focusing on small gardens • Reduce the "chemical" experience. Dont need half of department filled with a large stock of weed killer.
  • 12. So Sad Even better than a normal TargetAnother special welcome sign Oh no, the garden shop is closed!!
  • 13. Target OpportunityLooks like they can start from scratch• Dont try and be a Whitfall which focuses on variety and an engaging environment or Walmart which focuses on low cost.• Differentiate!!!• Engage famous architects or celebrity gardeners, much like they did with clothing and tea pots.
  • 14. Dear Tina,I appreciate the opportunity to have a happyday at the garden shops! I ended it by plantinga passion flower vine - 4th vine in this location.Hope springs eternal in the heart of a gardener!Rhonda