Jan 2, 2019
Less Than Three Weeks to Go By Tim Hodson

Happy New Year from everyone at GPN’s Big Grower!

I hope you survived the holiday season, and are refreshed and rested to tackle 2019!

As the new year kicks off, I wanted to remind you that the deadline to nominate individuals for GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 is rapidly approaching — Jan. 21, 2019.

In May, we will be recognizing 40 outstanding individuals who represent the best of the horticulture industry — but we need to hear from you first. We want to know who you think belongs in this year’s class and why!

We are looking for 40 women and men who are trailblazers in their personal and professional lives. They demonstrate superior leadership, creativity, compassion and innovative thinking.

All you have to do to nominate someone is go to www.gpnmag.com/40-under-40-nomination and fill out the online form.

Remember, the deadline for nominations is Jan. 21, 2019.

— Tim


Walmart Successfully Tackles Driver Shortage

Despite a nationwide shortage of truck drivers last year, Walmart actually managed to increase the number of drivers that it hired in 2018 versus 2017. According to news reports, the retailer hired approximately 1,400 drivers in 2018 compared to 922 the previous year. To compete in a tight driver market, Walmart reportedly is offering $1,500 referral bonuses, using social media to appeal to younger drivers and shortening the application time.

Amazon Looks to Add More Whole Foods Stores, Expand Delivery Service

Amazon.com plans to add more Whole Foods Market stores in the new year in an effort to expand its Prime Now offerings. The Wall Street Journal reported that the online retailer was exploring potential sites in Wyoming, Idaho and southern Utah — areas where there are currently no Whole Food Stores. Amazon is looking at adding the stores so that more consumers are within its two-hour delivery service range. The two-hour Prime Now delivery service is currently available to subscribers in 60 cities.

Meijer Continues to Surprise Customers During the Holidays

What began in 2014 as a small gesture to make the holidays brighter for customers has become an annual tradition at the Michigan-based Meijer chain. Each holiday season, Meijer executives and store directors look forward to Very Merry Meijer, a one-day event to surprise an unsuspecting customer at each Meijer store by paying for their entire shopping cart brimming with goodies — and gifting each Meijer cashier who handled the surprise with a $100 Meijer gift card. Over the past five Very Merry Meijer events, the retailer has  gifted more than 1,150 customers their shopping carts full of toys, clothes, electronics, food and small appliances. The gifts totaled more than half a million dollars.


Tim Hodson

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.
Erica Hernandez
Emma Lookabaugh
Melissa Maguire
Cole Mangum
Oz Marshall
Meagan Nace
Tiffany Nohl
Chris Plane
Mike Prol

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