Nov 14, 2018
What’s on the Horizon for 2019?By Tim Hodson

As 2018 winds down and you prepare your business for the new year, I’m sure you and your team have questions about where the economy is headed and what is happening in Washington.

That is why on Dec. 13, GPN’s Big Grower will be presenting a free, one-and-a-half-hour webinar on “Outlook 2019: What’s on the Economic and Legislative Horizon for the Coming Year?”

We have asked industry experts, Texas A&M’s Charlie Hall and AmericanHort’s Craig Regelbrugge, to give us their take on what they think is on the horizon for the green industry.

Hall and Regelbrugge will examine how the continually shifting economy and the changes in Congress could impact your business in the coming year. Their insights will help you make sense of all of these changes so you can make informed decisions for a successful 2019.

As I mentioned, the webinar is free and will take place on Dec. 13, from 2 until 3:30 p.m. EST.

Click here to register for this webinar to gain exclusive insight into what the future holds for North America’s leading greenhouse production facilities.

— Tim


Lowe’s to Close Underperforming Stores

On Nov. 5, Lowe’s announced it would be closing 20 underperforming stores in the U.S. as part of its ongoing strategic reassessment. Most associates at the affected stores will be extended opportunities to transition to a similar role at a nearby Lowe’s store. The majority of impacted stores are located within 10 miles of another Lowe’s store. The company also will close 31 Canadian stores. “While decisions that impact our associates are never easy, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic reassessment as we focus on building a stronger business,” said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO. The impacted stores are expected to close by Feb. 1, 2019.

Home Depot Increases Financial Commitment to Veterans

Last week, the Home Depot Foundation announced an increased commitment of a half billion dollars to veteran causes by 2025. The expanded commitment to veterans comes as company volunteers, known as Team Depot, completed more than 100,000 volunteer hours during the Foundation’s seven-week Celebration of Service campaign. As an added tribute to veterans, volunteer associates traded in the iconic Home Depot orange and wore military green at hundreds of projects during this year’s campaign. “The Home Depot Foundation has been supporting veteran causes since 2011 and recently completed its commitment to invest $250 million, but we’re not stopping there,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. “We’re committing another $250 million by 2025 bringing our total investment to half a billion.”

Walmart Looks to Hire More Military Spouses

Walmart is introducing a new initiative, Military Spouse Career Connection, designed to recruit and hire military spouses. The program complements the 2013 Veterans Welcome Home commitment, enhanced in 2015, to hire 250,000 military veterans by 2020. According to the Department of Defense, there are more than 500,000 active duty military spouses who face a 26 percent unemployment rate and a 25 percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts. “Military spouses are unsung heroes,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, during a Veterans Day ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville. “They serve in partnership with their uniformed spouses, and we want to honor them and help them find a job or build an amazing career. To military spouses: You’ve got a home at Walmart!”

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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