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OFA slates retail forums

Though the first forum in January 2013 saw the business future of garden centers through a glass darkly, a follow-up session next month will dwell on paths to a brighter commercial destiny for them. The forum will be held Nov. 5-6 in Raleigh, NC, under the sponsorship of OFA and the American Nursery & Landscape Association.

Retail consultants John Stanley and Sid Raisch, who led the 2013 forum, will present new material in lectures and lead discussions at the follow-up session, which is designed to help garden center retailers develop new business plans and strategies.

“The future of many independent retail garden centers is an economic improbability,” Raisch said in a news release. “This is a challenge and an opportunity. We can do better as an industry,” he added, stating that the forum will provide in-depth exploration of garden center business models.

The November program is invitation-only and limited to 35 independent garden retailers from Canada and the United States. OFA is known for its Short Course, held annually in Columbus, OH. The 2014 Short Course will take place July 12-15.