I am a customer!

I want to address Sid's comment at my post about Monrovia Nursery. Sid say's, "I have no ties to Monrovia but I do feel there are a lot of questions here that should have been directed to them first." Further into the comment Sid say's "In my opinion, Monrovia has made a sincere and concerted effort to help independent garden centers and they at least deserve the chance to explain themselves. Several years ago Monrovia responded very well to the outbreak of SOD in our industry. They are like all of us not a perfect company but I believe they have operated with good moral integrity and I hope they are able to survive this. They at least deserve a fair chance without being drug through dirt making it even harder than it already is for them." We received the letter from Monrovia and had no intention of divulging the the contents of the letter. Right after we received the letter I wrote this post.  There was no mention  of Monrovia. The post was more about the crazy changes we are seeing in the nursery trade.  To my surprise American Nurseryman published what was going at "Sprout", their website. Once the news is in the public domain it begs to be commented on, which is why I wrote this post.

As far as dragging them through the dirt, once the news is out there it needs to be reported on. I have been a supporter on Monrovia for well over 30 years. We are all facing challenging times and I have sympathy for Monrovia's plight.  Perhaps they will be able to make everything o.k., and keep the company running. That being said, you do wonder why they feel the box stores are the answer to their problems. After years of supporting Monrovia as a independent only supplier, to find out that we need to pony up 22 million dollars or they will start selling to the box stores leaves a bad taste. The box stores have never supported Monrovia, and now they will enjoy Monrovia plants and all the good will that independents have built for them. Yes, you have to do what is necessary to survive. It still doesn't make it easier.

It use to be we only read about news like this through the trade magazines, usually a month after the fact. Of course The Internet has changed all of that. Not only do we get the news much quicker, but we also get to hear from others with an interest in the comments. That is the biggest change that garden centers, and any business had better understand. The customer now does the advertising for the business. Through rating services, and comment features the people who support or don't support a business now have a say. If they like you, they spread the word. If they don't, they spread the word. I, and many of the people who contribute to this blog are customers of Monrovia. We as customers want our voices heard. It's  getting harder and harder for companies to control the message. These are the times we live in.