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IGC Show Kicks Off With Talk From Martha Stewart

The Independent Garden Center Show East (IGC East) kicked off Tuesday morning with a keynote question and answer session with Martha Stewart.

The show is one of the largest gatherings of independent garden center owners, managers and buyers in the country and runs Aug. 4-6 in Baltimore.

An audience of about 700 attendees listened as Stewart answered questions about her gardening experience and her outlook on the industry’s future.

She shared some practical tips, such as how she uses coffee grounds to fertilize her flowers, and talked about the growth in rooftop and container gardening for urban dwellers. She also talked about a key differentiator she looks for in garden centers – variety.

“Uniqueness and variety will keep independent garden centers alive,” Stewart says.

In its second year, IGC East not only brings retail decision makers together with thousands of new products and vendors but also provides attendees more than 30 seminars and keynote addresses from business professionals and industry experts.

Daily seminars focus on topics such as e-commerce websites, store finances and store layout. The educational lineup provides attendees tools to implement in their stores.

New this year to IGC East is New Vendor Zone, inspired by a highly popular area at IGC Chicago. This area showcases exhibitors that are “hand-selected for their particularly creative or innovative offerings not typically seen at other industry shows or marts,” according to IGC.

Also new to IGC East is Taste of the National Hardware Show, which is a dedicated exhibit area that showcases a selection of the broad range of categories from the National Hardware Show® in Las Vegas. Since garden centers and hardware stores are so closely aligned, the partnership made sense.

“We’re really excited about expanding National Hardware Show’s reach to independent garden centers and other independent home improvement retailers that haven’t been able to visit Las Vegas,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “Having a presence at IGC East allows us to provide a small scale of what we have at the National Hardware Show and we will continue to grow this partnership.”

IGC East is an offshoot of IGC Chicago, which began in 2007. This year, IGC Chicago takes place Aug. 18-20. More information about IGC Chicago can be found here.

About Sara Logel

As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.

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